Meet Bruce and Tena Ketchum

3rd Generation Ranchers

In the Southeastern part of Montana there is a ranch whose roots are generations deep. When Bruce and I first talked and I was trying to establish a pinpoint on the map, he laughed and said that they have a Baker, Montana phone number, a Plevna address, but they call Ekalaka home.

The family name was familiar to me for years. I met Tena, a Glasgow area native, when she and Bruce were in college in Bozeman and I was just a high school FFA student and they were dancing. They were impressive partners on the dance floor and have proved to be even more so as life partners with jobs and a ranch to run and girls to raise. Their partnership has been a strong one, to which they will both attest to all their success as God given.

Bruce was not my high school Ag teacher, he was my sister’s. I was graduated and gone on to college when Bruce came to Carter County High School. He was well received as he was a local boy and he had a great reputation as he was a past state FFA officer. He had a vested interest in the community and a more than solid work ethic. Everyone spoke well of him and I find out years later what a narrow tight rope they walked to attain success. Nothing ever comes easy and Montana offers up her own set of challenges.

Feeding Cattle in 1978

Living on a ranch that was first purchased by his grandfather in 1917, to losing his dad at a young age, the struggle was real and to her credit, they were lead by his mother, Mary, who was an amazing woman in her own right. She was a young widow with two boys to raise and a ranch to pay for and she had no quit in her. Mary herself had mentored many young women in the barrel patch and was a success herself.

Tena reflects on the drought of 1988

Milk Creek Reds

Bruce and Tena were able to build the Milk Creek Reds through some off-farm income. Both worked away from home, both were humble people and very capable. The developed a custom A.I. business that grew from 200 head per year to somewhere between 8000 and 10,000 head annually. Much of that made possible through advances in A.I. and synchronization, a head for business and a skill that was marketable.

Knowledge is power and I have the utmost respect for these folks. They have raised two girls. Cele is married with a baby of her own and she is an Ag teacher as well. Jacqueline studied Animal Reproduction Physiology and will soon graduate and plans to take over the AI program.

Stewardship is our Focus, Not Awards

2022 brought to Milk Creek Reds, Breeder of the Year in the Red Angus Association. National Convention was held in Kalispel Montana and it is an honor to be nominated by a committee of peers. Both have humbly served in office and their service has been recognized. Rightfully so I would say.

Bruce and Tena are so humble, they give all the glory to God, they share and mentor and take in students to provide an apprenticeship. They are shaping another generation of young minds in Agriculture and if they keep going like they have done, they will just expand the footprint they leave.

Selected for Soundness

For more information about their program, visit www.milkcreekreds.com and if you want to understand who you are doing business with, read the mission statement at the bottom of the page. That will certainly make you feel good about the decision.

Be humble, be a too.

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