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Cokeville – While it seems that many families don’t get along in business, Tim and Matt Teichert have been running Teichert Brothers Cattle Company since 1994.

“Matt was here and had some cows. He asked if I wanted to go in with him because dad wanted to sell his cows and retire,” says Tim, “so I moved up here from southern Utah.”

With the help of a few hired men, their wives and children, the Teichert brothers are able to successfully run a cattle operation.

Taking over the ranch

“Our grandpa came here in about 1928,” explains Tim of the operation’s beginnings. “They had a place in American Falls, Idaho, on the bottoms, but their ground was condemned. With the money they got, they came here and started.”

The Teichert family ran a dairy through the Great Depression, also buying land. The brothers grew up on the land they now ranch.

“Dad worked for the State Engineer’s Office, had the ranch and helped to raise nine kids,” says Tim. “When we were kids it was a Hereford operation.”

The operation raised registered Herefords and had a bull sale each year, but when Matt and Tim’s father took control of the operation, they began to switch to running Red Angus bulls.

New beginnings

Today, the Teichert Brothers run a commercial herd and registered herd. Their commercial cows are primarily Angus, Charolais and Hereford, and the registered sector of the operation features Red Angus and Black Angus.

“The first couple years we were leasing dad’s place, we ran yearlings,” Tim says. “I was teaching physical education, health and English at the time.”

They still each have a job in town on top of ranching, but a few hired men, their wives and children help out on the ranch.

Cows and hay

With herds that calve from February though May, the Teichert brothers keep busy. 

“Our purebred cows start calving the end of February,” explains Matt. “We can’t barn the commercial cattle, so they start later.”

On BLM and Forest Service lands, they are able to spend time of the range for much of the year, beginning in April until Oct. 1

“Our range is in the hills to the west,” explains Tim, adding that it is adjacent to their deeded land.

They are able to stay on spring range until the middle of June before they trail the cattle through the town of Cokeville to summer rangeland.

“We run cows on the southern boundary of the Bridger Teton National Forest,” he says.

Depending on when snow flies, they start feeding hay from the end of November to Jan. 1.

“We can handle a little bit of snow, but last year, we got a lot of snow early, and it got really cold,” explains Tim. “We had to start feeding by the end of November.”

To accommodate feeding their cows, the Teichert’s put up hay from meadows they own.

“It’s all grass hay. We’ve also had pivots in barley and oats, and they do really good,” Tim adds, noting that some years they have enough to sell some, while other years they buy hay to supplement their crops. 

Continual expansion

The Teichert’s have been working to expand the land on the operation continually.

“We’ve expanded pretty rapidly and have bought a place almost every year,” says Matt.

Without ditches through the meadows, Tim explains they flood irrigate the land, noting it looks like a lake with two to four inches of water. 

On the river, they have also been working to rejuvenate willows and get rid of cattails to improve habitat and grazing conditions. Additionally, they are planning to install a bridge for easier access to lands across the Bear River. 

“We’re just trying to make it better,” says Matt. “I like the land the best – even better than the cows. I like fixing it up to where we can produce more.”

“I’m the same. I enjoy fixing it up to run cows,” Tim adds. 

Abundant wildlife

With lush hay meadows, coupled with flood irrigation, Tim notes that there are ducks, geese, cranes and other birds that inhabit the hay meadows.

“Our land adjoins the Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge,” Tim adds, mentioning that the land also provides habitat for a variety of birds, deer and elk. “The only problem we have with elk is the sometimes get into the stack yards.”

Wildlife Services and Partners for Wildlife have been valuable partners for the Teichert’s, helping them with funding and resources to put in to rehabilitating the lands. They have also partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to continue developments on the land.

“We’ve done about 19 water structures total,” says Tim.

Addressing challenges

The unique nature of the valley creates some challenges for the Teichert’s.

“We have longer winters,” says Matt. “We’re also quite a ways from any markets or auctions.”

They sell their cattle at Riverton or Torrington, feeding them in Nebraska.

But overall, Matt says, “The place that we bought is a dream outfit – the Bear River floods it, it’s easy to irrigate and we can turn cows out for fall feed. It’s really a pretty place. We think we are pretty lucky.”

Family operations

 

As the Teichert brothers operate in Cokeville, they place a strong focus on family.

“We’re a really close family,” says Matt. “That has been good. We’ve been lucky.”

They grew up in a family with nine children. 

“Matt is the oldest boy, and I’m number seven,” says Tim, noting that they have two sisters and the rest of the family are boys. 

Tim and his wife Renae have three children: Bronson, 19, Janae, 11, and Tana, 9. 

Tim’s oldest, Bronson, is in his first year at Utah State University while his younger daughters live at home. 

Matt’s family includes his wife and 10 children.

“I had five kids with my first wife. After we lost her to cancer, I remarried a lady that also had five kids,” he says. “Six are married and two are in college now.”

Matt adds that he has seven grandchildren, with four more due by the end of the year.

“They are all good kids,” say the brothers of their families.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Auburn – Tyson Hepworth and his wife Stephanie are raising three children while operating a registered Angus operation.

“We’ve been playing around with it in the last couple of years,” comments Tyson of their operation. “We actually started out as a dairy.”

When his great-grandfather started the operation following the Depression, he chose to start a dairy, which ran until 1992. 

His grandfather began to turn over the operation in 1992, and Tyson notes that his father switched to a beef cattle operation to make it feasible to continue to work in town, as well as operate a farm.

In dispersing the dairy, Hepworth notes they started a small herd on commercial beef – an endeavor that transformed into a registered Angus ranch in the last 10 years.

Running Angus 

“About seven years ago, I came back to the ranch after college and thought we could get a better value out of running registered livestock,” Tyson explains. “I like taking data, putting it together and seeing how we’re running.” 

“We start feeding hay about the first of November, because there is usually snow on the ground,” he notes. “We feed from then until the first of June, when we kick out on pasture.”

To facilitate the long feeding season, he adds that the majority of their land goes into producing hay. 

“We do quite a lot as far as feeding hay is concerned,” Tyson explains, “because we have too much winter. We feed longer than we are out on grass.”

Unlike many operations in Lincoln County, Tyson notes that they don’t have any rangeland to run their cattle on, and rather, the Hepworths operate on pastures in the foothills and in the floor of the valley.

Beginning in September, they round up the cattle and begin to sort the bull calves. Those that don’t make the cut are castrated and weaned. 

“When we are selecting animals, we start out with the feet and legs,” explains Tyson. “If they don’t have feet and leg structure to carry themselves, it doesn’t matter what their genetics look like – they can’t get where they need to and get the job done.”

After considering phenotype – feet, legs, size and growth – he adds that they look at the genetic data, including birth weights, weaning weight and yearling weight.

“After we wean, we start getting ready to sell our females in the fall, and we start to get the bulls ready,” he continues. “We send our bulls to a feedlot in Mannan, Idaho, and that works well for us.”

He adds that they will continue to send bulls to be developed in the feedlot, prior to their bull sales.

Making changes

Since beginning the operation, Tyson hasn’t been afraid to make changes to meet their needs. 

“When we started out, we were calving in March and April, and we just weren’t meeting the marketing times for our bulls,” comments Tyson. “We didn’t have the size we wanted, so we moved our dates up.”

Today, they calve beginning the first of February to achieve the ideal animal for the operation.

While currently they don’t have a commercial sector of the operation, Tyson says it’s something they are working to develop.

“We did start in with a few Herefords last year,” he says. “We lease a small herd of Hereford calves, and we have moved into the breed for the extra marketing ability and for the good cross that Herefords make.”

With some of the cattle they cull from the operation for genetic reasons, he says they have started a small commercial herd.

Future plans

As a young operator, Tyson notes that they have big plans for the future.

“We are hoping to eventually have our own production sale,” he says. “We’d like to market our bulls and keep growing.”

He also adds they would like to look into an embryo program and to continue moving forward with their commercial herd.

With plans to continue improving the operation, Tyson mentions he enjoys ranching and hopes to continue working with his family for as long as they can.

Family focus

“I’ve always wanted to be at home and to work with my family,” says Tyson of why he returned to the ranch, adding he also enjoys meeting people through the seedstock end of their operation.

But at the heart, Hepworth’s Angus, LLC is a family operation, with his parents, Hal and Dixie, and his three children, Cashlee, Oaklee and Porter, helping.

“Dad and Mom do a lot to help out, because I am gone a lot,” notes Tyson.

Aside from running the cattle herd, he also drives a semi truck. 

“I’ve lived here all my life, and my dad grew up in the house I live in now,” he says. “I like to be at home, around my family and working as a family.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thermopolis — Following a short stint in the Kemmerer area, in 1949 Calvin King became district game warden covering the Big Horn Basin and Wind River Indian Reservation for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD).
    “I was 28 years old, and had 80 head of horses to do my job. In 1956, they appointed me the first wildlife biologist in the Big Horn Basin,” comments King.
    King’s career, and life, has been filled with adventure. He replaced retiring game warden “Tennessee” Hall at Thermopolis. On one of Cal’s first workdays, Hall picked him up in his pickup with a frozen coyote sitting upright between them on the seat. Hall drove through the hills, served Cal only whiskey for supper, and they spent the night in an old cabin with only one fence post to burn for heat.
    Cal’s career intensified while patrolling up Owl Creek when he and the local sheriff apprehended a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. The individual was hiding at an area ranch.
    King was one of the first wildlife managers in the West to connect harvest management and herd size to plant health and forage availability. “I did research and wrote a thesis on greasewood, black sage, silver sage, curl leaf mahogany, and many other things,” he recalls. “I’ve studied bugs a lot, spiders, rattlesnakes, ants – you name it. Allied Chemical even sent me to the World’s Fair for a month to talk about ants, and later I started King Chemical Supply & Pest Control. I discovered a Sheep Eater Indian Tepee, now on display in the museum in Worland. I made a beautiful herbarium and donated it to the University of Wyoming (UW). I had a large insect collection, and it’s now in the high school in Thermopolis.” After retirement, King raised homing pigeons, which flew around the Big Horn Basin.
    “Rabies is very serious, and skunks carry the virus on their whiskers. Rabid skunks really got to be a problem everywhere, and the police couldn’t handle them, so they asked me to help. I patented a humane skunk trap so you could dispose of the skunk without having to touch it,” explains King.
    “Reestablishing Elk in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming was one of the first books I wrote. In 1887-’88 there was a winter storm that wiped out the livestock industry, banks, and everything. There were about 13 elk left on the Bighorns. The ranchers and the sportsmen were together on things, and they wanted to transplant elk into the Bighorns,” recalls King. “Senator Skovar appropriated $10,000 to have the Cavalry drive elk from Montana above Yellowstone to the Bighorns, but they couldn’t drive them and decided to move them by wagon and train. They took the first load to Sheridan, and the next to Basin. I was just a young game warden, and I got to meet the engineer, which I thought that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Another load was shipped to Dornick, south of the Wind River Canyon, and the last to Lost Cabin.”
    King also researched and wrote History of Wildlife in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Reasons for the Decline of Game in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. All three are out of print, and considered rare books. King doesn’t deem himself a writer, but felt it important to interview numerous ranchers, trappers, game wardens, biologists, and others, conduct extensive research, and preserve that wildlife history.
    King was born in Fort Collins, Colo. in 1921. When he was three, during the Teapot Dome oil boom, his family moved to Edgerton and his father opened a successful used furniture store.
    When Cal was four, his mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis and confined to a sanitarium. Officials feared Cal, and his two brothers might contract the disease, and they were not allowed to visit her. Growing up without his mother had a devastating affect on young Cal, but he learned to be independent and self-sufficient.
    He was a good student, and graduated salutatorian of his class. U.S. Senator Joseph O’Mahoney of Wyoming sponsored King’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he won his weight class in boxing. After graduation, he shipped to the South Pacific. During WWII, he flew fighter planes from aircraft carriers on several successful missions against the Japanese before he was shot down and sustained a serious head injury.
    After the war, King returned to school, earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology, and then a Master’s at the University of Wyoming (UW). There, he met Judy, who would become his wife and best friend. Cal later earned a law degree and studied entomology by correspondence through Purdue University.
    Around 1996, he and Dr. G.R. Spiller created the King-Spiller Wildlife Refuge with a conservation easement through The Nature Conservancy. The University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service and Renewable Resource Department, along with the WGFD, aided in the project. “One day, I just decided to save this property, so I did it,” says King.
    King worked with UW and Extension to create an outdoor learning center. Signs label abundant grasses, forbs, weeds, cacti, and other vegetation on the 30 acres of pristine grassland along the north edge of Thermopolis. The WGFD installed signs about the abundant wildlife and a rain guzzler was installed to catch and store rain to provide water for wildlife. A path winds through the valley and up onto King-Spiller Butte, with a spectacular view of Thermopolis and the surrounding area.
    When Judy passed away, Cal built a memorial to her there, as well as an outdoor church.
     King is a successful investor, owning several properties, including two ranches. “I’ve made a lot of money in uranium and silver. I’m pretty well-off for a sheep herder,” he jokes. He is also a philanthropist, and during the 1960s, he hosted a fundraiser for crippled children, raising $18,000.
    Most recently he’s been researching and writing the history of three significant events in Wyoming, while Thermopolis-area artist, George Rupp, paints the scenes. One is a depiction of a trapper with the feet of a bear. “Trappers are supposed to leave a supply of wood next to a cabin so the next trapper can start a fire and warm up. Some trapper used this particular cabin, but forgot to replenish the wood. The trapper in the painting froze his feet because there was no wood, so he killed a grizzly bear and used the front paws for feet,” explains King.
    Another painting is of a massive antelope winterkill after a landowner built a fence the antelope were unable to crawl under, blocking them from their winter range.
    The third is called, “The 1948 Elk Slaughter at Copeman’s Tomb,” when a man slaughtered numerous elk on the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains.
    Now 89 years old, Cal remains very active. “I’ve had a great life,” he says.
    Echo Renner, who lives near Meeteetse, is a correspondent for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Crowheart – Jim and Pam Buline and their son Robert have actively participated in the WBCIA bull test for around 15 years and are being honored as the 2010 WBCIA Seedstock Producer of the Year.
The family ranches at Crowheart where their hay ground is supplemented by a summer forest grazing lease above Dubois.  The operation consists of half registered and half commercial Angus cows. All cows are run together and are on the American Angus Association Herd Improvement Record System (AHIR). About 30 replacement heifers and 15 to 20 bulls are kept annually. The rest of the calves are shipped to Iowa, where Jim’s brother feeds them to fats.
“We feed those calves for Meyers Natural Angus.  For the last 10 years our calves have been 85 percent choice or higher and marketed on a grid. To obtain this level of performance we have continually paid close attention to ribeye area and fat EPD’s,” explains Buline.
“I like to analyze all the calves at the end of the year and compare how much each calf brought.  We know exactly what each animal made for us and that’s what I look at for culling within my herd. I find it very interesting that one animal can make you a $100 more than the average and another can lose you $50. There’s sickness and different things you have to justify within that, but I think it’s really important to note performance differences and carcass quality,” says Buline.
Buline believes in utilizing data in every aspect of his operation. “We get data back on everything we raise in one form or another. In addition to carcass and weight data on our calves, we ultrasound our replacement heifers every year. The bulls we put in the WBCIA are weight tested extensively. I really like the PAP testing, ultrasounding and DNA testing that is conducted on the bulls. It all comes back to a more accurate EPD,” says Buline.
Light birth weight and maternal traits are the primary focus for females in Buline’s herd. Replacement heifers are AI’d to a maternal bull. Young cows are naturally bred to a maternal sire and older cows are bred to a moderate carcass sire.
“In the feedlot I don’t notice much of a difference between the sire types because they’re all moderate and functional. They have to be,” explains Buline.
“Every bull or heifer retained for breeding purposes is out of a high ratio-ing female.  Any cow can have one good calf in her lifetime, but very few are consistently high indexing cows with a great calf every year. Those are the cows whose offspring we want to keep in production,” says Buline.
“I have always noticed and appreciated the different types of cattle people produce. We probably have a pretty specific type at our place – it’s a result of our available resources.  We probably breed a few cattle tighter than most people would, but I really like the result of them being very similar,” says Buline.
One unique management issue the Buline’s face are predators on their summer grazing lease. “When our cattle are on the forest they’re exposed to wolves and grizzly bears and some years are better than others in dealing with them. We have a full time rider who keeps tabs on everything as best he can. When we experience a loss we contact the appropriate people as quickly as possible.  It can be difficult keeping cattle where they’re supposed to be, but we always try,” comments Buline.
The family’s biggest goal is to continue to improve the quality of their calves since they are the primary source of annual income. “I would like them to marble a little better and get into a little higher quality grade,” says Buline.
Raising bulls is something Buline enjoys because it gives him quality control on his herd. “I’m trying to produce a bull that would be beneficial to myself and guys in operations similar to mine.  I don’t buy too many bulls and really like producing my own,” he says.
The Bulines’ commitment to quality has been long standing at the WBCIA and last year they raised the high selling bull at the test. Utilization of data combined with strict genetic selection has resulted in a high quality set of cattle that thrive in their home environment in addition to performing well in a variety of feeding situations.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




As a third-generation sheep producer, Peter John Camino has supported the industry throughout his life, and after the Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) nominated him for the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame, he will be inducted on Aug. 16.

“Throughout his life, Peter John has served his community with dedication and leadership,” says WWGA. “He never misses the opportunity to support his community, whether through his church, where he serves as a trustee, or to help a start-up business turn their dream into a reality.” 

Camino has served as a board member for Johnson County Fire District, as a member of the Knights of Columbus and on the predator boards, as well as formally and informally providing guidance for the University of Wyoming Sheep Program. 

Life in ag

Camino was born and raised on his family’s sheep operation outside Buffalo. Camino and Son Ranch raises Rambouillet sheep.

He says, “My grandfather started our ranch. Dad bought it from grandfather, and I bought it from my dad.” 

After high school, Camino went to college, then went to the military for two years. 

“When I came home, I went back to ranching,” Camino comments. “It’s in my blood. They needed help on the ranch, so I came home.”

As he looks back on his career, Camino says, “The late sixties and early seventies were really fun in the sheep business. There were a lot of people in the business, and it was thriving.” 

He remembers trailing sheep to the mountain, getting together with the community in the fall and working with the sheep industry. 

Looking at today, he says, “Today, it seems like everyone’s trying to do away with us, but back then, we had a lot of support. It was a fun time to be a sheep man.”

Sheep industry associations

Among his involvement in the state’s agriculture industry, Camino has been an influential and driving force in WWGA. 

“WWGA is an organization people look to for information and leadership,” Camino says. “It’s important to have a state leader to guide our industry and tie in with the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) for federal work, too.” 

“A lot of our problems – not all of them, but many – come from the federal level, and we need the state and national associations to have influence at that level,” he adds. 

Amy Hendrickson, WWGA executive director, says, “During Peter John’s tenure as WWGA president, the association was faced with a difficult situation that threatened its very future. His strong leadership, willingness to listen to members and courage to make tough decisions helped revive the organization.” 

“These skills allowed Peter John to retain the confidence of his board members so that, together, they could resolve the issues and chart a pathway forward that would re-establish the association, strengthen its purpose and ensure its continuation,” Hendrickson adds. 

Youth focused

Camino has also always been focused on young people and sharing a positive message about agriculture and the sheep industry. 

“For many years, Peter John has worked with 4-H in Johnson County and as sheep superintendent for the Johnson County Fair,” WWGA says. “He believes strongly in sharing his knowledge and experience as a sheep producer with youth.” 

The Camino family also hosts students at their operation every year to teach about ranching and the history of the sheep industry. 

“For more than 30 years, he has invited school children to the ranch,” WWGA comments. 

Camino also owned a catering company for many years, which he used as a way to promote American lamb and educate the public on the value of lamb and wool. 

Ag Hall of Fame

WWGA emphasizes, “To our knowledge, Peter John has never been formally recognized for his hard work, commitment and leadership that he generously provides to Wyoming’s agriculture industry.” 

Camino says, “I was very surprised to win this award. It’s pretty humbling, and I feel honored to be put in with a group of people who have done a lot for agriculture.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..