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Smith family uses creativity, Yankee ingenuity to run
Mt. Borah Ranch

Mackay, ID

There's never a dull moment at the Mount Borah Ranch, located north of Mackay in Custer County, Idaho.

Perched at 6,400 feet above sea level, under the shadow of Idaho's tallest mountain peak, the Wiley and Carolyn Smith family has to cope with a short growing season, the constant threat of frost, full-on earthquakes and even running out of water in late summer.

But the Smiths rise to the challenge every day, using their Yankee ingenuity and know-how to run a successful cattle ranch. Their family has been ranching here since the 1930s. The place was homesteaded in the late 1800s, and their water rights date back to 1886.

"I was raised here," says Wiley Smith, a friendly guy with a great sense of humor. "I like the agricultural life, being out in the open. No two days are the same. You can have a schedule put together as to what you're going to do for the day, and then in 15 minutes, that's all changed."

"It's a good place to raise a family, and there's always plenty to do."

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