MCE raises 1,650 head of black Angus cattle on 38,000 acres. Calving begins in February and the calves are sold through a video livestock auction in the fall. The Range Program provides training in horsemanship, herd management (breeding, calving, vaccinating, branding, and marketing), horse-shoeing, and range management for twelve inmates.
Thirty inmates milk 350 Holstein cows three times per day. The milk is used in the processing plant to produce packaged milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, butter, buttermilk, yogurt and cream for facilities around the state. The excess raw milk is sold to a cooperative in Montana.
Alfalfa, grass, barley and oats are raised on 2,800 acres of cropland for the Range and Dairy programs. Thirty inmates move twelve miles of hand-line irrigation pipes utilizing gravity-fed water from five dams located on MCE Ranch lands.
Sawmill and Lumber
Lumber Processing supplies posts, rails, and building supplies used in MCE operations. In addition defective lumber from a local lumber mill is processed into serviceable lengths for return to the mill.
MCE implements short and long-term water, weed, range and forest management plans for better utilization of ranch natural resources. The plans are implemented in cooperation with Powell County, United States Forest Service, and the Montana Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources & Conservation. See the Montana Department of Agriculture Biennial Noxious Weed Report.
MCE also operates a Hunting program for the public, managing elk and deer populations on the ranch. See our Hunting Access Rules & Map and the MCE Archery Only Land Use Permit Form. Here is a copy of our 2016 Hunting Report that discusses the program in detail and provides statistics from the 2015 - 2016 Hunting Season.