by Ryan Goodman
Advocacy from the ranching and cattle communities can take many forms. For several in Montana’s ranching community, this includes running – for 200 miles.
Each year, the Montana Running Ranchers participate in a Ragnar Relay. This series of 200-mile relay events, which take place across the country, involves teams of 12 runners working all day and through the night to cover 200 miles on foot.
On October 14-15, the Montana Running Ranchers will participate in their 2016 Ragnar Relay event, taking place in Hawaii.
The Ragnar events usually include up to 500 team of 12, plus at least two volunteers for each team, coming from a variety of backgrounds, usually urban and suburban areas. All of this requires at least 24 hours to complete.
Ragnar provides a great opportunity for the Montana Running Ranchers to reach an audience of a few thousand, sharing positive impressions of beef and Montana ranching. Team members interact with relay participants at 36 exchanges along the route and usually receive many questions about ranching, beef and agriculture from people who may have never had the opportunity to meet a farmer or rancher.
The relay team runners are all members of Team Beef, a program administered by the Montana Beef Council to connect members of the fitness community with information about beef as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. A number of area businesses and ranches also support the Montana Running Ranchers through sponsorships.
2016 premier sponsors of the Montana Running Ranchers include the Montana Beef Council, Montana Farmers Union, Hi-Country Beef Jerky, Northwest Farm Credit Services, HFM Foodservice, Western Ag Reporter, Meagher County CattleWomen, B Bar M Ranch, Nash Land and Livestock, among many others.
2016 team members include Evelyn Halverson from Big Timber, Heather Fryer from Hobson, Christy Pletan from Harlowton, Sarah Nash from Harlowton, Christy Gerdes from Huntley, Billie Jo Holzer from Moccasin, Dustin Ladenburger from Stratton, NE, Ed Rollins from Ione, OR, Robert Majerus from White Sulphur Springs, Ian Morse from Spokane, WA and Ryan Goodman from Helena.
During the race, team members will provide live updates via Facebook and share interactions along the course. The team updates can be found by joining the “Montana Running Ranchers/ Team Beef Montana” Facebook group. Contact team captain, Ryan Goodman, for more information at email@example.com, or call (406) 465-4295.