Wrangler Springs Ranch is a work in progress, restoring the historic farm that was homesteaded in 1886.
The educational aspects of the facilities are funded by donations. The production side of the Ranch is operated separately.
Priority projects underway, funded by donations:
- Finish the wagon history display in Red Barn. A large wagon collection has now been transported from California to the Ranch and ready to display. The Red Barn is being refurbished as funding becomes available.
- Build interpretive trail system throughout the Ranch, horse drawn wagons will dot the trial with reader boards telling the homesteader history.
- Build Community Garden to learn about raising vegetables, maintained by local volunteers
- Converting a large quonset barn into a greenhouse
- Engaging local youth programs
- The agronomy side of the ranch produced the first alfalfa crop this year following two years of planting cover crops. Montana State University agricultural experiment station, a close neighbor, interns used portions of the farm field to conduct crop experiments.
- Efforts are underway with Flathead Electric Co-op to design and build a hydro generator to power the farm and beyond. The hydro plant will be used to showcase and educate about alternative energy.
- Kids have been working on building fences and multitude of other ranch projects
- A cow-calf herd is being developed with a cross breeding program to produce quality animals. The birthing and care of the calves is always a special time and requires many hours helping the new calves when born in a blizzard. Kids love being involved with the baby calves.
- Work is ongoing building 6 miles of hiking, biking trails around the Ranch for many to enjoy. The trail will be dotted with interpretive reader boards telling the history of the area, homesteaders and crop production. We hope to create a pleasant experience while going on a hike.
- Work is ongoing detailing the Red Barn for a historic wagon display and educational gathering area
- Inters have been working with local agencies and experts to enhance the fishing, over 1000 west slope Yellowstone cutthroat were stocked this year
- Equestrian activity is abundant. Two horse trainers were on site using the lighted arena for training young colts. The ranch acquires yearling colts and raises them to become performance horses. This provides the opportunity for kids to observe how to raise and train a horse. Several locals enjoy participating in the roping instruction and competitions that take place weekly. All our programs are structured towards learning.
- A large event was held at the Ranch, in conjunction with the ‘Honor and Serve Foundation’ to honor Veterans, Firemen and First Responders.
- The first ‘Thistle Stomp’ was held with over 100 participants to learn about alternative methods of weed control in crops.
- Work continues on several projects preparing for next summer. Field irrigation is being installed by a young crew to the garden area.
- Cedar logs have been gathered to begin a community garden. A steer compost program is in place to utilize livestock byproducts, to create black dirt for superior garden soil.
- Last winter, just before Christmas, the dorm building at the Ranch burned in an accidental fire. The young family narrowly escaped unharmed. This building will need to be replaced, but is on hold until building costs become reasonable and labor is available. Housing kids onsite will be on hold until then.