raised in the west

Picking a Piece of History

Preserving Montana’s apple orchards for future generations Most days when the weather is fair, you’ll find John Ross walking his Fromberg property checking up on his stand of apple trees. The 74-year-old comes from a long line of apple growers. Some of the trees on his property have stood the test of time, surviving and…

Small Goods, Big Business

Ag roots run deep for owners of Action Toys If you’re looking for tractors, combines, balers or harvesters, the Pippin family has you covered. The same is true if you’re looking for beet pickers, fuel tanks, calf shelters, loading chutes, cattle guards, feed wagons and plows, or just about any other ag-related implement or accessory…

Moonshiners on Main Street

Montana’s micro-distilleries making a national name for themselves If you’ve been in Montana for any length of time, chances are good that you’ve had a personal encounter on a thirsty day with the state’s booming craft beer scene. With new breweries springing up like wildflowers in every town, it’s hard to miss. However, you may…

Farm to Family

Central Montana couple find solace in organic farming Nine years ago, heading home from Farm and Ag Day at the Fergus County Fairgrounds, 7-year-old Luke O’Halloran had a question for his parents, Brandon and Mariah. “If you can’t get the chemicals on your hands, why do we put them on our food?” Brandon and Mariah,…

Building Fences, Rebuilding Lives

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch heals kids through agriculture On a hot summer day, 15-year-old Charlie walks with a purpose down the giant and overflowing rows of ripening raspberry bushes. He’s got an eagle-eye focus, hoping to pluck a few of the juiciest berries. “You look like you need some,” he says as he happily…

From Fromberg to Edgar

Six miles of separation By most standards, Fromberg typifies small-town Montana. But if Fromberg is small, that would make Edgar a mere dot on the map. Situated a few miles apart along the winding Clarks Fork River, the “cousin communities” are defined by much more than their relative sizes. Both take pride in their deep…

Cookbook Showcases Montana’s Unique Flavors

Big Sky Bounty There are only so many times a woman can make deer spaghetti. Jean Peterson jokes that she had reached her limit when she called her longtime friend, Barrie Boulds, a private chef and caterer, for some new ideas for wild game. “Barrie is a storyteller, so she always had some fun story,…

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Raised in the West
PO Box 23204
Billings, MT 59104



Shari DeSaveur

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Growing Innovation

A look at two farmers bringing sustainable food to our tables Brittany Moreland doesn’t look like most farmers. She’s missing the dirt under her fingernails because she plants all her seeds with a tweezers, gently transplanting and harvesting them with gloved hands. She doesn’t own a tractor and doesn’t even have a field to tend….

Bred for the Land

Loyning Angus has a different take on cattle breeding genetics Rancher Ben Loyning is a man who really likes his livestock. On the Facebook page for Loyning Angus, the operation he runs near Warren, Montana, here’s what he had to say about one of his bulls, Equinox 7: “He is sound from the ground up…

Meeting the Demand

Town & Country Supply Association fertilizer plant is open for business One of the largest buildings constructed in Yellowstone County in recent years is a sight to behold, but it’s a good bet that it has been seen by only a tiny fraction of the people who live in the county. That’s because it’s located…

Longmire’s Craig Johnson

Author weaves his crime drama novels in the hills of Ucross Wyoming Not far from the “T” in the road that leads you to Buffalo, Wyoming, off US 16 East, author Craig Johnson’s log-cabin home sits nestled among foothills of the commanding Big Horn Mountains. It’s one of the most picturesque of backdrops. Cattle roam…

Ripe for the Picking

The oh-so-sweet Flathead Cherry season From the time the blossoms appear in the spring, fans of Flathead cherries dream of this summertime delicacy. And while “Flathead cherries” are, in reality, a number of different sweet cherry varieties, the unique growing conditions along Flathead Lake make for a quintessentially Montana treat. Originally, these cherries were raised…

Fit for the Working Cowboy

Babione’s Wilson Boots, one of the few custom boot makers around With rolls of leather by his side, a wall of shoe forms, known as lasts, to mold a cowboy boot for the perfect fit, and all the leather-crafting tools at his fingertips, Virgil Babione starts his day at the helm of a fading art…

Faces & Places: Crow Agency

Culture, clans and ‘cayuses’ The story of Crow Agency — often called “Crow” by the locals — is the story of two different communities. From the interstate, high-speed travelers get only a glimpse of the place: some well-worn buildings, a dog or two strolling the frontage road and horses of all colors dining on rich…

For Bull Riding Champ, Family Comes First

Family, friends & working on the ranch keep Jess Lockwood grounded People in Montana have good reason to be proud of Jess Lockwood. Last November, at the age of 20, he became the youngest person ever, and the first from Montana, to win the Professional Bull Riders World Championship in Las Vegas. But we have…

Miles City: Rooted Like Grass

The kind, young traveling nurse from Chicago was busy tending to the hospital patient I was visiting. She paused for a minute to answer my question: What do you notice most about Miles City? “You all are just a lot tougher,” she said. “It takes a lot to get someone in here.” The reputation of…

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A Foreign Affair

The rise of the H-2A Program on Montana Farms & Ranches All over farm and ranch country, it’s getting harder and harder to find workers — whether to herd sheep, process potatoes, pick cherries or milk cows. “It’s hard work and it’s long work and it’s hard to find people to do that,” says John…