raised in the west

Milking an Opportunity

How Kalispell Kreamery landed on the Montana Dairy Map Necessity is said to be the mother of invention. So when Hedstrom Dairy of Kalispell faced a dire situation nearly a decade ago, its owners could either reinvent themselves or sell off their cows like most of the dairies in the same situation. The Hedstroms chose…

Hollenbeck Ranch

Molt rancher pioneers a new way of “branding” Sara Hollenbeck owes a lot to Mr. Totes MaGoats. He was the little orange goat that her husband, Henry Hollenbeck, bought for $5 and jokingly gave to her as a first-anniversary present. Sara, who moved from California to marry Henry, had already been using social media to…

Big Sandy’s Bob Quinn

Renaissance Man of Organic Agriculture There’s more than one way to utilize a safflower plant or industrial hemp for that matter. And while most farmers shudder at the lack of rain for weeks – even months – at a stretch, Big Sandy organic farmer Bob Quinn takes it in stride. For Quinn, problems are opportunities…

The Lodgepole Complex Fire: After the Ashes

Communities rally to come to farmers and ranchers aid Through much of August, Lori Murnion’s cell phone rang 10 to 20 times a day, which is a lot for someone who says she is “sort of retired.” Lori is the point person for feed and fencing supply donations coming into Jordan after the Lodgepole Complex…

The Classic Country of Lonnie Bell

Decades of musical fame for the man behind the mic What makes a good country song? According to Country music DJ Lonnie Bell, a good country song must evoke a feeling everyone can relate to, and tell a story everyone can believe. If that’s true, he may be the perfect country song. Every Sunday from…

Go Wild

Native Plants Reclaiming the Landscape of the West With the warm season finally in full swing here in the Rocky Mountain region of Montana and Wyoming, it’s never been easier to find reasons to appreciate the nature which surrounds us. Wildflowers begin to emerge from the warming soil, shining their colorful faces into our world….

Faces & Places: Lively Livingston, MT

Defined by river, ranchers, writers and…wind Driving in from the east, the first sign is the windsock. The orange “tube” along Interstate 90 merely flutters today, meaning it’s an extra good day in Livingston, Montana. It’s a good day for gazing at galleries, a good day for dining outside and a good day for casting…

Rhythm & Harmony the Western Way

Trio of brothers brings classic sounds center stage When brothers John, Marty, and Joe Kosel stood up in the corner of the dining hall at the Red Lodge Senior Citizens Center, the trio was so nervous they were barely able to introduce themselves, but they could sing, and they did. Their silky, three-part western harmony…

Cowgirl Couture Rolls Around Region

Miles City girls offer traveling Western boutique If you were to describe Gumbo Lilies in one word it would be ‘fun.’ Fun clothes. Fun atmosphere. Fun women who own the unique business. “A 32-foot dream closet on wheels” as described by one customer, Gumbo Lilies is the first noted traveling clothing boutique in the state….

DIRT Rich

A Vision For Sustainability We all love the story of the underdog — the misunderstood, underestimated, anti-hero of a tale. But, every underdog needs an advocate in order to shine. Alissa LaChance, owner of DIRT Rich Composting in Montana’s Flathead Valley, is just such an advocate. In fact, she advocates for the littlest guys of…

Promoting Sweet Success

Agri-Best Feeds’ supplemental super fuel for livestock   If you’re going to sell a product, it sure helps if you believe in it. That explains why Irv Haidle was able to build a thriving family business based on sales of SweetPro, a feed supplement made from distiller’s grain. Haidle almost didn’t get into the business,…

The Changing Face of Agriculture’s Future

The evolution of 4-H and FFA With roots firmly planted on the farm, Montana’s 4-H and FFA organizations are steadily evolving to meet the needs of the youth among the ever-changing agricultural landscape. These programs are no longer solely the realm of children steeped in the seasonality of the farm or ranch. Instead, they offer…

Flint Rasmussen: The Man in the Can

PBR’s Made in Montana Rodeo Rock Star As the arena lights dim, the spotlight comes up capturing the showman Flint Rasmussen as he kicks up in the dirt to take to the center of the rodeo arena. The low hum of the impending music begins, and the crowd goes wild as he strikes a pose and…

A Rancher’s Best Friend

Stock dogs’ earned place in the changing landscape of agriculture The Border collie’s shoulder twitches ever so slightly with anticipation as it lowers its front legs in a stealthy crouch. The dog’s eyes simultaneously shift back and forth almost undetectably as he watches intensely to catch what seems to be a trivial movement by his…

Red Lodge: A Resort Town with a Down-to-Earth Attitude

A sense of excitement pulses through the small town of Red Lodge, Montana. Snuggled at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, the community of 2,500 could hardly be described as “typical” small-town Montana. Boasting drop-dead scenery, limitless outdoor adventures and a thriving arts and cultural community, Red Lodge shines with a vibrancy that attracts newcomers…

Opal Harkins: Part Rhinestone, All Cowgirl

Montana’s Miss National High School Rodeo Queen She sparkles. She dazzles. And that’s before she even puts her rodeo queen attire on. After visiting for just a few moments with Opal Harkins, it’s easy to see why judges selected her out of 44 candidates to be crowned Miss National High School Rodeo Queen 2016. The…

Advocating for Farm Life in Rural Montana

The Farver Family Shares Food & Family It’s 20 below in Scobey, Montana on a bright Saturday morning. After a hearty family breakfast, Terry Farver dons his Carhartts and heads out the door. The country is vast and blanketed in fresh snowfall, and all is quiet save for the distant mooing of his Black Angus…

A Plot of Your Own

Community Gardens foster food & friendships Whether raising a few tomato plants or turning under hundreds of square feet to grow your own food, a garden is the epitome of the self-reliant spirit. Raising food is a very Montanan thing to do, yet not everyone has the space, or the knowledge, to tackle a garden…

A View from the Saddle

Barbara Van Cleve documents the humanity in ranching On her daily walks, Barbara Van Cleve keeps an eye on the sky. There’s something about the voluminous clouds, so unique to the Montana landscape that lure her in. As she’s gotten older, they’ve captivated her more and more. At 81, Van Cleve isn’t mesmerized by the…

Born, Shorn & Worn in the USA

Alpacas of Montana  – the perfect fit for Sarah & James Budd When Sarah and James Budd of Bozeman decided they wanted to shift their career focuses, becoming alpaca farmers wasn’t even on the radar. And considering Sarah’s background in manufacturing and psychology along with James’ field as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant,  it’s no wonder…

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