It took a lot of driving but I finally found a beef animal
in Arizona. I saw lots of fenced desert, where I am sure nothing lives, but
finally as I traveled through the northern part of the state toward the Grand
Canyon, I finally saw some grass growing between the brush and figured there
had to be a cow here somewhere.
Actually the drive between Kingman, heading west towards
Williams looks like pretty good cattle country. There is something about it
that reminds me of the Alberta foothills — a bit like the grazing land I see
along Highway 22 south of Calgary. I even saw an empty cattleliner along I-40
so I figured I was getting warmer.
And there they were near a little place called Seligman. A
small bunch of something — steers, heifers, I’m not really sure. There was a
young calf with the group so there must have been a cow in the lot as well.
Looked like a mix of Charolais/Simmental cross. From the looks of them, I doubt
these were Arizona’s finest, but then it is winter and likely that brown grass
out on the range isn’t that nutritious.
And then after I saw this bunch, there were a few more head
of black cattle scattered across the open range. I saw a few pickup trucks and
horse trailers, pasture holding pens and load out chutes. So I figured there is
a ranching industry somewhere.
It was good to see. We have been in Arizona for almost a
week and I was beginning to think that the only thing here was palm trees,
shopping malls, and a never ending army of old people looking for low-cost
restaurants, and twilight rates at golf courses. (The real scary thing is that
we blended in with the hoard so well.)
Anyway, I saw some cattle. That was good. Oh, ya and we saw
the Grand Canyon too. Now it is soon time to go home, but I think we can
squeeze in one more game of golf before heading to the airport. It will be
after 1 p.m. so we should be able to get a twilight rate.
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at [email protected]