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ZumBrunnen takes the reins of family ranch

Posted: Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013

Jason, Melody, Gracie, Emily and Shirley ZumBrunnen. Not pictured is their latest addition to the family, Levi, their youngest child. Gracie (L to R), Emily and Melody ZumBrunnen stand in front of their family’s ranch sign. Courtesy Photos

Famous horror novelist Stephen King once rhetorically asked, “If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”

A variant of this question haunted the mind of Jason ZumBrunnen until last spring. For many years, the Niobrara County native subordinated his love for ranching in order to pursue another career. While the obligations of another profession consumed the lion’s share of his days, the yearnings of his suppressed passion incessantly beckoned to him. That passion eventually won. ZumBrunnen is now working on his father’s 5,000-acre ranch, officially assuming the reins of the operation on January 1, 2013.

According to Zumbrunnen, unconditional spousal support and the convergence of several advantageous factors would result in his return to the ranching life that he loved so much.

“I always wanted to ranch, but was never sure that it would work,” ZumBrunnen said. “Lots of things were put in place to be able to come back to ranch. My wife is my biggest supporter and I know it wouldn’t have been possible without her. She has had the biggest adjustment because she has never had any agricultural background and she is amazing because she is willing to try almost anything, though she won’t come too close to the rear-end of a cow.”

Born and raised in Niobrara County, ZumBrunnen eventually left his home to attend college in 1995. Yet, a nostalgic affinity for his former rural milieu remained deeply embedded in Zumbrunnen’s heart. Acutely aware of this innate longing for the ranching life, ZumBrunnen silently awaited the day when the possibility for his return would avail itself. In the interim, the drifting rancher led a nomadic lifestyle, which was a corollary of his temporary vocation.

For the complete article see the 08-21-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-21-2013 paper.

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