It's the everyday ordinary, the typical unchanging, the tasks that are repeated to the point that they they are done without a thought to the process...it's these events that are always the same and yet ever changing that make these women unique.
Meet Thaysha Groves from Elko County. This is her story...
I was born and raised in Colorado. I moved to Nevada with my husband Grant, who was born and raised in Northern Nevada. We have 3 boys ages 9, 7 and 3 and we live and work on Schaad Ranches in Deeth, Nevada. It’s a cow/calf operation that operates on private and public lands.
A typical day for me can easily vary depending on the time of year. My day starts around 5-5:30 every morning. Once the kids catch the bus to school, I am usually home helping my husband on the ranch where needed. Some days this means feeding, doctoring cows and calves or helping with major cow work events and moving cows. There are always daily chores and tasks to be done and there is always something I can help Grant do. The list goes on! Two days a week I drive to Elko, which is about 40 miles from the ranch to run my boutique. My boutique is based off of our ranching lifestyle and I gear the items I carry toward ranch women. I share a lot of my ranch life through the boutique too!
I honestly love that there’s never a dull moment in the ranch world. Day to day activities are based off of weather and animals, which we all know are unpredictable; throw in a few kids and we all know how crazy life can get! It has made me so much more easy-going.
I would say weather is the craziest, especially during calving season. Weather can change your plans in a moment. I have learned to dress for all forms of weather in one day, from freezing cold mornings that turn into t-shirt weather to sunny days that suddenly produce a snow storm.
I did not grow up on a cow/calf operation. I grew up about 15 miles from town where I was encouraged to participate in 4-H which I did for about 11 years. I primarily showed sheep, but also competed with horses, vet science and fashion revue! My parents owned a year round guest ranch where I helped my Dad with the horses, cows and guests. I have always had a passion for animals and have learned so much about day to day ranching from my husband and father in law, Doug.
I can’t describe how much I love the ranch life. I think the thing I love the most about ranching is that I can work with my husband. We both have a passion for the animals and the ranch that we share. The hardest thing for me was learning to adjust to such an unpredictable life. It wasn’t super easy for me at first, because I did not grow up on an actual ranch, but now that I have been living the life for several years, I honestly have grown to like the craziness! It has helped me become easier going in the rest of our life too. I honestly feel like I can “go with the flow” more these days. Because things on the ranch can literally change in a matter of minutes, I have learned to be prepared for anything! It’s always fun to share with other ranch couples different stories about us working together! I am still learning this but when things get tense, if I’m thinking clearly and not allowing the moment to create a little craziness, I really try to remain calm, chew my gum and hum a little song. If those don’t seem to keep my nerves calm...all I can say is you have to laugh about those moments after you exit the corral or after you get off your horse.
Personally, I think the ranch life style is not near as stressful as the fast paced urban life. Trust me, we have our moments of stress, but we aren’t rushing to be somewhere at a certain time or dealing with the hustle and bustle of town.
My favorite season is calving. It is by far the most exhausting, but I love working side by side with my husband. This might sound small to most but I have learned so much about calving and this has become my most proud learning experience. I went from knowing very little about the process to now pulling calves, night watch (which I do love, crazy to most, but it’s quiet and peaceful. Yes I’m a mom of three! I feel desperate for quiet moments, you could say.) My most memorable moment to date is pulling my first calf. I was completely scared that I wouldn’t remember all the right things but realized it’s something I really enjoy. To do something like that; bring a new life into the world, then months later see that calf growing and running around healthy is very rewarding.
I feel like it is very important for ranchers to share their stories. Ranchers and their families are very compassionate for the livestock they tend to daily. I personally love sharing our daily activities and adventures. I honesty have learned so much from the ranch women in my life; The cooking, the stories and just realizing that all ranch women go through the same thing. I have learned how to work all day either on the ranch or at the boutique and then be ready to feed a crew.
The more I thought about sharing my story, the more I thought I wasn’t really qualified enough for this piece. I haven’t been working with beef as long as many other women, but I do love beef and I am very proud to be part of the industry. So in a small way, I guess I fit the mould of the ranch wife.
I think of all the things I have made with beef, I love cooking a prime rib! I love the process and the final product.