Plain and simple, here is what it takes to be a cattleman.
Last week I saw this sign hanging on the wall of the Branding Iron Steakhouse in Safford, Arizona:
A wide-brimmed hat, a pair of tight pants, and a pair of $200 boots.
At least two head of livestock, preferably cattle, one male, one female.
A new, air-conditioned pickup truck with automatic transmission, power steering, trailer hitch, push-button radio for listening to football games.
A gun rack for the rear window of the pickup truck, big enough to hold a walking stick and a rope.
Two leopard dogs to ride in the bed of the truck.
A $40 horse and a $400 saddle.
A gooseneck trailer, small enough to park in front of the cafe.
A place to keep the cows and a little land too poor to grow crops.
A spool of barb wire, three cedar posts, and a bale of prairie hay to haul around in the truck all the time.
Credit at the bank.