A Small Town Rancher Life is always full of smiles when you're cole hughes

Cole Hughes may be the most humorous and high spirited rancher in Alberta.

Cole has been around cows for his entire life, at the age of 9 Cole was gifted his first cow from his grandpa with the money made from her offspring going into a college fund, a 9th birthday present few can say they've gotten. Jump forward more than a decade and that number has grown to 16.

Cole's job on the ranch is the definition of hands-on, the word 'hand' is even in his title; a ranch hand. Not many people can begin to compare their job to the large variety of tasks Cole has had to endure on the job. His day to day schedule is largely comprised of the chores he must do to maintain the ranch and its over 3000 acres of land. Daily chores can range from working on broken corrals to chasing down escaped cows, wearing the eternally fashionable Canadian tuxedo, Cole does it all.

Cole presents himself as a cheerful and hardworking man, he is always the one to crack the first joke in any situation and always has a story to share about his adventures in ranching. With a love of working with animals and helping others, this small town rancher hopes to combine his skills someday and make a career of it.

"I’d like to show people what we do and how we do it in fun or funny ways."
Cole poses with his dog, Bits, and his favourite cow Floppy.
Cole keeps his great sense of humour throughout his tough work as he says it's essential for the work they do.
"Times get tough working in the animal agriculture industry, animals die, weather changes & plans change unpredictably. Humour is needed because it lets worries disappear for a moment. Humour brings your crew together, relieves tension and forms bonds among them."
Cole re-tags a pregnant cow after they discovered the previous tag had ripped out of her ear.
Bits, Cole's cow dog in training, accompanies him through all his chores.
Cole hides from the cold in an old barn during his day of birthing calves.
Cole shows his notes of the past week. A uterine prolapse earlier in the week left him holding the insides of a female cow for over 30 minutes until a vet could come to his aid.
Cole milks a reluctant mother. This difficult cow made several attempts to kick Cole throughout the milking.
"I love working hands-on with animals & getting to be outside for most of the day. Not to mention the stories that come from wild and slightly dangerous situations."
Cole begins searching for a missing calf after realizing one has escaped the corral through a hole in the fence.
Cole scavenges for supplies he can use to repair hole the calf escaped through.
Cole surveys the fence line to make sure there are no more opportunities for the young to escape.
"I think I’ll always do some ranching, it’s who I am. But I’ve always had skill with humour and human connection. I’d like to combine the two"
Created By
Jack Carter


Jack Carter/SAIT