“In addition to being vets, we also raise cattle. We are proud to be the sixth generation in our family to have cattle on the site my family homesteaded in the 1880’s. My parents raised us to be good stewards of the land and our livestock. We look out for not only our cattle, but the grass they eat, the trees they rest under and the wildlife they share the land with.”
Jake and Carolyn Geis are young newlyweds who are veterinarians and also own part of a cattle ranch that raises cows and calves, referred to as a "cow/calf" ranch, called Diamond Ranch. From the clients they serve at the vet clinic, to the family members they ranch alongside, they strive every day to keep cattle healthy and comfortable.
Read more about their busy lives.
People operate the ranch
years Jake and his parents have had cattle together
Percent of the ranch is in oak woodlands with the remainder on prairie
years jake and Carolyn each went to school to become veterinarians
the number of breeds it takes to make the most common hybrid of cow on the ranch- black baldie
Jake Geis: My wife, Carolyn, and I own part of a cow/calf ranch where mama cows give birth to calves once a year. The cattle we raise are called “baldies”, which are a mixed breed of Herefords and Angus. This breed does well in our environment, which is rolling hills and tallgrass prairie. My parents are our partners at Diamond Ranch, managing the day-to-day tasks while Carolyn and I develop the cattle health plans and work on other large activities like building new fences. All four of us are an integral part of the ranch team!
In addition to our ranching duties, Carolyn and I are also veterinarians in South Dakota.
Carolyn: We’re so excited to be working with our families and to have the opportunity to share it with our own children someday. It’s not often in today’s world that a way of life and a business gets passed from one generation to the next. Although the way we do things has changed due to improvements, the basic premise of being a good steward and caretaker never changes and we’re proud to be a part of that legacy.
Carolyn: I think our schedule is very representative of the thousands of part-time ranchers across the country. Taking “vacation time” from your town/city job doesn’t mean you’ll get to relax, but you’ll be able to get the ranch work done.
Jake: The key for us is to embrace scientific advancements that meet our goal to be good stewards. We ask, “Will this help our cattle thrive in our environment? Will it keep them healthy and happy? Will it conserve or promote the well-being of the land or the native plant and animal life?” If so, then we use it.
Carolyn: If I must pick a favorite, besides my trusty T-Bone Steak, I will say Skirt Steak! Sprinkle it with salt, pepper, garlic salt and ground oregano. Grill it over medium heat, turning once, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Take it off the grill, but don’t you dare cut into it, just let it be for a bit! After about 5 minutes, cut it at an angle against the grain into thin strips. Place several strips on a small flour or corn tortilla and squeeze a lime wedge over it. Then the toppings are up to you! I keep it simple with thin sliced onion, some sour cream and a bit of cilantro, but go crazy…this doesn’t happen every day!
Jake: Ribeye Steak, grilled to medium rare. Simple man, simple meal.
Jake: When you live in an area where cows outnumber people, your entertainment isn’t the same as it is in the city. We don’t have amusement parks, shopping malls or white-tablecloth restaurants. Heck, we don’t even have a movie theater in our county. So when we are looking for something fun to do, it’s a bit more old fashioned.
A favorite pastime is to hang out at the river. Between fishing, kayaking, boating and swimming, it is a place where people can have fun all day, and then come back the next day to have just as much fun. In the winter, some people go ice fishing, though I’m not too much of a fan of that. Bit too cold for this guy.
Other than the river, there are a lot of great things to do in small towns. We spend our time hunting or shooting clays, going on walks in the river bluffs or just taking relaxing Sunday drives. Carolyn loves to garden, and I like to hang out with friends to talk about cattle and farming.
I know it’s not like the glitz and glamor of urban life, and for some people all this sounds incredibly boring. But for those of us out here, we love the simplicity and authenticity of rural living. People are quite important to country folks, because without all the other distractions, all there is out here for entertainment is to be with the people out here. And you know what, that’s a pretty darn good way to spend a day.