VALIER — “It was a beautiful morning and it had rained earlier. We got up early and rigged up lines.”
A beautiful day, turned into Seth Becker’s worst nightmare.
On an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, far from his home in Conrad, Montana, he continued his story. “The boat was having a hard time with its ballast thrusters. The ballast thrusters went out and the boat had to pull away from the oil rig.”
Only an intern, Becker knew very little about the job they were doing. The ship has the capability to drill deep beneath the surface of the water into the seabed.
“When the boat pulled away, it was still attached to those lines that went on top of the oil rig, and the line took off, it kind of rolled me over and sawed off my feet.”
An unprecedented accident that was traumatic not only for himself but those working around him. Panic set in and co-workers wrapped tourniquets around his dismembered legs.
It was then a waiting game. The nearest hospital was in Lafayette, Louisiana, where it took upwards of three hours for a helicopter to arrive. At one point he said, he left his body.
“I remember I had a little bit of time to think, you know, I need to stay alive just enough to be with my grandparents and my parents. And I didn't want to disappoint anyone by leaving this earth.”
Fearful of disappointing the ones he loved most he snapped out of it, but the pool of blood that surrounded him kept him honest about what the outcome could be.
Seth is a fighter and lived to tell the story. He was transferred home to Montana, where he was able to begin the long road to recovery. Life may look and feel different for Seth, but he attended college and was able to get back to normal.
With a new set of challenges, the battle between the ears is what haunted him the most. It took years for Seth to accept his fate, but now he looks at it as one of the best experiences in his life.
“I like to say that everyone should have a near-death experience or two because everything after that is just gravy. I'm swimming in a bowl of frosting. Every day you wake up on top of the earth is a good day.” He went on to add, “I’m married to an awesome wife, have a beautiful family… I just love this, as the sun shines, you know?... It’s just a good life.”
Seth and his wife, Jennie have been married for nearly a decade. According to the Stick Leg Ranch website, the two meetings with each other were a little bit of fate and a lot of stubbornness.
They even shared with MTN that Jennie visited Conrad with her girlfriends from Salt Lake City. That Seth was supposed to come to dinner because there was a woman he had to meet. Out of Seth’s pride and quiet, stubborn nature, he didn’t show up.
Fate had other plans where the two began exchanging emails and those emails were the start of the next chapter.
Before Seth had Jennie, he had begun his venture ranching. Purchasing a family-friends farm near Valier that he grew up working down the road for another farmer. He was fascinated with the work and knew one day he would have his own operation. What he didn’t know is that his misfortune would give him the strength to follow through.
“Using God's blessings to benefit your friends and neighbors and world.”
That’s how he describes Stick Leg Ranch.
Their grass-fed beef and pork operation not only the name stick out of the crowd, but so does their product.
“We realized that animals, when utilized correctly build up biomass in the soil and it sequesters carbon, and it helps the infiltration rate of water. So, the little water that we get is going into the soil and building up grass. The healthier grass you have, the healthier cattle you have,” explained Jennie Becker.
Seth may be the face of the brand, but it’s a pure family operation. Without his wife, the ranch would not be able to progress. She handles all the “free” social media marketing, where their Instagram page is a tool to educate consumers and other producers on what they’re working on. She also makes soap out of beef tallow, and ships beef across the United States, all the while helping pick up the slack around farm chores when Seth’s body can’t always allow it.
We can’t forget the Becker house isn’t quiet, filled with three kids, Henry, Paul, and JoJo.
Paul said on our visit, “This is the worst day of my life.” The joy of having kids. Luckily, they drop him off at the gate and let him run home to burn off that energy. At Stick Leg Ranch, the kids play outside and cause mischief with animals, as kids used to play.
The Becker’s are onto something revolutionary, but something that isn’t new. Their regenerative farming approach makes their products of higher quality than anything you can buy at the grocery store.
Jennie was asked to attend a Farm Bureau event where one notable local name, DeBruycker Charolais was in attendance. She made the comment, “those aren’t my competitors. The four major packers are.”
Getting back to the good ole fashioned American way of life is what they want, while also enriching our home planet.
“We're not just want to eat a profitable business, but we want one that our family can stand behind… that leaves the Earth a better place,” explained Seth.
A method that traditional farmers and ranchers are apprehensive towards. Jennie and Seth, want to remain transparent about their successes and most of all their failures. To say you’re a first-generation rancher poses challenges, when the product speaks for itself, what else is there left to say?
To purchase or find more information on Stick Leg Ranch, visit www.sticklegranch.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Questions or comments about this article/video? Click here to contact Ryan.
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