Ranchers Face Hardships

Newschannel 6 has continuing coverage on the devastating drought.

Ranch owners across the state have already been forced to sell off a considerable amount of cattle and if the hot the dry conditions do not let up, ranchers will be forced to lay off staff.

One Texas rancher tells Newschannel 6 this is the worst he has ever seen. He is down to almost half his cattle and the last thing he wants to do is start eliminating his seven cowboys. He says they are like family.

Texas ranch owner Tom Haynie has about reached the end of his rope. He says all his resources are diminishing and cutting into his pocket book daily.
He hopes to be able to save the livelihood of his cowboys, but a grim reality could be facing his staff in the future.

Haynie says, "We'll cut everywhere we can to keep from laying anybody off, but if it comes to it I guess we'll have to."

The cowboys are so passionate about what they do and about working outdoors, but if Texas does not see rain soon, unfortunately they might be out of a job.

Tom Haynie says his cowboys are out on the pastures by choice and they are doing jobs they normally would not do just to stay on pay-roll. He says the dedication to their work cannot be summed up in words.

Haynie comments, "Cowboy's don't go out and make very good business people or something else. Most of these cowboys are cowboys because they like the outdoors and love being on horse back. It means everything to them."

So Haynie says he will do everything in the world just to keep them there. 
"It wouldn't be an easy process to just pick up and leave. They don't want to leave and that makes me feel good."

Tom Haynie tells Newschannel 6 he would rather focus on praying for rain. "You're talking about the eternal optimist. That's my self and everybody here. We just pray for rain everyday and everyday we don't get it, we just know we are one day closer to it. That's about the only way we can deal with it."

Haynie says he is attending the Ranch Roundup and this year it has provided an escape from what's going on. He will be putting his troubles behind him for a weekend to meet with old buddies and enjoy being a cowboy.

The Texas Ranch Roundup will last all through the weekend at the MPEC.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6