Ranching and Farming are a Montana Tradition and a livelihood for many families in the state.
Montana has an “open range” law. This means if you do not want cattle, sheep, or other livestock on your property, it is your responsibility to fence them out. Be careful on rural highways!
Agriculture is a major economic contributor to Montana. A special part of living near a ranching operation is that you’ll likely end up enjoying a front seat view of a cattle drive or a following a tractor down the road. Take an opportunity to help keep the ranching operation viable by learning how you can be a good neighbor to this important part of our community. You may end up stuck behind a tractor during hay season, enjoy the slowdown!
Ranchers often work around the clock, especially during calving season in the spring and hay harvesting time in the middle to late summer. Occasionally, adjoining agricultural operations may disturb your otherwise quiet surroundings. Those times will pass.
If you’re traveling on dirt and gravel roads adjacent to ranchlands, drive slowly and with care: An excess of dust can affect both the health of the cattle and the quality of hay in the fields. Occasionally cattle may get out on the road; avoiding hitting an animal is healthy for both you and the animal.
Livestock may cause odors and noise, which are objectionable to some people. If you find them annoying, you may want to find a parcel in another area of the county.
Livestock is occasionally moved on public roads. When you encounter a livestock drive, please pull over to the side of the road and stay out of the way. Or, if a rider directs you to move forward, do so slowly. The delay will cost you only a few minutes. Enjoy the scene; this is the “real west,” and is a critical part of your neighbors’ ability to make a living.