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  • Megan Silveira, associate editor

The Greatest on Earth

What makes a place worthy of the title?

“How did it feel to get to spend a few days in the greatest state?”

The question was asked with a wide smile, and though he had snuck up to me at the American Angus Association, it was a question I had anticipated from regional manager Kurt Kangas. For any of you that know Kurt, you’re likely not even slightly shocked by his state pride.

I’ve been to Montana once before, but I happily planned another trip to the Big Sky state to interview Tim and Kris Todd of Green Mountain Angus Ranch.

I don’t travel anywhere without a camera in hand, so a few weeks before the trip, I worked to gather a list of other ranches to stop and visit for photo ops from Kurt. I knew the views would be stellar, but I was once again blown away by the kindness and hospitality of the Angus breeders I visited.

Starting the trip with our hosts, the Todd family, extending to both families at Sitz Angus and ending with the team behind Hollow Top Angus, I had secured some of best tour guides for the small portion of Montana I explored for the week.

Meals were shared, important family history highlighted, favorite cattle pinpointed and jokes were exchanged. At each stop, as I took in the stunning views that seemed straight out of a dream. I thought to myself, “I understand why Kurt calls it the greatest state.”

In true journalist fashion, however, that one thought led me to another question. What would the qualifications even be to receive the title of “greatest?”

I’ve always had a great sense of pride for my own home state of California and can find any reason to brag on the Golden State’s agriculture industry. After living five years in Oklahoma, my favorite color became America’s Brightest Orange, and I can now proudly sing the state song at the drop of a hat. Moving to Missouri, I’ve found people and places that have made it a state I’m proud to call home.

Beyond that, I find myself falling in love with every state I get to travel to for this job. I still talk about the few days I had in Steamboat Springs, Colo. I have a picture of the Georgia skyline as the lock screen on my phone. Some of my favorite memories occurred on a trip to New Mexico when I was an intern for the Angus Journal years ago.

Amisdt all the travels and in between the never-ending saga of beautiful pictures, I can confidently say there is no “greatest” state.

The greatest state is the one I find myself in each day. The greatest state is the one where the latest family has welcomed me with open arms to share their Angus story.

Wherever you lay your head each night, I hope you can confidently tell everyone that you call the greatest state in the country home.

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