Gift Ideas: A Century of Montana Family Ranching

Century of Montana Family Ranching History BookIt’s hard to believe, but the Christmas shopping season is well upon us and the days of 2013 are counting down quickly. There are many gifting options out there for your ranching family, but some may be hard to choose from. The MSGA store is a great place to start and find some personalized gifts that really embracing Montana’s ranching heritage.

One of those gifts available in the MSGA store is a book that chronicles 142 Montana family century ranches. For a ranch to exist and continue in a family for more than 100 years is truly a signal of sustainability and Montana Stockgrowers is proud to have a book that chronicles both the good and bad times for these ranching families.

The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana 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. While the heart of the 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. This book demonstrates the importance of the relationship between some of Montana’s oldest and most enduring ranches and the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana tells the heart-wrenching and inspiring stories of the ranch families who have endured with great fortitude 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. This collection of family histories tells the history of Montana, from a territory to a state, and demonstrates the sustainability of not only an industry, but a way of life. MSGA hopes that this commemorative masterpiece will be cherished by ranchers and non-ranchers alike for years to come.

“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

To get your own copy of the book along with several other Holiday ranching gifts, check out the Store at


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