Nestled on a bend of the Fremont River you will find a small cabin on seventeen acres. At first glance, the place looks like a movie set from a John Ford western. Watch a while and you will catch a glimpse of a cowboy walking out the cabin door to feed his stock. Just before dark, his sharp whistle brings three mules and one horse thundering across the Fremont River to get their nightly grain and hay ration. This small southern Utah ranch even has a romantic, sounding western name. The sign out front announces you have found the “Bobarosa.” First time visitors immediately start clicking pictures, recording their romantic discovery of the real American West. Friends and family in Paris, Tokyo, London, and New York are soon glimpsing this picturesque scene. However, little do they know they are sending pictures home of a free range egg farm rather than a working ranch.
Actually, this farming operation has two divisions – dairy and eggs. The dairy division isn’t a large operation, but takes a lot of attention. You know immediately where the dairy division is located by the smell. The aromatic aroma of the rutting “billy” catches your attention immediately. And, if you aren’t careful, you will catch more than his smell. Turn your back on this devilish creature and you will get a butt full of horns and forehead. Twice a day, "Heidi-of-Hickman Valley" dawns his milking costume and extracts enough raw milk from the nanny to make cheese. The nanny requires milking twice-a-day, and her kids must be fed to keep them quiet. Depending on the batch, the cheese is quite tasty. However, be careful if Heidi sends you home with a sample. Leave your number with him because he might need to call you before you have a chance to eat it. On occasion, his cheese falls a bit short of state health standards, and he has to rescue someone who has received a generous gift of recently made cheese. Usually, you can tell the batch is bad by placing the gift on your truck seat with the heater on high. That smell isn’t from a raccoon or pack rat dead under your hood.
With Easter just around the corner, you might want to take advantage of the egg division. “Smilin’ Bob’s Happy Chicken Egg Farm produces the best free range eggs on the High Plateau. You don’t even have to color “Smilin’ Bob’s” fresh Easter eggs. Since they are free range, they’re already colored in beautiful shades of brown, white, blue, and green. “Smilin’ Bob” guarantees the eggs are as fresh as the day he found them. Who knows how long it took, but bring your own egg cartons to tote them home? If you like a larger egg, “Smilin’ Bob” can accommodate your needs. His geese lay larger eggs if you prefer them to chicken eggs, and they are easier to find. You have to collect them before Sadie and Blue finds them, but there are always plenty to go around. Goose eggs have a size advantage. One will usually fill a frying pan and feed two grown men.
Hang around awhile and you will get to hear “Smilin’ Bob” play his concertina. He usually plays to sooth the savage old “billy,” and to get his chickens and geese to lay. As you can tell, Bob is a multi-talented man – cowboy, chicken farmer, musician, and goat herder. Click away with your cameras, but remember that there is more to the “Bobarosa” than meets the eye. Share your romantic pictures of the American West with friends and relatives, but remember that working ranches are often more than they appear. Love to hear from you!