Roots run deep in sixth generation cattle operation
Mountain View – Madi Lupher and her family are passionate about their sixth generation cattle operation, Lupher Ranch, and strive to leave a legacy behind for the next generation.
Madi explains Carter and Hamilton Lupher first homesteaded the ranch over 100 years ago. The land Madi and her family ranch on today holds history and traditions which are valued by family members.
“My dad is a big fan of the ranch’s history and hearing him tell stories about the original homesteads has inspired me to continue being involved with the operation,” says Madi.
Madi hopes to leave behind something “worth keeping around.”
“It’s really cool being part of the sixth generation on the ranch. I want to be like my dad and past family members,” she adds.
Traditional ways of ranching
Tractors are rarely seen in action on the ranch.
“We use draft horses for basically everything,” Madi says. “We do all our haying, including cutting, mowing and raking with horses. We try not to use any tractors at all.”
Madi finds this unique aspect sets the Lupher Ranch apart from other cattle operations in the area. She also notes the strong family ties impact the ranch’s success, saying, “Family is everything on the ranch.”
“Family is the reason we are in the ranching business, you can’t do it by yourself,” she adds.
Madi has been involved in FFA for four years and recently received her nine-year achievement with 4-H. During her time in FFA, Madi served as chapter officer and ran for state office.
Madi participated in livestock judging, meats judging and horse judging throughout the years. She also showed cattle for nine years and sheep for two years.
She currently attends Casper College for agricultural communications and animal science, where she spends much of her time livestock judging.
“Judging at Casper College has opened up so many windows for me,” says Madi. “It’s helped me learn a lot about communication and people skills in general.”
Madi always knew she wanted to pursue a degree involving agriculture.
“I just really liked the idea of being involved in the cattle industry because it’s always been my passion. I’ve done it my whole life,” she says.
She hopes to eventually become a cattle buyer, but she mentions, “Whatever I end up doing, it’s going to be in agriculture.”
Madi feels her degree will help her be successful in agriculture.
“My degree in agricultural communication has opened up social media marketing type strategies which will help me with my cattle buying,” she says.
on the ranch
Madi helps on the ranch as often as she can. During the summers, when she is home from school, Madi feeds bulls in the mornings and takes care of her 4-H cattle. Madi also catches and harnesses horses daily and works with colts.
“I mostly help my dad with whatever he needs during the summer,” she says. “I do a lot with irrigation and spend time in the hayfield with my dad.”
Madi mentions her dad inspired her to pursue a career in agriculture.
“He really inspires me to be passionate about agriculture and our history,” she shares.
Challenges of ranching
Madi finds communicating with people who aren’t familiar with agriculture to be a common challenge producers face.
“It’s difficult when the public sees the challenging times on the ranch, including losing animals,” Madi says.
She also notes staying in business is becoming more and more difficult for ranchers.
“The ranches don’t get any bigger, they get smaller, so it’s hard to figure out how to keep your place going and the tradition going,” she shares.
Madi wants to do everything she can to ensure the ranch will stay in business for generations to come. She may enroll in a ranch and agriculture tourism management course at Casper College.
“There’s a potential to go into more agricultural tourism and have haying demonstrations with our horses to keep people visiting and as a source of income to help us run our cattle,” says Madi.
Leaving behind a legacy is important to Madi. She wants the ranch to continue operating for years to come.
She encourages young producers to find something to be passionate about.
“It’s all worth it in the end,” she says. “The discipline and life skills you get out of agriculture really change your life. It’s something you can’t take for granted.”
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.