Montana Mother’s Day: Love of the Ranching Way

By Lauren Chase

Mother's Day Jenny

At the Montana Stockgrowers Association, we know that it’s important to recognize not only the work that the women do on the ranch, but also, to honor their role as mother for the family. We asked our membership to describe their mothers and state why theirs would win the Best Mother of the Year Award…if we were to give one out. Of course, we think all of our Montana ranch moms deserve the award! Thanks for all you do for your families and Happy Mother’s Day!

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 3.29.40 PMFrom Katey Marquis: We all think our moms are the best, but a ranching mom like mine takes the cake! Great cook, therapist, accounting guru, hired hand, babysitter…. A person could go on and on, but best of all it takes someone special to be such a good grandmother on top of it all  Here’s to all the great Moms (and Grandma’s) out there, you make the world go round, Happy Mommy’s Day!


A poem written by Scott Wiley of Musselshell, MT

You ask me what a mother is, she is the most important thing on this earth

She brought you to where you are now, starting with your birth.

Your mom brought you through your sickness and putting up with your colic

Believe me, for her this was not a very fun time, certainly not a fun time frolic.

She put up with your terrible two’s, your three’s and then your four’s

And she did this all for you, without keeping any scores.

Your mom made it through, among other things learning how to drive

Spent many nights wondering, if you would make it home alive.

You also need to give her credit for putting up with me,

Sometimes it seems, she doesn’t see the things that I see.

I don’t mind the dogs, the cats, and the occasional calf

Sharing our home with us, she does put up with it with a quiet laugh.

Kathy and daughter, Mandy Jo Wiley.

Kathy and daughter, Mandy Jo Wiley.

Don’t take Mom for granted, she puts up with us and all our stuff

 To do the things that she does, she is a little bit more than tough.

Your Mother works side by side with me, no matter what needs to be done,

She will be there for us all, from the first rising, to the setting sun.

She may complain sometimes, that is true of us all,

 But she will always be there, when we beck and call.

You all need to appreciate the Mom that you were given

Life without a Mom like this is not really even living.

I will say this, and say it with great pride

I was made a better man, the day I made Kathy my bride.

From Laurie Goggins-Mosher:  My favorite quote about my mom is on the sign my dad (Pat Goggins) hung on the fence in front of the homestead …. “Forget the dog … beware of my wife! …out of love, of course.”

From Maggie Nutter of Sweetgrass, Montana:

Peggy Nutter Kimmet

Peggy Nutter Kimmet

Wanted: Ranch Wife: A woman who is willing to move to the country, raise 5 children and care for many nieces and nephews, bum lambs and bucket calves. Will need to cook for haying crew in summer and hired man year round while raising a garden and sewing clothes. Must know how to prepare milk toast for sheepherder who has been to town until money ran out and is now seeing snakes. Must be able to drive a team of horses to feed, a clutch in a farm truck and crank start John Deere tractor. I don’t believe my father put that ad in the newspaper, but that is the description of the job my mom took on when she married my father. She worked hard on the ranch in the Sweet Grass Hills to raise a family just as many farm/ranch wives in Montana.

She loved and at times hated the job, but wouldn’t have had it any different. She raised us kids to work and to do what was right. 20 years ago my father died. She grieved and us kids grieved with her but she is strong and was able to move on in life and find a new partner. My mom is a testament to the iron that ranch women are made of. 

1

Diane Morse

From Grant Morse of Two Dot:  

My mother is a great mom In many ways. She is always willing to help and gives great advice even when you might not want to hear it. The thing I admire the most is she’s always there for me.

From Heather Wills of Potomac:

Mom fills a lot of roles on our ranch and in our lives. She’s our bookkeeper, our researcher, our cook, our “can you do me a favor?” person no matter how knee-deep she is in something else she is doing that is just as important…our backbone. Mom is our support…our biggest cheerleader. She gives us love when we need it, and also she”s kickin’ our butts when we need it, too.

She can drive truck, drive the tractor, and drive cows, and most importantly she “drove” us kids to be the best person we could be. Depending on the season, she may be out all day calving cows, harrowing the fields, buliding

Jody Wills

Jody Wills

fence, baling hay, shoveling snow, whatever needs to be done, but will still find time to bake and decorate the cupcakes her daughter needs the next day for school, and didn’t bother to tell her until 9:30 that night. Now that we are older, she is still doing all of these things, and being a loving Grandma, too. Ranch moms are AMAZING! And, I am so thankful for mine. 

From Rose Malisani of Cascade: 

She can fix a tractor, rope a calf, play the fiddle, spray weeds, doctor a heifer, train a horse, balance the books, build corrals, and sing a song. If she were to compose a resume, there would be little that she hasn’t done. And the best part? She’s my mom. My mom, Cindy Malisani, grew up on the family ranch in the Big Belt Mountains in Montana and from day one she’s meant the world to me. Happy Mother’s Day, Cindy Lou! 

Cindy and daughter, Rose.

Cindy and daughter, Rose.

 From Lacey Ehlke of Townsend:

My mother is supportive, loving, honest, generous, and kind. I have the best mother in the world. She is my role model, mentor, support system, and my best friend. I am in awe of her and her talents every single day.

From Teen McCrae-Holland of Belgrade:

My mother and now “grandmother” is always a phone call away! She took on a milk cow that she gets in twice a day for me and her grandson. She works hard everyday on the ranch so that it can be passed down to her children. She has encouraged and supported me as I pursue my master’s degree in ag-education at MSU. I would not be where I am at without my mom. She is my biggest cheerleader and such a smart lady…thanks mom! We all love you! 

From Anne Indreland of Big Timber:

I would describe my mom as one of the most selfless people I have ever known. She wakes up every morning and puts her own priorities aside so that she can help to make everyone else’s day run smoothly. She is always willing to lend a hand and somehow still manages to help my dad and keep up on all the paperwork and household chores. She has always been there to talk to and is not just my mother, but one of my closest friends.

From Sarah McCafferty of Great Falls:

Julia McCafferty and daughter, Sarah

Julia McCafferty and daughter, Sarah

My mom is amazing! She can run the house, take care of my father, two sisters, three grandchildren, son-in-law, and me…all while running the ranch alongside my father. She is always loving, concerned for us, makes amazing chicken fried steak, is a great registered nurse, and is the best baler in the country! She truly is an all around cowgirl champion. My sisters and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to call mom.

From Shelley Chauvet Von Stein of Big Sandy: 

Shelley wrote a blog post about her mother. View here.

Shelley with her mother.

Shelley with her mother.

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