The Shortridge family began ranching in Montana in 1914. Sally Shortridge, Herd Manager for Shoco (Shortridge Company) Red Angus has run a successful commercial cow-calf operation since 1978. The ranch produces mixed grass-alfalfa hay and the herd thrives along a wooded stretch of prime Smith Creek bottom land.

Working cattle ranch and protected open space

On February 24, 2017 after many years of working to protect her property, Sally Shortridge successfully placed Shoco Ranch under a conservation easement with The Montana Land Reliance. It lies in the shadow of the iconic Hay Stack Butte and is visible from Highway 434. Her efforts will ensure that her property will remain as a working cattle ranch, protect the open space and provide significant wildlife habitat in perpetuity.

Sally is the fourth generation of female ranchers to run the family operation and she has done so with sustainability and agricultural best practices in mind. Under her tutelage and stewardship, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has classified the majority of the property as “Class 2 Crucial Wildlife Habitat,” the second highest rank of wildlife habitat in the system. This means that the property contains the resources necessary for wildlife survival and reproduction, and has high levels of biodiversity. This is a significant achievement for a working ranch operation, and an important one in an area home to 11 species of concern, determined by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, these include grizzly bears and golden eagles.

Scenes from Shoco Ranch