Montana Rancher Challenges

Montana ranchers today face many unique challenges. Haylie Shipp from the Rancher Stewardship Alliance explains some of those problems.

“There are so many factors that challenge ranchers in Montana. A lot of them are specific to their operation, but a lot of them can be shared, and so we have access to land. They don’t make any more of it and more and more we are seeing competition for land in Montana, be it from folks that are interested in that land for other reasons, folks that are moving here because they think Montana is exactly where they want to lay their roots down. Competition for land is a huge challenge. Montana ranchers live in isolation. We have in the state, two and a half cows per person, so while it can be good and equitable for ranchers, it also means that very often you are seeing more cows than you are people. So, issues of isolation and depression and some of the struggles that go into that are always top of mind for folks that are dealing with farmers and ranchers.”-Haylie Shipp

She continues to explain the importance of community for ranchers as well as the work that rancher stewardship alliance does to mitigate rancher challenges.

“Within the Rancher Stewardship Alliance, we believe in ranching, conservation, and communities. That community part really is making sure that we have people in place, mentors, partners that can help them as they start to kind of navigate some of these things.”-Haylie Shipp

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