Today 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 Evelyn Halverson from Big Timber.
What is your role in the agriculture community?
Agriculture has always played a role in my life. I grew up on a ranch in California and moved to Montana in 2001 because of my love of the outdoors and the mountains. I moved to a sheep and cattle ranch in Big Timber after getting married and although I am no longer there it is very important to me that my children (Trevor (9) and Eva (7)) are a part of the operation and have a working knowledge of the ranch.
What is your longest distance run (so far or planned this year)?
My longest distance that I will run this year will be about 10 miles in the form of a practice run. I don’t run in races to often anymore, mainly because I enjoy the team aspect of the Ragnar races.
How are you involved in the agriculture community?
As the Noxious Weed Coordinator, I work with landowners to help manage noxious weeds on their properties. This includes writing and administering grants, meeting with landowners and setting up grant areas. As coordinator I also work with DNRC, BLM, NRCS, our local conservation district and FWP to further try to manage the noxious weed infestations in our county. The county is also responsible for managing weeds on all county roads and the fishing accesses.
As long as I can remember running has always been a part of my life. I participated in track and cross-country all through high school and for a couple of years in college. I had always done shorter distances and it wasn’t until I had Trevor in 2006 that I decided to do a marathon. My first marathon was in Honolulu, my second in San Diego, and at San Diego I qualified for the Boston marathon in 2009 which was an extremely humbling and rewarding experience. As much as I liked competing in the marathons I have found the camaraderie and team efforts of the ragnar relay races to be more rewarding. Running has taken me on so many great adventures and given me the opportunity to meet so many great people.
How has the Running Ranchers team and/or Team Beef program made an impact on you?
The team beef program has helped to reinforce the importance of including beef in my diet. My grandfather owned a butcher shop in California and my family raised beef cattle and we always had red meat as a staple at our house. During my first years of college I bought into all the misinformation about beef and fat and became the most unhealthy that I have probably ever been. After doing a lot of my own research I found my love of beef (and bacon) again and realized that my mother had been right all along! Since then I try to stay clear of packaged food as much as possible which is very hard in a culture where there is such an emphasis on convenience. Besides the beef industry side, the Montana running ranchers has been an avenue to make some really great friends and meet some very interesting people. It has also made me very aware of how much misinformation there is out there about beef and how many general misconceptions there are about being an athlete and what we should be eating.
Why should ranchers consider supporting our relay team and/or the Team Beef program?
With so many misconceptions out there it is important to advocate the health benefits of red meat. A great way to showcase this is through these races. We are able to connect with a diverse group of people who the agriculture community may not generally be able to reach. Our team does a great job of promoting the beef industry. We bring awareness of the importance of consuming a balanced diet and the importance of including protein in the form red meat to reach our ultimate goals.
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