Here at Owenhouse Ace Hardware, we love our deliveries from Special K Ranchers. We are customers of the SKR greenhouse and get regular bedding plants delivered to our store. SKR Ranchers are proud to add to the beauty of Bozeman through the flowers they cared for from seeds.
Special K Ranch is the home to 35 adults with developmental disabilities. Their staff operates six vocational programs that provide food, plants, and other goods to Montana communities. These occupations offer a variety of employment and education year-round. In addition, job-related responsibilities improve in building rancher’s self-worth and sense of accomplishment. The vocational programs contribute to making Special K Ranch a true working ranch and aid in balancing the fiscal budget.
Bedding Plants: SKR started the plant operation in the early 1990s and has become incredibly successful. A variety of plants and flowers are grown in nearly 70,000 square feet of greenhouses and sold by vendors across Montana.
Native Seeds and Seedlings: The ranch raises indigenous plants and shrubs for land restoration projects. This program also includes seed collection, cleaning, sorting, and germination.
Livestock: Spring is an exciting time for the ranch when around 170 lambs and 20 calves are born. Ranchers are responsible for tending to sheep and cattle needs year-round.
Service Contracts: SKR partners with local businesses conducting light manufacturing and assembly jobs. These projects create a variety in the Ranchers’ workflow and are done during all seasons.
Rescued and Reborn: Upcycled materials, such as barbed wire, metal, logs, pallets, and miscellaneous supplies are used to create an assortment of hand-crafted decorations, art, and planters. Resident specialty and customer favorites are the custom-made cornhole boards.
Produce: Ranchers use their green thumbs to grow a variety of garden vegetables, melons, and their famous tomatoes. Tomato World is a highly specialized hydroponic complex capable of producing 1,500 pounds of tomatoes per week. Products are sold at the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market and Albertsons stores.
“Special K has been doing a fantastic job making rite bobbins, which are used by fly fisherman
to tie flies, for many years now. I can’t tell you what an asset they are to the business. Everyone
I have met here works hard and keeps a very good attitude!”
~Justin L. Graff
“Spent a wonderful evening last night at the annual spring fundraiser for The Special K Ranch.
Heartwarming to see 800 generous folks come together for an evening of fellowship and giving.
My heart is happy tonight!”
“Special K Ranch will imprint your heart with things no other people or place can!”
“I’m so thankful that there is a place like Special K Ranch. Boots (my daughter) loves it here. It
gives the residents a sense of purpose, works on their independence, and is one great big family.
I love everyone here. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the ranch. I am so proud of
everyone and am glad to be associated with such a worthy organization. God Bless to all!!”
SKR is expanding and currently raising the funds to build a recreation center. The pandemic greatly affected their Ranchers’ ability to leave the ranch for fun and work. Events such as basketball games and dances were canceled leaving their residents feeling isolated, so the solution became to host events on location. The recreational center will be the home to vocational advisor’s offices, basketball court, community center, and much more.