I first met Kelcy in January 2022, when she reached out about a 4 Seasons Shoot, beginning with photographing her family’s bull sale. 

Kelcy and Jeff Ruggles first met at the sale barn.

“I was working (my first day) in the office and Jeff helped out back on sale days.  One of the guys thought they needed to set him up on a date that day while they were sorting and after the sale, the new girl in the office seemed like a possibility.  Couple of weeks later we ran into each other and went on our first date the next weekend. I met Jeff in October and by December I had no desire to leave [McCook].”

You could say the rest is history, so let’s fast forward to 2022.

“Our family raises Angus seedstock. We also farm dryland and irrigated crops, raising corn, soybeans, wheat and feed.  We also background cattle.  The whole family works together, but we all have different entities. Jeff and I and the kids spend our days managing Ruggles Angus. It’s our 8th year with the registered herd.”

I first met Kelcy in January 2022, when she reached out about a 4 Seasons Shoot, beginning with photographing her family’s bull sale. 

I hadn’t met Kelcy or her family in “real life” yet, nor had I been to a bull sale for a while, but from those first few messages back and forth, I could tell this was going to be an exciting project and an incredible family to work with.

January 2022

I traveled to McCook, Nebraska to photograph the Ruggles Angus annual production sale, which takes place yearly on the 4th Friday in January. It takes a team effort to bring together a bull sale, from those helping to serve the meal, the clerks, the office staff, and the boys in the pen out back bringing cattle into the ring. Kelcy said some of her favorite photos from the year were “the pictures of the boys working out back during the sale-I never get to see that.”

boys bringing cattle into the sale ring

 

April 2022

My next trip to visit the Ruggles family took place in April. Kelcy, her husband Jeff, daughter Taylor, and younger son Grant were working cows in preparation for the upcoming breeding season. 

 

family working cattle

 

Meanwhile, their older son Glenn divided and conquered by helping with the spring spraying for the row crops.

farmer by equipment

“I really love what we do, and I think there is something special about families in agriculture (or any industry), working together.  

 

Spring 4 Season Shoot

 

August 2022

Then in August, I paid a visit to their place and spent some time capturing each family member in their element…

 

Jeff with bulls

 

Glenn in the shop

 

Grant and Taylor on horseback

 

And Kelcy keeping an eye on it all

 

 

“Over all, I loved us just being us, no matching outfits or perfect locations.”

 

December 2022

In December, we wrapped up the fourth session in their 4 Seasons Shoot, we visited the cows out on corn stalks set to calve just a few weeks later. 

“I thought it would be great to have some professional quality photos for use for our business and promotional needs.”

 

We even stepped into the dried up river bottom to take some pictures where the river should have been flowing.

 

 

It was a tough year battling drought, but as Kelcy says, “These will be great to look back on!”

 

This Friday, January 27th, 2023, I will travel back to the sale barn, the one that started it all for Jeff and Kelcy and where I first got to know the Ruggles family, to photograph this year’s production sale. The sale that brings the year’s hard work and efforts to fruition. 

For more information about 4 Seasons and Growing Season Shoots, inquire here.

You can also learn more about Family Farm/Ranch Lifestyle Photography here.

Leave a Comment.