The heart and history of Medicine Rocks Ranch
Frank Mehling came to Ekalaka, in the southeastern corner of Montana, from Bayard, NE, in 1950 along with his parents, Irving and Gladys Mehling and older brother, Harlan. Because the ranch they purchased bordered the local scenic attraction area called the Medicine Rocks, it was only logical that they name the ranch MEDICINE ROCKS RANCH.
In 1960, Frank married an eastern Montana rancher’s daughter, Charlene Knipfer. Frank and Charlene have two children, Marcia (David), and Paul (Michelle) and one granddaughter, Kaylie.
We breed and raise both registered and commercial black angus herds at Medicine Rocks Ranch. The herds are cared for similarly and are equally functional. The commerical herd is established once the registered herd quota has been reached.
Calving starts in March and the weather can be brutal. Regardless of the surprises Mother Nature may have in store, both herds are wintered and calve in nearby pastures on the ranch. Losses due to calving difficulty are generally quite small, but spring storms do cause some loss.
Carrying capacity is around 35 acres to run a cow-calf pair, and our cows raise their calf and care for themselves under natural conditions. We feel this challenge demonstrates the true performance of the cow, thus, creep feeding is never implemented on our ranch.
Average rainfall is 12" and irrigation is not possible in this corner of the state. The livestock receive their water from natural springs, stock ponds and a live stream. Frank's brother, Harlan, does our small amount of farming for us on shares. We raise our own hay on the ranch, which consists of alfalfa, crested wheat grass, and some barley that would not grow well enough to combine. If the snow is to deep for the cattle to graze due to winter conditions, we may feed hay from mid-December until late April.
All calves are weaned in late October and early November, and the commercial calves are marketed by private treaty or the auction barn. The bull calves that escape the “bander” are trucked to Midland Test Station at Columbus, MT to winter, returning a few days prior to our annual sale on the third Monday in April.
Visitors are always welcome to visit us, view our cattle, and enjoy the unique beauty of the Medicine Rocks and the surrounding area of southeastern Montana.
Why Medicine Rocks Ranch?
Honest, conscientious and reputable breeders celebrating over 50 years in the Angus industry
Fulfill desire and obligation to industry by extensively researching genetics and pedigrees for the betterment of the black angus breed
Long-standing members of the American Angus Association
Maintain both registered and commercial herds on ranch, allowing meeting and viewing flexibility
Why Medicine Rocks Black Angus?
Both bull and cow herds have been culled strictly, maintaining structural and udder soundness, fleshing ability, productivity and docility
Practical, efficient, deep-ribbed, long-bodied, moderately-framed and adequately-boned
Hardy and adaptable to weather extremes
No creep feeding of calves, showcasing independent capability of cows until weaning