As Oregon cattle rancher Dalton Straus peers toward a couple dozen yearlings grazing on his Upton Road spread on a damp November morning, a rainbow emerges over Lower Table Rock.
It's roundup time for the owner of Straus Ranches as he gathers in cattle from as far away as the Illinois Valley for winter. Patience, a trait developed over nearly eight decades, comes with the territory. The rainbow masks more rain clouds on the horizon, which will delay moving cattle from the other side of the Rogue River to his 110-acre headquarters.
"We'll try again tomorrow," he later decides.
Born and raised in the shadow of the Table Rocks, Straus, 79, has worked the land, nurtured animals and promoted better stewardship practices. Whether waiting out the weather, driving cattle, raising crops, supporting improved animal science or negotiating with bureaucrats, Straus has been steady in the saddle and a guiding hand in the beef industry.
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