Big Timber, Montana 

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WRITING

'Just' range cows for 'just' ranch people; just the right combination

Updated: Jan 18, 2019


“They’re just plain ol’ range cows.”

Bob and Frances Dellit shared a good-hearted laugh at the idea of their 'plain ol' range cows' being featured in a magazine. It’s a modesty as warm as the hug hello at the end of their Broken Chain Ranch driveway in southeastern Montana.

A couple miles down the gravel road from that meandering driveway, in the silence of the gentle sage and short-grass covered hills, they sift through the herd of soon-to-be weaned pairs. A mama can almost rest her chin on the tail head of her nursing calf. The cattle pick their way around the dry, tall winter grass near the water tank, and then two-by-two, they turn and make a line of red across the far-flung golden horizon, looking for a little more.

“If you graze it off, you lose the root system. The roots are really hard to get back if you damage them,” Bob says. “You’ve got to leave quite a bit of grass behind and still bring a cow home in good enough shape to re-breed.”

If you can do that, they say, you can make a living off this plain ol’ rangeland.

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Published in the January 2019 edition of the American Red Angus Magazine.