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Interviews & Features

Megan Brown | Owner & Operator of Brown Ranches

Wearing sunglasses, and a hat pulled low over her eyes, Megan held her phone in front of her face and spoke in a loud but somber tone. "At first glance, this probably looks pretty brutal." She shifted the camera to focus on the small, dead calf that was being dragged behind her ATV. At each bump, its tiny limbs flew in every direction like a rag doll. "If you look a little further back, you can see this calf's mother following us, because she's a good mom." Megan went on to explain that the calf had drowned, but she was attempting to make the best of a bad situation by trying to pair the mother with a different calf whose mother had abandoned it. In order to do this, she'd need to skin the dead calf, wrap that hide around the orphaned, living calf, and hope for the best. 

Photo by Rob Eves

Photo by Rob Eves

This video was the first of many that made me curious about Megan, a woman who's definitely a black sheep in the ag community. Not only is she one of the few women actively participating in ag, she's an outspoken liberal, who supports Monsanto but openly criticizes Congressman Doug LaMalfa. After studying at Chico State, and briefly attending law school, Megan now works as the sole owner & operator at Brown Ranches. Her dedication to the work she does is obvious to anyone who speaks with her, which made her an ideal candidate for this project. She maintains a blog, The Beef Jar, and travels throughout the country as a guest speaker at various ag conventions. In late May, I spoke with Megan at her ranch in Oroville, California. As the sun set, the fields outside her home were cast in a warm glow. We sat in her kitchen and drank lemonade as ribs smoked in the backyard, and baked beans simmered on the stovetop. We talked about GMO vs. organic practices, her thoughts about the problems within the ag community, and of course, Doug LaMalfa. Enjoy. 

To get us started, would you talk a little about your childhood, and how ag was a part of your life back then?

I’m an only child, and I grew up mainly here. When I was little I had my great aunts and my grandpa, but because I was an only child I grew up around mainly just adults. I was a weird kid. When I went to school, because animals were my life, I’d talk about horses, and it didn’t really endear me to other little girls, because I actually had a horse. I was always involved with ag and 4-H, working and living here at the ranch. My life revolved around it. So nothing has really changed (laughs). It was a really unique childhood though. I grew up on a horse, fishing with a pack of other dirty little kids. We just ran wild in the summer. It was a teeny little community where everyone’s parents are always watching, and they could see across the valley, always knew what we were doing. 

Were you ever homeschooled?

No. I should have been. I did it for a little bit in high school. The high school years were kind of hard for me. I was bored, and felt like I had other shit to do. And of course there was the social weirdness. I tore all my ligaments and had to have surgery, and I used that as an excuse to do homeschool. After high school I went to college and did 4-H, FFA, and found my niche with other people who were also into all of that.

It sounds like the bulk of your young life was spent on the ranch.

Photo by Rob Eves

Photo by Rob Eves

Yeah, from the age of around six I was a helping, working hand on the farm. Now that I’m the one running the ranch, it’s weird because even though I’ve always been here, I’ve never been the one in charge. It’s been an adjustment, to shift from lackey to the boss. It’s terrifying. My dad is still here, and when he has good days things revert back to the way they were. It’s been nice in a way, because it lessens my learning curve. I’m a little resentful that I didn’t get to be the boss earlier, because there are things I’ve had to learn that I didn’t know before, like backing up a truck and trailer. I just now got good at that. I feel like that’s something I should have been good at around the age of 17, but I was never allowed to do it. I was always told that I was going to take over the ranch once day, but I wasn’t necessarily given the skills to do so back then. I think they assumed I was going to get married, have babies, and a husband, and I definitely didn’t follow that route. I’ve come close a couple of times, but then I woke up. (Laughs)

I’d like to track this timeline if we can. So you were in elementary school, then high school, then college, and then what?

I went to Butte College, then Chico State, where I studied Ag Business.

You attended law school for a bit, right?

I did! Briefly. I was the first one to drop out, which I was kind of proud of. I was searching for something, because I wasn’t full time here, and I’d kind of had a falling out with my dad, and I was looking for a skill I could bring back to the ranch. I’ve had jobs that were off the ranch my whole life, but they always came with a skill I could bring back. That was always really important. My mom was adamant that I learned as many skills as possible, and the more money I was paid for them, the better. I’m grateful for it now, because I’ve amassed a bunch of skills, so thank you mom! I started pursuing my Master’s degree in Special Education, but I realized I didn’t want to be a teacher. I decided to go to law school so I’d be able to write a threatening letter to someone if they fucked with me.

What’s an average day like for you? Take me through the day to day, if you don’t mind.

That’s the great thing about ag, every day and every season is different. That’s what keeps it interesting. One of the things that bugged me about working in town, is that every day was the same. Here on the ranch though… I’m getting ready to go into calving season, which means all my cows are getting ready to have babies. We’re also going to be making hay at the same time, and about a month into that I’m going to be getting ready to have baby pigs. As the summer progresses we’ll start branding and vaccinating the cows. An average day is just waking up, checking on everything, doing whatever little projects I’m working on, like building a fence or picking up feed, then feeding and checking, then bed. I don’t get vacations. I don’t get time off. Even when I go to bed my phone is on because there might be a cow on the road, or something else I have to deal with. It’s constant. When I do get a little time to myself, I try to do some self-care. That’s something in agriculture you’re told isn’t important. You’re only told, you need to work hard, always. And that there is exactly why we have a lot of mental health problems in the industry. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I include myself in that. But that’s why self-care, and learning how to manage the stress is a skill I’ve had to work on.

What do you do when you want to indulge in some self-care?



I try to get off the ranch. Even if it’s just going to Chico and having brunch with girlfriends. It’s a small thing but it helps. I also really love to cook. I sound like a dog, rewarding myself with food, but it’s a passion. I grow good food, I like to eat good food, so I feel like it was only natural that I’d want to learn how to cook good food. It’s the trifecta. So there you go.

Can you give me a rundown of all the animals you currently have at this ranch?

Well we have the commercial cattle ranch, which is several head of cattle, then my little niche market with the hogs. I have five sows and a boar, and they usually average 2.5 litters a year, and 10-15 per littler. I also have six puppies, six working dogs, a pet teacup pig, twenty ducks, three chickens, and two horses.

Any employees?

No, not really. Every once in a while I’ll have some weekend cowboys that will come up. When I was a little girl my dad would have his crew of friends that would help, and I’m trying to cultivate my own crew. I also have a cousin that will come help sometimes, but it’s kind of a point of pride that I can do things on my own. I can move large groups of cattle, and no one gets hurt. It’s fun, because I can go out there and do things by myself, when my neighbor has to have five or six full-grown men, and I'm out there alone, wearing my sparkle shorts, with my ponytail and drinking my La Croix with my feet up & waving to them. 

Side note, “weekend cowboy” would be a great name for a side business. You mentioned you’re kind of an outsider in the ag world, can you talk about that, and maybe a bit about the problems you see within that community?

I think we tend to put ourselves on a pedestal. You’ll see “thank a farmer,” and I feel like that’s bullshit. Thank a consumer, you guys are the reason we’re in business. I see a lot of criticism in ag, and not all of that is unfounded. There are definitely things we can do better. Look at the work Dr. Temple Grandin has done with humane slaughter and handling, there’s always room for improvement. I think in agriculture, especially in agriculture, we have a tendency towards nostalgia. We like the Old West, and “this is how we’ve always done it,” and I think that’s a really expensive belief to have, both emotionally and monetarily. Change is hard, and people are threatened by it. When someone says something that’s a little different, we have a tendency to want to go after them because that’s not our tribe. In ag, I’m definitely that girl. I’m blonde, I’m liberal-ish… so it’s definitely scary for these old white guys when this is how it’s always been, and then I roll up to the scene cussin’ and wearing sparkle shorts.

What do you think their problem with you specifically is?

I think the fact that I’m not willing to say we’re perfect. That seems to enrage a lot of people. Ag isn’t perfect, but show me one industry that is. Why are we pretending we are? I’m thankful for, and I love my ag community, I think they’re wonderful. But I’m also not going to sit there and say that they’re perfect, and I think that’s hard for people in general.

Do you think the general public has misconceptions about the people in ag? 

Yes, definitely. There’s a perception that we’re all a bunch of dumb hicks. But there’s so much technology being used that’s cutting-edge. There’s a lot of it that I don’t even understand, where I have to go to UC Davis and have someone a lot smarter than me explain it. I’m grateful to be alive when I am, because of the advancements in technology that have come around. If I have a sick cow, I can go on the computer and show my vet, get treatment for it, and that’s life-altering. 

What would you like to see change in ag?

I’d like to see more women. We’re 30% of the owner/operators right now, but if you go to meetings here, it’s just a bunch of white men. There are some women showing up, but they’re usually the secretaries. I’d like to see that change. I mean, I’m here running a ranch, and it’s not new, it’s not shocking, but I definitely want to see more of it.

Why do you think it’s such a male-dominated industry?

Photo by Rob Eves

Photo by Rob Eves

Historically that’s just how it’s been. It’s a physically demanding job, but I can have a tractor pick something up if I can’t. In general, I think women are better at running animals. We tend to be more empathetic. We aren’t usually as strong, so we can’t manhandle them. We have to get them to move using their own instincts. I like to see women handle my cattle more than men, because ultimately, it’s always the man who runs the cow into the fence or slams the gate on her head.



Have you looked at other countries, and what the ratio of men to women is in ag?

In third-world countries, women run the show. I think I’d need to travel more to really have an opinion about that though… Last year I went to a conference in Kentucky, and there was a giant line for the men’s room, but no line for the women’s. I got to go right in, it was great. That’s the one benefit to there being so few women in ag.  

Were they doing that thing women do sometimes when the line is too long, where they just go to the opposite bathroom while yelling, "don’t worry, I’m just here to pee!"

Yes! There were definitely a few. 

So anyone that follows your social media accounts knows that you’re pretty outspoken in your criticism for Doug LaMalfa. Do you want to talk about that?

Absolutely.

What are your main complaints with him?

Doug is my neighbor, he’s just right there… and he won’t have a dialogue with me. That upsets me deeply. One, as his neighbor. Two, as his constituent. And three, as a fellow farmer. For a long time I was really respectful, and recently I’ve lost it a bit. I do apologize for that, but after years of trying to talk to him, one does tend to lose their temper.

What would you like to discuss with him?

My point of view. If he’s really one of us as he claims, then why is he not acting like it? That’s my big question. He represents a large part of northern California that's extremely varied. You have liberal people, you have Chico State, you have the people in the mountains that are more conservative, and we all deserve to have our voice listened to, and he doesn’t do that. At all.

What are some of the issues you disagree with him on?

Planned Parenthood for starters. I actually called his office and offered to take a tour of a Planned Parenthood with him, because he obviously doesn’t understand what they do. He thinks they only perform abortions. (Laughs) He’s never had a pap smear there, he’s never had a breast checkup, and I wanted him to be able to understand everything that they do. Planned Parenthood doesn’t just benefit women! He didn’t take me up on it. And when 51% of his constituents are women, I think that’s something he needs to pay attention to. He also cut funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which is for women and children. And all the while, he’s continuing to gather subsidies on his ranch, so I think he’s a hypocrite… Climate change is another one. He should be right up there saying how do we prevent this, how do we help? Instead he denies it.  

Earlier you brought up Temple Grandin and the idea of humane slaughter, and I’m curious about that… But I want to preface this question by telling you, I’m not a vegetarian. I’ve been vegan or vegetarian at different points in my life, but that’s not where I’m at right now. I don’t want you to feel attacked, but I am curious how you manage what I’m sure must complicated feelings about killing animals that you obviously care so much about.

That’s a really good question, and one I get pretty often. I do get attached to my animals, and I think if I didn’t it would be time for a career change. I have empathy for them, I love them, and I do get attached. I name some of the sows that are going to be with me for a few years, and I like to have a good relationship with them because it lessens the stress for both of us. They can be terrifying. When they die, or when I have to sell them, I definitely mourn. I’m sad, but it’s part of what I do. It makes me human though, and it makes me a more empathetic livestock owner. I’ve also been vegetarian and vegan at different times in my life, which surprises people. But I like to have that point of view. And you know, if it’s something you struggle with, then there’s no reason to eat meat. One of my earliest memories is watching my dad slaughter a cow. I’ve worked at the Meats Lab at Chico State, and this is just something that’s always been a part of my life. But there was also a time in my teenage life when my favorite steer was killed and I didn’t eat meat for a while, and I was really upset with my dad… So I’ve definitely run the gamut and come full circle. And you never know, maybe I’ll change again and be vegan again. Who knows.

As someone that sees death so up close and personal all the time, do you have any thoughts on the afterlife? Do you think it’s just dead equals lights out?

That’s hard… I’ve read a lot of the Mary Roach books, and I follow Caitlyn Doughty. Death intrigues me, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t really know, sometimes I think after death we’re still around in some aspect. I’m not religious, but I am spiritual. I’m out here alone a lot, with the animals and in nature, and I’ve had some weird, unexplained things happen.

What kind of stuff?

Just weird animal things, or I’ve gotten weird feelings… it’s hard to describe. It happened a lot more when I was little. I’d talk to walls when I was a toddler, and I’d describe the man in the wall and it was my great uncle that died right before I was born. My dad’s family has this weird thing where when a kid is born, someone dies, like on the day. It’s fucking creepy. So just weird stuff like that.

Let’s switch gears a bit. I love following you on Facebook, and I see that you like going into certain ag groups and stirring up trouble. I think the last one I saw was the Women in Ag group. What’s their issue with you?

They blocked me! I said fuck, and I got blocked. They are good Christian white women, and it’s all about their farmer & their husband, and it just makes me roll my eyes. I’m kind of sad I got blocked, but it’s also fine.

There was also some kind of issue I remember where people were upset about FFA jacketsbeing worn as a fashion statement. What was that all about?

They got pissed because in their eyes, that jacket represents everything holy, it represents our Shroud of Turin and these kids shouldn’t be disrespecting it like that! And I just think well, if it’s getting people to be aware, even marginally, of FFA, then isn’t that ultimately a good thing? What’s the harm in that?

It seems like from what you’re saying there’s a trend in ag of exclusion, and not willing to be transparent.

That’s the thing, they’re very dismissive if you’re different. And transparency is something being preached right now, because consumers are demanding it, they want to know where their food comes from. A lot of the farmers are saying well why do they need to trust me? But how can we trust these people when they dismissive anyone who’s vaguely different, or has a different point of view? That’s something I try to point out to the ag industry, and it gets me in a lot of trouble, because they don’t like being questioned.

What needs to change?

We need an attitude shift. We are not god’s gift to the culture, to our population. Everyone plays a role. We need the garbage men, we need the people who get the shit out of Porta-Potties… everyone has a job to do and it makes the culture as a whole, better. You know, that whole “thank a farmer if you ate today and you’re not cold & hungry,” all that just really bugs me.

You’re very outspoken about supporting Monsanto, which I know is a real point of contention in today’s culture. Just like most people, I’ve read all the usual articles and watched all the videos that really paint them in a pretty bad light. But still, I’m interested in hearing your point of view. I know you’ve toured their labs, and you seem to be actively seeking out information. I think the last one I saw was the thing about how the farmer couldn’t use the…

Safe Seeds?

Yes!

Yeah, and that’s a thing that most commercial farmers don’t do anyway. The farmers that are complaining about that aren’t the ones using the product. So just to back up a bit, I wasn’t born with knowledge about ag. I learned a lot of what I know when I went to college. While I was in college, I held a lot of the same beliefs that the average consumer did, because how would I know? At that time, I thought “fuck Monsanto! Those people are evil.” After a while though, I kept having farmers come to me and say “listen, I know you think you know what you’re talking about, but you really don’t.” And after five, or –cough- fifty times of that happening, it makes you stop and question your beliefs a bit. So I got invited to Monsanto, and I got invited to the UC Davis organic farm, and started talking to anyone that would talk to me about that stuff. I really had a shift in my perspective. And I’ve read the same articles and watched those same videos that you have, and I know it’s so easy to hate them. We love to vilify and be scared. Part of why I like them is that I can play devil’s advocate, which is fun for me. It’s not that I absolutely love them and everything that they do. They aren’t perfect, but they also do some really cool shit. If you look at the technology they’re using, it’s changing so rapidly. We pick on Monsanto, but what about Syngenta, or Dow? It’s easy to cherry pick things we hear, like the thing about terminator seeds. Well, those don’t actually exist on the market. You can go pretty far down the rabbit hole, and that’s one you can really go pretty far with. Monsanto is pretty transparent, which is something that might surprise a lot of people. It’s easy to manipulate bits and pieces, because we’re so easily fooled by misinformation.

Are there some common complaints about Monsanto that you’d like to respond to? For instance, that thing about wind blowing seeds from one piece of land to another, and then Monsanto owns that land?

Sure. So what you just described, that doesn’t actually ever happen. If you look at the Canadian farmer who actually did that case study, they’re really open about it. If you know farming at all, you could just look at that and be able to say, “yeah that didn’t happen.” It’s been a while since I read that case study, but I think what happened there is that he willingly saved the seed, and there’s a contract you sign… There’s a really good blog called This Farmer’s Life, and he talks about Monsanto a lot. He actually has the contract he signed, and he’s very open about it. We know what we’re signing, and ultimately, we have a choice. When you hear that thing about how Monsanto has the biggest market share, that’s bullshit. Even just here, you could go from here to Woodland and there are five or six different seed companies. Monsanto just happens to make a really good product that farmers want, because it’s less work for us. We don’t have to spray, which is cool. GMO’s in general, all of them currently on the market are really for farmers. The benefits are for us, not the consumers, at least not directly. I’d like to see that change. I think they need to have a tangible benefit for the consumer. Arctic apples are probably the closest thing, those are the non-browning apples. It means less food waste… and that’s a step in the right direction. But we really do need more of that, we need more benefits for the consumer.

Are there any good sources you rely on for accurate information on Monsanto?

Sure! I like the Genetic Literacy Program, that’s a Facebook page. It’s really science based, and sometimes it’s over my head. Also the Food and Discussion Lab… there are a lot of them. But really, I like to encourage people to go to the farmers! They’re the ones that are using the technology.

Any other common complaints against Monsanto you’d like to address?

I think one of the big misconceptions with GMO’s is that it’s everything. Right now there are only about six things on the market that are genetically modified, and usually it’s something that’s been done so that we can use less pesticides. People usually think if it’s GMO that means we’re using more pesticides, which isn’t true. And when you look at organics, people think it’s this beautiful, perfect, healthy, better-for-everything sort of thing, and it’s not. I’d like to see a new type of label, because if you could use GMO’s with the organics, it would be awesome. It would be a best practice label, and I’m advocating for that. Let’s use our best available science in ag, because it’s evolving! Especially right now. With conventional methods, we use no-till, which means we leave the soil structure alone, and it makes for a happier, healthier soil. With organic, you can’t do that. You have to till it, because you can’t spray herbicides, and that’s how they do it. They upset the soil structure. So yeah, they’re putting more organic matter in, but because of that they’re also polluting more. But you never hear that side of the story, you only hear the greenwashed version. It’s easy to manipulate the public, because we’re usually about three generations away from the farm. Most people don’t garden, so it’s easy to just tell people whatever you want. I’m a rancher, but there are some parts of farming that I don’t understand, and when I see certain things I have a tendency to say “that’s fucking terrifying!” I think of Chico as being a pretty rural area, but I remember when I got involved with the theater community, and they heard what I do for a living, I got a lot of questions. I had one person ask me if cows had ears.

That was a question from an adult person?

Yeah. I used to give the tours at the Meats Lab at the university, and a lot of the questions I got from those kids were pretty shocking. They didn’t know leather came from animals, they didn’t know you could drive on gravel, and it was hard for me not to say “the fuck? Are you serious?” But really, you just have to realize how and why would they know that stuff?

Yeah… but I still think not knowing cows had ears is pretty weird.

There were some people who thought I got milk from my cows. They didn’t realize that there are dairy cows, and beef cows. But there’s a lot to know about this industry, and it’s really specialized. I don’t know anything about being a dentist, and all that stuff is terrifying to me.

To go back to the GMO issue for a minute, there are claims circulating that eating GMO produce leads to health problems. Would you like to address that?

Well again, because I got to tour Monsanto, I’ve learned what it takes to get an idea to market. It’s about 20 years of just research and development. And for example, when you breed a pig, I really don’t have any control over the genetics. I can only hope for the best. Whereas if you’re able to do things in the lab, you can have control and change just one thing. The science is so precise here, I trust it. But at the same time, I also think it’s something we need to regulate. We shouldn’t let just any Tom, Dick, or fucking Harry just started making GMO shit in their garage. We need research and development, because when it’s unregulated you can have some really weird, scary shit happen. But, you also get that with regular breeding. I’ve had two-headed cows before, and it ain’t fucking cool. I’ve had piglets born with their intestines on the outside of their body. Bad shit happens, and if you can mitigate some of those risks, which GMO technology can do, then why not use it?

Intestines on the outside? That’s awful. How does that happen?

When I was little, we used to see that happen a lot more, because we didn’t understand genetics as well as we do now. For example, someone wouldn’t keep good records on the animals, so they’d breed a father to a daughter. Sometimes you can predict how that might turn out, but really, you do that a few times and that’s when you start getting two-headed calves, you get dwarfism, you get bleeding, just weird fucking things you don’t want. So when people give me shit for castrating, I try to tell them, you don’t want a son breeding with his mom or sister, that’s fucking gross. Plus, have you ever tasted bull? It’s awful, you have to marinate the shit out of that.

I think I read something about when you castrate male pigs it makes the meat taste complete different.

Yes! So, Francis is my boar, and if we were to walk out there you could smell it, but it’s called boar taint. That’s when they’re basically just masturbating all the time, and you can smell it. But when you castrate them, as my dad likes to say, you change their minds from ass to grass (laughs). I fucking love that. You get a sweeter product. That’s why the sows, I keep. And you know what? It’s always the female of the species who make the money. They’re the ones doing the heavy lifting, why aren’t they celebrated more?

I want to talk for a minute about some of what you share on social media. For instance, there was a video you shared where you were dragging a dead calf behind you, and it looked fucking awful, but when you explained what you were doing I was completely fascinated. Can you talk a little about some misconceptions you find that people have that are in that same vein?

The castration… and branding. If there were a better way to do it, I would absolutely do it. But the fact remains, people steal cattle, sometimes cows will jump fences. And everyone up here, we all have black cows that look the same. That’s my livelihood, so those things help keep the cattle where they belong, and away from the neighbor that might have illnesses in his herd. But agriculture, by its very nature, is brutal. It’s bloody and dusty and gross. Nature isn’t kind. I think that’s what surprises people. I’m trying to make my animals lives the best they can be. I want them happy, because really does make it easier for me. I know a lot of farmers have that stoic exterior, but if you get just a little past that surface… I’ve seen my dad cry like a baby after giving a cow a c-section where everyone died. We’re very bonded to these cows, some of them we’ll have for 18 years.

I saw you post awhile back about the downside of how antibiotics can’t be used in organic practices. Can you explain that?

Photo by Rob Eves

Photo by Rob Eves

I know a lot of people say that ag created the antibiotic resistance, and we did play a part. But, we also have doctors who prescribe antibiotics for the common cold, so it’s been a perfect storm of shit. You see the marketing for the organic industry that says, no antibiotics ever, but I don’t like that. If a chicken gets sick, I want to be able to give that chicken a shot so it gets healthy and feels better. But in organics, you can’t treat them, because then it wouldn’t be organic. So it’s either lose your organic certification, or keep it and let the animal suffer and die. When I use antibiotics, it’s highly regulated. I can’t just give my animals a shot. I have to bring out a veterinarian, and there’s definitely a process. If I have a little baby pig with something in its eye and it’s the choice between giving it a shot and having it feel better, or not doing that and it suffers, I’m going to give it that shot.

If you weren’t a rancher, what would you want to do for a living?

I’d want to go to culinary school. I love food, and I love to cook.

As far as your current life as a rancher, what’s the dream for the future?

I’ve done a lot of research into my heritage, because it’s interesting to see where I come from. And when I look at this family’s legacy, I really want to be remembered for expanding it. I want to move to Tennessee, and do an agri-tourism thing, because I see the trend of people wanting to know your farmer, know your food. When I have ranch days, people come out and they love them. I see a lot of potential there, and I think I could do a lot of good. This community and this country raised me, and I need to pay it forward. That’s how my parents raised me. I’d love to create a battered women’s shelter where they can learn some skills. I’ve been in shitty relationships where I came out the other side just completely broken. And if I’d had somewhere that I could go and live and just be safe, and have a community of women who were there… I’d love to do that and have women that were there that I could teach some skills. It’s so validating, to be able to grow something.

Ok. Best day ever on the ranch, worst day ever?

Photo by Rob Eves

Photo by Rob Eves

(Laughs) I’ve actually had both of those within the last three months. Best day ever is when everything lives. You have a pig that farrows, and everyone is alive and thriving, and it’s a beautiful day. Everything goes well. Worst day ever is when you have a sow in the rain that loses a whole litter and then she tries to kill you when you’re trying to save these pigs that are in the rain and freezing to death. Worst day ever is dragging a calf behind you because it drowned in a ditch. Good day is the next day when you skin that dead baby and put its skin on a new baby, and it loves its new mom and you have a new match. That’s the thing about ag, when it’s good it’s good, but when it’s bad, it’s really bad. It’s a lot of highs and lows. I consider it a good season if I don’t have too many valleys or peaks.

This has been so great, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Anything else you’d like to add?

Not really… I guess if anyone needs meat, get at me.

There you have it! Thanks again to Megan Brown, you truly are an incredible force of nature. If you’re interested in learning more about Megan, check out her blog The Beef Jar, follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook




Arielle Mullen