Back at the Ranch: Stories From the Ranch

Experience first-hand stories from the rural West through short videos and online journals.

Short Videos
What do you get when you put new digital technologies in the hands of people living on the land in the American West? These short videos are just a sampling of the powerful stories that are coming out of the rural experience as part of the Western Folklife Center's Ranch Communications and Deep West Video programs.


Online Journals
Imagine the huge distances between communities in the American West, and travel those miles via the internet to visit two of the region's creative thinkers. They share a commitment to making a life in the rural West, yet bring unique perspectives and approaches to their work and creative life. Through periodic stories, poetry, photography and journal entries, they bring the everyday challenges and gifts of rural life to the global community. Please take time to visit with these friends of the Western Folklife Center.

Robbin and John Dofflemyer

John and Robbin Dofflemyer, Poet and Photographer
In the southern Sierra Nevada foothills east of Visalia, John and Robbin Dofflemyer graze cows and calves on Dry Creek, a tributary of the Kaweah River. With a crew of two others, both are engaged in every aspect of the operation. Robbin began packing a camera and photographing various aspects of the ranch and ranch work in the spring of 2005 after a winter of abundant rainfall. John’s involvement with cowboy poetry began in 1989 with an invitation to the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, where the two were later married in 1996.

Pat and Sharon O'Toole

Pat and Sharon O'Toole, Ranchers, Photographer and Writer
Pat and Sharon are ranchers in the Little Snake River Valley on the Wyoming-Colorado border. They represent the fourth generation on the six-generation ranch. The O'Toole's raise cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and children on their high country ranching operation. The transhumance operation stretches from north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Wyoming's Red Desert. The blog traces the activities and life on the Ladder Ranch, from the mundane to the fabulous.