Brokaw visits Montrose on Highway 50 tour

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

On the Downs ranch in Montrose you can find cattle, goats and turkeys, but on Thursday camera crews drew the most attention.

"You know I go a whole day without talking to anybody but my cows so it's a little odd to have a bit of a circus up here," says ranch owner Jeff Downs.

Thursday Downs played host to renowned journalist Tom Brokaw. Traveling across America on Highway 50 Brokaw stopped in Montrose to talk to Downs about his sustainable farm. "These are people who love the land love game, love the animals and want to do whatever they can to keep that lifestyle alive and secure for their children and grand children," says Brokaw.

For the last four years Downs has been running his farm the natural way. He says, "We're raising grass fed beef and lamb were also raising chickens and heritage bred turkeys and pigs out on pasture as well."

As Brokaw travels across America, it's the people like Jeff Downs that he wants to hear from, people who are the backbone of the United States, who feel the pulse of a nation in a recession.

Brokaw says, "Almost everyone that we've talked to is now re–examining their lives making some hard decisions but they're not whining, and they are not complaining that it's unfair."

While Downs says he's flattered Brokaw stopped at his ranch, he says he's just trying to make a difference in his own community. "Big agriculture is polluting the environment. They're giving the farmers a very low wage that can't sustain them or they're families," says Downs.

Downs hopes this idea, grows not only here at home but all across America. "I would like to see corporations and companies that are using terms like organic and all natural be held accountable," says Downs.

Downs says he's not sure why Brokaw chose his ranch to stop at, but for most others, the reasons are obvious.

The documentary "American Character Along Highway 50" will premiere on the USA network as a one hour primetime documentary specially timed to the first anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration.


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  • by Mark Location: Minnesota on Nov 2, 2009 at 09:28 AM
    While it's great that Jeff can raise grass-fed beef, this story can be very misleading from the truth. One needs to understand the full circle of production agriculture in order to look at this story un-biased. He spoke about corporate farms-well, in order to make it in bbusiness, it needs to be run like one. The margain of profit is tight in many businesses, especially animal production. If Americans want to eat local, organic food at the same quantity as we're eating now, be prepared to pay at least 3-5 times more for your food! If Americans continue to be urbanized and depend on farmers ranchers to raise their food, then they need to understand that to satisfy even the bare minimum food consumption levels in this country, then there is currently not a way for the average grower of food to make at least an average living with the costs of production that go into raising food. Go talk to a local farmer for their side of this issue/story.
  • by jenny Location: Orange County, California on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:41 AM
    Great story!! I wish we could all have local farmers to buy from in all parts of the country! We would all be in better shape economically, environmentally, and nutritionally. I like this Jeff character!
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