Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Ryan Estes
Ty + Rachel Gates 5280 Beef
Check out the pics from our field trip to 5280 Beef here!
Undererstand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it – not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits. – Anthony Bourdain
Notes with Rachel Gates
As a family owned and operated business, we each have our responsibilities, strengths & weaknesses. We don’t argue about business decisions. We often are asked what it’s like working with your spouse as a business partner and we do really well. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Please describe a typical workday.
Each day is different in it’s own way. Animals are unpredictable at times! In the winter, our day starts off with feeding and checking the stock water tanks to make sure that the tank heaters are working and to check the water levels. Since we haul water, it’s important that we always know where our water levels are so that we can take the water truck into town to fill up.
During the summer months, along with feeding and watering, it’s important that the steers have salt & mineral blocks out. Also, we check fencing daily to ensure that the livestock do not get out onto the county road.
What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Hard work & manual labor! Customer service skills are important! You have to be able to wear a lot of hats and be able to change them on a dime. We could be typing an email or on the phone with a customer and the next thing you know, you’re fixing fence or chasing an animals around.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
We have different opinions about which parts are most challenging…
Rachel–Emotional Attachment! I find it most challenging to place an emotional barrier between myself and the relationship I have with our animals knowing their fate. I rarely go with Ty to take the animals to process. I will meet with our processors later on or over the phone.
Ty–Scheduling–It’s most challenging for me to schedule animal drop off at the processors, pickup and delivery of meat to customers. A lot of moving parts. Currently, I work for Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department, and juggling 5280 business around my work schedule gets hectic from time-to-time.
What do you find most enjoyable?
Ty–Being outside doing what I’ve grown up doing and love to do. It’s awesome for me to be able to take our boys with me and teach them how to ranch and the value of hard-work.
Rachel–Working with the animals. No question the best part. Growing up in Denver I was never exposed to livestock or ranching/farming.
Are there any negatives to your job?
You’re always on call…You cannot just say, “Let’s pack up and get away,” for the weekend. It’s 24/7/365. The animal’s lives are in your hands every day and depend on us to be there, so because of that we are usually always at home and on our computers/phones working with customers and networking on social media.
How many hours do you work in a typical week?
We lose count. Every waking hour.
What lessons has your work life taught you?
Patience. Things often do not go as planned, but everything happens for a reason and we have faith in that.
Did you enjoy school?