"It is a privilege to care for the animals and the land."
The Dunkels are second-generation Montana ranchers. Now, the Jordan place is alongside the Shields River, where the animals graze on riverfront property.
The entire family works on the ranch, including mom, dad, grandpa, and two young teen sons. It is important for the Dunkels to raise their children on the ranch, since it is not just a job but a way of life: “it is a privilege to care for the animals and the land.” Mrs. Dunkel explains that she cannot imagine passing on the sense of responsibility and privilege to the future generation of ranchers.
At HR Cattle animals are primarily grass fed until their last two months at pasture. Then they are fed a generational family mixture: corn, molasses, and barley alongside irrigated pastures of green grass and clover.
This gives the beef a distinctly nutty and buttery flavor, with a sweet finish.
If you do not practice certain ethics and sustainable practices, you can’t be a true rancher. Caring for the land and the animals is a no brainer at the Jordan Place, it’s what has been done for hundreds of years.
In the Shields Valley, ranching is the most sustainable agricultural industry for the region. We want others to have access to the type of meat we do, we don’t want it to be unattainable. Ranching in an extremely satisfying type of work, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with the everyday.
The Dunkels are animal lovers and the ranch is filled with animals.
Calving season in an especially exciting time at the ranch, this is where ranch kids learn the most. When the cattle are born they lay in straw beds and are checked every four hours. You spend every waking moment trying to save every calf’s life.
We owe the cows our time and energy because they are giving us the ultimate sacrifice of their life so that we can continue ours.