Montana Running Ranchers logoToday’s we’ll continue with a series on the Montana Running Ranchers relay team. The team will be participating in the Ragnar 200-mile relay event in Hawaii, October 14-15, 2016. The team uses this event as an advocacy opportunity to share the message of beef in a healthy diet and Montana ranching with runners and athletes from across the country. Click here to learn more about this year’s event and team. To support the team or have your brand on the team vans, visit our Square store to donate today.

Today’s featured Montana Running Rancher is Heather Fryer from Hobson. Find Heather on Instagram.

Heather Fryer Montana Running Rancher

I was raised in an Air Force family, with my officer father piloting a variety of planes and commanding multiple units.  During my childhood, I lived and traveled all over the nation, sometimes living in agriculture communities, at other times living in the suburbs. My agricultural experience included raising and showing livestock in 4H and ranch-hand labor, helping to build fences in the mountains of Idaho. The rural lifestyle and my enjoyment of raising animals set the course of my life, leading to university study in agricultural disciplines. In 2002, I graduated from Colorado State University with two Bachelor of Science degrees, in Agricultural Business and Animal Science. In 2004, I received my Master’s of Science in Agricultural Economics, married Jim Fryer and began working in Billings, MT. Shortly thereafter and for the ensuing ten years, Jim and I have embraced career progression opportunities by moving to several locations in the US, Europe and Asia.

My family feels very fortunate to have returned to Jim’s native Montana by settling in Central Montana almost four years ago. I work at one of Montana State University (MSU) Agricultural Experiment Stations, the Central Agricultural Research Station in Moccasin, MT, helping investigate crop species and soil microbiology. I wear many hats as an occasional cowpuncher, school board member, freelance writer, proposal editor and aspiring photographer. Jim works at Bos Terra, where the operation uses local grains to produce national beef. Our three children are thoroughly immersed in Montana country life. Jim’s parents and his brother and family also live in Montana and are all MSU Bobcats.

I began running because I loved tennis and I wanted to improve my tennis game. I had many friends that loved to run. When we moved to Central Montana, it became increasingly difficult to find someone to play tennis with whereas I can run solo anytime. After I started running, I noticed that I do a lot of creative thinking and get some of my best ideas on the trail. When I finished my first race, I had a great sense of accomplishment and the running community is an encouraging group. I was hooked.

Heather Fryer Montana Running RancherThis is my third year running with Team Beef Montana and my first year to participate in a race with the Running Ranchers. This summer, I’m running two half-marathons, the Montana CattleWomen’s Ranch Run in Lennep, MT and with the Running Ranchers relay in Hawaii. Team Beef has made running even more enjoyable than running solo. Being part of a team is great motivation, the comradery is wonderful and I participate in more races when I know my teammates will be there.

Team Beef reaches hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers. We are cattle producers, we have families, we want to be healthy, we’re athletes, we’re all ages and we eat beef! We’re representing Montana’s ranchers and the cattle community. We expect the Hawaii Race will be attended by up to 10,000 people, thus offering a tremendous opportunity to spread the TEAM BEEF message.

Sign up to join Team Beef Montana today, or contact your state’s Beef Council to learn about Team Beef programs in your area. Join Team Beef USA on Facebook.

Like what you see here? Sign up for my newsletter to be notified of future stories and weekly headlines. Click here to sign up.