Howdy from the Walsh Ranch. We are a cow/calf operation on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. My husband is 1/8 Gros Ventre. He has lived on the same ranch his entire life. We raise hay to supplement our cows in the winter. We try to utilize the grazing forage in pastures before feeding hay. Our home base is in the Beaver Creek Valley with the bulk of our grazing 8 miles to the north. We also graze a portion of our cattle on the Nature Conservancy in their Grassbank program. We also lease another ranch to the south of us for winter pasture.
In June we had the privilege of hosting nine students from Clemson University along with their advisor. All but one of the students was from South Carolina. They are enrolled in a variety of degrees from veterinary to marine biology. They spent a month in Montana and South Dakota as part of their summer field program. The program offers interdisciplinary, field-based education on the Great Plains as a working landscape for people, livestock and wildlife. Their advisor, David Jachowski, provided them an opportunity to visit and learn from many different aspects of agriculture. They learned about forage management, bull test centers, range management, Fort Keogh Research Center, MSU Sheep Facilities, cattle ranching, bison management, Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, and the black footed ferret. Each of the students was assigned to do a blog post about their learning experiences. None of these students had ever been to Montana and some had never traveled. The following is a link to their blog site and their experiences in Montana and South Dakota. They are very interesting to read as each has a different perspective on ranching (cattle and bison) and conservation. There are two months of postings by the students. http://prairieecology.blogspot.com/ Until next time — Sheila Walsh