By Lauren Brant
They stand proud and stout
On the hills of Sheridan County
With one turn of the head
They swing wide horns
They are majestic
They are longhorns
If you travel along Highway 20 between Rushville and Hay Springs, on occasion, there are longhorns roaming the field to the south of the highway. These animals move majestically through the pasture and seem much smaller than when you see them up close.
The Strongs began raising longhorns when Charmayne Strong was 8 years old. She applied for a farmer’s loan to borrow $5,000 so she could purchase heifers. Those cows still graze the Strongs’ pasture and raise calves. The calves can be used for breakaway roping and the steers are also used for roping. To get close enough to the cattle, Bernard Strong travels around in an old feeder pick-up that carries a hay bale on the back.
For the past month, the cows have been calving and wait to be branded during this week. When the calves are born, they have two bumps on top of their heads where the horns will eventually grow. If the horns become damaged, then the shape can change, tilting the horns down.
In a nearby field, about a quarter mile off the highway, there is a large bull that weighs about a ton. He stands 6 ft. tall at the back, requiring an open trailer to transport him. Strong estimates the bull’s horns weigh about 500 lbs.
The Strong’s enjoy showing off their longhorns to people who show an interest in them.