A few months ago when we asked contributing photographer Tyler Thournir to create a series based on the drought he went out into the Livermore hills, where he grew up to photograph one of the surrounding ranches.

When I showed up to the ranch the rancher, Paul, informed me that because of the lack of water, he has had to use tanker trucks to fill his reservoirs and the grass is not growing like it used to.

With ranchers selling off cattle or in some cases having to find work elsewhere, Mr. Thournir gives us a look into the struggle that ranching in California has become and strength of the people who run them.


These three wanted to pose and show off their brand. Within days of this image, all of that grass died and turned into a brilliant yellow.



Paul and his family have been ranching on this land for decades, but due to the drought and impending water district expansion he may need to move to greener pastures. His dog Bronco will follow him anywhere, thankfully.



In order to feed his cattle, he has been getting spent grain from a local brewery; without the spent grain his herd would die.



Paul, the rancher, has to manually fill the feed boxes with the spent grain for his cattle. It’s windy at the top of the hill, so this is a dusty and fairly arduous undertaking; the cattle congregate and wait patiently for their dinner.


photographs and quotes by Tyler Thournir | words by Nicole J Duran