Matador Ranch and Cattle

Matador Ranch and Cattle blends the rich history of traditional cattle ranching with innovative natural capital management and cattle breeding programs to produce the best quality beef possible for consumers, the environment, and the longevity of a profitable agriculture industry.

Blacktail Deer Creek valley on The Beaverhead Ranch - Matador Ranch and Cattle

Matador Quick Stats

Year Founded
Total Acreage
Ranch Employees
Head of Cattle

Matador Ranch and Cattle is more than a ranch—we’re a hub for exploring new solutions and advancements. Soundly rooted in the experience of those that came before us, we are a commercial working ranch building a unique culture focused on continuously improving our environmental practices, community involvement, and the quality of our cattle.

Stretching 380,000 acres from the Beaverhead Valley through the Blacktail Range and into the Centennial Valley, the Matador is teeming with wildlife, cold trout streams, and healthy soil and grasslands. A working ranch, caring for 12,000 head of cattle outside of Dillon, Montana, Matador Ranch and Cattle is a fusion of the former Beaverhead and Selkirk Ranches, Matador Ranch and Cattle is honored to uphold and enhance the high standards in agricultural and environmental practices while advancing new and innovative projects on the ground.

The Beaverhead

The story of the Beaverhead Ranch dates back to 1865 when Philip Poindexter and William Orr drove a portion of their herd into the lower Beaverhead. The Cattle flourished on the abundant native grasses, so, over the following two years, Poindexter and Orr brought the remainder of their cattle from Shasta, California, and established the 30,000-acre P&O Ranch. 

When the central brand housing was first established in 1873, the Masonic square and compass brand became the first to be registered in the Montana brand book. In 1951, the Koch Beef Company’s Matador Cattle purchased the 360,000-acre ranch. Over the next 70 years, Koch industries strategically added acreage while striving to create a profitable cattle ranch and enhancing the native ecosystem through rotational grazing, riparian, and wildlife habitat projects, winning numerous environmental and ecological awards. Prioritizing fitting the right breed of cattle to the Rocky Mountains' unique environment, the Beaverhead used a two-breed cow rotation with purebred Hereford, Black Angus, and Charolais bulls—raising cattle that are built for the climate and conditions of this landscape. 

Cattle drive - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Winter cattle move - Matador Ranch and Cattle

The Selkirk

The Selkirk Ranch manages its 50,000 acres with the intention of blending resource management and productivity. The predominantly Black Angus cattle herd consists of a few thousand mother cows and approximately 5,000 yearling or stocker cattle. The cattle are run until they are 14-16 months old, with the majority entering a value-added, natural, and non-hormone finishing program.

The management practices of the Selkirk division are rooted in regenerative practices, including a high-intensity grazing program. Large groups of cattle are run on condensed areas for a short duration allowing for adequate rest and regrowth of pastures and encouraging biodiversity and soil health. The Ranch focuses on breeding for maternal longevity and is collecting DNA for a baseline data system that will ensure that selection is improving the overall genetics of the herd.

Matador Ranch and Cattle Today

In 2021, Rupert Murdoch purchased the iconic Beaverhead and Selkirk divisions, merging them into what is now Matador Ranch and Cattle. The joining of these two divisions offers a unique opportunity to advance and improve an already robust cattle operation on a one-of-a-kind scenic and resource-abundant landscape. Murdoch recognizes the significance of the land he acquired, the depth of its history, and its importance in the area's ecosystem. He intends to use his resources to pioneer advances in the agriculture industry while working with nature to enhance the already thriving landscape.

This ranch aggregation of Selkirk and Beaverhead now comprises 42 pivot irrigation systems supplied with diverse water assets across 6,000 acres that enable intensive fodder and crop production. This intensive system, combined with the expansive rangeland grazing, allows for multiple synergistic outcomes at scale. These complementary assets support our business objectives of adding value to our cattle for premium market access and optimizing our genetic and management investments.

Saddle and rope -Matador Ranch and Cattle
Sage Creek corrals - Matador Ranch and Cattle
An old cowpoke in the Sage Creek corrals - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Race King, Selkirk Manager of Matador Ranch and Cattle
Education on The Selkirk - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Three cowboys in the snow - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Blacktail Deer Creek valley on The Beaverhead Ranch - Matador Ranch and Cattle
The red Selkirk barn - Matador Ranch and Cattle
A cowboy in a silver belly hat - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Working the Silencer chute - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Cowboy unloading his horse - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Angus ear tag number 8187 - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Hank Willemsma - ranch manager of the Beaverhead Ranch, Matador Ranch and Cattle
A bucket full of yellow cattle ear tags - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Inspecting cattle in the cold - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Cowboys talk shop - Matador Ranch and Cattle
A cowboy in a black hat, glasses, and a denim jacket - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Big spurs - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Early morning horse unload - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Black cattle in white snow - Matador Ranch and Cattle
Matador History

Where it all began


Poindexter and Orr drive a portion of their cattle herd from California to the lower Blacktail Deer Creek valley.

Cowboys branding a steer, circa 1894.


The Square and Compass Brand is the first registered brand in the first Brand Book in the state of Montana.

The Square and Compass brand - Matador Ranch and Cattle


In 1951, Fred Koch purchases the the 360,000-acre Matador Cattle Company.

Beaverhead Headquarters - Matador Ranch and Cattle


Rupert Murdoch purchases the Beaverhead Ranch from Koch Industries.

Sunset at Sage Creek corrals - Matador Ranch and Cattle


Rupert Murdoch purchases the former La Cense ranch from William Kreigel. The ranch is now run as the Selkirk Ranch.

Three cowboys in the snow - Matador Ranch and Cattle


Matador Ranch and Cattle was formed with the goal of enhancing the natural ecosystem, creating one of the most innovative and profitable ranches in the world.

Matador Ranch and Cattle rebranded logo