Listing Information

Counties of interest

Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Broadwater, Butte-Silver Bow, Carbon, Cascade, Chouteau, Flathead, Glacier, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park Livingston, Pondera, Ravalli, Sanders, Sweet Grass, Teton, Yellowstone

Planned Operation

Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats)

Check all experience and education that apply to you and your farming partners

General college degree

Land Tenure

Buy/Sell, Lease, Partnership, Open to other arrangements

Briefly describe your current occupation(s) and responsibilities and list previous agricultural employment and experiences. If you are currently farming or ranching, please state the size, type(s), and location of the operation.

Our operation will have two co-owners. One of us is finishing a bachelors degree in biology and the other is currently working towards a masters degree in national security studies. The individual who is finishing the bachelors degree in biology will be the one who will actively be working on the land as a Bison rancher. The individual working towards the masters degree will primarily conduct the ranches administrative functions and provide hands on assistance as much as possible. Both of us are veterans and we hope to translate our experience from the military to a ranching operation.

Acreage

500+

Farming Practices

Organic, Other

Please elaborate on the type(s) of agricultural operation you plan on running.

We plan on eventually having several different types of agricultural operations on the ranch, however Bison ranching is to be the initial and keystone activity. Once we are comfortable with the position our Bison operation is in, we shall bring in other species such as Domesticated Bactrian Camels and potentially even Domesticated Yaks. Beyond that we hope to have our own apiary and produce various "value added products" including mead and drinking horns made from our Bison.

Elaborate on the farming practices you plan on using.

Our ranch will be the first "Pleistocene ranch," The principles of "Pleistocene rewilding" will be accomplished by using ranching as a method for animal reintroduction. Achieving this means that we also plan on having various "Ice Age" animals on the landscape in a "multi-species grazing" system.

The primary species kept will be Plains Bison (Bison Bison). We will use the Bison as the "keystone" species due to their substantially positive effects on the land and its vegetation. Bison are the most appropriate species to make a more guaranteed profit in the short term compared to the other species we hope to bring onto the ranch. We will be focusing on producing the most healthy, happy, and "hardy" bison population that we can. We will use the positive benefits of a grass-fed and natural diet, sexual selection, field harvested meat, and bison by-products to achieve that goal. The field harvesting of the various aged Bison will be as calculated as possible while keeping profitability and sustainability in mind to prevent a large amount of inbreeding, to prevent an alpha male from dominating the herds' genetics, and to maintain an appropriately increasing population. We plan to have an equal herd gender ratio compared to more traditional livestock operations for all of our species, with particular consideration to the Bison.

Our secondary animal will be the Domesticated Bactrian Camel. Camels will be brought onto the ranch because they are "browsers," instead of Bison, who are "grazers." This complimentary species will help balance out the biodiversity of plants that have a competitive edge on the ranch.

As a tertiary addition to the ranch, we plan to add beekeeping and llamas to the ranch when we feel comfortable with the success of the initial bison operation and the complimentary camel herd. The apiary will provide a boost in pollination for the various flowering plants on the ranch, with the long term goal of increasing and improving the forageable plants for our livestock species. The apiary will also provide a small amount of honey, for which we will use in specialty mead production, using locally grown ingredients. Raising llamas would be a more mid-term goal for the ranch. This business operation would likely be the most "hands-off" sector of the ranch. We will do this because we would be strictly raising them for calf sales to other farms and ranches, focusing on the hardiest, mountain landscape adapted genetics possible.

Long term, we hope to add many other species to our ranch that would mimic the Montana landscape of 15,000 years ago as closely as possible. This includes many species that are less likely to be acquired than the initial Bison and Camels. The species we would like to have are; Musk Ox, Saiga Antelope, Asian Elephants, and Mountain Tapir.

We must clearly state that Ragnarok Ranch hopes to be the most "wildlife-friendly" ranch in the US, if not the world. While profitability is the most critical concern, since it is what will allow us to continue to operate the ranch as a business and try the various experimental agricultural practices we hope to do, the environment shall not suffer due to our management of the land. Profitability first, conservation always. We plan on working with various organizations to achieve this goal, ranging from federal agricultural agencies to local conservation non-profits.

We shall incorporate both traditional and modern agricultural theories and practices to achieve our goal of having such a wide variety of species on the ranch, these include but are not limited to: regenerative agriculture, 100% organic, rotational grazing, and drone technology.

If you are interested in another type of business arrangement, please explain

Any operation in which a land owner is willing to talk to us about is one we would be interested in. We both have the shared goal of operating a bison ranch long term and understand that it is not an easy task so we are more than open to discuss various possibilities.

Please elaborate on the kind of additional training/information that would help you:

Bison ranching training
Multi-species grazing planning
Exotic Species processing

Please attach any photos that support your application.