Growing up in the suburbs of the Bay Area, a place without cattle for probably more than 25 miles in any direction, it’s hard to believe that Paige Winter ’15 now finds herself waking up every day working on a dude ranch in Montana.
“It just goes to show you, no dream is too crazy,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to work with horses and cows and now I’m doing it. Follow your dreams—they’re closer than you think.”
After Carondelet, Paige received a degree in agriculture business from Cal Poly. When the pandemic’s onset sent the job market into disarray after she graduated, she opted to search for something that aligned with her passions of innovation and farming.
“I applied for a position as a wrangler at a dude ranch in Montana. I grew up riding horses on my family ranch and had experience as a horse groomer, so being a wrangler sounded like an amazing opportunity,” she said.
Now, Paige works at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana. It is the world’s first Forbes 5-star guest ranch. “I work with and meet people from all over the world and get the opportunity to work in different areas of the resort to learn all about operating a dude ranch.” She’s learning how to wean calves off their mom, castration, body and weight, diet, medication, vaccination, and more. “It has been an incredible experience.”
Inspired by her time here, Paige’s goal is to manage a guest ranch at one of our family properties and use it as an opportunity to educate people on animals and consumption.
“I’m living Cal Poly’s motto—Learn by Doing,” she said.
Her time at Carondelet similarly served her well—learning lessons on teamwork and structure. “I have great memories,” Paige said. “Playing on the volleyball team was an incredible experience. My teammates and coaches were wonderful, and we had great times together on and off the court.”
Paige recalls being pushed academically as well, which prepared her for life after Carondelet. “It was challenging, but looking back I went to college and into life with an incredible asset of strong written skills. I’m very thankful for it.”
This interview was conducted in November 2021. Since then, Paige has finished her job at the ranch and is currently back in the Bay Area looking for her next opportunity. Connect with Paige