I heard the other day that another ranch was being sub-divided. Every time I hear those words I feel a little breath knocked out of me.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but in a small way it’s what you feel when you hear the neighbor across the valley passed on. When I think about it, the two situations are quite similar.
No, nothing as precious as a human life has expired, but with every ranch and farm that is sold, another small piece of rural America does die. Fertile farm soil, once sub-divided, can never again grow the produce we need. Pasture and rangeland will never again be able to sustain cattle and sheep herds.
I can’t blame the rancher and farmer. It is nearly impossible for the small rancher to make a living to support his family anymore. That is why so many have one or two sidelines trying to support the way of life they are trying to hang on to.
I feel no ill will toward those who have to sell; sometimes there is no other option. There is just a twinge in my heart knowing another old pair of boots and spurs are sitting in the corner by the door.