Nathan Cochran is a student off the beaten path. He rides for the Diamond M Cattle Company and is also a student at CVA-Kettle Falls. Circumstances found him working at age 18 for the McIrvin family ranch, sharing responsibility for nearly 10,000 head of cattle. He understands, however, that his education and a high school diploma are an important stepping stone in this phase of his life. Nathan puts in long hours in the saddle and works out of remote camps through the week and comes to town for internet access on the weekends. He does plasma art with metal and enjoys being a mechanic. He is also helping to build a log home outside the town of Orient. Now that the fall roundup is complete, he is working hard to complete his classes before April and the spring calving season.