About us

Don and Nancy Burnham

The main ranch has been in Nancy’s family since the turn of the century and is the 13th oldest homestead in Montana.

We are charter members of both the Montana (#6) and the American Simmental Association (#174). Don has been on the board of directors of both organizations. Don has also been involved in setting up cattle health, nutrition and breeding programs in Nigeria, Africa since 1989.

Gary and Loretta Burnham

Gary was born and raised on the ranch.  The third of four children, he came home from college to  help Don during the financial downturn of the early 1980s and ended up staying on to manage and run the ranch.  In partnership with Don and Nancy he has continued his father's work in steadily improving the Prickly Pear herd. It is one of the oldest, premier herds in the breed. Gary and Loretta have been together since 2001.  Along with her full time job with the City of Helena, she manages the details for the Annual Production Sale and helps where she can.

Cattle Manager Troy Wheeler and Family 

My name is Troy Wheeler, Cattle Manager.

I was born and raised in Portage Wisconsin. I moved to Montana the summer of 1999 in hopes of starting a career in the cattle business. That summer I worked on a large commercial cattle ranch until they sold the ranch and I happened to meet Gary at their auction.

I first started working for the Burnham family in November of 1999, and after the first two weeks of working with their outstanding purebred herd I decided that this is what I wanted to do in the cattle industry.

Two summers later I decided to take a job on a large purebred Angus operation in Wolf Creek, Montana. By the fall of 2006 I had decided that I really wanted to either own my own herd or manage a purebred herd. As luck would have it, the Burnham’s were looking for a cattle manager and asked me to come back to take the helm of their herd. My dream came true!!

After being on both a Simmental and an Angus Ranch I feel I have seen the best of both breeds. The characteristics that I hold as a must with my decisions for the Prickly Pear cow herd are: Maternal, Calving Ease Growth, Growth and Carcass. I also have a very strict culling program for disposition, udder quality and production.

The Burnham family has been great in allowing me and my family the leeway to try new things with their herd and have trusted my judgement in taking the herd in a new direction with the Sim-Angus program. This is easily the greatest pleasure in my life having my family help with the day to day work that comes with a ranch.