JUST OUTSIDE OF LIVINGSTON, MONTANA

 

 

WHO WE ARE

There is an old saying that behind every good rancher is a woman who works in town. Jeff likes to joke that he is the woman. Jeff works in marketing which pays the bills. Kelly and the girls run the farm or shall we say "our little experiment" which feeds us physically, mentally and if we're lucky, monetarily.

We raise a small amount of livestock using permaculture and holistic management techniques to regenerate overgrazed lands. This improves possibilities for wildlife while providing mineral rich food for ourselves and a few local families.

We have lived in Montana since 1993 and bought the farm, so to speak, in 2009.

WHAT IS A FISHING OWL?

The very first night we moved here, a great horned owl landed on our roof. This was a portent of numerous other raptor moments to come. Saw-whet owls, golden eagles, rough legged hawks, falcons, kestrels, you name it—they are all frequent visitors here. One of our favorite roosters was even killed by a very unlucky bald eagle who was subsequently beaten up by our goats.

Our namesake moment arrived one dark night in our first winter. As our car turned along our road on the Shields River, the headlights caught a fleeting glimpse of an owl with a nice trout in its talons. It was a large bird, perhaps another great horned but we like to think it was a snowy since they had been frequent visitors to Montana that winter. We'll never know for sure, but we did learn something. Owls actually stalk fish.

That fleeting moment of the owl and the trout seemed to represent many of the things that are important to us. The element of discovery. Indicators of a healthy landscape. The awesome wonder of the great outdoors. Getting close to the food we eat. The simple pleasures of hunting and fishing. And as much as anything, it was just plain cool.

For us it was the perfect representation of the cycle of life and death, which we've quickly learned is often what agriculture is all about.

WELCOME TO THE FISHING OWL FARM.