Documentary to be made about 90-year-old Montana rancher - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Documentary to be made about 90-year-old Montana rancher

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Something many Montanans have is grit and toughness.

Meet cattle rancher John Hoiland. Sixty-five is a common age to retire, but this McLeod rancher is still taking care of his cows at 90.

Deep in the back roads of Montana, past the Boulder River in McLeod, you'll hear cows eating their breakfast on Hoiland Ranch. You'll hear the wind...and an accordion? It's a normal winter day in the life of John Hoiland.

You see, John has been working on his family's ranch all of his 90 years.
"You have to go out and see that they've got something to eat and that the water's OK for 'em," Hoiland said. "You've got four seasons, if you miss one of 'em you're out."

John's father started ranching on this land in 1919.
"He was workin' at it and then, I'm still here."

Cynthia Huber is a film student at MSU Bozeman. She met John and says she instantly wanted to make a documentary about him and the end his kind.
Huber's documentary is called Where Home Has Always Been.

"My goal with this film is to bring it to Montanans and other people in this country to see this demise and the end of this era, for this generation of ranchers."

Cynthia says she was impressed when she began filming John and realized he still drives his truck and gets off and on his tractor 40 times a day during 14-hour summer work days.

"John gets up every day and does what he needs to do," Huber said.  "He doesn't think about how he one day won't be here. With some help with the neighbors, we're making sure this land is preserved – the way John would like it to be preserved."

With John having no children, Cynthia says they're working on making sure the land will be operated by someone who will keep it running for livestock.

After making a short film, Cynthia is raising funds to make over an hour-long documentary of John, to spread the word.

To find out how you can help Cynthia's documentary Where Home Has Always Been, you can go to: