Historic Ranch: Generations of ranchers have called the Grant Ranch home
At the foot of the Richeau Hills, there’s an old stone house built in the 1890s by Scottish immigrants – the Grant family. Modern amenities were added in the 1950s, and the fourth and fifth generations of the family still call it home to this day.
Over the years, different generations have added on to the ranch – with land or additions to the old, rock homestead – to create the Grant Ranch as Mike and Becky Grant know it today.
The couple has been back on the ranch for the last 22 years, working for Mike’s dad, Robert Mills Grant, before taking over the operation themselves.
Mike and Becky have three daughters. Their middle daughter, Allie, is back on the ranch with her husband Erik Eddington and their three children. The couple runs some cows alongside the ranch herd.
Their youngest daughter, Rayne, is a freshman at Laramie County Community College, where she competes on the rodeo team.
Importance of future generations
The Grant Ranch is located at about 5,000 feet elevation and is made up of rolling pasture lands and hills. The highest pasture point in the Richeau Hills is about 6,800 feet, where the cows graze along the banks of Richeau Creek.
The lower pastures were once irrigated, but are now native meadows. What the ranch lacks in irrigation water, it makes up for in ground springs and big reservoirs.
In modern times, the ranch serves primarily as a summer operation. The couple raises horses and takes in cattle for summer grazing.
“After college, I moved back to the ranch and helped my dad run it. We did all the fencing and summer duties,” explains Mike. “We’ve done a little bit of construction over the years, but the ranch has always been the main gig. Becky worked full time for many years, but we’re both on the ranch now.”
With three adult children, Mike and Becky place a lot of value in the importance of maintaining the ranch for future generations.
“It’s important to teach kids to love this life and to cherish it. We think of it as if we’re just taking care of the ranch, and that’s how our kids have to think about it. We’re all just tending to it for a while for the next generation. So, I always say it’s like we’re standing on their shoulders and in their shadow,” says Becky.
“It’s not really our land,” adds Mike. “I mean, it’s our ancestors’ but we’ve got to take a leap of faith by investing in the ranch, and it’s what we all do to keep it in the family for future generations.”
Ranch geographics and agriculture
The little corner of Wyoming where the Grant family resides has been secluded from the booms the rest of Wyoming has seen. A little too far north of the oil fields, a little too far south of the coal seams and a little too far east of the tourist attractions, the mainstay for the economy has always been agriculture.
“This area is prominently ag. There’s been no oil boom, and there’s been no coal in this little area. We don’t get a lot of outside money coming in. We just have to punch the ticket. The ranch has pretty much stayed the same,” mentions Mike. “There’s not a lot of rich people moving here like there are in some areas. It’s just kind of the hardcore ranchers that are still here.”
“There are quite a few old ranchers still around. We see a lot of white foreheads and red cheeks,” adds Becky with a laugh.
Out on the desolate plains of Wyoming where cell service is scarce, good neighbors are worth their weight in gold.
Mike and Becky both expressed their immense gratitude for being able to ranch alongside like-minded neighbors. With the help of good neighbors, some seasonal hired hands and their family, Mike and Becky Grant continue the legacy of a family operation with deep roots in Wyoming.
Tressa Lawrence is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.