Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Ranching

Wagyu cattle. Courtesy Jerry Reeves
Spring 2016

Fine beef

It was a beautiful sunny day in May when six WSU chefs, decked out in their white uniforms, stood on a hillside 1500 feet above the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, squinting to make out cows grazing on the steep terrain across the valley. Looking like little black dots on the massive hills, Jerry Reeves looked through his binoculars, suddenly pointing and exclaiming, “There they are! Can you see them?”

A retired WSU animal sciences professor, Reeves was giving the chefs, four from Dining Services and two from WSU’s School of Hospitality, a tour of his ranch and pastureland located less than an … » More …

Sheryl Hagen-Zakarison and Eric Zakarison
Summer 2013

Eric Zakarison ’81 and Sheryl Hagen-Zakarison ’83, ’91—Thinking small

Somewhere along the Norwegian-Swedish border in the 1920s, Eric Zakarison’s grandfather and his family decided it was time to leave.

“They literally put on their packs, with everything they owned on their backs, skied down to the fjord, got on a boat, and came to Minnesota,” says Zakarison. After farming there for three or four years, they picked up and moved again, to the Havre/Chinook Hi-Line area of Montana.

Tired of northern Montana, Eric’s aunt ran away. She married a wealthy railroad man and they bought land north of Pullman. She invited the rest of the family to come further west, which they did, settling … » More …

Essay: Cattle and Women

A cultural link between women and cattle seems unlikely in this age of turbo-powered technology. Yet, cows are all around us as decorative symbols, from the large fiberglass art-cow statues that decorated the streets of Chicago and New York recently, to their widespread presence in gift shops and department stores. Their whimsical countenances appear on a myriad of kitchen towels, coffee mugs, and cookie jars. This surge of interest in all things bovine by giftware manufacturers, who market a plethora of calendars, aprons, refrigerator magnets, and so on, all depicting clever or cute cows, is directed at women.

At first encounter, we may think the … » More …

Fall 2004

McDonald at home on the range

At 77, Esther Johnson McDonald is still active in the day-to-day operation of the 9,000-acre Triangle Ranch in Philipsburg, Montana, with her husband of 51 years, John W. “Pat” McDonald. The two met at a bull sale in Missoula. Her mother operated a ranch in Darby, so Esther had an idea what she was getting into. She also had the foresight to earn a degree in animal sciences in 1948.

In years past, she cooked for ranch hands, while raising three sons and five daughters. The ranch is 75 miles southeast of Missoula in a mile-high mountain valley. “Some of the best feeder cattle come … » More …