A few days ago, I spent the morning at T-25* ranch in North Texas, where the Morland family welcomed us into their home, told us about six generations of ranch living, and showed us how to brand a cow.
It was an experience that simultaneously left me appalled and honored. While I was, truthfully, horrified by the sight of cattle bucking under the pain of a hot brand being burned into their backsides, I also had an overwhelming feeling of reverence for being able to witness a dying practice that is so steeped in American and family tradition.
T-25 has been a working family ranch for over six generations, and the Morlands have been have been marking their cattle with the same family brand for just as long. I felt honored to stand on their generations-old family ranch and witness a practice that Morland after Morland has done for over 150 years.
Here are some photos of what I saw.
*Name of ranch and family changed, to protect my job. The rest of the story is true!