My View From The Country

Geographic Envy Is A Natural State For Cattlemen

From time to time, I think it would be nice to deal with the other guy’s problems, but in the end there is no place like home.

We all have our little place in the world. We carve out our niches, and the truth be told, most of us wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Still mired in drought, though, I almost get angry at my friends who complain about things being too wet.

I also have to admit, however, that I never have truly shared the pain of friends who complain to me about the problems associated with dealing with fescue. I know it’s real, but I just see all that green grass and think it can’t be that bad.

When my friends in the mountains complain about the elk eating their hay, I have a tendency to think those hunts they sell make up for the loss in winter feed. And I’m a little jealous about the meadow hay they put up anyway.

I know about the heat my friends in Arizona put up with, but I can’t help but think how nice it must be from October to March. My East Texas and Oklahoma friends complain about the humidity, but I just see green grass, trees and full ponds. My friends in the Corn Belt complain about the difficulty of finding grass, as anything tillable is being farmed, but I consider their feed costs and think I’d like the chance to deal with their problems.

Growing up, I read the ads from a very prominent Angus breeder who always talked about the tough Montana environment his cattle were raised in. I then visited his place and saw the meadows, the irrigated grass, and the cows with 700-lb. bull calves at their side.


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In the end, it all boils down to geographical envy and the fact that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Admittedly, my family settled in our part of the world because the ground was cheap and available. However, the people are great, and I don’t have to worry about environmentalists wanting to “protect” our land.

Nor do I have to worry about wealthy businessmen bidding up the price of land. Besides, once you’ve seen one river, tree, or mountain, you have seen them all. And I have to admit, it’s nice not having to worry about those oil and gas guys driving through my pastures. Yes, from time to time, I think it would be nice to deal with the other guy’s problems, but in the end there is no place like home. 


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Discuss this Blog Entry 3

John R. Dykers, Jr (not verified)
on Jul 22, 2013

could not read the 8 tips for heat stress.
John R. Dykers, Jr.

on Jul 22, 2013

Hi John-

It's requires registration to read. You will need to enter your email & password to view it. Email me at if you have any problems.


Jamie Purfeerst
Senior Associate Editor

Sandy Ankenman (not verified)
on Jul 23, 2013

Great article. Just finished a drive from the mountains, across the plains, to the Ozarks. Saw cattle in every area. I think geographic envy would be lessened if we would visit the areas other seasons. Always visiting the mountains in July when my country is in the midst of a heat wave isn't really fair. We should try it in the winter when the mountain temps are way below zero! Might lesson our envy.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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