Bandy Ranch

Our Food, Our Future

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In 1990, a generous donor willed the University of Montana a 3,500-acre cattle ranch northwest of Ovando, Montana. The surroundings represent the interface between human managed landscapes and unmanaged wild lands. For too long this compelling space has been underutilized, even neglected. Now is the time to envision a new future that integrates Bandy Ranch into our teaching and research efforts. 

With support from donors, we will create a progressive, sustainable ranching learning center that dovetails with UM’s commitment to campus-wide sustainability efforts.

Highly interdisciplinary, the ranch will help enlighten students on sustainable ranch management and grass-fed operations. There will also be opportunities for them to explore the interface of grazing with forest management, wetland and stream restoration, and plant community and restoration studies. The ranch provides an opportunity to work with students at Montana State University on agricultural studies, and to provide high-quality, sustainable beef for campus dining facilities. 

Donor investment will help us purchase our initial herd of cattle, hire a program coordinator and provide internship stipends for students to work and learn on the property. We hope you will join us in making Bandy Ranch into a key educational center for UM students.

Our Priorities

Cattle Strategic investments in cow-calf pairs will allow us to jumpstart the new agricultural operation at Bandy Ranch.

Infrastructure and Operations As with any working ranch, ongoing maintenance and improvements to the property are crucial. These include things like, fencing, equipment, seed and weed mitigation. 

Support for Students Private funding will support graduate students, fellows, interns and instructors, increasing the program’s capacity to educate students and expand research opportunities.

Bunkhouse A new or renovated structure at the ranch will house students, visiting scholars and researchers as they work to advance the  mission of Bandy Ranch on site. 

Funding Goal: $1 million

For more info: Sam Barkley / Director of Development  sam.barkley@supportum.org / 406.243.5533 / SupportUM.org