Employees at Koch Agriculture Company's Beaverhead Ranch in Dillon, Mont., Matador Ranch in Matador, Texas, and Spring Creek Ranch in Reece, completed 2010 with no recordable or lost-time incidents as defined by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Employees at these three sites have worked two years without a recordable incident and three years without a lost-time incident.
"Safety is important in every business and ranching is no exception," said Randy Lair, president of Koch Agriculture Company. "Our employees have developed successful safety practices that made this achievement possible and have demonstrated the highest commitment to safety. I salute them for their dedication to safety."
The Matador Cattle Company, a division of Koch Agriculture Company, operates the three ranches — Beaverhead near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, the historic Matador Ranch in West Texas, and Spring Creek in the Flint Hills of Kansas — that total about 425,000 managed acres, including about 240,000 deeded acres. The ranches wean about 10,000 calves annually and support more than 15,000 head of cattle.
According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation.
The Matador Cattle Company has implemented innovative safety measures that include annual horsemanship clinics that focus on the rider and the horse, and provides training in hazard communications, environmental compliance, all-terrain vehicle safety, first aid, and CPR. In addition, the company utilizes a safety committee and developed a detailed company safety manual.
In addition to safety achievements, the ranches have developed a sustainable approach to rangeland management that mutually benefits the land, the water, the wildlife and the livestock operation.
In 2011, Matador Ranch was recognized with the Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship award that is sponsored by the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Section, Society for Range Management. In 2010, the ranch earned the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Lone Star Land Steward award.
Beaverhead Ranch has earned several major environmental awards, and was the first ranch in the country to achieve Wildlife Habitat Council certification. Beaverhead was also honored by the Montana Preservation Alliance for maintaining the historical integrity of many of its ranch buildings.