MSGA features 142 ranches in upcoming book about Montana centennial ranches

An upcoming book, The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana features 142 Montana ranches. The book, edited by Linda Grosskopf and Nancy Morrison, celebrates the long tradition of ranching in Montana, highlighting the stories of 142 ranch families that have been living and working on the same land for over 100 years.

Commissioned by the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) to commemorate its 125th Anniversary in 2009, the book honors the perseverance, courage and forward thinking of those who were able to pass their family ranch down the generations and help shape Montana as it is today. The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana tells the inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of the ranch families who have endured through the ups and downs of life on the sometimes unforgiving lands of Montana over the past 100 years. The book has all of the ingredients of a great story, with tales of love and death, success and failure, family and community.

While the heart of this commemorative hardbound book is the 142 ranch stories and accompanying historical pho­tographs, there are also other treasures to be found within its pages, including 37 pen-and-ink drawings by Aubry Smith, photographs of MSGA’s presidents and executive vice presidents, a timeline of important events in MSGA’s history, historical sidebars, and timelines to help tell the story of ranching in Montana over the last century.

The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana will be released in early December. MSGA is currently accepting pre-orders and is selling the book for $50, including shipping and handling. For more information, please contact MSGA at (406) 442-3420 or visit

Early praise for The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana:

“For a most humbling understanding of those who shaped Montana’s livestock industry, this book is none other than first class.”
~Christy Stensland, Executive Director
Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center

“…will be worth far more as a documentary of Montana ranch history than any of us realize today… this book will help future generations know and appreciate their family histories.”
~Pat Holman, Kinsella Ranch, est. 1891

“Great ranches are not made of the dirt, water, wind and grass that comprise their environment. They are formed and sustained by the character of the people attached to them… These are not just stories of Mon­tana ranches. They tell the story of America at her best…a superb tribute to the heritage of Montana and the American West.”
~Charles P. Schroeder, Executive Director
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

“Every family has an event-filled story, and every story is infused with accomplishment, tragedy, humor, and perseverance… What these families brought, and still bring, to Big Sky country was willingness for the tough work, and an enduring respect for each other and the land. Savor this book, and turn the pages slowly.”
~Richard Sims, Director of the Montana Historical Society


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