Often “a mare among the geldings,” this cowgirl has spent a lifetime of wrangling boys’ ideas and creating poetry.
A Florida Cracker talks about ranching and cow hunting in her home state.
Born in 1929, Iris Wall grew up cow hunting in the Everglades of South Florida. Screw worms that struck her state during the 1940s kept her in the saddle, roping and doctoring afflicted cattle every day.
Iris married Homer Wall in 1948, and they raised three girls and built a successful lumberyard business. They nearly always owned cattle and horses, and when Homer died in 1994, Iris began running the family cattle operation, the High Horse Ranch.
Today, Iris serves on the boards of both the Florida Cracker Cattle Association and the Florida Cracker Horse Association. She was named Florida’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture in 2006.
This Raton, New Mexico, ranch woman took the reins of her family’s century-old ranch when she was just a teen.
At age “39-plenty,” this Midland, Texas, woman serves as an ambassador for the ranching industry and traditional cowboy ways.
The official ambassador for the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, New Mexico, Tommye Connor—aka “Mama T”—fills that role unofficially for many other such gatherings, as well. She encourages young and old alike to connect with the Western way of life she knows so well.
Preserving her family’s century-old ranch requires passion, flexibility and plenty of well-worn saddles.