About the Elzinga Family
GLENN: With training in forestry and forest ecology, Glenn began his forestry career in Maine. In the mid 1980s, he moved to Salmon, Idaho where he worked as District Forester for the Salmon BLM for over a decade.
As his family began to grow, he realized he wanted a better way to raise kids than leaving them for work all day. So began his current career in ranching. After ranching for over 20 years, Glenn’s cattle herd has grown from 7 head to over 600. He keeps his hand in forestry by working with his wife, Caryl, on consulting projects and by horse-logging occasionally with his two Belgian mares, Pet and Pat. He hopes to train his new draft Suffolk geldings, Red and Snap, to log as well.
CARYL: Caryl is a farmer’s daughter, having grown up on a farm in Indiana. Trained as a plant ecologist, she finished her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1990s. After working as an agency botanist for about 8 years, she started her own company, Alderspring Ecological Consulting. She specializes in measuring and monitoring plant populations and communities for research and resource management purposes, and has published a book on monitoring (Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations; 2001; Blackwell Scientific). She also teaches short courses on monitoring. Currently, she is working on another book titled Wetland and Riparian Plants of the Intermountain West. In her “spare” time she is the webmaster for Alderspring Ranch.
The primary work for Glenn and Caryl now is raising their 7 daughters. Caryl only works part-time, and Glenn’s ranch work allows him to work with the kids. They believe raising children on a ranch is a valuable gift to their daughters, one that includes clean air, water and food; learning the meaning of work; developing relationships with animals and the land; and a chance to work side by side with their parents.