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.
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 they have raised sheep, dairy cows, pigs, and beef cows. They 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 24 cows and nearly 60 total in the herd.
We use Superior Meats and Clark Fork Meats for bison processing. Both are state inspected plants with 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 be offering 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.