An American icon looking for work: the cowboy

Economic woes threaten the ranching lifestyle

Another article about how the custom and culture of the ranching lifestyle is under threat but this one explains what the real threat is. Not so much environmentalists or government regulation but the economy and low beef prices combined with high beef processing prices are changing the economy for them.

The small, family rancher is having a hard time competing with big agribusiness which forces them to cut corners. Their children are leaving the ranch for better paying jobs elsewhere and the ranchers themselves often have to find other work to supplement their income or forgo hiring help.

Of course there are those who still hang on and stories like these are written about them.

An American icon looking for work: the cowboy
With costs up and the demand for beef down, ranchers have cut back hiring
BY RICHARD COCKLE – THE OREGONIAN