November 10, 2018:

Family reunion that day.

Mom & dad, little brother, wife, husband, all out having their cowboy and cowgirl portraits snapped with their denim and their dress Stetsons. On horseback, with the cows: Farm Family in the Wild West.

It's not actually that wild. The ranch is an industrial enterprise, rural to be sure, but entirely mechanized. Combine harvesters process the wheat from cut to bundle: you just drive the thing across a field and product comes out. All of the operations are similar. It's work, of course, but one family of rural petty capitalists can farm thousands of acres.

At this time in the evolution of American capitalism farming and oil refining are the two most automated sectors of the economy.

My sense is, they don't think of themselves this way. They see themselves as family farmers, doing what family farmers have always done. The cattle and the natural gas wells are simply fortunate perks.

September 3, 1962.