Ag in Action 2017
Montana brand facts
• Montana brands from the years 1873 through 1950 are
available on microfilm at the Montana Historical Society
anks to a donation by author
• Brands must be re-recorded every 10 years, starting from
1911. The next year for re-recording brands is 2021.
• Brands which are not re-recorded are inactivated. If
they meet the current standards for a brand, they may be
reactivated, but if they don’t, a new brand must be developed
• Even ornamental brands must meet brand standards and
be applied for.
• The official Brand Book kept by the Brands Enforcement
Division shows over 2,650 brands recorded for Fergus County.
By TRACY WORTMAN
| Contributing Writer
Anthropologists have found that cave dwellers andmodern rodeo cowboys have similar skeletal damages. Not all cowboys
are rodeo cowboys and some are in fact cowgirls, or, as I like to call them, cowhands (because it has been a few years since
I was a girl). In addition, Dad’s primary mandate on the ranch was “make a hand.” Standing by and
watching someone work was not really an option. However, as with most things in life, ranch work and
the people who do it changes over time. Sure, handling livestock and the associated equipment can be
dangerous. Occupational record keepers have noted that farmers and ranchers hurt themselves worse
than in any other occupation. Logically then, to avoid maiming or dismemberment or worse, safety is
important. Whoever said cowhands were logical?
Dad modernized our operation over time by putting a DoAll Loader on our 1030 Case, buying a
Ford with a DewEze, and later putting a Hydra Bed bale loader on a Dodge. Then we needed a few
round bale feeders. Then I talked him into a portable head catch because pulling a calf alone with a
rope around a hitching post was going to cost me a finger. Then we decided we had to have some of
those portable panels.
Dad was a genuine cowboy for 60 years before he trailered his horse anywhere, but that gooseneck
fifth wheel trailer sure looked fine. We lamented not having a gun rack in the cab on which to hang our
ropes. We were real ranchers now. We discovered – with some trial and error – moving that awkward
heavy stuff, sometimes further than one wanted, to road meant a tractor was necessary. The Hydra Bed became our favorite
tool. With a couple of small 6-foot chains with hooks on either end, we could move anything with the arms of the Hydra Bed.
Ranch Rule No.1
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