Among those whose interest lay primarily in general farming there were a few, but only a few, who kept up the mixed fanning (grain and livestock) agitation through the wheat-boom period.
Conspicuous in this little group was Professor E. M. Shelton at the Kansas State Agricultural College who condemned in scathing terms "that slovenly, scourging system, called 'pioneer farming'.  Dunlap of Willowdale in Dickinson county, was a frequent newspaper correspondent who insisted that "the only way to make farming a success in Dickinson county is to raise hogs, or sheep, or both, in connection with the small grains."  It was not until the disastrous years 1879, 1880, and 1881, however, with their drouths, winds and extremes of temperature that diversification again became conspicuous. The stress on < livestock then went so far in some quarters as to become a live-stock boom and illustrates again the cyclic swing of excesses. In Saline county in 1880 it was said that:
Were it not for the hogs and cattle that Our farmers are now selling, , there would be very little money in this county to do business with. Our friends in the country can now realize that there are other sources of wealth than the growing of wheat. Corn put into hogs always commands a fair price, and is never a complete failure. This year will be referred to by those advocating mixed farming. 
The comment of the same paper two weeks later illustrates how the stress on livestock as a part of a mixed-farming program easily became advocacy for a substitution of livestock for wheat:
The raising of stock must soon take the place of grain growing in this part of Kansas, and the sooner the farmers take hold of this great interest the better for them. Sheep and cattle will put more money in your pocket than wheat growing. 
This emphasis upon diversification placed additional stress upon the grass problem, which had worried the better farmers coming from the timbered East where grasses were not nature's own soil
covering. It was generally assumed that the native grasses, bluestem, grama and buffalo, could not stand pasturing and tame grasses would have to be cultivated as in the humid climates. The fallacy of this "good farming" assumption was one of the most difficult illusions to dispel in the subhumid West where grass was just as much nature's covering for this region as timber had been for the humid climate, and an that the native grasses required to survive was fair odds. But pending the learning of this lesson the hard way in the school of experience, the best farmers spent money and labor and exhortation on futile efforts to grow clover, timothy, bluegrass and orchard grass. In spite of the reports for over a decade that buffalo and grama grass were being replaced by tall grasses, a tour of farms around Junction City in 1882 revealed buffalo grass and two years later it was pointed out that Fremont in 1843 had found that buffalo grass gave way to taU grass about the site of Abilene. In 1887 Professor W. A. Kellerman called attention to the fact that buffalo grass was growing on the college campus at Manhattan within sight of his laboratory, and he doubted whether the native Kansas flora was changing, but urged the importance of scientific study and records as a means of a more certain determination of trends. 
Out of the experimentation with tame grasses, however, one momentous discovery was made in alfalfa but because the secret of inoculation of the soil had not been discovered, the full significance of this crop was not realized until later. Introduced into Kansas from the Pacific coast, probably in 1868,  the importation of seed was given public notice in 1875 at Junction City where it was hailed as a drouth-resisting grass.  Later in the spring (upon boasting that the alfalfa was eighteen inches high, the Burlington Independent, in real or pretended ignorance made inquiry:
We have noticed the following paragraph in no less than 20 exchanges:
semble warts? Will it taste in whiskey? Is Junction City any happier?
With the extremes of weather, 1879-1881, a sheep boom became conspicuous and in addition to a number of farmers who raised sheep a number of business men in Abilene invested during 1880.  Range sheep were brought in in large numbers from Colorado, New Mexico and other points west.  Well bred sheep of both fine wool and mutton types were imported from the East, but most emphasis was on wool.  Many difficulties presented, themselves: inexperience, poor quality of animals, diseases, dogs and, as one editor put it, the tariff was a greater worry than the sheep.  The general interest in sheep resulted in the organization of the Kansas Wool Growers Association in 1881.  The sheep boom ran its course but did not become full accepted business for this particular area, the upper Kansas valley. The cattle business was represented in a substantial manner throughout the decade of the seventies, stemming from the Cherokee and Texas cattle beginnings of the sixties. The most noted enterprise was the Durham Park ranch in northern Marion county owned by Albert Crane and Son of Chicago, the land holdings being first assembled during 1872 including the old Moore ranch.  In the eighties there were eight sections in one body and 560 acres in three detached pieces.  Apparently the original plan of operations was to use Texans as a foundation for growing grade cattle on a large scale. In line with this plan, the ranch was stocked with 3,000 Texas cattle, and several car loads of Illinois cattle were shipped in during 1873 including 28 pedigreed Shorthorn bulls and 19 cows.  One report said that the cost of purebreds was so high that Crane decided to produce his own animals, and that soon the objective shifted to the growing of purebreds' as the primary activity of the ranch.  At any rate, beginning in the summer of 1873 Crane made annual trips to England to buy breeding stock and bought also English stock by way of Canada and Kentucky.  The first catalogue was issued in 1874, listing 31 bulls
and 61 cows and notices of other catalogues have been found for 1877, 1882, and the dispersal catalogue of 1884.  Sales of purebred cattle were made to many Kansas stockmen and this became one of the important factors in the Kansas Shorthorn breeding industry. In 1877 a news story told of the shipment of two cows and their calves to England, the first of the growing return stream of Shorthorn blood to its mother soil.
Crane specialized in Bates and Booth strains which were the fashion of the day and were reaching fantastic boom proportions, but many of his earlier animals were roans and whites.  The ranch was under the immediate direction of Albert Crane's son, Daniel W. Crane, who was referred to as joint owner with his father.  The management of the ranch was under three successive men associated with "the Major," as the son was known. First was Louis A. Reed who remained from 1873 to 1876 when he went into business for himself.  Next came William Watson, probably 1876-1878, when he bought a 160-acre farm near Junction City to devote himself to raising Berkshire hogs, but within about a year moved on to another venture. Before coming to Kansas he was supposed to have had cattle experience in Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, California and Oregon.  The third was William Hallowell, 1878 to 1884. He had been with the National Live Stock Journal, Chicago, and after the Crane ranch was closed went to manage the T. W. Harvey herds at Turlington, Nebraska. It was thought that he might "feel a little awkward for a while, among the Angus, the Holsteins, and Jerseys."  Hallowell was an enthusiastic advocate of the Shorthorn as a dairy as well as a beef breed, and was invited to present his views February 5, 1880, at the first institute held at Manhattan under the auspices of the Central Kansas Breeder's Association. The text of his address has not been found but W. Marlatt of Manhattan reported it. Hallowell maintained that the milking Shorthorn was equal to the Jersey for butter and to any or all other breeds for both butter and cheese: "The production of beef and milk in a high degree of excellence is not incompatible." All the
early Shorthorn strains in England were good milkers, but, he argued that in America, and especially in the West, milking qualities had been largely bred out in favor of beef. To build up a milking Shorthorn herd for dual purposes, he emphasized the importation of English milking strains, although there were Some approved milking strains in the United States. O. W. Bell and Marlatt, both leading breeders in the Manhattan area, supported Hallowell.  In addition to cattle the Crane ranch devoted much attention to Berkshire hogs, and experimented extensively with tame grasses, bluegrass first, but near the end of the history of the ranch, with orchard grass, at the instance of Shelton of the agricultural college.
The closing out of the ranch occurred in 1884 when the land was sold to an Abilene group supposedly at $15.00 per acre to be broken up into farms.  The herd was sold likewise to the same group and dispersed at a public auction at Abilene, June 18. The sale was a disappointment, badly attended, and the cattle in poor condition so the average price was only $150.40.  The only specific reason given for closing the ranch was the untimely death of Crane's son, but details are not available.  The more fundamental reason for the break-up of this and other ranches containing wheat land was the development of the area with the resulting rise in land prices and the anticipation of higher profits as wheat farms. Some went during the boom period of the late seventies, and others, as in the case of Durham Park, with the resumption of the wheat boom in the mid-eighties.
Other big ranch or stock enterprises of the seventies were the Springdale ranch of Charles E. Alioth (1871-1879) upon which the town of Herington was founded in 1884; A. W. Callen's ranch (1870-?) on Lime creek and three others in which he owned an interest; and the Geraldine stock farm (1870-?) of Huston Brothers on upper Lyon's creek. In Saline county was the Thomas H. Cavanaugh Highland stock farm where Hereford cattle, Cotswold sheep and Berkshire hogs were raised. In the vicinity of Manhattan and Junction City there were a number of substantial
stock farms engaged in raising one or more lines of pure bred animals; cattle, hogs, horses. In the Junction City region were the Seven Springs farm of Charles H. Murphy; the McGee farm; the Riverside farm of R. M. Miller; the H. H. Whiting farm; the B. E. Fullington farm; the Elmwood farm of C. M. Gifford. Near Manhattan were the Blue Valley ranch of W. P. Higginbottom; the Montrose stock farm of C. E. Allen; the Bluemont farm of W. Marlatt, and General Casement's farm with grazing land across the Blue river in Pottawatomie county which was fenced for pasture in 1880.
Among the livestock breeders, comparatively few appear to have given much attention to adaptability to environment. There were several breeds of each type of livestock represented in the region, each with its ardent followers. Among the sheep were Merino, Cotswold, Shropshire, Hampshire, Oxford Down, and Leicester. The Merino was the favorite as wool rather than mutton was the principal objective.  Among the hogs mentioned most frequently were the Berkshire, Poland China, and Chester White, with the Berkshire apparently the most favored, a breed introduced into Geary county in 1871.  Among the cattle were Shorthorn, Hereford, Angus, and Devon. The Shorthorn was clearly the leader, the Angus receiving attention in the early eighties, but the Hereford did not come into his own for the range trade until the eighties.  Among horses. were Norman and Clydesdale, mentioned most frequently for work stock, but the issue as between horses and mules for farm work was not discussed.  For the most part the best discussions available that reflect opinions respecting the relative merits of the different breeds were those held at the farmers' institutes. 
2. Abilene Chronicle, May 18, 1877, William Vandeumauk advocated sheep feeding as a means of utilizing cheap corn and hay in Dickinson county, but he represented the sheep specialization rather than general fanning.-Ibid., February 8, 1878.
3. Salina Herald, January t0, 1880.
4. lbid., January 24, 1880. Many advocated mixed fanning during 1881 and 1882 and some of the most significant are listed here.-Abilene Chronicle, June 17, 1881; Salina Herald, July 16, 1881; January 21, 1882; Nationalist, Manhattan, May 5, 1851, in comment upon the herd law counties to the west of Riley county.
5. Junction City Union, September 9, 1882; July 7, 1884; Industrialist, Manhattan, February 26, 1887.
6. H. W. Doyle, ed. and comp., Alfalfa in Kansas (Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture for the Quarter Ending June, 1916), pp. 31-13.
7. Junction City Union, March 27, 1875.
8. Ibid., June 5, 26, 1875.
9. Abilene Chronicle, February 18, 1881.
10. Ibid., July 15, 1881; January 4, 1884; Marion Record, November 4, 1881; Junction City Union, December 22, 1883.
11. Abilene Gazette, June 6, 1879; Nationalist, Manhattan, July 8, 1880; Junction City Union, November 17, 24, 187i; August 12, 1882; Abilene Chronicle, May 4, 1877; May 12, August 25, 1882.
12. Nationalist, Manhattan, April 7, 1881; Abilene Chronicle, April 1, 1881, clogs and scab; Marion Record, January 14, 1881, clogs; Abilene Gazette, December 31, 1880, tariff; Junction City Union, June 14, 1884, tariff.
13. The Breeder's Gazette, Chicago, 1 (January 26, 1882) 199.
14. Marion Record, September 7, 1872; March 1, August 9, 1873, from the Atchison Champion. David I. Day, "Memories of the Crane Ranch," and "More Crane Ranch Memories," Milking Shorthorn Journal, Chicago, May, June, 1941.
15. Atlas, Marion County, ... (Chicago, The Davy Map and Atlas Company, 1885). The newspaper stories often gave the size as 10,000 acres.
16. Marion Record, March 1, August 9, 1873; January 5, 1883.
17. Ibid., January 3, 1883; Salina Herald, February 59, 18-6, from Salina Register.
18. Marion Record, August 9, 1873; May 7, 1875; April 28, 1876; April 6, September 14, November 2, 1877.
19. Ibid., July 11, 1874; April 6, 1877; The Breeder's Gazette, Chicago, 1 (March 2, :882) 332; Kansas City (Missouri) Live-stock Indicator, May 29, June 26, 1884. No copy of any of these catalogues bas been found.
20. Abilene Chronicle, November 23, 1877; July s:, 1878; Marion Record, January 5, 1883.
21. Ibid., August 9, December 6, 1873; April 28, 1876; January 26, 1877; Junction City Union, August 11, 1877, June 22, October 26, 1878.
22. Marion Record, August 9, 1873; June 9, 30, 1876. There may have been a fourth, between Reed and Watson, but contemporary records are inadequate at that point.
23. Junction City Union, June 22, October 26, 1878; September 53, 1879
24. Ibid., June 22, 1878; Kansas City (Missouri) Livc-stock Indicator, June 5, 1884.
25. Nationalist, Manhattan, January 30, February 13, 1880,
26. Abilene Chronicle, January 18, 1884; Marion Record, February 8, 1884.
27. Kansas City (Missouri) Live-stock Indicator, May 29, June 26, 1884.
28. Marion County Democrat, Marion, July 5, 1883, from The Farmers' Review. The death of Crane's son, George, who was buried at Marion, was recorded by the Marion Record, March 31, 1882, but this hardly seems to account for the sale because it was the son Daniel who had been identified with Durham Park, and no notice of his death has been found.
29. Saline County Journal, Salina, March 14, April IS, 1878; Abilene Gazette, March 21, June 6. 1879; Junction City Union, April 30, 1870; November 17, 1877; August 12, 26, 1882; Abilene Chronicle, October 20, 1876; March 11, 1881; June 16, August 75, 1882; Manhattan Nationalist, October 12, 1877; January 25, 1878; July 8, 1880.
30. Saline County Journal, Salina, March 14, April 18, 1878; Junction City Union, March 18, May 6, 1876; May 18, 1873; February 8, May 3, 18i9; Manhattan Nationalist, May 7, 1880; Marion Record, April 13, 1872.
30. Abilene Chronicle, June 30, 1882; Abilene Gazette, February 28, 1879; February 16, 23, 1883; July 4, 1884; Saline County Journal, Salina, March 14, April 18, 1878; Junction City Union, March 18, May 6, 1876; June 30, 1877; April 19, 1879; Manhattan Nationalist, February 7, 1879; May 7, 1880; Manhattan Industrialist, May 3, 1884; Kansas City (Missouri) Live-stock Indicator, March 6, 1884.
32. Junction City Union, March 30, October 26, December 7, 1878; Abilene Gazette, December 2, 1881.
33. Manhattan Nationalist, January 4, 25, 1879; February 7, 1879; February 6, 1880; l February 17, 1881.