Buffalo Gals


picking beansWhen I first visited my friends Margaret and Tracy on their (then) new farm in the mountains of Western Montana I was downright charmed by their life there. Margaret picked me and my dusty pack up from the greyhound station in Missoula and showed me around town a bit. She was excited. She'd just stopped working her job in town, and she and Tracy were full-time farming.

It was a steep climb from town to their farm, County Rail. About an hour past some sprawling gas stations, through a reservation, we turned left across from the railroad tracks and the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge.

Or at least that's how I remember it.

I met Margaret in Portland. Margaret met Tracy in New York. Then I met Tracy in New York and then there we all were sharing songs and stories in the Rockies.

They started County Rail shortly after relocating to Montana. Now, a short (or long) two years later, my friends have a budding business. I got the chance to talk with them last week about how it all began.

To begin, it was a lucky personal connection. They knew they wanted to farm, but didn't yet have the land. Tracy was visiting an old friend who told her about the property. Not knowing whether the land would be available or how much it would cost, Margaret and Tracy decided to pursue this tip and contacted the landowner, Steve Dagger. It turned out to be a good gamble.

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