Rancher's legacy helps small Montana town's school and students - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Rancher's legacy helps small Montana town's school and students

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Over the years, small town schools across Montana have struggled with a decline in student population. In Geyser, the legacy of rancher Leroy Strand is helping in their recruitment efforts.

Ranch handler Tony Martin says that Strand lived and breathed Montana. 

Martin says that Strand was a man of few words.

"He was so shy and quiet that he was hard to get to know and you never knew what Leroy was thinking," Martin said.

Strand spent his life giving dollars to this small town.

So far, more than $200,000 in scholarships have been awarded through Strand's generosity.

Strand died last year at the age of 97.

According to his obituary, in 1944 Leroy entered into a partnership with his parents and brother in purchasing a cattle ranch near Geyser, and he became sole owner of the Strand Ranch in 1964.

Leroy operated and managed the ranch until 1998 when he leased the ranch and cattle to Tony and Tanara Martin. Leroy continued to live on the ranch and remained an active partner, friend and advisor to the Martins.

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