Brad and his wife Jamie live near the center of Wheatland County northwest of Harlowton. Brad has six step kids, Faith, Zach, Josh, Ashlee, Jonny (who are all grown up and moved away) and Elaina. He has 2 other children, Lane and Lacee, and we can’t forget to mention Katie and Twinkie, the untrusted cow dogs. Brad grew up in Wheatland County; he left the ranch for a while but has been back for the last 12 years.
“I feel very privileged to be where I’m at. It couldn’t have gotten where I am today without the support of my grandparents, parents and my sister. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to make it through some really tough times.
“I also feel privileged to have a great partner with the livestock, kids, and my life. Jamie has been very instrumental to the operation. She’s the brains and heart of our endeavor. She has spent many hours looking at EPDs to improve our herd and lot of time keeping an eye out on our livestock to keep them healthy.
“I’m a member of Farm Bureau because I want to protect my way of life and this way of life for future generations.”
What type of production agriculture you are involved in?
I’m a bovine reproduction manager. Everything has to have a fancy title, so that’s the one I use to say I raise cows.
What made you want to pursue agriculture as a career and what keeps you involved?
I really don’t think I pursued ag as a career as much as it pursued me. The best thing my family did was “kick me out” after I graduated. They told me I needed to leave the ranch and see what else was out there. While I was gone I spent some time on a harvest crew, went to and completed community college for diesel mechanics, worked in a truck shop, drove truck, and countless other jobs in between. I enjoyed everything I did but always felt something was missing until I came home and started working on the family ranch again.
It’s the moments that keep me involved. Moments like the first day after a stormy stretch and the sun comes out, the air is still and the calves running around, playing, bucking and having a good ‘ol time. Or when we’re moving the cows and I look over to see my wife and kids riding along with me and herding the cows and little calves we worked so hard to keep alive during bad weather. The fresh smell of dirt while seeding, looking back at a hayfield you just got done baling. The sight of the cattle truck driving away from the chute after you’ve weaned and sold the calves. The list of moments goes on and on and that’s what keeps me going.
What do you want customers to know?
We take care of our livestock, pastures, farm ground, and environment so it will keep producing food in an economical way to keep feeding the growing population of the world.
My Montana: Brad Lode, Wheatland/Golden Valley Farm Bureau President