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Cowtown Keeylocko, AZ - population 5, most of the time

"The difficult ... you're supposed to do right away. The impossible ... that'll take you a few days longer." Building your own town out near Tuscon, Arizona probably falls in the category of "the impossible," but Ed Keeylocko did that, a pickup truck of materials at a time. This is the story of Cowtown Keeylocko, built by an African-American with red hair and swamp green eyes, who was abandoned by his mother, a self-proclaimed minority of minorities. He served in Korea and Vietnam, and he returned to the US, where he took up ranching in Arizona. In December of 1974, he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a western ranch that is "an odd mixture of the real and the fanciful." The ranch/town expanded by 1989 to have a mayor, citizens, its own zip code, fourty-six head of cattle, three ranch hands, 10,800 acres of land, and five buildings (Google books preview). The March/April 1996 issue of American Cowboy has a short article on Ed Keeylocko and his cowtown, and here's a more recent (but still dated) website on the mayor and trail boss of Cowtown Keeylocko, with stories from visitors and photos from a roundup.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 31, 2014 - 1 comment

Not just another freak snowstorm

"...Winter Storm Atlas took a huge toll on folks in Western South Dakota earlier this month. With reports of up to 58″ of snow and almost hurricane-force winds, South Dakotans were struck hard with an early season blizzard of historic proportions...Estimates are that upwards of 70,000 cattle, horses, and livestock perished in the storm. That means many ranchers lost all of this year’s calf crop and a good majority of their cow herds...I’ve encountered many losses in ranching, having several cattle at once struck dead by lightning, but I cannot imagine what it must be like to see dead cattle and horses strung out for more than 100 miles." [more inside]
posted by bakerina on Oct 12, 2013 - 35 comments

"Now the only thing they farm is wind.”

The end of American Prairie Farming.
posted by Chrischris on Sep 3, 2013 - 36 comments

"I grabbed the wing pits. I leaned back."

What it's like to ride an ostrich. As compared to what it's like to ride a horse.
posted by gusandrews on Feb 18, 2011 - 30 comments

Cattle ranching conservationism

If you're going to to break into the cowboy business, this is as good a place as any to do it. [more inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Oct 30, 2005 - 8 comments

Mad Cow USA

After reading that beef has been recalled from my local grocery store, I spent some time reading Mad Cow USA a book written back in 1997 but not widely published because of fears of repercussions under the Texas food disparagement act. AlterNet has an article written by one of the book's authors summarizing some of the key points of the book. Some claim that only ground beef is infected, while others claim that's bull. mad-cow.org has a lot of good information on the topic, and it seems the powers that be are going to blame Canada.
posted by woil on Dec 30, 2003 - 14 comments

Deep Springs College

Deep Springs College is a small cult of undergraduate males in Nevada. They claim to be smart, but I know better.
They sell eggs, milk, and T-shirts, and attend seminars. Showing their sensitive side, some of the students have posted thoughts on changing the "historically male" institution to permit women. (via a little bird.)
posted by rschram on Dec 21, 2000 - 2 comments

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