Blarney Heights Farm is located on rolling green hills, nestled amongst pines, firs, larch and aspens trees, overlooking the towering Mission Mountains and the Jocko Valley in Western Montana. The name Blarney Heights Farm is derived from our Irish heritage. Our farm has a commanding view of the valley below, much like the famous Blarney Castle outside the small village of Blarney, Ireland. A day on our farm feels as if you’re in rural Ireland, gazing out across rolling green hills, rugged peaks, and green, lush forests.
We believe in crafting the finest, healthiest, and best tasting beef available, which is exactly why we chose Dexter cattle. They are an excellent candidate for the sustainable, artisanal form of cattle farming implemented at Blarney Heights Farm.
We are honored to play a role in the preservation of this heritage breed of cattle and to be a sustainable, community-oriented, artisanal farm for Western Montana.
We believe in ethically raising animals, specifically Dexter cattle, to provide Western Montana with the highest quality, grass-fed and finished beef available. Our very existence at Blarney Heights Farm depends solely on the overall health, resilience, and diversity of the land in which we raise our cattle. Understanding we may “own the land,” but in reality are simply temporary stewards for future generations, drives us to focus not only on the ethical treatment of our Dexters, but to continuously improve upon the forestlands, grasslands, hillsides, and knolls in which our cattle call home. We work closely with the Montana Natural Resource Conservation Service to ensure our management techniques are consistent with their vision for land stewardship practices, ensuring both native flora and fauna, as well as our cattle herd, can coexist together in a symbiotic manner.
Here at Blarney Heights Farm, we utilize no synthetic or commercial fertilizer, no pesticides or herbicides in any capacity, and no vaccinations or medications on any of our Dexter cattle. Our primary focus is to create a healthy ecosystem by implementing an intensive rotational grazing system for our cattle, ensuring not only their health, but also the grasslands. In utilizing intensive rational grazing, our cattle are never on the same pasture for more than 24 hours. This provides each pasture with a highly concentrated grazing system, specifically designed to mimic the natural, and traditional, behavior of herbivores on the grasslands of the American West in which rangelands were properly grazed, fertilized, and then allowed to naturally regenerate. This in turn leads to biodiversity within the ecosystem, with emphasis placed on the grass and native vegetation overall health and regeneration.
At Blarney Heights Farm, we have implemented the use of “silvopasture” in our intensive rotational grazing program. Silvopasture is the deliberate integration of forestland and grazing livestock working together to be mutually beneficial to the other. These systems are intensively managed for forestland health and production, all while providing benefits to the native plants and animals, as well as the grazing livestock. Our Dexter cattle are not provided barns, or other man-made livestock shelters, and prefer to utilize the natural cover, wind breaks, and weather protection a silvopasture environment provides them from the elements, much like they would enjoy in their native rangelands and rugged hills of Southern Ireland.
Our Dexter cattle share their rangeland with our native residents who call Blarney Heights Farm home. Black and Grizzly bears, wolves and coyotes, elk, moose and deer, among a host of other native animals, are all routinely found on the property. It is imperative to us we improve upon the native rangelands of these animals, all while providing the highest quality, grass-fed and finished beef available in Western Montana.
As discussed in our “Why Dexters” information page, this breed is native to the landscapes of Southern Ireland. They are adept at converting “rough pasture,” native grasses, forbes and other native plant species into delicious, healthy beef. Because Dexter’s are one of the smallest beef cattle breeds in the world, they are naturally less damaging to native rangelands, forestland habitats, and the environment as a whole compared to their larger bovine brethren. Make no mistake, others will say they purposefully breed for smaller, more compact cattle, but nothing comes close to a Dexter in terms of the smallest “footprint” on the natural environment of Western Montana we call home.
Dexters produce the best grass-fed, grass-finished beef available, hands down. Once you’ve tasted the all-natural marbling of a completely grass-fed Dexter, you will never look at other “grass-fed,” or your supermarket beef the same. There is simply no comparison. It is not a wonder why Dexter beef is continuously preferred by Europes top chefs, and increasingly in the United States, when providing their clientele an all-natural, grass-fed beef with the most luxurious taste beef can provide.
Our Dexters are never provided grain, fillers, or anything which would not be available to them naturally within their rangeland. We do not vaccinate our cattle, nor do we provide them with medications as we do not feel these manufactured pharmaceuticals should ever be in the beef you feed to your family and friends. Because of our intensive rotational grazing system, our Dexters will develop virtually no parasites as they are always on fresh forage. Dexters are an extremely hardy, and healthy, breed of cattle which require little human intervention in the form of nutrition and medications. All our Dexters are afforded the opportunity to ingest all-natural salts and minerals to supplement their healthy diets of native Western Montana flora. We provide all our Dexters with all-natural spring water, developed and harvested directly from the abundant springs on our property, ensuring only the cleanest, freshest water is ingested by our Dexters to improve their overall health.
Here at Blarney Heights Farm we pride ourselves in a traditional approach to ranching and animal husbandry. We do not utilize “mechanical” methods to move cattle, and everything is done either by us directly on foot or by horseback. This ensures cattle are not stressed and all transitional periods for them are smooth and comfortable.
Blarney Heights Farm Team
Brian is the owner of Blarney Heights Farm located outside of Arlee, Montana. He has worn many hats, including U.S. Army solider and police officer, but his ultimate calling was to return to the land he calls home and become a rancher. Brian has obtained invaluable expertise from his life experiences, further enriching the successful creation of Blarney Heights Farm, his ultimate dream. Brian strives to bring the highest quality Dexter beef to the market while simultaneously providing the most receptive customer service.