Leader Staff Writer
Della Ranches, which covers northern Utah and southern Idaho, is owned by the Tanners and was recently recognized as a 2011 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner during the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Florida.
Della Ranches, and its owners Jay and Diane Tanner, Blaine and Julie Tanner and Brent and Conny Tanner, were nominated by the Utah Cattlemen’s Association for the award. According to the association, the Tanners not only exhibit stewardship of private and public grazing lands, but also assume leadership roles in organizations promoting conservation.
The Tanner’s great-grandfather came with his brothers to settle the Grouse Creek area in the mid-1870s. The Tanner brothers are the fourth generation to ranch this land.
The three brothers, Jay, Blaine and Brent, grew up in Grouse Creek working and helping their parents, Merlin and Kenna, on the family ranch. In about 1980, the brothers started a partnership and bought Della Ranches from their grandparents, Dayle and Ella. While the boys attended school and worked other jobs, their dad helped them get the ranch started.
Jay said, “At the time it was still just a pup. We started helping dad out and transitioned to where we took over and had to make things work ourselves without as much input from him.”
Brent’s wife, Conny was raised on a ranch in Dillon, Montana, and Blaine’s wife, Julie’s father was a farmer in Burley, Idaho. Jay’s wife, Diane on the other hand grew up in Salt Lake City and Jay said, “She did not know what she was getting into.”
Their wives have an array of tasks. They often ride horses to help herd, brand and check the cattle. They also provide several meals, often for a large crowd. Diane said, “We are not there everyday but we are, in my opinion, a valuable asset to the ranch.”
When asked about ranch life, Jay said, “It is all we have known, really. We have enjoyed the opportunity to work together as a family and fortunately, we get along well. There has been a history of family partnerships for quite some time.”
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