Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Gretchin Sammis, 1925-2012: Rancher became a pioneer for women on and off the ranch
Gretchen Sammis, who directed a rare all-female ranch crew, died at her home on the Chase Ranch near Cimarron on Aug. 14 at age 86. She was born Oct. 12, 1925, in the same house on the ranch that had been acquired in 1867 by her great-grandparents, Manly and Theresa Chase. They had purchased the property, part of a 1.7 million-acre tract granted by the Mexican government to Charles Beaubien in 1843, from Beaubien’s son-in-law, Lucien Maxwell. Sammis’ grandparents raised her on the ranch, where she began to learn the ropes of ranching. “Grandad raised me like I was a boy,” she said in a 2008 interview. “I learned to ride and hunt and fish and punch cows at an early age. I was always out of doors and never had enough time to do everything that I wanted to do on the ranch.” Sammis said an aunt insisted she go to college, so she could get married “and turn into a lady instead of a rancher.” She attended Colorado Women’s College, The University of New Mexico and the University of Colorado, where she earned a master’s degree in science and physical education. But even as she taught school for 26 years, she kept returning to the ranch along the Ponil River. In 1963, her friend, Ruby Gobble, joined her there as ranch foreman. “We would get up at 4 a.m.to load hay and go out and feed those cows,” Gobble recalled in an interview. “Oh, it was cold! We’d get the cows fed and come back to the house, and Gretchen would change into the skirts, hose and heels that were expected of teachers in those days.” According to the Triple A Livestock Report, the Chase Ranch became famous for its all-women crew — made up of schoolteachers and friends from several states. The women were permitted to bring their husbands, but the men were only allowed to watch the women work...more
She was one of the first supporters of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship. May she rest in peace.