This award goes to a woman who values family, honesty and hard work above all else. And she can’t image a better way to live out those values, or teach them to others, than through ranch life. Even with grown children and grandchildren around to always pitch in with the ranch work, this dedicated woman will never shuck her duties. She keep the records on every cow, as well as all the rest of the herd, and keeps an accurate count each fall to make sure they all get back home from summer range and whether each one should be kept or shipped.
She takes on the nighttime heifer-checking roles and has a gift for knowing when it’s time to get a heifer in. She doctors calves, mows hay, checks wells and more, but she is skilled at riding and moving cattle. In fact, most her favorite ranch experiences have probably occurred on the back of a horse (but perhaps her least favorite have as well)!
Another passion she enjoys is researching the history of ranch lands and water rights and sharing that with others. She is also the underlying force behind her family’s involvement in ag and natural resource issues, as she strives to protect this way of life for future generations.
In addition to taking an active role in ranching operations and decisions, she has been active in her community. In earlier years she was instrumental on the board of the local community center and was a longtime community club 4-H leader. Building a family business involved the whole family, and this woman spent many days teaching her children how to accomplish the work required to be successful.
Whether on the ranch or in other endeavors, she is always teaching something. As her children have grown, her life has evolved to teaching skills while working and playing with grandchildren, and now their two “great grands.”
In 2016, she was recognized by the Green River Valley Cattlewomen as the Ranch Woman of the Year. After more than 50 years of ranching with her husband, and now with their two sons’ families, this cattle woman is still going strong.
Susan’s story was written by her daughter Toni Sue Wille at the request of the Lifetime Awards Committee and coordinated with her daughter-in-law, Kari Bousman.
It is with great pleasure, on behalf of the Green River Valley Cattlewomen/Cowbelles, that I, Terrie Springman, nominate the 2021 Lifetime Membership Award to Susan Bousman.