For as long as he can remember, Trey Allen has been a cowboy. For the last five years, he has been foreman of the Moyer Ranch in Geary County, Kan., a 6,600 acre spread of native prairie grass.
The Moyer Ranch provides grazing for about 2,000 head of stocker calves during the summer intensive grazing period from mid-April until late July. In the off season, a small cow-calf herd occupies some of the pastures; their feed supplemented in the winter months with hay and range cubes.
Allen grew up in New Mexico and worked ranches there and in the Oklahoma panhandle and southwest Kansas before joining the Moyer operation.
He says he feels privileged to have enjoyed the cowboy way of life, working cows, building and mending fences and tending the native grasses that have waved on the land he loves for thousands of years.
When the ranch's owners, the Rod Moyer family, decided to place the ranch in a permanent conservation easement with the Kansas Land Trust, Allen was thrilled.
"I love to think that generations from now, the grandchildren of children today will have an opportunity to see this land the way it has always been," he said.
During the months it took to work out the details of the easement, Allen says thoughts and emotions about the land, the march of time and the progress made by man kept swirling around in his mind until one day he sat down and did what he often does with his thoughts about the cowboy life: he put them on paper in a cowboy poem.
He shared it with the audience at the conservation easement dedication in late July, and again in the video below.