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      The Star Theatre in Whitehall. Photo by Lisa Wareham

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      Horses, trainers at Bitterroot Therapeutic Riding. Photo by Lido Vizutti

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      A Kalispell Kreamery dairy cow. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    Three Montana stories that capture the heart of the holidays

    The Montana Magazine would like to wish all our readers a very happy holidays.

    In the spirit of the season, we’ve compiled a couple of our 2014 stories that will leave you with those warm and fuzzies appropriate for the holiday season.

    First is the story of how the town of Whitehall saved the Star. The Star is the town’s one and only  movie theater, which was close to closing because it was lacking the digital technology to play newer films. Until the people of Whitehall rallied around it.

    Next is the heartwarming story about the horses that change lives at the Bitterroot Therapeutic Ranch near Corvallis. The unique and patient horses and trainers at the ranch help people of all abilities find independence. BTR is one of only six ranches in Montana certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

    And finally is the story of a small run farm in Northwestern Montana where the dairy cows are treated like members of an extended family. The Hedstrom family owns and operates the Kalispell Kreamery, and have for 35 years. “People like the concept that these cows are truly happy,” Mary Tuck said of her family’s farm.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting some of these special stories from around Montana. And, we hope you enjoy your holiday season!

    Jenna

     

  • A Kalispell Kreamery dairy cow. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    ‘Cow bill of rights’ guides dairy farm in Flathead

    The Hedstrom family have got it right.

    They run the only surviving dairy in the Flathead Valley and as they told writer and photographer Jessica Lowry, their mission is to produce great dairy products using very happy cows.

    Lowry featured the family in a story for the March/April issue. The Kalispell Kreamery makes a range of products and is slowly expanding its reach as people discover the quality of it products.

    Did I mention they take great care of the their cows?

    Here’s the cow “Bill of Rights” the Kalispell Kreamery lives by:

    Cows are the reason for the business. We sell the milk so we can keep the cows.

    Hedstrom dairy believes in the humane care of their cows and realizes that in order to get the highest quality production and longevity from its prized milk cows they must be treated with a high level of respect and as a partner in the operation. We believe in and have instituted the following “Bill of Rights” on our place.

    • Animals should have the freedom from thirst at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from injury and disease.
    • Animals should have freedom from hunger at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from unnecessary fear and distress
    • Animals should have freedom to express a majority of their normal behavioral repertoire.
    • Animals should have room to move around freely.

    Here’s a list of Kalispell Kreamery retailers.

    – Jenna