Ridin' For The Brand

First Aired Monday, April 28, 2014

This story journals a year in the life and times of three old-time Montana ranching families. Over the past few generations, an ever-changing and growing America has presented new and challenging environmental and economic issues. "Ridin' for the Brand" explores the hardships and the joys of traditional ranching life in Montana and explores looming concerns and issues that may impact our future as consumers. 

Ten years in the making, "Ridin' for the Brand," by Stephanie Alton, has earned its place amongst the most compelling, important, and gorgeous documentaries about ranching in Montana. As author Jim Harrison says, “It’s the best film I’ve ever seen on the new West which in terms of ranchers and cowboys is the same as it ever was. The film is utterly genuine.” "Ridin' for the Brand" is a Montana story that journals a year in the life and times of three old-time Montana ranching families. Originally coming to the Big Timber area during the early Texas cattle drives over a century ago, these families are struggling to maintain the only life they know and love. These ranchers share how global markets, government policies, slaughterhouse and meatpacking, monopolies and urban sprawl are forever changing their livelihoods and landscapes.

Alton’s film gives a glimpse into the world of ranching and livestock, and the interesting stories and way of life of the people who are so connected to us, as consumers, through their hard work, care, and hours devoted to the animals that eventually reach our plates.

“Ridin’ for the Brand” is so much more than a story about ranches of the West; it is a story of the dedication and steadfastness of the people of this land and their ranches. And it is also a story of the conscious changes people are making in their food choices and agricultural practices. 

Ridin' For The Brand

Support for this program was provided by:

Sharon Alton
DeDee Phillips
Barbie Van Cleve
Bill Farnham
Kin Kong
Rich Bronec
John Romanesko
Paula Curtin
Bea Geller