|Type||Rancher Case Study|
|Region||Big Horn, Montana|
|# of head of cattle||11,000|
|Date modified||June 2014|
Padlock Ranch, located near Big Horn, Montana, demonstrates a commitment toward improved sustainability within the beef industry. The ranch’s beneficial practices focus on grazing and water management.
Padlock Ranch’s 11,000 head of cattle are divided into six units, each with its own manager who implements beneficial practices such as riparian management and wildlife habitat improvement. Soil moisture is maintained by managing the amount of leaf little, which reduces soil temperature and facilitates the absorption of rainfall into the soil.
This water then filters into the nearby creek. Such practices result in healthy ecosystem functions such as increased water quality and quantity and healthier riparian zones. Water is distributed throughout the ranch thanks to 20 miles of pipeline. Rotational grazing and cross-fencing techniques were also put in place. Together, these practices have enabled year-round grazing and allowed the phasing-out of supplemental winter feed.
Padlock Ranch is the recipient of the 2012-2013 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award.