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Shelby Kayser, 20, a fifth-generation rancher, center, brands calves on her family’s cattle ranch Thursday, April 9, 2015 near Centerville, Washington. Over four days last week, Kayser worked with family and a group of more than fifteen friends and neighbors to brand, vaccinate, castrate and apply topical applications on fur to prevent parasites, lice and ticks.

At the Kayser Ranch in eastern Washington, raising cattle is a family tradition. And 20-year-old Shelby is poised to take over the business.

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Shelby Kayser, 20, a fifth-generation rancher, center, brands calves on her family’s cattle ranch Thursday, April 9, 2015 near Centerville, Washington. Over four days last week, Kayser worked with family and a group of more than fifteen friends and neighbors to brand, vaccinate, castrate and apply topical applications on fur to prevent parasites, lice and ticks.
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Nate Kayser helps separate cattle before branding and vaccinating at his ranch Thursday, April 9, 2015 near Centerville, Washington. “He’s the hardest working person you’ll ever meet,” said his daughter Shelby Kayser. “Loving, caring, awesome and cowboy’s cowboy.”
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Shelby Kayser saddles her quarter horse before gathering cows and calves near Centerville, Washington.
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Gordon Johnson, left, and Grayson Jensen sip coffee over breakfast at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington. Friends, family and neighbors helped the Kaysers with four days of branding last week. Breakfast was served at around 6:30 a.m.
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Nate Kayser gathers calves and cows for branding at his ranch located near the Columbia River. Mount Hood is seen behind.
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Shelby Kayser, left, and friends and family gather cattle from the Columbia Hills move them into the branding corrals. More than 15 people volunteered to help the Kaysers with the four-day branding last week.
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Will Sizemore vaccinates cattle at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015. “They need those vaccinations like the human population needs to the flu shot,” said Nate Kayser. “If they donÕt get those vaccinations they get sick and die.”
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Shelby Kayser prepares for the cattle branding in the Columbia Hills, near the Columbia River. “I take pride in the fact that I work hard to be a good cowboy,” she said. “It means getting up and doing the work when it’s not fun and it means feeding those cows when the snow is knee deep. Being a good cowboy doesn’t mean that I wait for my dad and my cousin Will to come fix the problem. It means I can do it by myself.”
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A calf sneaks between Grayson Jensen’s legs and lifts him up during branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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Randell Scull works during a branding session at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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Cows congregate at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015. Shelby Kayser believes humans can learn a lesson from the animals. “Cows are a herd animal, naturally, so they care about the well being of each other,” she said. “They don’t, you know, pick one out and bully it.”
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Nate Kayser raised his two daughters on his own while running a rural cattle ranch, near Mount Adams and the Columbia River. “They’ve learned responsibility, common sense,” he said.
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Will Sizemore gathers his rope while working at the branding Thursday, April 9, 2015 near Centerville, Washington. Sizemore is a relative of the Kaysers.
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A calf brings Randell Scull to the ground during branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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After being gathered from the Columbia Hills, cowboys separate the cows and their calves during branding. The animals were branded, vaccinated, castrated and had a topical application applied to their coat to prevent parasites, lice and ticks.
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Marshall Bruhan, 6, center, prepares to rope calves with other children during branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch. ItÕs a tradition for children to rope the last group of calves to gain experience.
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Nate Kayser, from left, and Will Sizemore chat during branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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Nate Kayser, from left, and Will Sizemore chat during branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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Randell Scull breaks after branding sessions at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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Shelby Kayser rides through the Columbia Hills before cattle branding. She loves the lifestyle, the panoramic views and the cows and horses. “I love being able taking care of the animals,Ó she said. ÒIÕve learned how to take care of them myself.”
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Shane Scott, 9, swings the barn after helping with branding at the Nate Kayser Ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015.
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After a long day, Nancy Sizemore leaves the branding grounds. Shelby Kayser, 20, said sheÕs learned a lot of lessons and toughness from her aunts
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Shelby Kayser, 20, finishes up the day at the branding corrals at her fatherÕs ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015. ÒNo amount of money could make me sell this ranch because ÂÂbasically I love what I do,Ó she said.
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Shelby Kayser closes the day at her fatherÕs cattle ranch near Centerville, Washington Thursday, April 9, 2015. “It’s like a celebration of a successful calving season,” said Shelby Kayser. “That always makes you feel goodÑ like you worked hard and did your job and you took care of your animals and it shows.”

Animator and illustrator Drew Christie is photographed near his home and studio near Langley, Washington. Christie finds inspiration from folk music, photos and films and

Animator and illustrator Drew Christie is photographed near his home and studio near Langley, Washington. Christie finds inspiration from folk music, photos and films and

Drew Christie, who contributes “op-docs” to The New York Times, is a former winner of The Seattle Times and SIFF’s 3 Minute Masterpiece contest. To read more of his work, visit our Seattle Times profile.

Drew Christie holds a block print in his studio near Langley.

Drew Christie holds a block print in his studio near Langley.

Animator and illustrator Drew Christie is photographed near his home and studio near Langley, Washington. Christie finds inspiration from folk music, photos and films and books.

Animator and illustrator Drew Christie is photographed near his home and studio near Langley, Washington. Christie finds inspiration from folk music, photos and films and books.

Drew Christie, an animator and illustrator, created an illustrated encyclopedia of folk instruments. The hand-drawn book of more than 100 pages was created over six years.

Drew Christie, an animator and illustrator, created an illustrated encyclopedia of folk instruments. The hand-drawn book of more than 100 pages was created over six years.

Rudy Pablo Matias, 19, hauls freshly-picked salal, an evergreen shrub used in flower arrangements, near Belfair, Wash.

Rudy Pablo Matias, 19, hauls freshly-picked salal, an evergreen shrub used in flower arrangements, near Belfair, Wash.


Matias and other workers sell the salal to Continental Floral, the largest floral foliage-producing company in the Pacific Northwest.

Mother’s Day is the company’s busiest time selling salal, with Valentine’s Day coming in second. “Not everyone has a girlfriend or wife, but everyone has a mother,” said Scott Schauer, general manager.

The salal plants are harvested by individuals with permits, cleaned and packaged at Continental and then distributed around the world. On average, the company dispatches 15 shipping containers of salal worldwide each week.

Schauer said brush picking has been an active industry in Washington state since at least 1915, and both sides of his grandparents have been brush pickers or managed brush plants. “Some of the ground that people pick on have been picked for 100 years,” he said. “At one time, it (salal) was a cottage industry. One hundred years later, it’s one of the three most used foliages used in floral arrangements in the world.”

A brush picker’s glove sits out during a lunch break in the forest near Belfair.

A brush picker’s glove sits out during a lunch break in the forest near Belfair.


Joseph Morales works inside the cold storage at Continental Floral LLC near Belfair. Wooden bins of salal are behind. “Salal is unique in that it has a long life span if you properly take care of it,” said Scott Schauer, general manager. In a cooler it can last four months.

Joseph Morales works inside the cold storage at Continental Floral LLC near Belfair. Wooden bins of salal are behind. “Salal is unique in that it has a long life span if you properly take care of it,” said Scott Schauer, general manager. In a cooler it can last four months.

Mike Fitzsimmons unpacks a truck load of salal at Continental Floral LLC.

Mike Fitzsimmons unpacks a truck load of salal at Continental Floral LLC.

Salal, an evergreen shrub, grows throughout the Pacific Northwest’s forest floor. It can often be found under Douglas fir, hemlock and spruce.

Salal, an evergreen shrub, grows throughout the Pacific Northwest’s forest floor. It can often be found under Douglas fir, hemlock and spruce.

Wooden bins are stacked at Continental Floral. During the Christmas season, the bins are used for holding wreath-making supplies and materials

Wooden bins are stacked at Continental Floral. During the Christmas season, the bins are used for holding wreath-making supplies and materials

Brush pickers bind bunches of salal in the forest. Salal is sold by the bunch.

Brush pickers bind bunches of salal in the forest. Salal is sold by the bunch.

Workers collect salal in the forest near Belfair. An average brush picker collects about 150 bunches a day.

Workers collect salal in the forest near Belfair. An average brush picker collects about 150 bunches a day.

Rudy Pablo Matias collects salal in the forest near Belfair. The salal plants are harvested by individuals with permits, cleaned and packaged Continental and then distributed around the world, mostly Europe.

Rudy Pablo Matias collects salal in the forest near Belfair. The salal plants are harvested by individuals with permits, cleaned and packaged Continental and then distributed around the world, mostly Europe.

Cesar Andres, 30, hauls salal near Belfair.

Cesar Andres, 30, hauls salal near Belfair.

Salal pickers unload their bounty at the end of the day.

Salal pickers unload their bounty at the end of the day.

Salal leaves, and other harvest plants, collect on the floor of a truck at Continental Floral LLC.

Salal leaves, and other harvest plants, collect on the floor of a truck at Continental Floral LLC.

Fearing for relatives: Kadija Hussein, 34, owner of a Tukwila day care, holds son Ayyub Osmond, 3, one of her four children. She and her husband, a Port of Seattle truck driver, send about $500 a month back to family in Somalia, helping keep relatives’ children in school, food on the table and roofs over their heads. “In Somalia, there are no jobs,” Hussein said.

Fearing for relatives: Kadija Hussein, 34, owner of a Tukwila day care, holds son Ayyub Osmond, 3, one of her four children. She and her husband, a Port of Seattle truck driver, send about $500 a month back to family in Somalia, helping keep relatives’ children in school, food on the table and roofs over their heads. “In Somalia, there are no jobs,” Hussein said.

After a bank pullout, Washington state’s Somali Americans struggle to send money to their families in Africa. To read more about the issue, read Kyung M. Song’s article in The Seattle Times.

Kadija Hussein shares a cellphone photo of her cousin Amina, left, and grandmother Fatima in Somalia. Hussein and her husband send money to help pay for food, doctor visits, funerals and other needs.

Kadija Hussein shares a cellphone photo of her cousin Amina, left, and grandmother Fatima in Somalia. Hussein and her husband send money to help pay for food, doctor visits, funerals and other needs.

Talks with officials: Mohammed Jama, executive director of Abu-Bakr Islamic Center of Washington, wearing a salmon-colored sweater, said he appreciates having been in talks with Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith about the closure of money transfers to Somalia from Washington state. Jama says that most in his Tukwila congregation regularly send money back to Somalia. He does so himself, Jama said, to help his brothers and 73-year-old father.

Talks with officials: Mohammed Jama, executive director of Abu-Bakr Islamic Center of Washington, wearing a salmon-colored sweater, said he appreciates having been in talks with Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Rep. Adam Smith about the closure of money transfers to Somalia from Washington state. Jama says that most in his Tukwila congregation regularly send money back to Somalia. He does so himself, Jama said, to help his brothers and 73-year-old father.

Abdulhakim Hashi, a Somali money-transfer agent in SeaTac,estimates he sends $22 million a year from U.S. clients to relatives in Somalia and in Kenya and Ethiopia refugee camps.

Abdulhakim Hashi, a Somali money-transfer agent in SeaTac,estimates he sends $22 million a year from U.S. clients to relatives in Somalia and in Kenya and Ethiopia refugee camps.

Ahmed Isse, 85, says he served as an ambassador for the Somali government in the 1970s and remembers when the government offered free schooling. But today, he said, there is little health care or government infrastructure left in his home country. He sends money home to relatives each month to help with food, medicine and schooling.

Ahmed Isse, 85, says he served as an ambassador for the Somali government in the 1970s and remembers when the government offered free schooling. But today, he said, there is little health care or government infrastructure left in his home country. He sends money home to relatives each month to help with food, medicine and schooling.