Post written by Janine Merrill, Marketing Officer for Stockman Bank
In Montana we truly are neighbors helping neighbors.
We recently saw the significance of this during the Lodgepole Complex and Western Montana fires this year.
It was amazing and inspiring to see Montanans come together to help those in need.
Being neighborly has tremendous meaning but sometimes people overlook the significance of what it truly means to be a good neighbor.
As a rancher in Montana (I’m from the central Montana area – Stanford to be exact!), the concept of being neighborly is not only alive and well, but we consider our neighbors to be our most important commodity.
The camaraderie we share as fellow ranchers and farmers is heartfelt and is the cornerstone of any successful operation.
Nothing is more exhilarating than watching your neighbors and friends’ trucks and trailers pull into your yard on a crisp Fall morning for shipping.
Guys and gals emerge from their trucks with coffee cups in hand for a quick conversation about the weather, seeding, sports scores, calf weights, commodity prices and area gossip!
Next, four-wheelers or horses are unloaded from the trailers and the race is on!
Cows and calves are gathered and brought into the corral where calves are separated from the cows.
The noise is deafening as the cows bellow for their babies and calves want their mamas!
As the calves are sorted according to sex and then weighed, they’re loaded into trailers or onto trucks.
Truckers take them to feedlots either in-state or out-of-state (such as Nebraska or Iowa) where they will be fed a grain ration until considered “fat”. Once they’ve reached their ideal weight, they will go to the packers.
Fall is particularly busy in the ranching world.
Gathering and working cows, pre- conditioning and shipping calves, and preg testing cow herds are just a few of the tasks we ask our neighbors and friends to help with.
The concept is simple – we really like each other, and if we help each other, it makes the task easier and more cost effective. The old saying “many hands make light work” is true – and the company isn’t so bad either!!
After the work is done, everyone gets together for a meal and drinks (depending on time of day!) and great conversation.
Tomorrow it starts all over again at someone else’s place.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way because out here in rural Montana, we literally are “neighbors helping neighbors.”