Water flows from irrigation pipes to keep parts of Janie VanWinkle's cattle grazing land growing, in contrast to dry areas due to a lack of rain, during the historic western Colorado drought on June 30, 2021 in Mesa County near Whitewater, Colorado. Colorado provides a case study of the modern tensions between cities and the countryside, between the metropolis of Denver -- a haven for digital start-ups and progressive movements -- and sparsely inhabited regions where ranchers spend hours on horseback checking on their grazing herds. Janie VanWinkle, her husband Howard, and their son Dean own about 450 head of cattle, after selling 70 last fall in expectation of the coming drought, and 35 in June as their hay stock began to run low. They are constantly juggling between buying more feed as its price rises, and selling more cattle. While the survival of the ranch is not immediately threatened, this will be a bad year: Janie VanWinkle estimates that her cattle will weigh 100 to 120 pounds (45 to 55 kilograms) less than usual when they are sold to feedlots in the fall. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Contact your local office for all commercial or promotional uses. Full editorial rights UK, US, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Canada (not Quebec). Restricted editorial rights elsewhere, please call local office.To go with AFP story by JULIE JAMMOT: "Colorado ranchers face not just drought but rising social pressures"
PATRICK T. FALLON / Contributor
June 30, 2021
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