“I’m Trying to Raise Cattle Without Killing the Earth”: Historic Drought Forces Ranchers to Innovate

Daniel Sinton’s family has raised cattle on their 18,000-acre ranch outside Paso Robles, California, for 140 years. But he likes to say he’s in the grass growing business.

“When you get so little rain, we’re not able to grow grass and we’re not able to feed the cattle. That means we ended up having to sell them off,” Sinton told CBS News. “We sold off about 40% of the cattle this last year.”

Putting steaks on plates has gotten more difficult, with 87% of the West currently in at least moderate drought. Industry analysts say a majority of California ranchers have had to sell at least some of their cattle because of the drought.

US Rivers and Lakes are Shrinking for a Surprising Reason: Cows

As a fifth-generation rancher in Colorado, Paul Bruchez knows the value of water. Not only does he raise cattle irrigated by the Colorado River and its nearby tributaries, Bruchez runs a fly-fishing business on those same streams.

Farmers, Ranchers Dispute Legal Limits of Revamped Water Rule

Cattlemen in the West are gearing up for a legal battle over the Trump administration’s revamped water jurisdiction rule, even as a national trade association of farmers that touts itself as the “unified voice of agriculture” supports the change.