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6/24/2023, By Julie Van Hise
Social media presented us with an opportunity...but a mixed breed...what do we do?
Hi! I'm Julie Van Hise. My husband, Chris, and I are 1st generation ranchers and owners of 4 Bear Ranch - a ranch that not only provides for our family but provides for the local community as well. In 2017, we bought our home unknowing of what it would transform into in 4 short years. From mountain wilderness to mountain ranch wilderness - we have lovingly worked hard in building our dream! How did we get here? Starting a Ranch when we didn't know we wanted a ranch? It's actually kind of strange really...so, just as we were getting used to having a bull and heifer, a post popped up on social media from my friend selling her daughter's 4-H cow.
We were hard set on having solely Dexter cattle; however, sometimes opportunities present themselves in odd ways. Our plan was to have 2 cows, and we only had 1 heifer at this point. So, we did it, we purchased Miss Rock, later to be named Betty Rock. Miss Betty is a 1/2 Dexter, 1/4 Lowline Angus, and 1/4 Hereford. She had one calf at this point of which was good news to us. We now had an experienced cow.
Oddly enough, Miss Betty fit in on the ranch as if she'd been here forever. She is pictured above, white and black, with Miss Lucy the red heifer. Well, turns out, she was born right down the road on 4C ranch - like 1/2 mile away. So, I guess she was brought back home to the valley. We were absolutely certain she was going to the butcher when our 1st slot opened, as long as she had calved. She had a rough start with her first calf, but a few months later after being with us, gave birth to a beautiful heifer. Miss Betty and Mr. Charlie make beautiful calves...so good, we sent a young steer to the butcher early instead of her...and turns out, Miss Betty is an amazing mother, not only to her own baby, but the other calves as well. Ohhh Miss Betty, what to do with you...you really are a cow in terms of how much you eat compared to the others, but, you also have lots of positives in your favor.
So, here we have it. We have our bull, a cow, and a heifer. We are done right? Maybe...maybe not...