As the days get warmer and the sun stays out longer, ranchers begin preparations to gather their cattle to brand and work the new calves. At the ZX Ranch outside Bismarck, N.D., this usually happens over Memorial Day weekend.
The ZX Ranch is run by Paul Andahl and Ryan Gronlie, and consists of Angus Hereford cross cattle. Andahl and Gronlie also grow small grains, corn, soybeans and sunflowers.
The pair say they’re excited for 2022’s improved outlook for the season, with their land receiving timely rains to help bring them out of drought. After culling some of their herd during last year’s drought, they say they are optimistic for the season but are working to revive the pastureland before adding in replacement cattle.
The ranch’s calving season was affected by the mid-April blizzard that struck much of North Dakota, which also delayed the start of their planting season.
Andahl is a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and a 50-year member of the North Dakota Farm Bureau.
Look through the slideshow to get an inside look at branding on the ZX Ranch.