Gilbert T. Yardley has a life that is rich in history and friendships; many formed from within the cattle industry; acquaintances’ that make a life complete and full. Gib was honored in 2006 at the 100th Anniversary of the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. He has shown at Denver for over 34 years and has attended for over 64 years. He spent his life pursuing the lifelong dream of raising good cattle. For many years he traveled throughout the United States with feeder pens and show calves. The Cow Palace in San Francisco, American Royal in Kansas City, Pacific International Show in Portland, OR, and the North American Livestock Show in Louisville have all housed Yardley Cattle throughout the years. There had never been a heifer pen show at Denver before, but there wasn’t any rule in the premium book that stated you couldn’t take heifers to compete against the steers. Gib took the first pen of heifers ever shown in Denver, and next year Denver had a heifer pen show! He had steers that won every major show and for many years dad traveled everyplace in the country to watch them show. Eventually though, time caught up and he realized he had better start raising a family. My granddad Yardley was in Partners with his two brothers, and they were always in the cattle business. One brother, Uncle Al, would take a herd of steers and cows and drive them to winter range down on the Arizona strip. He would take a pack horse and potatoes and salt bacon and live in a tent out there with them all winter. In the spring of 1908, he was coming home from Arizona, and when he got to the northern end of Long Valley, he took the wrong canyon and ended up in the head of Asay Creek. He said this was the most beautiful spot that he has ever seen in his life. It was a beautiful mountain meadow valley with some big springs and the most beautiful streams in the world. He saw a man there that owned it, and he said he wanted to sell it, so he came home and got my granddad and they went back and bought it for 5,000 dollars. This has forever changed our lives. They then acquired one of the first forest permits on the Dixie National Forest, running 500 head there, which joined the ranch. It is 70 miles from Asay Creek to Beaver, and they always drove those cattle back and forth on horseback, taking about three and a half days, until the late 1940’s, when we started trucking them. In 1920, Granddad went back to Kansas and brought the first Hereford cattle to this area. Again in 1939 and 40’, they went to Colorado and bought replacement heifers from the old master Hereford breeder of the United States, Fred DeBerard of Kremmling, CO. Then we bought registered Herefords, both bulls and heifers, from many other top breeders of the country. We had as good of Hereford as there were in the West. About 35 years ago, we started cross breeding some of them with Angus, and then when they brought the first Simmentals to Canada, I went up to see them and the Maine Anjou, started breeding them, and the rest is history.
Until I was 18 years old, my dad was in partnership with his brothers, Ike and Roy. We would start haying the 20th of June, and haul hay six days a week until the middle of September. We were cutting, raking and hauling all at the same time, using eight to ten teams of horses.
When my dad and his brothers divided up, I worked with dad until he died. I was so busy breeding good cattle that I didn’t get married and start raising kids until I was older in life. I met Denise, who was raised in Coalville, Utah, and we got married on April 18, 1981. I never thought that I could love anything as much as my wife and my children. I was the eldest and only boy in my own family. I have five lovely sisters that all graduated from college and were all school teachers, and all but one of them lives along the Wasatch front of Utah, and the other in Omaha.
I was always active in 4-H and FFA, and started showing cattle then, and have enjoyed it ever since. I always believed in doing my very best at everything I ever did. In fact, my Uncle Roy called me a perfectionist. So I have always tried to raise the very best cattle possible. I have always liked to have the best corrals and fences, gates and improvements, so that everything is convenient and handy. I have always loved good, fancy colored horses, and I got my first paint mare when I was 14 years old, and I have had that same family of horses ever since. They are just like part of our family. We do everything we can on horseback, and spend many long hours in the saddle. Quite a few years ago, we bought two winter range allotments 40 miles west of Beaver, and we winter most of our older cows out there without feeding hay. They have to calve on their own and do it all. They have to have natural fleshing ability to take it. We have gotten rid of the cows that haven’t done well out there. We have Indian Rice Grass and some native desert browse plants that are wonderful feed. Since then we have been scattered out for 100 miles between winter and summer ranges. We spend half of our time coming and the other half going. I started artificial breeding in 1968, and have done more of this than anyone else in our state. One year, we bred over 600 head, I have always tried to buy the best bulls I could find in the nation, besides raising some very fancy herd sires.
In closing, I would like to leave you with the words of the greatest president the United States ever had-the immortal Abe Lincoln: “You cannot bring about prosperity by destroying thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” ▪