A teenager helps her family save newborn calves during a snowy spring.
Montana’s harsh winter persists into April. That’s bleak by most metrics, but especially so if you’re a cattle rancher — the snows continue straight into calving season. When I spent a winter there to make this short film, I was astonished by the conditions: Pregnant cows would wander off alone to give birth and drop their babies into freezing ice, and calves would shiver as they struggled to survive their first night. To save the newest members of their herd, ranching families work through the snowy nights in rotating shifts, searching for newborn calves with their flashlights and pulling them into the warming shed.
I met this ranching family after visiting the nearby town of