See how beef farmers and ranchers in Montana are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
The Joe C King & Sons Ranch outside of Winnett, Montana is a family-owned ranch that utilizes both private and public lands to help better the local environment. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the ranch is native prairie so it’s important to keep the land healthy through grazing management by rotating pastures to give the land time to rest and regrow. By keeping the native lands healthy, the cattle, wildlife and landscape can live in harmony with each other and act as a mutually beneficial system. For their sustainability efforts, the Joe C King & Sons Ranch was awarded the prestigious Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP).
"We love living on the land and we do our best to make it better for ourselves, for the cattle, for the wildlife and for future generations." - Jay King
Cherry Creek Ranch in Terry, Montana is one of the few remaining original homesteads in Eastern Montana. The ranch is owned by Lon and Vicki Reukauf who are the third generation to work on the ranch. Part of keeping the ranch healthy includes a strong emphasis on rotational grazing as a way to manage grasslands and maintain soil quality. Lon instituted a system that rotates herds through multiple pastures to ensure grazing pressure is limited. This system has led to an increase in grass species diversity by improving the root depth and water holding capacity of the soil. Since this area only receives 12.5 inches of average annual rainfall, the grazing system allows for the soil to remain healthy and absorb as much water as it can. In addition to the rotational grazing, the Reunkaufs installed 15 solar wells in strategic locations to provide clean, fresh and consistent water for cattle to drink. These wells also allow the cattle to stay away from sensitive riparian areas leading to more biodiversity.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 2.5 million cattle and over 11,000 cattle farms and ranches in Montana. Learn more about Montana's beef farmers and ranchers who are raising beef from pasture to plate.
This recipe tastes great over the campfire or on your grill at home. Pepper-rubbed T-Bone Steaks are served with flavorful Charro-style beans.
Montana ranks second in the United States with farms and ranch land, totaling nearly 59.8 million acres.