Day 4 (June 6) of the 2019 WLJ Ranch Study Tour in Montana started off cooler than expected. We were watching the skies since rain was in the forecast. As it turned out, it was a beautiful day with the thunderstorms patiently holding off until we returned to the hotel.
The day's events kicked off with a visit to Historic Fort Benton. The Lewis and Clark expedition travelled past the area nearly 200 years ago. The fort started life in 1846 as the American Fur Company Trading Post, where westward-moving explorers, mountain men, and trappers traded with local Native Americans.
The tour moved on to the IX Ranch, which has been a presence in the area since the 1880s. A long-standing influence on local finances, livestock genetics, and ecological stewardship, the IX Ranch is still deeply invested in the community.