It was cold and windy and not the best day for family photos. But this is an ag family, and cold and wind is just a part of life for them in Southeastern Wyoming. So I bundled up for a family photo session with my friend and boss on her family ranch.
Most people know John and Stacy as a elementary school principal and the Wyoming FFA State Advisor, respectively. But when they aren’t running a school or chasing state FFA officers around, they are wrangling their two sons and working on Stacy’s family ranch.
The Child Ranch sits just east of Cheyenne, north of I-80. The ranch has been in the family for generations, and now, four generations work this land side-by-side and call it home. I’ve spent a few mornings with Stacy feeding cows and watching wildlife, and I never get tired of hearing stories of her ancestors and how they turned the ranch from a simple homestead into the thriving family business it is today. This rich and beautiful history is still evident, as the family has preserved some of the more historical buildings. And it is alive in the stories Stacy tells, stories no doubt passed down from her own father and grandfather.
My favorite part of the day by far was watching these boys just be boys. Climbing on fences, leaping across hay bales, giving each other a hard time. They had a lot of fun and it made for a lot of laughs. These boys don’t understand yet what a special thing it is to be growing up the way they are…living on a cattle ranch, surrounded by three generations of family, with room to roam and the freedom to climb hay bales, throw rocks, fight, make mistakes, learn and grow. This lifestyle, along with guidance from their amazing parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, will shape them into men I can’t wait to meet one day.
In the mean time, they are dynamic boys who make me laugh each and every time I am around them. I was honored to take their picture, and blessed to count the Broda family as dear and cherished friends.