The Stock Step is a solid solution to a persistent problem in ranching…
As 1st generation ranchers, we’ve had to learn a lot in a short amount of time. We’ve been ranching for 15 years now, but from the beginning, noticed how crucial water access is to a calf crop. And how hard of a time little calves can have in reaching water from eroded water tanks.
One hot, dry summer day, Tommy was out checking pairs. The dams were dry and the water tank was the only source of water. The cows were crowded round getting a drink. Eventually they got their fill and went back out to graze…all but one calf. This little one stayed back continuing to try to get a drink. He lifted his front legs off the ground trying to reach the water that was already low from the cows. But the 1-2-foot hole around the tank was too much. He gave up and left without a drink. This was one year after having filled-in that same hole.
If you’ve been ranching for long, you’ve probably witnessed the same thing. Many ranchers, us included, have tried various methods to solve this age-old problem: sand, gravel, rock, large rocks, railroad ties, and asphalt to fill in holes. Most find these to be a short-term solution and quite a hassle to accomplish.
Tommy began envisioning a way to address this persistent problem. Many sketches later, we poured our first pad. We have continued the refining process and developed a pad that is durable, easily moveable, strong, and won’t damage livestock hooves. Today, through our selection of pad shapes and sizes, we can fit just about any water system.
All concrete pads are currently produced by hand on our ranch by our family. We have a fabulous team of neighboring ranchers – that we are ever so grateful for – that assist as needed, mainly on concrete pour days.
Tommy developed the idea for and construction of the Stock Step. He has been involved in agriculture his entire life. He’s an Oklahoma native, previous dairy farmer turned rancher. He’s an engineer at heart and a problem solver.
Briana is a Minnesota girl, graduate of the University of Minnesota, Veteran of the US Air Force National Guard, who was never near a cow in her life before getting married to Tom, but always dreamt of living on a ranch.
We have a passel of ranch kids that love to help. They’re part of everything and we are blessed to be able to work together as a team.
We have a cow-calf ranch in northwest South Dakota where in addition to producing the Stock Step, we run various side businesses to make ranch life work, including custom welding, mechanicing, and haying. We also sell our beef which is ranch-raised on grass and wide-open spaces and finished on organic corn. For more, visit Cowboy Prime Meat Company online at www.cowboyprimemeat.com or on Facebook and Instagram @cowboyprimemeatco.
Thanks for taking the time to be here.