(Recipe from the lunch below)
On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 the 101 Ranch was host to almost 400 people as the Great Northwest Gathering made a stop in King Hill.
The Gathering is an angus conference hosted by the American Angus Association. With over 30 states represented, 7 bus loads of cattleman arrived at the ranch.
The group was treated to a live tour of the ranch followed by a wonderful lunch of tri-tip with all the fixin’s. The warm fall day was perfect and the tour stop was a great part of the three day conference.
When we originally agreed to host lunch for the gathering, we were told that there would be 3 or 4 bus loads. Well, it grew to the largest annual tour that the association had ever put on. Luckily we had enough notice that we were able to put family members and a friend on each bus to tour around the ranch before eating. Our youngest family member, eleven at the time, to get on a bus was “101 Angus Princess”, Alleigha Bizik. She got her group in the palm of her hand when she yelled at her bus driver, “You better hurry up” when he lagged behind the rest of the buses. Below is the script we followed on the tour.
Angus Tour Script
Board buses at the Petrified Watermelon Sign—
Welcome to Idaho and the 101 Ranch. My name is and I’m going to be your 101 Ranch tour guide for a few minutes. You know what Idaho is famous for, but do you know what the 101 Ranch is famous for? ______ Jim & Marie say it is because we’re the home of 101 Angus Princesses, Alleigha & Annalise Bizik and Little Prince Kylar Kast, although Kylar thinks he’s the King!!
Joining you on the 101 Ranch portion of the tour today are Cherrynn’s, Jim & Marie’s daughter, 5th grade students from CanyonsideChristianSchool in Jerome. In Idaho, fifth grade students learn U.S. History, Government and Geography and in science they have been learning about beef production in the U.S., so this is a great opportunity for them to meet people from all over our country and see a working ranch at the same time. These students are knowledgeable about agriculture because many of them are growing up on and representing the dairy industry. They will be serving your ice cream and dessert at lunch today, but they have an additional assignment as well. Each student has a U.S. map and would like to learn more about where you come from. If you get a chance to show a kid where your state is on the map, sign your name on your state and tell them a little about where you come from. These kids just finished a year of Idaho history and are prepared to share an interesting fact or two with you as well.
We’re on Old Highway 30 and before I-84 went in, the Fearless Farris Stinker Stations put funny sayings on the back of their signs. A lot of people remember these signs and know where the 101 Ranch is because of this sign. About 10 years ago it disappeared. Well to make a long story short, we found it and got it back last week.
Have the bus start going at 15 miles per hour.
These round basalt rocks were actually deposited here by the Bonneville Flood. These black Watermelons have been our most profitable farming venture. They were crushed and used for base to repave the freeway.
Up here on the right is a black sand reject pile left after the crushing. They went down over 75 feet and were still in petrified watermelons and black sand.
The 101 Ranch is a family corporation and has 425 head of fall calving Registered Angus cows, 3 black baldies and a visiting elk. Our start in the Angus business came from the Jim and Jean Brooks herd with the purchase of 40 of their cows in 1990. Our main focus has always been to maintain easy calving while improving growth, udder, and carcass traits. Since the brochure that we gave you has more about our Angus program and because our irrigation system is unique, we’re going to concentrate on it.
We irrigate over 1100 of our 1600 acres. The 101 Ranch starts over there (at Jim & Marie’s) where you see the big guns running. If you don’t irrigate in Southern Idaho, you don’t grow much of anything.
Our ranch was purchased by my __________ Charley and Virginia Kast in 1961. The Kast’s and previous owners purchased smaller homesteads to make the 101 Ranch what it is today.
At the Canal by the 101 Ranch sign
We just crossed one of the North Side Canal Company’s canals. This water returns back to the Snake River. Just remember this and we will talk about it later.
At the Rock Cellar
Ahead are the last remains on the ranch of one of the original homesteads. We have always called it the “Spud Cellar” but we found out recently that it was actually a smokehouse.
At the Mules–Stop the bus here for a few seconds.
This is where our friend, Jim Brooks, put to rest his matched set of black mules, Tom and Jerry. Their most famous passenger was President Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s. The rock posts around them came from the grammar school that Jim Brooks attended near Ponca City, Oklahoma. Ponca City was the home of the Miller Brothers Wild West Show on the world famous 101 Ranch in the early 1900’s. Also, to our surprise, these mules came from that Oklahoma area, too. There are pictures in our Sale Barn and more about Jim Brooks and these mules. And Jim is here today.
If we cut this alfalfa again, it will be our 5th cutting this year.
Our irrigation is done mostly with 11 pivots of various lengths and 20 big guns. All six of the original pivots installed in 1974 are still in use today. That is when we put in our first gravity pressure irrigation system. There are no pumps used on this ranch. The canal runs over there above that hill and then drops down into this valley. Our water comes to the point of that hill and into a small pond where it then enters our 24” pipeline. From there water is distributed all over the ranch. The pond also has an overflow that is used to irrigate corners of the pivots. We have about 120 pounds of pressure available out there at that pivot (Calving field). Our lowest pressure at any of our pivots is 50 pounds.
At East Kast Drive (May have to stop here for a short time)
We will be coming back to here in just a few minutes. Out in that field are our remaining cows to calve and while you’re looking, you might see a cow of a different color!!!
By the silage pit
We have irrigated pasture (point to the left) on our hilly, smaller, and highly erodible fields. Many are irrigated by big guns. Depending on nozzle size they will put on between 60 and 120 gallons per minute. The risers are spaced at 150 feet on 3 ½ inch oilfield pipe. We move them from place to place on the back of a 4-wheeler. If you are interested there is a big gun set up by the right entrance to the Sale Barn.
At the bulls
Some of these bulls will be in our sale. We’ve got some on display at the corrals.
Besides growing Petrified Watermelons, irrigated pasture and alfalfa, other crops such as Green Giant Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Sorgun/Sudan grass and sometimes silage corn and grain are grown here.
We call this Spud Corner. It is where our potato farmers load out their semis. We lease out spud ground because it is so specialized. Spud farmers gamble as much or more than feedlot operators.
Our latest irrigation project is almost completed. The 101 Ranch is at the tail end of two canals that run through it. The one we just crossed is a different one than the one we crossed earlier. It also runs back into the Snake River. Our canal water is winter runoff that comes from Wyoming and Eastern Idaho. It is diverted into the canal system about 70 miles east of here. As it travels, it picks up waste water, fertilizer and chemicals, sediment, and even a little cow feces. Jim Kast and the North Side Canal Company have been working for over five years to develop a way to stop this. Last winter a cooperative project between the 101 Ranch, the North Side Canal Company and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality began. When completed it will stop all return stream flow of these two canals to the Snake River.
At Virginia Lane (Stop here if needed)
To do this an 8 acre horseshoe shaped lake was built behind Virginia Kast’s home up there. Dirt from Virginia Lake was used to fill a giant wash over there that the canal had eroded away over the past 80 years. Dirt was also used to build the dam across this basin to form this dissipation pond. We call this one Virginia Pond. Grandma got all the good ponds!! Virginia Lake is for water regulation, storage, and to direct water into ours and one of our neighbors’ irrigation systems. The 101 Ranch system is tied into one of the pivots north of the “Petrified Watermelon Sign”. A 15 inch overflow pipe comes from Virginia Lake and down to the canal next to Virginia Pond over there. We can put water in the pond or let it go down the canal to Spud Corner. Spud Corner is where this canal will end. From there the water will go into another 15 inch pipeline and down to a dissipation pond in the petrified watermelon and black sand area. This dissipation pond will be built next winter. Any runoff from our ranch or corrals and the water from the first canal that we crossed will also go into the Watermelon dissipation pond.
Bus leave Virginia lane (When you leave here go up to 30 MPH)
This was a spud field and for the first time we are going to try following potatoes with sugar beets. After spud harvest, we normally follow with triticale for fall and spring grazing. Then in the following spring, we plant Sorghum/Sudan grass.
The land on the right is our neighbor’s and he also has gravity pressure irrigation.
On the left is frosted Sorghum/Sudan grass. This year we green chopped it once, hayed it once and will eventually pasture what is left after the danger from prussic acid is gone.
Our land ends here on the right, but goes for another ½ mile to the west.
From here the water from the second canal we crossed goes about two more miles to get back into the Snake River.
This brick building is an old telephone building. For telephone service to work, they used to have to have one of these about every 50 miles.
Turn around just past Telephone Building—Wait until last bus comes
Our neighbors’ old system used to start over there. By tying his pipeline into VirginiaLake, he gained 25 pounds of pressure and was able to do away with his boost pump.
If you’re running behind, skip this italicized section.
Besides being good for the environment, the irrigation project when completed will help us out in other ways.
- 1. Being at the end of the canal can be feast or famine. In the past years, sometimes we completely dried up and at other times 10 cubic feet per second would go back to the river. We didn’t dry up a single time this year!
- 2. It has isolated one of our pivots from our original system, thus giving us better pressure on our pivots with lower pressures.
- 3. It will help in fish and wildlife habitat. The ducks and geese are already using the ponds.
- 4. It’s allowing us to do away with about 2 miles of canals that run through our place.
Heading back—You can do this section while we’re stopped or on the way back.
Now we are going to head back to the corrals. There are a few cattle for you to see—No doubt the best you will see on this tour! The cattle that you’ll see from this ranch are in their working clothes.
We have a 6 minute power-point presentation that will be running continually in the sale ring. It is mainly about the irrigation system and some of our local wildlife.
Our local Carmela Winery will be offering a wine tasting. Ask Marie, they’ve really got some great wine. Charlotte Armstrong will be showing off Cowboy Tom’s Flapjacks—They say they came up to Idaho in a Cyclone from the South! The Elmore County Agri/Business Council will have a display of all the products grown in our county along with a display of how sugar is processed from seed to table.
In the 101 Ranch literature there is a small card to fill out for some drawings that we’ll be doing at 12:30 before you leave. Be sure to check the box if you want to receive a catalog of our upcoming sale on Saturday, December 9th. Only those who check the box will get one. Drop your card in the bucket on the counter inside the right sale barn door. The drawings will be for $250.00 toward any purchase at our next sale, two 101 Ranch sweatshirts, two 101 Ranch hats, 6 bottles of wine from Carmella Winery, and 4 gift boxes of Cowboy Tom’s Flapjacks from Charlotte Armstrong.
The porta-potties are on the east side of the Sale Barn. There is also a bathroom inside the barn. Lunch is going to be served outside. Our local FFA Chapter will be helping. There is some seating in the Sale Barn or if you are missing your ranch, feel free to pull up a bale of hay.
Make sure you make it into our sale barn to see some of the antiques on the walls.
If you have questions about our cattle or the irrigation system, see Ross or Jim.
Thank you for coming and once again, Welcome to the 101 Ranch!
Direct the bus driver where to park.
Idaho Beans by Marie Kast
101 Ranch, King Hill, Idaho
5 cups cooked Pinto beans or 2 cans
1 cup chopped onion, sautéed
1 can chopped green chiles
3 T brown sugar
1 t. dried cilantro
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup bacon bits
Mix together all ingredients and bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees, enjoy!
Note – we tried and tried to get that great potato salad recipe but alas, the chef would not share it. He did say it was made with ranch dressing, sour cream, salt, celery salt, green onions, cheese and bacon bits (along with all the regular parts). Let us know if you find the recipe and we will post it.