In Albuquerque, a snow day means a day off for a lot of people. Out on the ranch, there is no day off.
During bad weather, the workload for ranchers only increases. In Des Moines, New Mexico, John Vincent is providing insight into that work, documenting a day in the life of a rancher with the help of social media.
From snowy pastures to hungry cows, flat tires and more, the work for New Mexico ranchers continues when winter weather arrives.
“I don’t mind going out and working in the cold. But it doesn’t matter what the weather is,” said Vincent. “You have to go out and take care of your animals.”
It’s work many have heard of, but may not understand what goes into day-to-day operations. So, Vincent decided to share a day in his life on Facebook.
“I just thought it might be cool to do a day in the life of a rancher,” said Vincent. “My wife and I travel a little bit and every time we meet somebody new, they ask a lot of questions.”
Questions like, what happens when there’s snow?
Vincent answered that question with about 40 pictures and videos to illustrate how the work doesn’t stop. He spent Monday delivering hay to 500 head of cattle spread out over 30,000 acres of snow-covered grassland.
“It’s important to keep them in good shape so they’re healthy when they have babies,” said Vincent.
He says another big part of the job is trash patrol. When plastic blows in from the nearby highway, the cattle see it as food, serving as a reminder to put your trash where it belongs.
“If you know what it is, you can take them to the vet and get surgery but it’s expensive,” said Vincent.
However, the big thing Vincent hopes people take away from his social media day-in-the-life lesson is the compassion he shares for his animals.
“What I would like for people to understand ranching is we do have compassion,” said Vincent. “I understand we’re raising beef to eat, but we care about our animals and we take as good of care about them as we can.”
Vincent says he was inspired to take his story to social media after seeing fellow ranchers post their own “day in the life” photos on Facebook. He says he has gotten a lot of positive feedback from people saying they didn’t realize what life was like on a ranch.
The ranch has been in his family since 1930.