45º25'26.3"N, 102º17'14.1"W. 113 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Mindy Arneson, Ian Arneson, and Eric Arneson pause after moving cattle in an early morning fog at the family ranch in the old town of Chance, SD on July 31, 2017. The Arneson's are one of the few families in the area that haven't called their ranch home for generations, instead buying the old abandoned town of Chance and turning it into a 21,000 acre ranch after rising prices of land in Montana forced the family to move.
45º18'29.7"N, 102º11'30.3"W. 117 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A herd of American plains bison, or buffalo, run across the rolling landscape of Jamie Hepper's ranch between the towns of Meadow and Faith, SD on August 1, 2017. Buffalo, which were historically endemic to the plains states, were hunted to near-extinction causing massive repercussions to the indigenous communities who relied on them for food. Despite this, other ranchers have resisted commercial buffalo ranching, equating them to be as harmful to local cattle herds as wolves.
45º32'31.3"N, 102º29'52.1"W. 110 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eliza Blue, a singer/songwriter, plays with her daughter Molly as she sits in her husband's family homestead in Bison, SD on July 31, 2017. Eliza, originally from Minnesota, has lived in a number of large cities, including New York, but moved to Meadow to record an album at a failed record label and stayed after falling in love with the people and the land, and later a rancher named Max Loughlin.
45º31'48.9"N, 102º12'59.8"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Daryl Ferguson has an afternoon beer at Smoky's Bar and Grill in Meadow, SD on August 6, 2017. The town of Meadow has six residents on main street, a post office, 30 more residents in the surrounding ranches, and a bar which was recently bought and revitalized by a couple who moved back to the area.
45º31'46.2"N, 102º13'46.1"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A watering hole has receded to nearly nothing on Roger Ingebreston's ranch in Meadow, SD on August 2, 2017. Ingebretson said that he constantly is giving his horses fresh water because what is left of his pond is so alkaline that his horses won't even consider drinking it. The pond originally would have reached the top of the green space in the distant background.
45.639792 N, 102.039354 W. Cowboys scare a calf into a pen while sorting them for sale on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. Grazing associations provide a way for multiple ranchers to defray the costs of land owning and usage for grazing cattle and on occasion provide access to national grasslands and grazing areas.
45º29'58.5"N, 102º20'46.9"W. 119 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Margo Kronberg drives her truck through a field of sheep and cattle in Meadow, SD on August 3, 2017. The Kronbergs have historically ranched both sheep and cattle but with the increasingly frequent drought conditions and the drought-resiliency of sheep, many other local ranchers are starting to raise both livestock.
45.402653 N, 102.137022 W.Marty Vig watches as his hay grinder begins working on bales south of Meadow, SD on October 4, 2017. One of Vig's few sources of income after spending 20 years in prison for manslaughter, he bought the rig from his son who was having trouble making payments himself because of the harsh realities of the economy of rural life.
45º31'52.6"N, 102º07'55.2"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A bone pile is stacked high on Audrey Lorius' family ranch about 5 miles outside of Meadow, SD on August 6, 2017. Lorius has 150 head of cattle, numbers built up through hard work to build up her family's ranch to a sizable number matching their 8,000 acres after she cared for both parents until their recent deaths. Part of the trials of owning a ranch, however, means that animals die not just of old age but lightning strikes or even freak snowstorms like winter storm Atlas that devastated herds in 2013.
45º31'48.9"N, 102º12'59.8"W. A brand book from 1976 sits open at Smoky's Bar and Grill in Meadow, SD on October 6, 2017. The bar, which recently came under new ownership, was sold with the brand book from decades ago, a collectable item of South Dakota history for the region of the state where a person's brand signifies their ability to make money.
A group of friends round up cattle on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. The association land was ravaged by one of the region's largest wildfires in 2005, burning down much of the grassland and the old homestead but Cam Miles, son of one of the owners, spent days camped by the corrals and barn in an effort to save them.
45º27'04.9"N, 102º02'28.1"W. Exactly 134 miles from two separate McDonald's. Kurt Miller counts offerings given an an outdoor Rancher Camp worship service in a field between Meadow and Glad Valley, SD on July 30, 2017. The Rancher Camp was held around 10 miles from the former McFarthest point in America.
45º01'30.1"N, 102º02'45.8"W. 101 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Employees of the sale barn in Faith, SD move a portion of a lot of 37 pair of mothers and calves on July 31, 2017. Selling that many pair of cattle is an unusual sight, especially in July, and could account for years of work spent building up a herd but due to the state of emergency drought conditions many people are having to sell off cattle to pay for their winter feed.
45º29'05.8"N, 102º40'44.5"W. 108 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Harvesters from a major area farm work a wheat field outside of Bison, SD on August 1, 2017. Due to the drought, many area farmers have taken a complete loss on their crops and winter feed for cattle is at an extreme shortage.
45º18'57.2"N, 102º11'54.2"W. 120 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Jamie Hepper and her 14-year-old daughter Aiyana Byrd work on removing fencing around an old hay yard on their ranch south of Meadow, SD on August 1, 2017. Jamie, a single mother, is one of the only local female ranchers working almost entirely alone, save for the help of her daughter.
45º31'48.6"N, 102º48'17.6"W. 107 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A McDonalds trailer sits in a field outside in the small town of Prairie City, SD on July 31, 2017. Not far from the former McFarthest point in America, a local rancher bought two semi trailers for storage and left them in a field, one of which now acts as a reminder of the ubiquitous nature of corporate America.
A cowboy takes a break after a long morning sorting cows from calves after a long night drinking on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. Shipping cattle is one of the many opportunities for friends to help each other ranching and have a social gathering in the process.
45º25'45.3"N, 102º17'10.2"W. 113 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Riley Cihak, a ranch hand for the Arneson Ranch, closes a gate on the ranch while preparing to move cattle from one pasture to another in the old town of Chance, SD on July 31, 2017. Moving some of their 900 head of cattle from one 600 acre pasture to another every week mimics the grazing patterns of buffalo native to the area.
Worn-out gloves sit on the dashboard of a cracked windshield during a round up cattle on land owned by a grazing association west of Meadow, SD on October 8, 2017. Out in this rural region, work implements rarely survive unblemished for long in the punishing prairie.
45º29'43.2"N, 102º19'59.6"W. 120 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Morgan and Brody Kronberg eat breakfast at their family's ranch homestead in Meadow, SD on August 3, 2017. The family and their 500 head of sheep and 70 head of cattle live on a 4 generation ranch that has been in the family for 104 years. The Kronberg's father died 6 years ago in an alleged accident in the oil fields in North Dakota, where many men go to make a large amount of money in short time with dangerous work.
Randy Hapney holds the neck of a horse while doing chiropractic work on a ranch on the old abandoned town of Chance, SD on October 5, 2017. Equine chiropractic work was generally looked at with suspicion for years but more ranchers have begun to use their services to fix issues with horses to keep them healthy and working longer.
45º31'58.8"N, 102º15'19.5"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eli Gaaskjolen, 5, uses a flag to turn cattle toward a chute as his parents practice team roping on a friend's farm in Meadow, SD on August 1, 2017.
45º26'49.9"N, 102º10'07.6"W. 127 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Parishioners pray while worshiping at Coal Springs church in Meadow, SD on July 30, 2017. While many old prairie churches have closed over the years, many other small congregations still struggle to survive, or have multi-point parishes with one pastor serving a large area.
45º33'14.2"N, 102º30'36.1"W. 114 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Eliza Blue holds her daughter Emily as her son Max closes his eyes and feels the coming storm winds on his face as they stand near an abandoned farmhouse on their leased land in Meadow, SD on July 31, 2017. Ranchers and farmers have spent much of the droughty summer watching clouds on the horizon, hoping storms would hit, but most pass by without rain.
45º32'45.9"N, 102º07'41.0"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Rain runs down a dirt road on the Lorius ranch in Meadow, SD on July 28, 2017. An extreme summer drought caused a state of emergency in both North and South Dakota which meant that any small rain was a cause for celebration for ranchers
45º31'59.1"N, 102º15'20.5"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Scott Storm and his son Travis, 12, relax after practicing team roping as Kenny Kocer puts away a saddle in his saddle shop on his ranch in Meadow, SD on July 29, 2017. Kenny built his own arena for practicing roping and invites a select group of locals to rope almost every night, teaching many young or beginning riders the skills to become both a good competitor and ranch hand.
45.739728 N, 102.218580 W. A deer crosses the road at the Shadehill Recreation Area near the spot where frontiersman Hugh Glass was mauled, inspiring the movie "The Revenant," south of Lemmon, SD on October 6, 2017.
45.411751 N, 102.281759 W. Riley Cihak fesses up to a mistake made while working as a hand on a ranch in the old abandoned town of in Chance, SD on October 5, 2017. Without a ranch in the family or the sizable savings required to buy a ranch, many locals with the skills to work with cattle work on a freelance basis for ranch owners, though some like Cihak have earned their way to permanent jobs for other ranchers.
45º01'29.9"N, 102º02'43.6"W. 101 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Luke Beer, center, looks out the window as he eats lunch with his father Doug Beer in at the sale barn in Faith, SD on July 31, 2017. Cattle sales are both places of business and socializing for local ranchers who dedicate their lives to their work.
45º31'54.3"N, 102º15'32.6"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Kenny Kocer pauses in a clearing of trees as he tracks a skunk he shot on his land in Meadow, SD on August 4, 2017.
45º31'30.0"N, 102º28'11.9"W. 111 miles from the nearest McDonald's. People stand for the national anthem before the start of the Perkins County Rodeo in Bison, SD on August 5, 2017.
Members of the Bison High School Cardinals varsity football team practice in Bison, SD on October 3, 2017. The team competes regionally in 9-man football, with 16-17 total players, many of whom, the coach said, only play varsity out of the team's necessity and not their personal ability.
45º35'28.6"N, 101º51'35.9"W. 135 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Two boys hang out on an old horse trailer during an estate auction at the ranch of the late Sid Miller in the unincorporated town of Central Corson, SD on July 30, 2017. After his passing, Sid Miller's family parted out family heirlooms before selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, trailers, tractors, trucks, and even scrap metal in an auction attended by hundreds of people from the surrounding area.
45º30'35.5"N, 102º13'48.2"W. 124 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Jessica Lawson holds the war bridle on Fred the horse as her boyfriend Shane Yalowizer goes to get ready for a swim on his ranch in Meadow, SD on July 28, 2017.
45º31'58.9"N, 102º15'19.0"W. 121 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Scott Storm swings a rope as he practices team roping with his friend Kenny Kocer at Kocer's ranch in Meadow, SD on July 29, 2017. Storm was known as a great roper on teams years ago but stopped after he was married; he didn't rope again until his son was old enough to start.
45º27'04.3"N, 102º02'27.5"W. Exactly 134 miles from two separate McDonald's. People mill about at a potluck before a Ranchers Camp worship service in a field between the towns of in Meadow and Glad Valley, SD on July 30, 2017.
45.384285 N, 102.570363. Cam Vanderpool relaxes after weaning calves on the five generation Besler family ranch east of Bison, SD on October 7, 2017. Ranching remains a job that requires a lot of help from a number of people during various points of the year which means work often has a family reunion or social component.
45º32'46.8"N, 102º07'44.8"W. 123 miles from the nearest McDonald's. A herd of unbroken horses run through a field as Shiloh Lorius and Andrea Block try to separate one from the herd to break and train in Meadow, SD on August 6, 2017. Lorius and Block, owners of Smoky's Bar and Grill in Meadow, both moved away from the area for some time before feeling pulled back home to try to turn around the local restaurant.
45°27'34.4"N 101°54'48.8"W, 145 miles from the nearest McDonald's. The view southeast from what was, in 2009, the McFarthest spot in the continental United States in Meadow, SD on August 2, 2017. Edged out by about 10 miles as the crow flies, the most recently calculated McFarthest spot is in a Nevada desert, but standing out in this ranch prairie, one would still probably be the furthest person in the lower 48 from one of the most culturally ubiquitous commercial establishments in the world.
45º31'27.4"N, 102º28'11.2"W. 111 miles from the nearest McDonald's. Cowboys compete in a ranch rodeo at the Perkins County Fairgrounds in Bison, SD on August 3, 2017. Ranch rodeos, unlike traditional rodeos, are team events where four riders show their skills as horsemen and ranch hands in activities that would actually be performed on a ranch like trailer loading.
45º25'37.9"N, 102ª17'10.7"W. 113 miles from the nearest McDonald's. The Arneson family and their employee Riley Cihak ride their horses through thick morning fog on their ranch in the old town of Chance, SD on July 31, 2017.