Clay Rodgers grew up on the Babbitt Ranches, one of northern Arizona's largest, most historic outfits. Today he is a camp man at the Espee Camp.
Six-year-old Kreed Kasun, son of KJ Kasun of CAmpwood Cattle Company, Prescott, Ariz., is already making a top hand, doing his share of dragging calves during branding.
Jamie Wood, originally of Montana, has cowboyed all over the country and now works at the Diamond A Cattle Company at Seligman, Ariz.
New Mexico Cowboy Matt Bruton has ridden with the O RO Ranch wagon numerous times over the years. The old Spanish Land Grant is one of the last in the country to run a wagon for the spring and fall works.
Bill Howell, shown dragging calves near Spider Web Camp on the Babbitt Ranches, was the longtime manager of that legendary Flagstaff, Ariz., outfit. He continued to get horseback and help out for years after his retirement, until his death a few years ago.
KJ Kasun, a managing partner in Campwood Cattle Company, drags calves at Winter CAmp on CAmpwood's 7 Up Ranch north of Prescott, Ariz.
Cisco Scott, cowboy, camp man, and wagon boss, made over 60 wagons at the historic O RO Ranch.
Cory Kasun helps load cattle on shipping day at Campwood Cattle Company's Kate Division. Cory frequently helps out at all of Campwood's ranches.
“Authentic” is an on-the-nose description of Arizona rancher Kathy McCraine’s images and stories, which she has been publishing professionally for more than three decades. With her husband Swayze, the McCraine’s own and operate the Campwood Cattle Company and its nearly 134,000 acres, 1,200 cows, 600 stockers, and four ranches—including the well-known 7 Up Ranch—not to mention a ranch horse operation, since those 134,000 acres are rough enough to still require a horse, and a sure-footed one at that.McCraine was born into ranching, growing up first on the Verde River, helping her dad work his small herd of Herefords and riding horses and swimming with her brother.
“My mother never made me help with the housework or cooking, so I took full advantage of that freedom,” McCraine recalls.
It was a freedom that allowed her to discover her artistic knack, designing handmade newspapers by the age of 9 that she would then send to her grandparents, informing them of ranch happenings. In another 9 years or so, she was studying journalism at the University of Arizona when she discovered her interest in photography.
“I am devoted to documenting ranching, cowboys, cow horses, and the unique Western life I have been fortunate enough to have lived,” McCraine says. “Despite the fact that we have many modern conveniences now that facilitate our work, on large, rough-country ranches like ours, most of the work is still done horseback, just as it has been for more than 100 years.”