If you have children or get on social media around this time of the year you've probably seen an “Elf on a Shelf” getting into mischief in the house while keeping an eye on kids for Santa. A ranch in Northwest Kansas has taken the “Elf on a Shelf” fun to a whole new level with “Elf on a Ranch.”
Last year Adam and Jeanne Jones, owners of Crooked Creek Angus near St. Francis, Kan., came up with the idea of moving the Elf to the ranch after first hearing of Elf on a Shelf.
“Many of our friends and family were sharing their creative ideas via Facebook and we thought there was an opportunity to showcase our cattle operation with the Elf as the narrator,” Adam says. “The seedstock business is a competitive space and we are always looking for unique and interesting marketing ideas.”
While working on the ranch throughout the day, Adam and Jeanne have been taking photos of the Elf helping out. Then they share the photos in a blog post on their ranch website calling the page “Elf on a Ranch.”
While Jeanne and Adam don’t have children yet, their niece and nephews have been eagerly following along with the Elf’s adventures on the ranch. The response from other followers of the blog has been great, too.
“Many have voiced how much they've enjoyed a glimpse at the daily activities around the ranch and hope that Adam will continue to post similar topics after Andy the Elf returns to the North Pole,” Jeanne says.
A post about farm safety hit home with many local farmers and watching the Elf cookout steaks got consumers involved on social media.
Checkout how Andy the Elf has helped out at Crooked Creek Angus this past month in 20 photos:
1. Picking out a Herd Bull
2. Running the Hydraulic Squeeze Chute
3. Balancing a Ration
4. Adding Special Ingredients to the Ration
5. Expert Bunk Reader
6. Riding Shotgun in the Pickup
7. Cleaning the Windshield
8. Breaking Ice
9. Filling Water Tanks
10. Refilling the Water Truck
11. Studying up on Carcass Traits
12. Loading Hay Bales
13. Cutting Net Wrap
14. Wadding up Net Wrap (and Himself)
15. Prowling the Cattle
16. Stretching Fence
17. Checking for a Spark
18. Master Chef
19. Riding for the Brand
20. Starting a Herd of His Own
The feed truck series has been one of the more popular posts and there has been a lot of engagement on the Crooked Creek Angus Facebook page this month because of the Elf on a Ranch.
Adam really enjoyed the gag of adding candy canes to the ration. “When I dispersed the candies and was trying to get the photo taken, I had bulls come up and start eating them, wrapper and all,” he says.
Andy the Elf rides around with Adam in the top pocket of his coat while he chores and works on the ranch.
“For the most part, the poses just present themselves as I'm going about my day,” Adam says.
Pictures are taken with either cell phone or a stand-alone camera to help improve the photo quality.
In addition to ranch duties, Jeanne works as an agronomist with K-State Research and Extension. While attending meetings across Kansas she has had a number of people tell her about the “Elf on a Ranch” not knowing that she is one of the creators.
Adam and Jeanne say it has been fun doing the “Elf on a Ranch” and believe he will be making an appearance at Crooked Creek Angus next December.