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ulls that can thrive in the high desert without falling apart are more than worth a commercial cattleman’s investment. South Mountain Ranch specializes in bulls that do this with ease. Matt Duckett grew up outside of Jordan Valley, Oregon on a commercial cattle operation which gave him an understanding of what cattle need to do to thrive in a high-desert environment. South Mountain Ranch is based in Caldwell, Idaho and focuses on breeding, raising, and developing bulls for ranchers who run in big, rough, rugged high desert country. After high school, Matt obtained an Associates Degree in Animal Science and Agriculture Business. He then decided it would be beneficial to focus on and learn business through the Accounting program at Boise State University. That degree lead to him obtaining his CPA license. Before returning to agriculture, he worked for 10 years in manufacturing and real estate in accounting and finance related positions. However, about five years after graduating college he began purchasing registered Hereford and Angus cattle. Matt and his wife have four children, their eldest just finished his Freshman year of high school while the


youngest will start Kindergarten in the fall. Matt made the decision to go into agriculture full time back when their oldest was in first grade so the kids could have the opportunities he had in his childhood. “I always wanted my kids to be able to grow up like I did, being able to work and help on the ranch,” Matt said. As agriculturalists, many of us see the positive impact that growing up in this lifestyle has on how young people turn out. Matt was appreciative of the things he’d learned growing up on a ranch and wanted to make sure his kids would benefit from the values, work ethic and ability to problem solve that he had found growing up. “That background benefitted me immensely when I went to work in industries outside of agriculture,” Matt said. “Because of my ranching background I could just outwork other people easily. I wanted my kids to have those same values, skill sets and abilities. It’s not that you can’t get that other ways, but in my opinion, agriculture is the best, easiest way to teach kids those values.” When making the move back into agriculture, the choice to utilize Angus and Hereford genetics came naturally

Western  Cowman - July/August  2017

as those were the breeds his family had used in their commercial operation. Since he had known those breeds as a kid, Matt had an affinity for them and knew the definite strengths that make both breeds well-suited for the high desert rancher. The South Mountain Ranch bull sale is held annually on the second Tuesday in February. At this event about 100 head of Hereford and Angus bulls are offered. The bulk of these bulls will go the ranch’s strong customer base in the high deserts of Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Creating cattle that can truly thrive in the high desert takes an awareness of the environment and attention to detail. The Ducketts have raised commercial cattle in this environment and therefore have a complete understanding of how their purebred bulls need to be developed to go to work for their customers. At South Mountain Ranch, you’ll find a focus on moderate-framed cows that don’t have excessive milk production and are correct in their feet and leg structure. As calves are born, attention in paid to how they are developed which means that within a month or two of birth the pairs are turned out into rocky, sagebrush-filled ground where

Profile for EDJE

Western Cowman July / August 2017  

Western Cowman July / August 2017  

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