Harlow Ranch Bison Company was born out of a need to regenerate the soil on the ranch and a love of the majestic American Buffalo
The ranch is located in Thompson Falls, the heart of Sanders County Montana, and has been in the Harlow family for 100 years.
The goal with the bison is to regenerate the ranch from the soil up. We are studying agronomy and large animal husbandry and learning so much so fast. We are using different crops to increase soil health and nutrients. More nutrients in the plants will raise healthier animals and make more nutrients in the meat we sell. Currently, the bison are fed grass, hay, and “range cake” which is a grain/alfalfa bison pellet. The bison are so cool and have such personality, it’s hard not to spoil them rotten.
For bison processing, we use Superior Meats (state inspected) and White Meats (USDA inspected). Both have excellent quality standards. We have meat available in all your typical cuts, by the pound, or by the quarter bison, or create your own custom package of steaks, roasts, and burger. We also carry specialty cuts like tongue, brisket, heart, and liver. Order your meat and have it delivered within the local area, or pick it up at the ranch. The local delivery area is essentially a three hour radius from Thompson Falls. We cover Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint, Missoula, Troy, Libby, and Kalispell. Contact us to see if we can ship to your area.
In an effort not to waste any of the animal, we will offer bones and hooves for dog chews and skulls for home decor. We also use the hides or get them to someone who can use them.
Adam Anakalea and Melinda Harlow Anakalea are thrilled to be at the ranch putting their love into raising bison through regenerative practices. Over the years the ranch has had sheep, dairy cows, pigs, and beef cows. Adam and Melinda raised livestock on a small scale in Hawaii for the past 10 years and moved to Montana early in 2019.
Adam’s family raised pigs when he was small and he thought his parents hated him because they made him feed the pigs. He raised chickens on his own when he was older and then got into team roping as an adult. His jobs on the ranch now are infrastructure (fencing, water lines, corrals), machinery maintenance, and logging. His favorite job is keeping the forest healthy. He is an accredited logger with the Montana Logging Association. He misses the tropical weather, fishing, and hunting on the Big Island, but he loves to call Montana home.
Melinda was one of those little girls with a hundred plastic horses because they lived in the city and she couldn’t have a real horse. She finally got to spend more time at the ranch and got a horse when she was about 13. Her jobs on the ranch now are taking care of the animals, growing grass, handling the irrigation, and keeping the books. She also does bookkeeping for several clients in Hawaii.
After visiting a few bison ranches in the fall of 2019, we joined the Montana Bison Association and attended their winter conference in January 2020. With incredible inspiration, support, and education from the association, we were able to get into business before the spring calving season.
We started with 18 bison, had 4 calves in 2020, and added a few more from different herds. We are up to 70 total in the herd.
When we started to dream and develop goals of what the ranch would look like if it were close to perfect, we came up with this:
Harlow Anakalea Ranch Holistic Goals
Quality of Life
The ranch is a peaceful healing place. The trees and the grass and Sqaylth-kwum creek are vibrant and healthy. There is great biodiversity. The ranch is healthy for future generations. We are self-directed and motivated to generate income from multiple sources. The ranch shows excellence and integrity spiritually and physically.
The ranch is a safe place for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Drugs and alcohol are not a part of ranch life.
We communicate openly and honestly. We are all on the same page with the same goals. No strife. No drama. We appreciate each other and the different skills and ideas we bring to the table. At the end of the day, we all ride for the brand.
The people at the ranch are healthy. We get enough rest, we eat healthy meats, we do right by God. We are financially secure and free from constant concern over expenses. We have the time and the means to visit a doctor and a dentist whenever necessary. We have regularly scheduled time off. We make a point of doing something fun at least 3 times per year.
Each person at the ranch has a solid work ethic. Neglect is not an option. We keep things neat and organized by picking up after ourselves and putting everything in its place. We perform regular maintenance on the machinery and the buildings.
The fences, the irrigation, the equipment, and the buildings are effective and functional. The infrastructure is up to standard, so maintenance is easy and manageable. The grass lasts year-round and we do not have to feed hay.
The soil is healthy. The cycling of minerals and water are effective and efficient. We build soil and enhance water quality. We are leaving a well-structured program for the next generation – a functional, sustainable, profitable, regenerative ranch that can be worked or leased out to regenerative ranchers who will live on and care for the land.
The livestock are healthy and comfortable. They live in harmony with wildlife. The animals in the herd are selected for their hardy traits and require little intervention and management. The nutrition from the land provides for nutritious meat for the people on the ranch and the customers.
We create and use effective financial management systems focused on profit not production. We create and use plans for pasture rotation, irrigation, and farming goals that generate productive soils and ecosystems.
Sanders County is resilient, united, thriving and growing. We connect with volunteer work as first responders. We participate in and support education of children and the community in agriculture and forestry. We work with the local tribe to provide a resource for their children and tribal members. People see that we are trying the best we can and learning every day to get better, not worse. They see us as honest, kind, friendly, and responsive.
Forms of production
- We live with an attitude of abundance, grace, and mercy.
- We create an atmosphere of excellence and integrity.
- We are grateful and we express it often and sincerely.
- We take the time to plan for finances, grazing, irrigation, and infrastructure.
- We create wealth at the ranch through meat sales, managing the timber, rental income, hunting, agro tourism, and education.
- We save money for the future, and we invest wisely in infrastructure and wealth generation.
- We learn from problems, challenges, and mistakes made by ourselves and others.
- We maintain our health through eating well, sleeping well, and working our bodies well.
- We keep our minds sharp by taking classes and learning new things.
- We manage our time, energy, work, and relationships and we adjust as needed.
- We have fun!
- We have regular scheduled time off.
- We network to build new relationships and alliances.
- We keep the ranch clean and orderly by picking up after ourselves, putting things back in their designated spots, performing regular maintenance, monitoring, and delegating.