What Lauren learned while spending time with ranchers in South Phillips Co. Montana

Lauren Chase South Phillips Ranch Montana

Written by media intern Lauren Chase
MALTA—After spending one week in South Phillips County Montana, I’ve come away with a lot of things, but there’s one that is the most important: the importance of agriculture producers to this country.
I grew up in Iowa, a state known for corn and pigs, but could I tell you the basics of farming? No. And when I started talking with ranchers in Montana, I realized just how embarrassing it is that I knew nothing about where my food comes from and especially how much work it is to make that food.
Back in Iowa, we have roughly seven high schools in the metro area and one that is in the outskirts of town. That one is known as “cow pie high” because farmer’s kids go there. I’m sure they know about the work farmers and their families dedicate to the production, but the rest of us, just fifteen minutes away aren’t taught even the basics and therefore, make fun of it. I think that is ridiculous now.
Starting at a young age, every child in this country needs to know why we have farms, why we raise livestock, and why individuals do back-breaking labor from sunrise to sunset. It is to keep their families, communities and the world from going hungry and I think they need more appreciation for what they do.

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5 thoughts on “What Lauren learned while spending time with ranchers in South Phillips Co. Montana

  1. Lauren,Great post. I couldn't agree with you more. I grew up on the front range of Colorado in a town that is actively transitioning itself out of agriculture. It used to be a small town rooted in highly productive sugar beet, vegetable and alfalfa production because of it's extremely fertile high plains soil. This also supported a healthy livestock community in the area, especially those in the foothills on the West side of town.That being said, I went to one of 3 high schools in Loveland, CO that was affectionately known as the "Hick School" by the rest of the suburban kids in town. I too used to make a good deal of fun at the farm and ranch kids. Although many are not true ranches, primarily horse properties, there are still a handful of family farms and ranches existing around the town and their families are still making a living converting natural resources into human consumable products. So, imagine my surprise when I look at myself in retrospect. In college, I met my fiance' in our Landscape Architecture program. Come to find out, she grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Colorado. As our relationship began to blossom, i became very engaged in the idea of agriculture and haven't looked back yet. We've now been graduated from college for over 4 years and have returned home to integrate into their family operation. Over the past 6 years, I have become very passionate about agriculture and cattle ranching in particular. Interestingly enough, I now resemble very closely many of the farm and ranch "hick crowd" that I used to give such a hard time. Funny how life works out…but I wouldn't have it any other way. Again, great post.

  2. Thanks for the comment Caleb! It's a shame that we both had the resources to learn about agriculture in our home areas, yet never thought twice about utilizing the opportunity. I think something needs to change in the mass media to get kids excited about agriculture, and not just a romanticized view of "cowboys."Great input, Caleb and thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the great job with the ranchers of South Phillips County. Many you spoke to and had pictures of are my relatives. It was great to see something about the dying art of ranching. People just don't know enough about what strong and resilient people there are that care about the land and what happens to it in the end. I loved the pictures. Thanks for taking the time to bring it to the attention of others. Colleen Koss at cgk921@aol.com

  4. Thanks for commenting Colleen. I really enjoyed my time there and the Koss Family was so nice! They spent several hours showing us all around the ranch. After listening to everyone this past week, I can really tell just how much pride runs through that community and it's wonderful. Hope I can make it back up there some day! Be sure to check back later this month (after our Mid-Year Meeting) because I'll be posting videos that I took. The Koss Family will definitely be featured. =] Enjoy. And thanks again!

  5. Keep up the great job you're doing on the social media. The more places we can tell the agriculture story the better. Llane Carroll, Ekalaka, MT Public Lands Council member

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