Meet the New Guy

And in the Intern Corner, standing 6’6″ with boots and hat on…. BIG Rob Foiles!

Ok, so reading that to myself I imagined the voice of the guy who always announces boxing matches, so I hope you did too!

Hi everyone, I’m Rob. I’m the 2016 intern here at Rock Hills Ranch. I hail from a family farm outside the Metropolis of Raymond, South Dakota-I believe the population has now dropped under 50 residents. I just graduated from South Dakota State University(GO JACKS!) with a degree in Agricultural Sciences and I put special emphasis on beef production and rangelands, so I think my schooling will help me here this summer!

I enjoy anything associated with cowboys-maybe because I am one- including horses, beef cows, wide open prairies, George Strait, Chris LeDoux, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, cowboy novels fill my bookshelves and I can often be found singing old-time cowboy songs.  I also am an outdoorsman; Sunday afternoons in the summer I can often be found with a fishing pole by the stock ponds, lakes and rivers or in my lazy boy snoring; and in the fall, I enjoy hunting for ducks and South Dakota’s famous ringneck pheasant.

Being from South Dakota, I don’t have any exciting 1,000 mile road trip story, but I’m always down for a good road trip when given the opportunity. My first day here at the ranch was a little over a week ago, and I remember that it was a cold, dreary day, with the clouds sputtering a raindrop here or there. After the shortest, cutest, and craziest welcoming committee I’ve ever had helped me unload my car, Luke and I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading off on my first afternoon of work. We checked the first calf heifers, put ear tags in a few new baby calves, moved the heifers that will be bred for the first time this summer and headed to check on the yearling steers and the bulls in the sunshine-don’t like the weather in SD? Wait 5 minutes.  Luke and I then saw a black rain cloud banking up to the west and decided to finish moving the bulls to a spot where there was some older grass that needed to be eaten(more on this in future journals) and about the time that we finished herding the boys over there, CRACK! The storm had moved in faster than we predicted. Luke waived for me to follow him, and through 4 different pastures we went in what felt like someone one with a power washer at point-blank range. We got to the yard and got the 4 wheelers inside the shop and Luke said “You’re never going to let me live this down… Drag the intern through a rainstorm on his first day…I guess my prediction of when the storm would hit was a little off… Dry off and come over for supper.” Luke is right, I don’t think I can let you live that one down.

I’m excited for the months that lie ahead of me with the Perman crew; for learning about cattle, rangelands, how to manipulate the two together to get a goal achieved and a few life lessons along the way, and for all the great people I’m going to meet.  To those of you reading this that I will meet this summer, I look forward to it. And those of you that I won’t, the pictures from my smart phone doesn’t do any justice to how the Permans have taken care of this piece of land, and the squeal of the 4 kids saying “Mommy and Daddy! Mr. Rob is here!” is pretty doggone welcoming.

I’ll come up with a catchy phrase to end my journals in the next week or two, but I don’t know what it is yet.. So until next time, stay dry!