The Sunday Magazine

Home on the ranch: A young cattlewoman has a big decision to make

Our documentary this week will introduce you to Haley Rutherford, a gutsy young woman thinking about taking the reins at the 3000 acre Lazy L. Ranch in B.C.'s interior.
Haley Rutherford in one of the pastures of her family's sprawling ranch near Merritt, B.C. Haley is trying to decide whether to take over the business. (Jennifer Chrumka)

Lots of people can be cowboys, the saying goes.

But few can be cattlemen.

Take a fraction of that, and you have the women.

Haley Rutherford comes from a line of tough and determined ones. She's 33 now, and in the throes of making a decision about whether to take over what her grandmother began.

The ranch in question is called the Lazy L. Not far from Kamloops, in the BC interior, it's sprawling, windy and high elevation, so that even in the summer you can see the snowy peaks of the coastal mountains. And If it's going to survive, it's up to Haley to take the reins. She's got the calloused hands for it, for sure.

Today, Haley runs 400 head of cattle on the land her family owns - over 3000 deeded acres And on the Lazy L  and on many other ranches  the question of succession is very much in the air. 

 "The Rate A Heart Can Beat" was produced by Jennifer Chrumka.
Haley Rutherford moves cattle to a new grazing pasture at the Lazy L Ranch. (Jennifer Chrumka)