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The Cattle Industry

The numerous valleys of Nevada have supported a vigorous cattle industry since the 1850’s. Beginning in the western part of the state, cattlemen ranged their herds throughout northern Nevada by the 1870’s. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 was the catalyst that created a prosperous industry. Longhorns from Texas were driven to fertile valleys for feeding, then shipped as far as Omaha and San Francisco to market.

As the mining booms subsided, Nevada’s ranches kept the state alive in the late 19th century. Improvements in breeding stock and winter feeding helped build vast ranching empires for hard working stockmen. Today, more than 90 per cent of Nevada’s crop land is devoted to feed for cattle. For more than a century, Nevada has been a principal food producer for the nation.

Nevada Historic Marker No. 187

Located at the Beowawe Rest Area.

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