Durl Gibbs, born in 1925, grew up on horseback during the Depression years. His father earned his living by the sweat of his brow. His mother made sure her children had plenty of food and decent clothing, often by going without. Durl learned at an early age what a positive attitude, hard work, and sacrifice can lead to.

In the spring of 1944, with World War II in full swing, Durl graduated from high school and was inducted into the United States Army. He met Lucille Hofer of Blackfoot, Idaho, shortly after being discharged in 1946. The couple married in June of 1949.

Durl dreamed of raising cattle in Montana and went to work for the Green Ranch in Buffalo, Montana in 1956. That summer, Durl met Bill Gaugler of Judith Gap. They bought registered Hereford cattle together and formed Gaugler-Gibbs Herefords. By the fall, the family moved from Buffalo to a place one mile south of Judith Gap, where they were involved in community functions and Durl was able to realize a dream of raising his own registered Hereford cattle.

They had been at Judith Gap for seven years when, in November of 1963, Durl was given the opportunity to lease the Green Ranch. The family moved back to Buffalo, where they managed their herd of 250 cows (mostly registered Herefords), farmed, and put-up hay.

While leasing the Green Ranch, Durl continued to develop his registered cattle operation. He was elected to the board of directors of the Central Montana Hereford Association and was an active member of the American Hereford Association. His study of beef cattle genetics led him to become a foundation breeder of Line 14 Herefords developed at Fort Keogh Research Station in Miles City, Montana. Durl was also a pioneer of artificial insemination in the Central Montana region. Furthermore, he was devoted to the betterment of seed stock cattle. He shipped his registered bulls to buyers all over Montana and neighboring states.

At nearly 100 years old, Durl enjoys challenging people to guess his age and is amused when they are usually 15 years under the mark. He currently spends his time between the ranch and his son’s place in Fort Benton. Although he no longer rides horseback, he can still put in a full day driving tractor to do field work and swath hay.

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