Throwback Thursday Montana Ranch

Throwback Thursday: American Fork Ranch

Throwback Thursday Montana RanchA big thank you to the American Fork Ranch for this Throwback Thursday photo. Be sure to give them a ‘Like’ on Facebook.

Do you have a Throwback Thursday photo for us to share? Send us your photo ( and a brief background on the subject and your ranch photo may be featured on our TBT posts!

Learn more about Jed and Annie Evjene and the American Fork Ranch is this Rancher profile.

Walker MIlhoan Montana Collegiate Stockgrowers

What is the value in Mentorship?

Walker MIlhoan Montana Collegiate StockgrowersThe first group of participants in the Montana Stockgrowers Mentorship program will be announced at Annual Convention this year. This program will be a great opportunity for seasoned members of the Montana ranching community to mentor some younger members and help guide their journey as becoming members of the industry. One of the participants is Walker Milhoan.

Walker is a Collegiate Stockgrowers member at the University of Montana in Missoula. Here is a brief Q&A with Walker about participating in the Mentorship program. Applications for both Mentors and Mentees are due November 1

Why do you want to participate in the Mentorship program?

Walker: It has been my life’s goal to call myself a “rancher.” This is all I have ever wanted to do, and fortunately for me, I wasn’t born into the lifestyle. I say “fortunately” because not being born into the ranching business has forced me to think of it in a way that someone who has a lot of tradition behind them might not. It’s not second nature to me, therefore I have to think out and analyze every piece of the puzzle, and this is where a solid mentor can be a great deal of help. Since I can’t always rely on my own intuition and experience, I must fall back on someone who can.

What do you hope to gain while participating as a “Mentee”?

I hope to gain a better understanding of the minutia that comes with cattle business. For example: I was helping this rancher from Helmville ship calves last summer and we were trying to piece together the most similar ones to send to the truck. I thought I had done a good job of pairing up these two steer calves when Dan sorted one of them off and said, “that one has piece of Burdock behind his ear, he came from a different pasture, don’t send him.” I wouldn’t have thought of this in a million years, but Dan did, and it’s those little things that can add up in a hurry. Ranching requires a million little nuances like this everyday and having a solid mentor can help a greenhorn like myself stay out of some of the weeds.

What value do you gain from Mentorship programs? Any suggestions for those who want to become involved?

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Logo

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to Donate Book Proceeds to Rancher Relief Fund

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Logo(Helena, MT) Montana Stockgrowers Association Research, Education and Endowment Foundation (REEF) announced today that a portion of the proceeds from each copy of “Big Sky Boots: Working Seasons of a Montana Cowboy” sold through Saturday, December 14, will be donated to support the Rancher Relief Fund. Earlier this month an early season winter storm moved through the area killing tens of thousands of livestock, leaving many ranchers devastated and heartbroken.

“We at Montana Stockgrowers are deeply saddened by the news of our fellow ranchers’ losses,” said Dusty Hahn, MSGA Foundation Chairman. “As ranchers ourselves we can relate when times get hard. MSGA is eager to help our fellow ranchers in South Dakota and surrounding states.”

The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund was established on October 8, 2013 by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard of Oct. 4-7, 2013.

In response to the devastation, Hahn said “as Stockgrowers, we’re always at the mercy of Mother Nature, but extraordinary events such as this bring out a sense of community and compassion for fellow producers. The ranching families featured in Big Sky Boots remind us of our neighbors impacted by this storm. REEF hopes that with the sales of Big Sky Boots, we can provide some relief to those in need.”

“Big Sky Boots” is the first in a five-part Montana Family Ranching Series from the MSGA Research, Education and Endowment Foundation Program. In “Big Sky Boots” readers can journey through the ranching year and learn about the great people that take care of the land, livestock and their families. This first book focuses on the cowboys themselves; the men and the seasons.

Copies of Big Sky Boots can be purchased through the Montana Stockgrowers Association website or by contacting the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420.

Big Sky Boots Montana Family Ranching Project Coffee Table Book

The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

The Research, Education and Endowment Foundation of the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of MSGA programs.

Indreland Angus Ranch Montana Local Beef

Featured Rancher: Indreland Angus Ranch

Indreland Angus Ranch Montana Local Natural Beef Betsy Indreland stands behind a table supporting two red coolers full of beef cuts. She smiles at people as they check out her stand at the Livingston Western Sustainability Exchange. A man in a plaid shirt and khaki shorts asks Betsy where the beef is raised. She replies that the beef is raised on her family’s ranch located near Big Timber. The man thinks that is great and proceeds to purchase several different packages of Indreland Angus Beef.

Selling dry-aged beef directly to consumers at farmers’ markets is not anything out of the ordinary for the Indreland family. Since 2003, Betsy and her husband, Roger, have sold 100 percent natural Montana beef at markets in Billings, Bozeman, Big Timber, and Livingston. They also ship their products across the country and provide Indreland Angus beef at local restaurants, grocery stores and even the Livingston hospital.

“It became evident to us that people want quality beef and know where it came from,” explained Betsy.

On the Indreland Angus beef package label, there is a product identification number, which corresponds to the animal’s ear tag number. This allows for complete access to the records of the cattle, if a buyer has questions.

“People like the idea that all the meat in that package came from one animal,” says Roger. “They also like the ranch information provided.”

The Indreland’s beef business did not start with the idea that they needed to grow to a certain size to be able to make it work. Instead, Roger and Betsy allow it to grow only if it is profitable.

One way the Indreland’s beef remains profitable is by appealing to customers of a niche market. The beef is natural which means the animal is not given growth hormones or antibiotics. Most of the cattle are finished with corn, but a few customers requested grass-fed only and therefore, Roger and Betsy raise a few head per year on a grass diet.

“We understand that we operate in a niche market,” says Roger. “If you’re providing a consumer who wants beef from a known source, wants beef to be a certain grade, and wants dry-aged cuts, then that means that we’re not competing with the large segments of the beef industry. Those larger segments of the industry do not dry-age their beef. It’s the dry-aging that makes a huge difference in the flavor profile.”

The Indrelands understand that the majority of the beef industry does not operate using a custom market model

“Our product is definitely gourmet,” said Roger.

One of the benefits of utilizing this gourmet market is the ability to converse directly with the consumer about the ranch lifestyle.

“We become the ambassadors of the beef industry and explain how we do what we do and why we do it. This helps to put a face with the beef products, and makes ranching more personable,” said Betsy.

Being a marketing major, Betsy understood the value of the niche market, but also realized how important it was to direct market Angus beef.

“When we started, we knew we had to have the word ‘Angus’ in our product name. Angus cattle are known for their premium beef quality. The Certified Angus Beef Brand has done wonders with their promotion and educating people on the attributes of Angus beef. It is recognized worldwide as a premiere beef product. We couldn’t pass up that opportunity with ours,” said Roger.


Indreland Angus Ranch Montana Local BeefSelling Angus beef stems from a history of raising Angus cattle in Roger’s family. The Indreland Angus Ranch originated in 1976 when Roger purchased 13 registered bred heifers for a FFA project in high school. He chose to get into the Angus breed because his grandfather, Arch Ginther, was one of the founders of the Montana Angus Association. Roger’s mother and aunt continued the black cattle traditions by showing them in the 1940s and ‘50s and encouraged Roger to raise Angus as well.

Roger’s herd continued through college as he worked with Leachman Angus in Bozeman, learning about the purebred industry. After college, his parents retired and Roger leased the ranch, expanding the registered cowherd. Roger married Betsy in 1986.

Betsy was born in New Jersey and later moved to Big Timber where she met Roger. She did not grow up on a ranch.

“I didn’t know the difference between a heifer and a Hereford, just that the two sounded alike. But I’ve learned a lot,” said Betsy.

The Indrelands are raising two daughters on the ranch. Anne was born in 1993 and Kate in 1998. The addition to the family solidified the need to be more involved in the Angus business and start the small branded beef program.

In August 2011, Anne started her freshman year of college at Claredon College in Claredon, Texas. She was awarded a scholarship to be on the livestock judging team and will study agriculture-business and animal science. Kate is in 7th grade and does livestock judging. She has a few chickens and sells the eggs as a business. Both girls have their own cattle in the Indreland herd and according to their parents, are passionate about ranching and taking care of those animals.


On the ranch, the Indrelands run about 200 mother cows and out of that, they raise bulls. This year, they will sell 65 coming 2-year-old bulls and 25 bred heifers on December 10.

Because the beef business side of the operation demands a lot of time, Roger and Betsy try to maintain the cowherd as hands-off as possible. Living just north of Big Timber, Roger says the grass opens up in the wintertime and therefore, they do not have to feed hay everyday. This allows the focus to be on planning for the beef marketing or ranch needs.

The other benefit of where they are located is that the 2-year-old bulls they sell are coming off summer grass and have developed slowly.

“I think the longevity of those bulls is really great and they’re adaptable for whatever the commercial people have for them,” said Roger. “They’re going to be moderate size cattle with moderate EPDs that truly should match a lot of Montana environment.”

Their production philosophy remains that cows must consistently excel at converting basic grass resources into beef.

“Practicing this philosophy has refined our cowherd into trouble free and productive cattle. We do not select for any extremes in performance but demand functionality,” said Roger.

Operating under the philosophy of low-input ranching and creating profitability of a direct marking business, the Indreland family will continue to provide quality beef to consumers while maintaining the ranching lifestyle they love. To find out more information on their ranch or to view the beef products for sale, visit

*Originally published in the Montana Stockgrowers Newsletter, January 2012
*Article and photos sponsored in part by the Montana Angus News

Montana Stockgrowers 2013 Film Festival Logo

2nd Annual Montana Stockgrowers Film Festival

Montana Stockgrowers 2013 Film Festival LogoOn any ranch, there are countless stories to be told. Get out your video cameras and help tell the story of Montana family ranching to the world. Create a documentary, photo slide shows, or how-to videos. As long as it involves ranching, we’ll take it. The videos will then be published on the MSGA YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Your online vote, along with votes at annual convention, will determine the winner. Don’t worry – you’ll get a prize for your hard work!

Please send your entries to Lauren either on a DVD or by email by NOVEMBER 1. If you need help editing your video or have any questions, please contact Lauren.

MSGA to hold Mid-Year meeting in Dillon, June 10-12

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will hold its Mid-Year meeting, June 10-12 in Dillon. Mid-Year is one of the two major meetings MSGA holds each year. MSGA will be looking “Beyond the Barbwire” as it meets to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the rest of the year. MSGA will also celebrate ranching in Montana with a parade, ranch tour and its popular Cow Pasture Golf Scramble.

This year, Mid-Year will kick off on Thursday, June 10 with meetings of the MSGA Board of Directors, the Montana Grass Conservation Commission, the Montana Public Lands Council and Montana Association of State Grazing Districts Joint Directors, and MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation. Thursday night will feature a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Twilight Training Session at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds with a stockmanship clinic presented by Ed and David Fryer from the Castle Mountain Ranch, chute-side demonstrations, BQA certification, and dinner sponsored by Northwest Farm Credit Services. This event is free and open to the public. The Young Stockgrowers will hold their meeting with a free dinner and drinks Thursday night at the Barrett’s Park Pavilion south of Dillon.

Friday will begin with the Opening General Session where the MSGA staff will provide an issues update and a discussion of MSGA’s use of social media to tell the story of Montana’s family ranchers. Meetings of MSGA’s Beef Production & Marketing, Land Use & Environment, Membership Development & Services, and Tax, Finance & Ag Policy committees will get underway at 10 a.m., break for brown bag lunches, and conclude at 3 p.m. After the committee meetings, members will convene for a business session to finalize interim policy to guide MSGA through the rest of the year. Friday afternoon will also feature a Workers Comp Safety seminar. Friday night, Mid-Year attendees will gather at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds to enjoy the “Beyond the Corral” steak dinner catered by the Blacktail Station with live music provided by the Dillon Junior Fiddlers. The night will feature an auction of Saturday’s golf teams to benefit MSGA’s Advocacy Fund and a “bull race” fundraiser for MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation. Western Ranch Supply, Rocky Mountain Supply and Quality Supply will also demonstrate their different cattle chutes.

Saturday, Mid-Year participants will have the opportunity to partake in three great events during the day, a parade, ranch tour, and the Cow Pasture Golf Scramble. The parade will run through downtown Dillon beginning at 9 a.m. The theme is “Ride ‘em and Drive ‘em” and entries are restricted to horseback and horse drawn teams. The ranch tour will begin at noon, featuring Hagenbarth Livestock of Dillon, Smith 6-S Livestock of Glen, Sitz Angus of Dillon and La Cense Montana of Dillon. The Cow Pasture Golf Scramble will take place at the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. For more information regarding the Mid-Year meeting, visit or contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420.