Cat Urbigkit is an award-winning writer and photographer
based on a western Wyoming sheep ranch, where she receives
much inspiration for her work.
She has written and photographed seven non-fiction book
titles for children. Her first adult non-fiction title,
Wolves, was published in 2008, followed by Shepherds
of Coyote Rocks: Public Lands, Private Herds and the Natural
in September 2012, and When
Man Becomes Prey was released in October 2014. All
titles are available from regular book sellers. In March
2013, Cat's first nonfiction
e-book for kids was released, Parker
Pastures: A Visit to a Sustainable Farm.
Cat is a contributing writer to Stephen
Querencia nature blog.
Her photographs of ranch life and wildlife have appeared
in numerous books and magazines, and her daily Facebook posts
are popular. For more information, or to arrange a book
presentation, or school or library visit, please contact
Cat directly. Watch a 2013 Wyoming PBS program featuring
Cat Urbigkit here: (26:49 minutes)
Cat also has a traveling art exhibit called Portraits
Portraits of Pastoralism is a 20-image traveling public
art exhibit of Cat Urbigkit's black-and-white photographs
of pastoralists around the globe, illuminating the challenges
faced by people whose cultures involve the seasonal movement
with livestock herds (transhumance). This educational art
exhibit allows the public to see the faces of the pastoralists
and their animals, from cattle and sheep producers on the
public rangelands in the American West, to goat herders
in Spain, and women milking their yaks in Mongolia. The
exhibit is intended to help the American public understand
the vital importance of these seasonal movements of people
and livestock, and the threats to continuing this practice.
Cat's goal is to promote public support for maintaining
this sustainable use of natural resources, while recognizing
and treasuring the human value of a close association with
the land. The exhibit features photos from four continents,
including images of pastoralists from the American West,
Africa, Nepal, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Spain, Bulgaria, and
Cat Urbigkit and her family
are sheep and cattle producers in western Wyoming, where
they also raise guardian
dogs. As a reporter, and publisher, Cat Urbigkit has won
numerous awards for her coverage of agricultural and environmental
issues. She has made it her priority to write factual books
for children that promote positive views of agriculture
in the United States.
The Guardian Team: On the Job with Rena and Roo
Path of the Pronghorn
Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep
The Shepherd's Trail
A Young Shepherd
Cattle Kids: A Year on the Western Range
Puppies, Puppies Everywhere!
dogs to help protect livestock from predators
2010 Article in Sheep & Goat Research Journal
- by Cat & Jim Urbigkit
Expanding large carnivore
populations pose new challenges for livestock owners to protect
their herds from predators while abiding to the laws that
protect some of these predator species which are under federal
protection. Some sheep ranchers have used specially-bred
livestock protection dogs as a non-lethal tool to help protect
their herds from wolf predation. Cat and Jim Urbigkit, ranchers
in Big Piney, have co-authored a paper on the use of livestock
protection dogs (LPDs), which was recently published in Sheep & Goat
Research Journal. “The number of LPDs killed by large
predators is increasing,” they wrote. “We conducted
a literature review to identify LPD breeds that may be more
suited for use around large carnivores, such as gray wolves.” Click
on this link for the PDF
of this article (8 pages, 1590K)
(2008) Yellowstone Wolves For the first time, the history
of Wyoming’s native wolf is told in an intensively researched, fully footnoted
chronicle by Wyoming’s award-winning author Cat Urbigkit. Beginning with
the archeological evidence of wolves in western Wyoming, through the wolf control
era when most, but not all, wolves were eradicated, the book continues through
the release of Canadian wolves into Yellowstone National Park and the lasting
effects of this controversial action. Urbigkit is uniquely qualified to compile
this intensely personal perspective, as she was one of the litigants who sued
the US Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent the reintroduction of Canadian wolves
into the northern Rockies. Published
by McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company. Click
here to read more about
the book. Click here to order.
(2008) The Shepherd's Trail From
breeding season to lambing season, and shearing in between, The
Shepherd’s Trail presents a lively, informative text and stunning
photographs that show how sheep are raised over the course of a year. All the
photos in the book were taken in western Wyoming. This is Cat's 5th non-fiction
photo essay for children.
(2007) Cattle Kids Cowboys aren't
necessarily boys, and they aren't necessarily gorwn-ups
either. This book is a lively photo essay where readers
will meet girls and boys who work with their famiy cattle
ranches in Wyoming. Cowgirls and cowboys take part in many
aspects of the livestock operations, from calving and branding
to haying and rounding up the herd. Cat Urbigkit follows
cattle kids through a year of ranching on the Wyoming western
range. Published by Boyds Mills Press.
(2006) From Boyds Mills Press, A Young
the story of Cass, a young shepherd who works on his family's
Raising sheep is hard
work. They need plenty of
food and water and good shelter. They
need vaccinations to protect them
from disease. They also need protection
from predators, such as coyotes. Tending
sheep goes on throughout the year, from spring when the
lambs are born, to winter,
when the sheep's wool grows long.
Like all good shepherds, Cass cares
for all the sheep on the ranch. But he also has his own
herd. Cass developed
his herd from lambs that had lost their mothers.
These orphaned lambs need special attention, such as bottle feeding until they
are able to eat on their own. They need the company of other sheep. And they
need to have fun, too.
A Young Shepherd was selected
as the 2006 Book of the Year by the Wisconsin Ag
in the Classroom.
It was also awarded on the 2006 Ohio Farm Bureau
Children's Literature Award
Puppies, Puppies Everywhere!
(2006) Puppies bring
to every child's face, and so will this adorable book. Cat Urbigkit captures
prancing, napping, and more with a simple rhyming text
and colorful photographs. Young children will delight
in page after page of puppies and their antics. It has been
selected for the Children's Choices for 2007, a project of the International
Reading Association & The Children's Book Council.
Dogs, Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep
(2005) Many children are familiar with working dogs such as guide dogs and
herding dogs, but they may not know anything about how valuable guardian dogs
are to sheep ranches. Now, with Cat Urbigkit's Brave Dogs, Gentle
Dogs: How They Guard Sheep, from Boyds Mills Press, children
throughout the country can discover the lifelong bond formed between sheep
and the guardian dogs that watch over them.
Urbigkit's engaging photo essay includes full-color photographs
of the puppies and lambs, dogs and sheep as they intermingle
and come to depend on one another. She explains how guardian
dogs have been used for thousands of years in other countries,
and how ranchers brought them to the Rocky Mountains about
30 years ago. Since then, they have protected livestock
against such predators as grizzly bears and gray wolves.
Brave Dogs, Gentle Dogs: How They Guard Sheep was
named an International Reading Association Children's
Book Award Notable Book for 2006. It was the 2006
Wyoming Ag Books for Kids book and a 2007
Wyoming Reads pick. This book is a nominee
for the 2007 Mockingbird Award.
Book Signings and Speaking Engagements
Cat is available for speaking engagements and invitations
for book signings. E-mail her for more information.
The above books may be ordered through any bookstore
or from one of Cat's favorites, Kings
Her next two children's books will be on beef cattle production
and migratory domestic sheep
outfits. She has an adult, non-fiction book on the history
of wolves in Wyoming due for publication this year.
Cat on the web:
www.wyomingauthors.pbwiki.com (search on author Urbigkit)
Lake City, Utah)