I got hooked on the new Kevin Costner series Yellowstone as much as the rest of the nation. It’s a rare look into the backend of the American ranching industry, albeit wrapped around our country’s love of gangsters, action and family drama. But as I watched the first episode, I couldn’t help but look at it from a completely different angle than most, one where had family patriarch John Dutton come to me first, he could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and <spoiler alert ahead> most importantly, his son’s life.
If you aren’t already watching Paramount’s newest drama, it follows the politically charged, violent and otherwise drama-filled world of John Dutton and his family’s Montana ranch “Yellowstone,” which is the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. While most viewers got caught up in the political wrangling, family dysfunction and character building, I couldn’t help but get distracted wondering how could hundreds of Yellowstone’s cattle somehow wander off his land unnoticed onto a neighboring and very adversarial Indian Reservation. Then we saw John and his ranch manager son driving through other herds, cross-referencing cattle with their hand-written log books and only luckily visually spotting one cow in distressed labor from a breached calf. The chances are great that, in real life, if they didn’t just happen to be driving by and notice her down, they surely would have lost that calf and cow.
I imagine that Hollywood modeled Yellowstone’s size and geography somewhat after some of the largest ranches in the United States, like the King Ranch, covering almost 1,300 square miles with a whopping 35,000 heads of cattle, or the WT Waggoner Estate Ranch, which spans 800 square miles, has 7,500 cows, 500 quarter horses, 20 cowboy camps and numerous huge lakes. That’s a lot of land to cover and a lot of assets to track. That’s our mission with Carnegie’s Longview Ranching Solution: to help ranchers track cattle and optimize yield.
As the character Ben Waters from the Indian Reservation states, “When those cattle walked onto our land, they became our cattle to do with what we please.” And yes, while the cattle surely wandered onto that land by mistake, Longview could have instantly sent alerts to ranch managers when the gates had been taken down and sent other alerts the moment that herd left its geographic boundary. While Hollywood took the liberty of dramatizing the whole situation, I nonetheless couldn’t help but think Longview could have surely saved one of my favorite characters of that episode from being killed had the cattle stayed within the ranch’s land.
Fortunately, Yellowstone’s storylines have a lot more to keep me hooked. But I won’t soon forget John Dutton’s question after seeing the cow give birth: “When you look at that calf, what do you see? ...A cattleman sees a $293 investment worth $1100 in seven months.” At Carnegie, we’re proud to support America’s ranching industry with technology and solutions that will continue to make them prosper, but we’re not-so-secretly hoping it can save some of our new favorite Yellowstone characters as well!