Utah Cattle Drive Special Episode – America’s Heartland

Utah Cattle Drive Special Episode – America’s Heartland


Announcer: America’s Heartland
is made possible by…. American agriculture
plays an essential role in providing food,
feed, fuel and fiber to people around the world.  Monsanto
is committed to helping farmers increase crop yields
and conserve natural resources.  Monsanto
is proud to support this program
bringing you the stories of people
in America’s heartland whose hard work
makes a difference in all of our lives. With sustainable production,
agricultural innovation and research,
these men and women are working to make life better.  Monsanto
would like to recognize them for all they do for all of us. ….and by the American
 Farm Bureau Federation – the voice of agriculture. ∫∫ Jason: If you think cattle
drives are a thing of the past, think again! In the mountains of Utah,
a cattle drive is on! And on this drive
are some city slickers getting dusty and dirty
down on the range and getting a taste of life
for a modern day cowboy family! Saddle up! It’s time for an old-fashioned
cattle drive in Utah straight ahead
on America’s Heartland. ∫∫  ∫ You can see it in the eyes
 of every woman and man ∫  ∫ in America’s Heartland
 living close to the land. ∫  ∫ There’s a love
 for the country ∫  ∫ and a pride in the brand ∫  ∫ in America’s Heartland
 living close, ∫  ∫ close to the land. ∫ Jason: Even in June,
it takes time to warm up at dawn
when you’re at 7,000 feet. The cowboys know the journey
that’s about to get underway. The cattle? Well,
they’ve got no idea. The Heaton family
needs to get these 200 mama cows
and calves to grazing pastures
for the summer. It’s a 30 mile journey
that begins just outside the tiny town
of Alton, Utah in a place called Rush Meadow . The trek will take the cattle
over a mountain range and through
the expansive pastures of the Dixie National Forest . It’s no small task. To get them there
they call in family members from around the region. And invite guests
who pay money,  big money ,
to turn a cattle drive into a vacation. It’s a safe bet to say
that at this hour, the guests have little idea
what’s in store, and frankly,
 neither do we . Leading this drive
is Dustin Cox, not a Heaton by birth,
but married to Harmony Heaton. Harmony, along with
their four girls…. Dustin : There you go…. Jason : (yes, all four)
are on horseback for this journey. Dustin: Ready?  1, 2, 3! Jason: The family members
that are here to help aren’t full time
cattle ranchers. But young and old,
they saddle up to pitch in. Dustin: How are you,
 Angelicer? Angela: Good!  Do you want your stuff? Jason: And it doesn’t take long
for their help to be critical to the effort. The first stretch
of this journey is the toughest: straight up
the side of a mountain! ∫∫ This is pretty steep. But the cattle
seem to be doing just fine. We’ll see how we do. Within minutes,
it feels like controlled chaos.  Barely controlled chaos! The problem
is they go off into the woods and get off the trail. So you have
to get off your horse and go down there
and get them. ∫∫ It’s nearly a 2,000 foot climb. The dust,
the noise, the brush and trees,
it’s enough to rattle the sturdiest
of cowboys’ nerves. And for the city slicker guests
who are along for the ride,
it’s a heck of way to learn by doing. We reach a clearing
almost at the top of the mountain. The view of the valley below
is simply breathtaking. But there is too much going on
to get lost in the moment. And it’s a long way down. After another climb
we find a perfect clearing for resting for the crew but
more importantly for the cattle. It gives me a chance
to check in on one of the guests:
Susan Murphy. She’s a direct marketing
account exec from Atlanta. Susan: It’s been
an amazing experience. Today’s been a little full on. It’s lots of excitement,
anticipation, cows kind of going everywhere,
people everywhere…. Jason: Isn’t that wild? Susan: Yeah! It’s definitely been
a full-throttle experience, I would say. I nearly fell off my horse! It was pretty hectic. Jason: Cattle drives
on horseback were a common sight in the West. In the mid-1800’s,
millions of head of cattle were driven from Texas
to stockyards in the Midwest, sometimes for hundreds of miles. The expansion of the railroad
and meat-packing plants ended the need
for driving cattle across the countryside. But the mystique
of the cowboy culture that it created lives on today. The desire
to capture that mystique is what brought Pat McAteer
all the way from Ireland to the mountains of Utah. It’s an opportunity for him
to experience firsthand what Karl Heaton has been doing
for nearly 40 of his 65 years. Karl is on foot. He’s climbed
up and down this mountain  twice this morning . On foot,
he can go into the trees to chase cattle
that have strayed, places that his horse-bound
brethren sometimes dare to go but can quickly
run into problems. Karl is the patriarch
of this drive. He carries the slight smile
of a cowboy who’s seen just about everything
but keeps his opinions to himself. After our four-hour uphill climb
through brush and trees, the pasture we reach
on the other side of the mountain
feels like a whole new world. The cows rest and eat. So do the horses
 and the cowboys. These breaks also give
the mamas and calves a chance
to find each other again. If any calves wander off
during the drive, it is in their nature
to return to the last place they were with their mothers. It’s a relaxing stop
that doesn’t last long. The second part of our journey
is much easier: a flat,
open valley with lush grass
and flowing creeks. ∫∫ Jason: After a few more hours,
we’re at the campsite for the night. Mom: Smile! Child: Happy!   Jason: Coming up a mountain
was not part of the equation?   Jason: It was crazy wasn’t it?   Jacqueline: My legs were tired
from kicking. It’s the first day
because I really had to get Smokey
to go up those sides where there were those big logs. I think he was a little spooked. And I really
had to kick him hard. ∫∫ Jason: The evening
draws to a close with an opportunity
for the guests to reflect on the first day
of the drive. Besides Pat and Susan,
there’s Chris from Philadelphia, Bill from Southern California,
and Jacqueline from Long Island. Chris: It was tough. A lot tougher than I thought it
was going to be. But it was fun,
a real challenge. I couldn’t relax for a second! (sounds of breakfast cooking) Jason: The next morning
Karl is up making pancakes long before
most of us greenhorns are awake. Jason: Morning!  How are we doing? Jason: What was it
about the cattle drive that you wanted to experience?   Jason: What did I hear you say? You don’t think
you would want to be a cowgirl, is that right? Susan: It’s a lot of work. I think for the moment
I don’t see myself being a cowgirl. Maybe a part-time cowgirl,
a cowgirl every once in awhile! Jason: But you’d do it again? Susan: Oh yeah! Jason: After breakfast,
we return to the nearby pasture where the cattle
were left to graze and rest overnight. We’re in the Dixie
National Forest now where the Heaton family
has grazing rights for several hundred acres
of pasture. Dustin: They’re scattered out.
And so we’ll need to go up the sides. We’ll need
to watch the sides good. And we’ll just take them
straight down the bottom. Some of us
will go up the sides and kick them down in. Most of us
will just take them down through the bottom. And let’s go! ∫∫ Jason: Let’s go cattle! Cattle are moving
a lot easier today. They are going
in the right general direction. We don’t have
to push them very hard. Yesterday? A heck of a lot tougher
getting up that hill! It must give you
some real pride to think about that folks
that have come before you have done this exact same thing. Dustin: Yeah! Yeah,
they knew what they were doing. We’re just trying
to keep it going. It’s just like,
you know, my kids? Harmony’s dad’s done it,
and then now our kids are involved with it. It’s no other way
to raise a family. I mean,
people want to come and be a part of it. It’s one of those things. You’re providing
the greatest source of protein for the nation
and the world. And while you’re doing it,
you’re raising a great family and having fun. I mean how does that work,
you know? Jason: That’s a pretty good gig! I’m amazed! You know,
your guests that have come from around the world? They really get into this! Dustin: They’re awesome! I mean they’re fun to be around. They love it. And I like
talking to them because they’re coming from
different parts of the country, from different parts
of the world. They get right in,
and they just go to work. They’re just here to do it. Jason: Our morning break
is an chance to see that family togetherness
that Dustin was talking about. Dustin: Whoa! Where you goin’? Come here! It’s deep! Jason: I hope there’ll be
a lotta people that’ll see this
that live in the city that have not lived that. If you had to describe this,
how would you describe this lifestyle? Karl: Well, it’s a outdoor
lifestyle where we can enjoy animals and nature
and wildlife, all of those things,
and watch the way that they interact
and interact with the human population, too. Jason: What do think
that your grand kids, kids from the last generation,
what do you think your grand kids now
are learning from this? When they’re on that horse,
they’re riding up that hill, they’re seeing
their mom and dad and their grandpa working it. They’re seeing these cattle
and the mommas and all those things. What do you think
they’re learning from all this? Karl: Well it’s basically to us,
it’s just family working together
to accomplish something. You have
to approach the situations. If somebody
gets bucked off or if somebody has a problem,
you just all get together and help each other. ∫∫ Jason: For Long Islander
Jacqueline Johanas? It’s hard-at-work
all this afternoon. Not only
is it her first cattle drive, but it’s this city girl’s
first time ever even camping. Jacqueline: Yeah, that’s right! Go big or go home! Jason: You did it! Do you feel
pretty proud of yourself? Jacqueline: I think I will
once I leave. Right now,
I know I have work to do. I’m not out of it yet. So I think
I’ll look back on it fondly and say I did it! Really every part of this trip
was a brand new experience for me. And I definitely am happy
that I’m here, and I’m happy that I came. It’s crazy! I’m from New York! You never see this. My whole life growing up? I was told I can’t do this!  Don’t go by the fire!  Don’t pet the horse!  It’s going to kick you! It’s so different. Jason: Would you trade that life
for this life? Jacqueline: Maybe
for about a week a year! But full time? No! I don’t think
I have the stamina to do this. They’re really something,
these cowboys and cowgirls. Jason: In the front of the herd? Pat lost his Irish accent. He’s sounding
more like a Utah cowboy every day! It’s been a long day. We’re tired and sore . And there’s a new concern. At this rate,
the guests shuttle back to the nearest city tomorrow.  Back to reality
will come before the drive is over. After 2 days
and 20 miles, there’s a chance
they won’t get to see it through. So we push the cattle
a bit further so tomorrow’s trek
will be shorter. ∫∫ Once the cows
are safely in their pasture, it’s another night
at the campground. On this second night,
the guests (some call them dudes)
are getting to know the Heaton family. While cook and camp manager
Mel Heaton works on dinner, a simple toy
that Karl has carved out of wood brings the whole campsite
together. Guests feel like family . And a dusty clearing
in the woods with no running water
or electricity feels like
the most welcoming place on earth. (laughter) (ringing dinner bell) Along with their
hot BBQ at dinner, the guests face a cold fact. Even after pushing the cows
further today, there is still a good chance
they (guests) won’t be there for the conclusion
of the cattle drive! It doesn’t sit well.   Jason: If the dudes
want to see it through, we’re going to need
to get an early start. So Karl makes the call. He decides
that we’ll get started an hour earlier tomorrow. So it’s early to bed
 and even earlier to rise the next morning. Jason: Cowboy coffee! ∫∫ Well it’s day three,
the last day. I think everybody
is a little sore, maybe a little tired too. But we got
eight more miles to go. So it’s time to saddle up
and head out. Let’s go Hershey, come on! ∫∫ I notice you kinda peeled back
from… What are you thinking about? You know,
you’re reflecting on the past few days. What’s going through your mind? Susan: I’m really
just trying to savor the last few minutes
and just trying to make the most of it
while I have it left. I’m amazed at how rugged
and tough these people are. They wake up early,
they drive the cattle all day, (13 miles)
set up camp, keep on going,
and they do it again everyday. My hat’s off to them, literally. I couldn’t do it. Jason: Talk about
seeing all different types of terrain! First day? We went up
the side of that mountain. Pretty rough! Yesterday it was beautiful
sprawling meadows. And today it’s the long,
dusty road home. ∫∫ At a morning break,
I get an opportunity to talk to Harmony
about her father Karl. Harmony: It seems like dad’s
just kind of the string that ties us all together. We’d all be a loose bundle
if it wasn’t for him. But just as importantly
as here he holds us together, he holds our family together
outside of the ranch. You know,
our family is very tight, very close in areas
other than just on the ranch. Our family life is good. And I think he’s the string
that holds us all together there as well. ∫∫   Jason: What memories
are you guys gonna take home from this? Bill: For me definitely,
two main things, and it’s both related to family. And that’s family and friends
that we’ve developed. The Five
(what do we call ourselves, the Fa …)
 Fabulous Five? Chris & Pat: The Fabulous Five! Bill: We got five guests
here in this program. And we’ve become very tight. And we’ll stay in contact
with each other in the future. And then the other
is true family . And that’s
watching these families raise their children
in a all-American atmosphere that somebody
has to watch to believe. Jason: Our one o’clock deadline
has come and gone. But the cattle are almost there,
and nobody is calling it quits. ∫∫ These cowboys-come-lately
ensure that their herd makes it to the pasture. It’s a rewarding end
to a challenging 3-day journey. That’ll do it
for this edition of America’s Heartland . The cattle
are safely in their field grazing. And the dudes
are on their way home. The cowboy’s work
is done for today. Our work is done too. We sure hope
that you’ve enjoyed this adventure. We have! America’s Heartland-dot-org
is where you find video from all of our shows
including behind-the-scenes footage
from this great cattle drive. We’ll see you next time. Announcer: To order a copy
of this broadcast, visit us online
or call 1-888-814-3923. The cost is $14.95
plus shipping.  ∫ You can see it in the eyes
 of every woman and man ∫  ∫ in America’s Heartland
 living close to the land. ∫  ∫ There’s a love
 for the country ∫  ∫ and a pride in the brand ∫  ∫ in America’s Heartland
 living close, ∫  ∫ close to the land. ∫  America’s Heartland
is made possible by… Who grows our economy? Who ships
nearly 100 billion dollars of crops and products
to many nations? Who provides
more than 24 million jobs here at home? Who? America’s farm families
brought to you on behalf of America’s farmers
by Monsanto . ….and by the American Farm
 Bureau Federation – the voice of agriculture. ∫∫  

34 thoughts on “Utah Cattle Drive Special Episode – America’s Heartland

  1. Really enjoyed having America's Heartland come and film our family's 3 day cattle drive. Fun times. We hope sometime to share our 10 day cattle drive which ends on our winter range on the rim of the grand canyon. Enjoy!

  2. Monsanto, one of the biggest GMO producers in the world??? Are you kidding??? Google BT cotton and see what they did with it to the cotton farmers of India. They are a heinous, big agra company. Wake up America's Heartland!!!

  3. Great scenery and video, have visited Utah several times as my daughter is married to a guy from Spring City, Utah. It was amusing to see subtitles for the Irishman who speaks good English.

  4. love the life of a cowboy. I am from louisiana and be riding along time. born in the country, retired from the military 12 years ago. Getting back in the country living own 3 horses and would love to do what you guys do someday. Great video

  5. Ray from louisiana, love your video, would like to ride with you guys someday. Know horses, own 3. Born in the country, getting back to the country life after retiring from the military 12 years ago. This is the life

  6. not much respect for parents that'd put their little ones on a horse's back for a cattle drive without a helmet, sheer ignorance.

  7. I know this off topic. I don't know much about horse breeds but is a cutting horse and an american quarter horse or simply quarter horse the same kind of horse? I've looked it up online but the information is unclear and unsettling. Thanks! 🙂

  8. cowboy up or go sit in the truck monsanto snowflakes, these people work for a living. and the AUM's that they pay to graze support many of the fetal position programs you people claim to be in favor of.

  9. Check out our fb page, Smokey Mountain Ranch, for some good cowhorses for sale year round. They love this kind of work and know how to get around in the mountains because that is where the foals are born and raised.

  10. I was born in the 50s. I’ve done this when I was young. This just became part of my bucket list. Memories!!!!

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