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When I was growing up, my family had a cattle ranch. It wasn’t big, just a hundred acres, but it had horses and cattle, a few pigs and chickens, barns, sheds, tractors, a monstrous barn cat, lots of mice, a field of alfalfa and another of corn, and a Chevy truck with a three-gear-shift on the column. It’s where I learned to ride horses, drive trucks, and explore. So this ranch was paradise for me. An adventure just waiting out the back door. But this was also where our beef came from. And it was a lot of meat, all wrapped up in white paper which filled up a freezer in the garage. I grew up thinking all beef came that way; from a ranch. As I grew up, I discovered this wasn’t so. Most beef came from a grocery store, wrapped in plastic, without connection to a place or the people who raised it. And somehow that didn’t seem right. 


I was devastated when the ranch was sold. I was sixteen. And a big part of my youth was gone with it. I had the memories, but memories are tough to share. I vowed that if I ever got married and had kids, I also had to have a ranch. Not for me, for my unborn future kids. I wanted them to learn what I had learned, that meat comes from a ranch, from an animal, not from a store. So how that animal is raised and cared for is important. It needs to be done right. And caring for the land is important, too. It’s all connected. 


So, I decided I better get a ranch first, before anything else, so I’d be ready if and when those kids ever showed up. Which they did. Four of them. And they all learned to respect the land and the animals. And to ride horses, drive trucks and explore. And along the way, they also found out beef does not come from a market, wrapped in plastic, it comes from a ranch with a connection to the land and the people who raised it.

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To everything there is a season...

Choosing your food based on seasonality is a long-practiced and sustainable way to eat. There is a harmony with the cycles of nature and a resonance with the land that comes forward. The four seasons of eating provide us with all that we need to nourish and sustain our beings. But our ancestors also understood that with the foods we loved most in one season, we could extend their longevity into the other seasons as well. 


Fifth Season Montana was founded on this idea. Using old techniques and locally sourced ingredients, we strive to create the highest quality cured meats. Extending the shelf life of meat from days, and increasing it to months, we are extending the four seasons to include a Fifth Season, so the meat harvested in spring can still be enjoyed in winter, and the game hunted in fall can be enjoyed in summer. It is the Fifth Season that has transformed the way we eat, and, it is this transformation that we celebrate and bring to you with, 


Dillon Kouf
Owner of Fifth Season Montana

Jim Kouf

Owner of Double K Ranch