Most vehicles that ranchers need for their jobs are not tremendously fuel-efficient. I have a 4-door MegaCab Dodge pickup that runs on diesel fuel and gets between 11-22 mpg. I use it to haul a trailer when I need to take cattle to pasture, kids and cows to a cattle show, bring calves home from the pasture, take a bull in to the vet for attention or any other needs when I have cattle to move from place to place. My pickup has more than 100,000 miles on it and I really don't want to spend the money on a new one anytime soon. So we have parked it in the barn and use it only for the farm.
In order to save money and fuel, we purchased a 2008 Prius for me to run errands in. It is not good on gravel roads, and I certainly can't fit a cow in it, but for running the 30 miles to the grocery store, or 45 miles to the nearby college town to visit our kids, the Prius is awesome! I get around 46 mpg and it costs around $28 to fill it with fuel. The truck and the Prius can travel about the same number of miles on a tank of fuel.
It has been a lot of years since I could drive a little car...especially a little red car! I have no kids in carseats anymore, and only two large teenage boys still at home, who rarely ride in a vehicle with their mom anyway! So I'm proud to sport an EAT BEEF license tag on the front of my little red Prius and an EAT BEEF logo on the back right next to the Prius Hybrid logo! Through the years, I have blogged about sustainability and environmental concerns of ranchers, especially those in the Flint Hills. Check out these links for more blogs on how I work every day to improve or sustain our environment:
- Using Fire to Enhance Sustainability
- Help the Planet by Eating Beef
- Pastures Up in Flames
- Photo Blog - Grassland Management via Fire
- Cattle Ranchers are True Environmentalists