Stick Legs Story

When life cuts you off at the knees... quite literally... you can give up or reinvent yourself. 

Seth, AKA Stick Legs, grew up in Conrad, Montana.  From a young age he recognized the value and satisfaction he received from hard work.  As he got older, Seth started working on local ranches and farms.  Although he was primarily moving pipe, he truly grew to love the work.  He dreamed of one day owning his own small farm or ranch.After high school, Seth attended Montana Tech, where he pursued an education in Petroleum Engineering and Engineering Science. During his final years of schooling, Seth was interning on an oil rig in the Gulf Coast.  While there, an accident on the rig severed his legs below the knee.  It was a long hard road to recovery.  Saving his knees was a priority to Seth. He believed that it would allow him to keep working, and one day fulfill his dream of owning his own ranch.
Seth was able to finish school and graduate with an engineering degree, but decided not to pursue a career in the field.  Instead, he set out to find a new path, and eventually found a piece of land in Valier, Montana to settle and start building.  He started with horses, then found a bit more land to buy and some heifers to breed.  He and his dad cleaned up and rebuilt the property, and Seth was able to start living the life he always wanted.  It all took off from there. 
Jennie was born and raised in the city in Utah.  She grew up in a home that valued growing and preserving food, and where hard work was expected.  Through her teenage years, she gravitated to sports which eventually led her to playing for teams all over the country.  Jennie spent her last two years playing collegiate volleyball in a small college town and farming community in the middle of Missouri.  During her time there, she found that she loved small town living and could see herself loving life on a farm or ranch.  After college Jennie moved back east to nanny in a small town in Connecticut.  She then served a mission in South Korea for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Jennie always had a need, or desire to be moving around, progressing and growing.  While serving in South Korea, she developed a love for teaching which led her to pursue a Masters in Teaching in Salt Lake City.  Upon settling back in Salt Lake City for her Master’s degree she made some great new friends who introduced her to someone who changed the course of her life!
In the fall of 2012 Jennie and her friends took a road trip to visit a ranch in north central Montana. She was captivated by the grey, beige, gold and browns of the October landscape.  She never anticipated this random trip to a stranger’s ranch in a far-off part of Montana would be a pivotal moment in her life. Seth happened to live near the ranch Jennie was visiting.  The ranch owners, who are now dear friends, felt there was something about Jennie that Seth needed to become acquainted with, and vice versa.  Seth wasn't too keen on being the subject of ogling by a bunch of city girls, so he didn't come by to meet Jennie during her stay at the ranch.  However, in the months that followed, Jennie and Seth started to get to know each other through long phone calls and poignant emails.  Two years later, Jennie and Seth were married.
Now, Jennie can’t imagine living any other life than life on the ranch with Seth. There are obstacles, for sure: not having fully functioning legs (as one can imagine) is one, living so far from so many modern conveniences is another.  But the obstacle which lead them to direct market their own beef is how the system is stacked against the little guy. The food system as we know it is controlled by a VERY small number of processors and distributors, who don’t necessarily have the best interest of the small family farm or ranch in the front of their business model. After all the time spent raising good quality animals, Jennie and Seth decided that they preferred determining their worth and the outcome of their cattle as much as possible.  Determination for quality products and hard work has led them to this moment, where they can now provide their own ranch-raised, grass-fed beef to you!

 

 

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Pigs eating grain on pasture on stick leg ranch in Montana