Rancher Cordy Cox-Ellis is wearing three hats these days.
In addition to her work as owner/manager of the Dane Ranch/Ellis Cattle Company west of Tatla Lake in the Chilcotin she was elected president of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association in February.
She also serves as a director with the B.C. Livestock Producers Co-operative.
Cordy is the daughter of Dale Cox and Joyce Dawson, former owners of the Dane Ranch.
She spent her formative years growing up on the ranch and after finishing high school in Williams Lake earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, then studied law at the University of Victoria.
The eldest of five siblings, Cordy always knew that she wanted to return to ranching once she became a lawyer and had earned some money to buy the ranch.
“I had a passion for the cattle, the horses and the lifestyle from the start,” Cordy says.
Her other siblings weren’t interested in ranching.
Her three brothers own a logging operation on Vancouver Island and her sister works at the hospital in Vanderhoof.
“I started buying out the ranch in 2007 before I was married,” Cordy says.
“The opportunity arose a lot sooner than I thought to come home and take it over and although it was a hard decision to leave law school, I’ve never regretted it.”
Last spring Cordy and her longtime partner, Clint Ellis, who has a separate business as a cattle broker, were married and are now expecting their first child.
Her parents, while retired, still play an active role in the ranch operations.
Cordy says there are many challenges facing ranchers today, among them the constant fluctuation of cattle prices and keeping up with the escalating costs associated with ongoing changes in government regulations regarding water and land use.
For instance, she says government is downloading liability and financial responsibility to ranchers for dams that also benefit tourism and provide wildlife habitat.
One of the biggest issues facing many ranchers these days is the impact of First Nations land claims and treaty settlements on ranch operations, Cordy says.
“I am thankful to my ranching peers for having the confidence to vote for me as president of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and I hope to serve them well in the position,” Cordy says.