Gated community

I am glad to get back on aplane and headed to work so I can rest.  

Last week I received two packages that I was very much looking forward to getting.  The first was a vest from the “Fort Worth Herd”.  As some of you might have noticed I like wearing vests.  I am especially happy  of this one as it represents a heritage I am so proud of, from an industry and a family history in the the great state of Texas.  A big thank you to Kristin Jaworski for making it happen.  If you get a chance, head to the Stockyards and enjoy the “clacking of the horns” as the drovers trail em up and down the the bricks of Exchange Avenue.  Check them out on the internet at the and click on the herd.


The next shipment was a little bigger.  While at the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention I purchased a automatic gate for the entrance to our place.

I had been trying to figure out a good solution for the end of our lane.  A cattle guard would work, but I always worry about something getting stuck in it, and with some of the athletic animals we have they can jump it pretty easily.

I feel it is good stockmanship to keep animals and humans safe and contained and off the public roads.  I also have always liked a nice entrance into a place and feel it is like a good cowboy hat, it has an important purpose but also shows the style of the person displaying it.

I could have also purchased one of the gates that Tom Dorrance designed but his idea is now being sold for lots of money, and that’s not my style.  (It wasn’t his either as he gave the idea away).

So when I saw the Ozautogate on display in the demo area at TSCRA, and was able to watch and think about it for three days, I decided it was perfect and I bought one.  It takes no electricity or power.  It opens from weight of vehicle and goes down 15 seconds later.  Double H Products sells them.

I used some old sidewalk that wife Tammy had taken out before for the concrete work, so that was lots of work getting set and level.  Then we had a big pile of utility poles that had been sitting on the place for years, so I sorted through them trying to get the perfect one for the cap gate I had seen and wanted to put in.  Then I laid it out on ground and pre made it, hoping it all line up when I got it in the holes we dug.

I went to it and my good neighbors came and helped me some.  It was lots of work and took some thinking and engineering to get it all set up.  I got it all set except for the top pole of the cap gate.  We got the first one up with a rope/pulley and ladder.  I’d sure like to get the top one on by hand but may have to get a machine with lots of lift.  I wanted to get it all done, but I ran out of time before I had to head out on my next trip and try to replace the money I spent on our new gate.  

My dilemma is the sign.  Tammy’s Grandfather made us a sign many years ago when we had a ranch in the Helena Valley.  It was a big enough place and we ran enough cattle to call it a ranch.  The place we are on is 40 acres and not a ranch, but the sign says “The Pate Ranch”.  It is such a nice sign and beings it was made by Grandpa Eddy, it should be up and seen.  I have it hanging at the entrance to my pens, but not many see it.  


Even though it’s a small place, we try to do things pretty ranchy.  We do everything horseback, don’t have a four wheeler or side by side.  We don’t put up hay, but manage the grazing on the irrigated pasture.  I have an old Case Uniloader that I use to move purchased hay and build fence.

We have had bucking bulls and cows on our place but they all headed to Oklahoma.  I bought some tiny cows last winter that are real ranchy looking.

I’m not sure what to do with them, but they are fun to work and with them being so small I can run twice as many.  So we may not be a “Ranch” but we act and run it more like a ranch than lots of so called ranches that I call farms with cows.

So I guess I’d like some opinions on what you think is right. Put the sign up or not.  Either way if you are going through Ryegate, Montana stop in and see our new gate and have a visit.  It’s easy to find.  At the flashing yellow light turn south, go strait past Peter’s Inc elevator until you hit T, go left for about a quarter of a mile and you will see our new gate.  Pull up and drive on ramp slowly and check out how it opens and closes automatically.  Welcome to the Pate Ranch, sorta.

7 thoughts on “Gated community

  1. Nicalaine Brown

    I say put the sign up! It’s beautiful!
    We will have to look into this ‘gate’. This winter we had our cargates full of snow & ended up burning wood on them to clean them out!

  2. Lori Helmer

    Put it up ! I’m sure it was made with love & pride, besides…… it’s not the size of the Spread, but what you do with it !

  3. John Carpenter

    The sign should still grace your place! The term “ranch” is a state of mind, not a huge tract aka 6666 or King. The ranch spirit definitely graces your abode. 🐎

  4. Bobby West

    I say put up the sign. I’ve got a what I call a small shoestring outfit here. A one man operation but like you say I keep it ranchy. Run more on lease pasture in the summer. Don’t winter too much here other than some feedlot cattle. It’s small too, lol. I say keep it ranchy. I’d rather be a small outfit keeping it ranchy than a big farmer outfit with cows. No four wheelers here!

  5. Judy Henkel

    Interesting gate. I put in a double gate system sorta like prison doors, but mine is manual and forces me to get out of the vehicle to open and close it. Keeps those unruly Arabs in and me from being lazy. As for the sign, heck – I think it is nice, and obviously made with love. Forty acres, four hundred, or four – who cares about that. It’s what’s in your heart and mind that is important. Aloha, Judy

  6. Mike K. Orphey

    Get er up there. Probably more of ranch then some high dollar outfits I’ve been around. My place is a little one man outfit. Took us 25 years to build it up. Still work ” out” 2 days a week. Like reading & watching your stuff. Thanks!

  7. Tara Petersen

    Hang the sign! Or if you don’t I know you know someone who’s got a plasma cutter and can make you another really cool one :o)
    LOVE THE GATE! Wish I’d investigated more before building my gates.

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