The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60069   Message #960223
Posted By: JohnInKansas
28-May-03 - 12:09 AM
Thread Name: What do ranchers raise?
Subject: RE: What do ranchers raise?

Your description is consistent with the "traditional" usage where "cattleman" is reserved for the owner of the herd (of cattle), even if he did "buy into" the culture. Note that the "Cattleman's Associations" (and in some places the "Cattlemen's Club(s)") weren't places where the cowboys, or other "hired hands" would usually feel comfortable or be welcome. And anyone with enough money can "play at" being about anything they want to be. If the "ranch" is working, and productive - and the hands get paid - there's no reason to begrudge them their toys.

As with a lot of things, it's easier with enough money to buy the modern "tools," and herding cattle from a Winebago permits turning the "roundup" (kinda grits on the teeth to call it that) into a social event of sorts. When the work was harder, the celebrating was done by the survivors, after the work was finished.

There are still some fairly large ranches in the States, but they're mostly fenced to manageable sizes, and you don't have to do the old-style roundup because you keep track of where the animals are almost constantly.

The only place I've seen the "ranche" spelling was on one or two overpriced housing developments (usually with golf course and tennis courts). I don't know where they got it from, but it was probably the result of an advertising management study. Especially in the Southwest, "rancho" cropped up occasionally on working spreads - but is probably more common now to describe the "manufactured house" that sits behind the inoperable TransAm next to the busted refrigerator.