Locals 2012: Carl Herold
June 29, 2012
On the picturesque acres he nurtures in Yampa, Carl Herold easily could stay away from public service and debates. The lifelong Routt County resident has sweeping views of the Flat Tops and a healthy list of chores on his cattle ranch that sits far away from traffic signals and bustle.
But Carl always has had a strong voice in his community.
"If you live in a community, you should be involved in it," he says while leaning on a tractor parked near the old white house he and his wife, Rita, have lived in since 1968. "So many people give and help you to raise your children. A person needs to give a little bit back."
Carl's resume of public service is impressive. He is an active member of the Community Agriculture Alliance and the Northwest Colorado Sage Grouse Committee as well as Routt County's Farm Bureau and Extension and Weed advisory boards. He also has shared his passion and skill of leatherworking with 4-H members for decades.
"People listen to what he has to say," Community Agriculture Alliance Executive Director Marsha Daughenbaugh says. "He's very well-read, and he thinks before he speaks. He's a very kind man."
Carl, 71, grew up on a homestead near Stagecoach Reservoir. He and Rita have two grown children who live in Routt County.
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But much has changed during the seven decades he has called South Routt home.
"Things have gotten faster around here," he says, as he describes how new technology and advanced farming equipment have weakened some of the relationships between community members. "You don't work together like you used to. It's lost the community flavor a little bit, and that's too bad. Sometimes, we stay within ourselves."
He says he has watched new smartphones hinder simple conversations between schoolchildren who walk together along the quiet dirt roads that lead to his ranch.
But despite the advent of new technology, much of Carl's ranching lifestyle remains unchanged and pleasantly predictable.
"All of the valley is usually consistent," he says. "Most of the time, I know how many days I can plant on. You don't have the flies and the worms near as bad here as they are in other places."
Before driving his old, dusty Dodge pickup truck to check on his herd, Carl says that aside from brief departures to serve in the U.S. Army and attend college in Oklahoma, he never had a desire to leave the Yampa Valley behind.
"There's good people in this county," he says. "And there always have been."
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