Padlock Ranch Co.

By: Bubbajunk.com

Homer Scott started the Padlock Ranch with 3,000 acres and 300 cows in 1943.  Over the intervening years the Scott family has significantly increased the size of the ranch to where 55 employees raise and market over 12,000 calves a year. The ranch headquarters is located at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains in north central Wyoming.  The ranch is divided into units, which are spread, from Hardin, Montana to Sheridan, Wyoming.   Elevations vary from nearly 9,000 feet on summer permits in the Bighorns Mountains to 3,600 feet on the Tongue River at Acme, Wyoming.

The ranch grazes cow-calf pairs on native grassland in Montana and Wyoming.  Grazing lands are a mixture of private and leased land located on or near the Crow Indian Reservation.  Portions of the ranch support forest resources, primarily Ponderosa Pine Woodlands.  The forest resources are managed to produce stand densities that would be similar to what existed prior to settlement.  This type of management creates open parkland that is resistant to fire and pests, frees soil moisture, and promotes grass and for production, which reduces erosion. 
 
In support of the grazing operation the ranch irrigates 5,000 acres of farmland.  Annual production is 11,000 tons of dry hay, 20,000 tons of corn silage, 15,000 tons of hay silage and 60,000 bushels of barley.  The production supports the winter feeding program and supplies their back grounding feedlot. The basis of their breeding program is to develop the maternal characteristics of the cow herd, producing cattle with a well balanced blend of milk production and moderate frame size without compromising yield and grade. The Padlock began a crossbreeding program in the late 1950Ââ€Ã¢„¢s by crossing Angus bulls to Hereford cows. 

Since 1996 they range calved their first calf heifers rather than use calving sheds. Late calving allows the ranch to match the cowÂâ€Ã¢„¢s nutritional needs with the onset of the growing season. They believe that range calving produces better mothers.

Wildlife management, beyond good grazing management, requires protection of riparian areas and other critical or special habitats.  Protection of riparian areas produces sound stream banks, produces overhanging vegetation and protects water quality. At the Padlock, their goal is to meet or better best management practices in the management of their natural resources.