What’s life like on a cattle ranch?
CHANGING TIMES: The Tomera Ranch outside of Elko is one of the last family ranches in the area, according to Lucy Tomera-Miller. Her brother, Tom Tomera, and Tom’s wife, Patsy, own the place as well as the neighboring Rand Ranch. Many of the surrounding ranches have been bought by mining companies for the water rights, according to Tomera-Miller. She adds that many of the mining companies continue to operate the ranches they’ve bought, but the properties no longer are family-owned.
COMMON SENSE: “Anybody can do ranching, as long as you have common sense,” Sabrina Reed, Tom and Patsy Tomera’s daughter, says. “But that seems to be in short supply these days.”
Sabrina and her husband run the Rand Ranch – living in a 100-year-old house on the property – while her parents and sister Susan run the nearby Tomera Ranch.
ALONE ON THE RANGE: Ranching can be a study in self-sufficiency. Ranchers put out rangeland fires, they provide basic medical care to their animals and are often the first responders in medical emergencies occurring in the area, according to Sabrina Reed. There’s also the daily work with the herd -- the Tomeras have Angus and Hereford cattle – the duties of which change according to the season and the weather. If anything breaks on the ranch, they fix it themselves.
“It’s still pretty western out here,” Sabrina Reed says.
PORTRAIT: Rancher Tom Tomera poses for a picture during a Jan. 30 tour of his ranch.