Becky Beam
Photo provided by Becky Beam

Dual Enrolled Animal Science Student: Running a Guide Service, Ranch, and Lodges

Photo provided by Becky Beam

For Becky Beam, a dual enrolled UCC and OSU animal science student, an average work day involves a trek through a forest of Douglas fir trees accompanied by the soothing sound of dripping rain or whispering creeks and the chirping of birds or a walk out to her family pasture to check on her cows. Beam and her husband, Craig, run a hunting guide service in Oregon as well as a ranch in Dixonville, located east of Roseburg, and a couple lodges in Alaska.

From a young age, Beam has been involved with the outdoors.  “I grew up cattle ranching and my father is still raising cattle on the coast. We run a handful of cattle ourselves. We all like the outdoors a lot and enjoy helping each other out when we can. It’s really important to me to continue to learn and challenge myself. I find that ranching and guiding always keep me on that path,” Beam says.

Running a guide service and a couple lodges wasn’t where Beam thought her life would take her. Her direction changed after one unforgettable hunt and sharing the experience with others. “I met the love of my life over a whitetail deer tag. We both love the outdoors and love sharing it with others even more,” Beam says.

Challenges at work come in all shapes and sizes; this is especially true when running lodges in Alaska.  Instead of finding her job trials to be discouraging, Beam has learned to take on the challenges and accepts that they are good learning experiences.  “Learning to drive a boat in Alaska was a huge challenge. I have not mastered it by any means. I have crashed a couple of times and still have a lot to learn,” Beam says. “The fact that it is so challenging gives me something to look forward to each summer. I like to learn and love a good challenge.”

Due to quarantine, Beam and her husband have lost business.  Their guide service has been greatly affected as current laws in Oregon place a limit on their base of customers to just those in Oregon.  Quarantine has also affected their lodges in Alaska, as the care for their guests has had to change. “We are not able to care for guests like we are accustomed to, and it makes it feel a bit like they are being neglected,” Beam says. “To account for this with their experience, we lowered our rates a bit and then made sure to communicate with them as to why changes were being implemented.”

Beam takes work seriously and is a dependable, hard worker. Craig Augustynovich, Beam’s husband, says, “In our line of work, there is no calling in sick or not showing up for work. If you do not get it done, no one else is going to. You can always count on Becky to get things done regardless of what gets in the way.” Craig and Becky have developed a partnership. “She is always there to give you a different outlook on the task at hand. She is also very talented and if asked she can just about do anything she wants to,” Craig Beam says.

With the changing times, Beam hasn’t let the current circumstances faze her. “I have a strong Christian faith and a wonderful family,” Beam says. She is thankful that neither of these has changed this year. “The quarantine has given me the time to be at home more. I have been fishing a lot with family and just spending a lot of time outside,” Beam says. “The quarantine has been challenging financially, but once we figured all that out and started looking at the bright side of things it didn’t seem so bad. I just find myself spending a lot of quality time doing the things that I love.”

Although working outdoors is a daily event for Beam, each day is a new experience. “I love what I do. There are not many days that go by without a story or adventure being created. Every day is different,” Beam says. “I just love all the beauty that we are surrounded with. Whether it is the people that we meet along the way or some piece of nature, I have just been blessed with some really amazing experiences. From landing in frozen craters to sitting on top of mountains watching hummingbirds, it’s all great.”

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