PINGREE — Riding, roping, calving, cutting, branding and building fence –– you name it — and the Dalley girls Naomi, 12; Quinci 10, and Saydi, 6 can do it.
Chris and Kimmel Dalley own land and cattle in Pingree and Northern Nevada but they don’t need to hire help because it’s a family business and everyone, regardless of age, or gender helps.
Kendall Keller, Farm Bureau regional manager and family friend, says “these three girls are better cowboys than most grown men.”
That’s a compliment the girls and their parents will tell you is true.
“When a job comes up, we have to get it done,” said Chris. “There is nothing out here that I won’t let them do. Even if it’s going to take an extra day longer, I would rather do it with my kids.”
Ranching is just part of the girls’ DNA. Chris says that while he and Kimmel were dating she came and helped brand on what he calls “a wet spring day in the muck”. The experience was new for Kimmel, but she loved it.
“At the end of the day my grandpa looked at me and said “if she comes back, you better marry that girl,” said Chris.
She did come back and when Chris was ready to propose he told Kimmel — I don’t have money for a ring, but I have this horse I can sell... Chris says she didn’t even hesitate, Kimmel answered “I would just as soon have the horse –– I’d rather have the horse than the diamond.”
And so it began. A family that loves to work together.
“We love being outdoors and we love being together and we love being on our horses,” said Kimmel.
Chris and Kimmel are proud of their cowgirls. They say the girls know how to work hard and never complain — unless they’re stuck at home. When they are gathering cows in the spring Chris says sometimes the family will work 12-14 hours a day. Last winter the family trailed cows 60 miles in “dirty, cold, zero degree weather.
“For me it turns into a job,” said Chris. “The girls had more fun with it than I did.”
The family also lived in a teepee for two weeks and, if you ask the girls, they will tell you they loved it like most would love a vacation.
“We do harder work than our friends,” said 10-year old Quinci. “A lot of our friends are afraid to get dirty –– but, they’re pansies!”
“I think they [the girls] see how much Chris and I love it and that’s part of why they love it too,” said Kimmel. “It makes really good adults later.”
The girls are proud to say they have each faced the fear of being charged by a cow; they have worked in the freezing cold and searing heat and they all ride horses well enough to handle their own. If tears ever fall, they wipe them off and are proud of what they’ve accomplished.
Can you guess what Naomi, Quinci, and Saydi all want to be when they grow up? Ranchers.