Branding: A ranching tradition

Slideshow: ZX Ranch gathers friends and family each spring to brand and work the season’s new calves.

Sarah McNaughton, Editor, Dakota Farmer

June 23, 2022

8 Slides

As the days get warmer and the sun stays out longer, ranchers begin preparations to gather their cattle to brand and work the new calves. At the ZX Ranch outside Bismarck, N.D., this usually happens over Memorial Day weekend.

The ZX Ranch is run by Paul Andahl and Ryan Gronlie, and consists of Angus Hereford cross cattle. Andahl and Gronlie also grow small grains, corn, soybeans and sunflowers.

The pair say they’re excited for 2022’s improved outlook for the season, with their land receiving timely rains to help bring them out of drought. After culling some of their herd during last year’s drought, they say they are optimistic for the season but are working to revive the pastureland before adding in replacement cattle.

The ranch’s calving season was affected by the mid-April blizzard that struck much of North Dakota, which also delayed the start of their planting season.

Andahl is a member of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and a 50-year member of the North Dakota Farm Bureau.

Look through the slideshow to get an inside look at branding on the ZX Ranch.


About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton of Bismarck, N.D., has been editor of Dakota Farmer since 2021. Before working at Farm Progress, she was an NDSU 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D. Prior to that, she was a farm and ranch reporter at KFGO Radio in Fargo.

McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in ag communications and a master’s in Extension education and youth development.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, as a member of North Dakota Agri-Women, Agriculture Communicators Network Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

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