For more information contact:
Dr. Jeff Mosley
Montana Stockgrowers Association Montana State University-Bozeman
For Immediate Release
Phillips County Boasts More Certified “Undaunted Land Stewards”
Than Any Other County in Montana
Ten ranches in the Phillips County area have qualified for certification in the national award winning program Undaunted Stewardship®-significantly more than any other county in Montana, it was announced today by Christie Messer, Undaunted Stewardship Public Outreach Coordinator and Communications Coordinator for the Montana Stockgrowers Association.
Managed jointly by Montana State University, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Undaunted Stewardship® has earned national recognition for its unique approach to stewardship and preservation of Corps of Discovery historic sites found on private land. A guidance council representing 19 different conservation, agricultural and other Montana groups helps oversee the multi-faceted program.
“To receive certification, ranches have to meet a series of grazing and other land management standards that ensure the long-term sustainability and productivity of their ranch lands,” according to Dr. Jeff Mosley, extension range management specialist at Montana State University-Bozeman, who directs the land use programs of Undaunted Stewardship®.
Before a ranch can become certified as an “Undaunted Land Steward,” it must use a grazing management approach that is documented and monitored, with a written prescription for land management that conserves natural resources. These ranchers are demonstrating how ranching can maintain natural productivity, and sustain it for generations to come.
The reason that Phillips County is home to so many certified ranches is that the area’s agricultural community is very progressive and supportive-out of necessity. The land and weather in Northeast Montana can be very challenging and only the hardest working and most self-motivated agriculturalists are able to manage it to make a living. In addition, Phillips County ranchers have long been known to work together and in partnerships with diverse groups in order to best care for the land and its inhabitants-as well as to sustain their way of life for future generations. “Phillips County has risen as a prime example of excellent stewardship for not only being home to some of the best managed ranches in Montana, but for those ranches standing up in the face of natural and man-made adversity and continually finding success in hard work, compromise, and striving to meet the highest standards”, said Bill Donald, President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, member of the Undaunted Stewardship Executive Committee, and rancher from Melville.
The Phillips County ranches having completed the certification process are:
The Barthelmess Ranch Malta
Mule Tracks Cattle Company Malta
The Double O Ranch Malta
The Hould Ranch Malta
Veseth Cattle Company Malta
T Bar L Ranch Malta
The Matador Grass Bank Malta
Koss Land and Livestock Malta
The Jacobs Ranch Malta
The Emond Ranch Malta
The Oxarart Ranch Malta
Two of the above mentioned operations have also been honored with the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award (MESAP)-the Barthelmess Ranch in 2004 and Mule Tracks Cattle Company in 2006. The Barthelmess’ family went on to win the 2004 Regional Environmental Stewardship Award in the national competition sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dow Agro-Chemical, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
“These outstanding Phillips County ranches and the rest of the Montana Undaunted Land Stewards are largely responsible for the kind of superior rangeland stewardship that has kept our state looking more as it did two hundred years ago than any other state the Corps of Discovery traveled through,” Mosley said.
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The Barthelmess Ranch/Charolais cow and her calf, 2004
Mule Tracks Cattle Company/view and water photos, 2006
photos courtesy of MSGA