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Brock McDonald is our Ranch Manager at the 701x Ranch, which is located in the Badlands of North Dakota. He has a strong passion for ranching as he has been involved with ranching ever since he can remember - nearly 30 years now!

McDonald grew up in Southern California and moved across the country to Oklahoma with his family during his freshman year of high school. He has had an extensive amount of experience with ranching which is attributed to how he is so successful. “I grew up training horses, roping, and raising cattle. I did junior rodeo while living in California, I took a break for a couple of years, and then once we moved to Oklahoma, I got more involved with open rodeos where I’d rope with semi-professionals and professionals. My family members were very highly involved in rodeo roping and they always pushed me to do better and to achieve my goals,” said McDonald.

Rancher castrating a red angus calf.

“There was nothing that ever really inspired me to become a rancher. It’s always been a normal and natural thing to me that I’ve always loved and had a passion for.” Most kids and teenagers may enjoy spending their vacation away from school at the beach, or at an amusement park, but not Brock! “I never found that much excitement in doing what most kids my age spent their time doing. I found excitement in spending time with my dad and helping him out as much as I could by training horses and roping cattle,” said McDonald.

Rancher preparing to administer medicine to a cow.

Working with 701x has been a great opportunity for Brock to apply his ranching skills and supplemental knowledge. He has never managed a cattle herd completely by himself until now, but he was ready for the challenge! Before moving out to Western North Dakota to work with 701x, he worked for a cow/calf operation in Montana. Brock was referred to the ranch manager position by a friend shortly after 701x was started and has been with us ever since!


“701x’s herd is the first herd I’ve ever managed solely on my own. Before this herd, there has always been more than one person to help manage and look over the herd as well. I’ve helped with anywhere from 3,000 cow-calf to 3,000+ stockers.”

The four types of beef cattle operations are cow-calf, backgrounder, feedlot, and seedstock.

Cow-calf operation is a method of raising beef cattle where a permanent herd of cattle is maintained to produce young beef cattle that later get sold to other operation types (generally backgrounders or feedlots).

Backgrounder, also known as ‘stocker’ or ‘grower’, represents a great opportunity for ranchers to turn forages into profit. After weaning the calf from its mother, stocker calves are turned out to graze on pastures to enhance their growth and promote weight gain before being finished at the feedlot.

Feedlot operations work to efficiently help livestock animals reach a certain weight before the final stage of production.

Seedstock operations or ‘breeders’ are focused more on genetic improvement. This type of operation provides genetics to build market calves for harvest.