Yes, there's real cowboys in South Dakota

S.D. Cowboys … Cowboys would rope and drag steers to the branders … busy boys

A cowboy's work is dusty in summer season and freezing cold in winter. Year-around they face the elements in a job that is still a reality in the west. It's a hard job that can be dangerous when dealing with the unpredictable nature of animals.

Farmers and ranchers provide food and fiber for all of us. And it's usually a family affair. Not only are there many cowboys in the West River area of South Dakota, but cowgirls, too. Jamie Crew, 19, is the daughter of ranchers Grady and Bernice Crew and when she is not riding the range, she is a student at the University of Wyoming. She is the fifth generation on this ranch 26 miles southwest of Philip. Her grandfather, Keith Crew, at age 79, is still an active part of the picture. "My cowboys and other ranch hands help each other in round-ups and brandings," he said, also saying he owns 8000 acres and leases another 8000.

We need to credit a great source (the Bible) when considering how important it is that children help in the responsibility to provide for the family, commanding that they learn to work according to their age and capability. Farm families do a good job in teaching their children the value of purposeful employment and condemn idleness and unnecessary dependence on others.

While a cowboy may not need be versed in faith in a formal way, he does come face-to-face with the miracles of creation every day on the great plains. Nature makes her presence felt more clearly out here.

Each time I return to my native home, it's like I never left.