Greet Ranch, Four generations work together
Ten Sleep – While the Greet family originally came from England, Carol Greet says the family is happily settled south of Ten Sleep, where four generations work in harmony on their ranch.
“The Greets came down here and homesteaded near where the present day monument for the Spring Creek Raid is,” says Carol. “They were there for 20 years before moving to where we are now.”
In 1909, the family moved to their present location. Twins Fred and Frank Greet started the operation.
“Frank and Edna had six kids, and the youngest was John, who is my father-in-law,” comments Carol.
Carol’s husband Vernon, her sons Daniel and Brandon, daughters-in-law Megan and Tessia and grandchildren Quinlan and Jaxon all live and work on the ranch alongside John today.
Carol and Vernon also have another daughter, Victoria, who lives in Kaycee with her husband Matt Davis and sons Wyatt and Waylon. Victoria visits and helps with the cattle as often as possible.
Greet Ranch was the first centennial ranch in the county, and Carol says, “It is very cool to see us on the land after all these years.”
“We are a cow/calf and yearling operation,” Carol explains. “While Daniel has a few registered Angus, we mostly stay commercial.”
Carol notes that Greet Ranch has shifted from raising Herefords to black baldies to straight Angus, enabling them to break into a specific niche market.
“Black-hided cattle became more valuable,” comments Vernon. “We like the Hereford cattle, but it was an economic decision.”
“We raise all-natural Angus sourced cattle,” she continues. “We are always busy and always going.”
Daniel notes that they strive for cattle that are deep, thick-muscled animals.
“We also want big yearling weight EPDs and big dollar beef values,” Daniel explains. “And, of course, for our heifers we look for calving ease.”
Each year, the routine is much the same. The family begins calving at the end of February with heifers.
“As soon as the heifers are done, the cows start,” Carol explains. “We AI our heifers so the timing is right.”
Greet Ranch sells their steers in June using Northern Video Auction.
Cattle are moved to the mountain and through a series of pastures at varying elevations for the duration of the summer.
After calves are brought off the mountain, they move through BLM pastures until they make it back to the home ranch.
In December, they also take bred heifers to Riverton to be sold.
Calves are fed beginning in January, most years. However, feeding dates depend on how deep the snow gets and how cold the winter is.
“There have been times when we had to start feeding in December, but usually we wait until January,” she says.
“We also do a lot of haying,” adds Carol. “We have alfalfa/grass mix, and we raise a bit of grain for ourselves.”
They feed their calves grain and hay during the winter months.
“Summer time is insane with the irrigating and haying,” she comments. “We also run our cattle in the mountains during the summer.”
After the hay is harvested, Carol says they keep most of it for their own use, making sure there is plenty of feed to get them through to spring.
“We might sell a bit of hay, but for the most part, we don’t,” she explains. “We’ve grown a bit in terms of the numbers of cows we have, so we try to play it safe.”
“We generally try to watch our breeding and buy really good bulls,” says Carol. “We really focus on genetics. Daniel is a whiz at the genetics and enjoys that part.”
Because of his interest in genetics, Daniel decided to get into the registered business several years ago.
Brandon says, “Daniel grew up some of the bulls we bought to help the ranch out.”
Because Daniel began to notice a narrowing of their genetic pool, he sought to gain more variety in the herd for better performing cattle.
“We’ve done a lot with the EXT and In Focus bloodlines. They are really good cattle that work nicely, but we’ve stacked it pretty heavily in the herd,” he explains. “On top of that, we only buy PAP-tested bulls, which limits us severely.”
Daniels continues, “We are looking to switch up our bulls a little, so I got into registered cattle.”
He hopes to raise bulls on the ranch to give them the option to use those bulls or to sell them as an extra revenue stream.
“Quality is important to us,” adds Vernon. “Dad always bought good bulls, and we have kept up with that.”
While each of the wives of the operation lived somewhere else prior to moving to the ranch, they all enjoy ranching in Washakie County.
“This area is gorgeous, and the water is pretty good most of the time,” Carol says. “We don’t generally struggle too much.”
Megan adds, “We feel safe out here. It is a small community where everyone knows everyone, so it’s a nice place to raise our kids.”
At the same time, they are able to maintain close family ties.
“I like being close to our families,” Tessia notes. “My kids see their cousins every day, and we get to work with our husbands. That is unique and fun, most days.”
And while there are challenges, Carol notes that they are typical challenges for most ranchers.
“There aren’t many opportunities in this country,” Carol says. “No one has their dad’s hardware store for three generations, much less going on four or five. It is really cool what we are doing here.”
The men also enjoy the valley, each mentioning that the solidarity and remote nature of the ranch.
“We aren’t jammed in amongst a bunch of people,” Daniel says. “I like that our closest neighbors are two or three miles away.”
John comments, “It’s a good life, for someone who likes it.”
Blogging for agriculture
Carol Greet says that the high speed internet in their area has provided a number of opportunities, and one of those was the chance to be an advocate for agriculture online.
“I blog every day,” she says. “I got started because people called me about my dogs – Rimrock English Shepherds – and told me I should post stories about my life.”
“They didn’t know people lived like this,” comments Carol.
She blogs every day to help ease the disconnect between pasture and plate that is growing ever wider in today’s generation.
“I started my blog in January 2008,” Carol continues. “It also became something of a legacy for the family.”
When Carol moved to the ranch, she says her mother-in-law left a journal detailing years of work on the ranch.
“I thought it was very cool to have her journal to look back at,” Carol says. “I wanted to create something for my grandchildren and their children to look back at.”
Rather than writing in a journal, Carol notes she found it much easier to tell stories using pictures.
“When my grandchildren get bigger, they will have the handwritten journal from their great-grandmother, and they’ll have my blog with its photos. It’s our legacy,” she comments.