From Bobcat To Horseback

Inside Dakota Ag

Branding was a celebration of spring and community at Selfridge, ND

Published on: June 15, 2009

I went from riding a Bobcat to riding a horse last week.


After attending Bobcat’s introduction of a new skid steer loader, I traveled south to Selfridge on the North Dakota-South Dakota border to interview Rod Froelich, a rancher and state legislator.


He took me over to a neighbor’s ranch and we rode through a pasture with nearly two dozen cowboys and cowgirls who were rounding up cows and calves for branding. The grass was in good condition and the cows and calves were recovering from a rough spring.


In the corrals, the riders sorted the cows from the calves; roped the calves and pulled them out of the corral for branding.


On the ground, there must have been 25 more people -- teenagers and young adults mostly, both male and female -- wrestling the calves the ground and holding them still while another group of cowboys branded, tagged and vaccinated them.


Dozens of pickups and horsetrailers surrounded the corral. 


It was a sight to see.

“Everybody helps each other,” Froelich says. “We just put out the word that we’re branding and everybody shows up.”