Rachel Bearden the authorrsquos sister and her beloved cow Miranda

Rachel Bearden, the author’s sister, and her beloved cow Miranda.

Checklist: You might be a female rancher if …

With the onslaught of checklists and online quizzes that dominate popular culture and social media, my sister and I decided to compile our own list to help our fellow ladies in the agricultural world validate their status as female farming forces.

Here is the short version of the checklist that was generated one evening when we were high on coffee and cheesecake.

You Might Be A Female Cattle Rancher If

  • You look twice before making your latte because you have two kinds of milk in the fridge—skim and straight from the cow that morning.
  • Your tractor’s keyless ignition is a screwdriver that can double as a hair pin.
  • Your outdoor bath with a hose pipe, 5-gallon bucket or feed trough is interrupted by curious calves.
  • You use old red lingerie to cover tail lights that the cows demolished while the stock trailer was parked in the pasture.
  • You use pink duct tape on everything from leaky hydraulic hoses to homemade calf splints.
  • You learn to scale a cattle guard in 3-inch heels because one of the bulls escaped to service the neighbor’s cows while you were heading out for church.
  • Your truck dash contains everything from a socket wrench to feminine hygiene products.
  • You use a hair dryer to thaw out pipes.
  • You subconsciously practice your mating call at the local hardware store and mechanic shop because you see them weekly when things break down.
  • You see your occasional stockyard visits as opportunities to socialize and wear makeup.
  • You never tire of people’s amazement at your creative ability to use your pocket knife (castrations included).
  • You have found that baling hay in a cabless tractor gives you the smoky eye you see on fashion magazines.
  • You put your boyfriend in the pen with the “man-eater” and then warn him after you shut the gate.
  • Local mechanics cut you a deal because you make them cookies.
  • Depending on the day, you are either annoyed or flattered by trucker horn honks when you open and shut gates to pastures along the highway.

You hope new vet isn't handsome

  • You color coordinate your work clothes because it makes you feel better and because you know that deep down the cows appreciate the effort.
  • You’ve hauled salt, barbed wire and even calves in your sports car.
  • You once considered using starting fluid as eye makeup remover.
  • You love taking the feed truck to get groceries because no one parks anywhere near you. Plus, if there’s a buggy in your way, you just push it over.
  • You learn that maverick calves don’t herd well when being chased by women in sundresses—thanks for escaping during the Sunday service, little rascals.
  • You have no need to spend money on a gym membership, tanning salon or highlights. Walking 10 miles of fences in shorts and a tank top weekly during the summer does the job.
  • You hope the new vet isn’t handsome because you know you won’t act professional.
  • Old men randomly show up at the catch pen wanting work.
  • You name your livestock.
  • You cry all night when you lose a calf but celebrate all week when you lose a boyfriend because he doesn’t “do cows” or “ride horses.”
  • You avoid using hairspray, gel or mousse that could potentially ignite when the branding iron heater flames get too close for comfort.
  • You hope she doesn’t think your tractor’s sexy.
  • You notice when your cows have different hair styles and wonder if bovine saliva is the solution to flat hair.
  • The only shopping trip worth taking is Fort Worth--home of great boots, great hats and great cowboys that can dance.
  • Your think your version of “Feed Truck Idol” and “Dancing with the Cows” should warrant a reality show.
  • You spend more time working on your catch pen than working on your house.
  • You cull boyfriends like open cows.
  • You have Vise Grips in your purse.
  • You consider Wrangler and Carhartt designer labels.
  • Your farrier is your therapist because he’s a captive audience.
  • You know from experience that the one thing better than being the rancher’s daughter is being THE RANCHER.

To all of my ladies who love their livestock, I salute you.

TAGS: Management
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