NEW ORLEANS, (February 1, 2023) – The Mannix Brothers Ranch, in Helmville, Mont., has been selected as one of seven regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The award, announced during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NBCA Trade Show, recognizes the operation’s outstanding stewardship and conservation efforts. Regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be announced later this year.
“The Mannix Brother Ranch is extremely deserving of this award and we [MSGA] are proud to have them represent Montana ranchers at this level. They have showcased throughout their 140-year history their commitment to stewardship and making the best use of their operation,” said John Grande, MSGA President.
For the second year in a row a Montana ranch has won the Region V award, and the 15th time since 1992.
“We are excited to have yet another Montana ranch be recognized at the regional level for their hard work and dedication to land stewardship,” said Grande. “It just goes to show that Montana ranchers are leaders in land management and actively work to protect and improve the environment because they know environmental stewardship and good business go hand-in-hand.”
Operated by the ranch’s board of directors, which includes brothers of the fourth generation, David, Randy, and Brent, their wives Peggy, Mo, and Stacey, and three representatives of the fifth generation, Neil, Bryan and Logan, the Mannix Brothers Ranch includes approximately 50,000 total acres and raises approximately 1,200 mother cows, 900 stockers, and 200 beef cows in Helmville, Montana.
Together, the family manages a diversified ranching business comprising a cow-calf program, stocker program, timber entity, direct-to-consumer grass-finished beef program, and a partnership in a recently opened restaurant.
The ranch is home to a vast wildlife population which includes elk, grizzly bears, wolves, whitetail deer, and mule deer. The creeks also include populations of bull and cutthroat trout. Beginning in 2004, the ranch partnered with the Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited (BBCTU) to improve Wasson Creek, a key fish spawning ground for cutthroat trout coming up from the Blackfoot River, which resulted in a 14 degrees improvement on the creek, in addition to more water and fish in the stream.
“We’ve never thought of ourselves as the true “owners” of this land. Instead, we are stewards of the soil, streams, grass, timber, and wildlife that belong to this ecosystem. The land is the lifeblood of our community, and we strive to be worthy caretakers of those resources that fall under our management,” said David Mannix.
The ranch practices intensive rotational grazing on much of the 3,900 acres of irrigated ground where they mostly graze their stocker herd, usually moving cattle every one to four days, and trying to allow adequate rest before returning.
Established in 2008, the Mannix Family Grass-Finished Beef program is a direct-to-consumer delivery service and has been an opportunity for the family to communicate directly to beef consumers in the area and share their sustainability story.
To learn more about the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award Program, please visit www.mtbeeffoundation.org.
Now in its 32nd year, the Environmental Stewardship Award has annually recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers from across the nation. Regional and national award winners have been commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations.