Glenn and Caryl Elzinga
On Alderspring Ranch in May, Idaho, Glenn and Caryl Elzinga raise cattle — organic and grass-fed — along with seven daughters, ages 2 to 13. With backgrounds in forestry (Glenn) and plant ecology (Caryl), the Elzingas practice a holistic approach to animal and land management.
Why did you go into ranching?
Glenn: We were living in the Lemhi Valley in Salmon, Idaho, and we wanted to have a family. And I thought, what better place to have a family than on a ranch with cattle and animals around?
Caryl was brought up on a farm in the Midwest, and I had many relatives who were dairy farmers. We both liked the idea of open space, of working on the land. We both love animals. I was traveling more and more in my work as a forester, and we just said, “Hey, let’s do something that’s going to keep us home.”