The general economy has recovered enough around Billings for Western Ranch Supply to double down.
After nearly a decade of planning, Western Ranch’s three owners finally signed the bank papers recently to build a West End store on the southeast corner of Zoo Drive. The location will give the business the first crack at many farm and ranch customers as they drive into Billings.
“Right now, the interest rates are good. We’ve owned the land for a number of years, and the agricultural economy is looking good right now,” said Rob Erickson.
Erickson started working for the company in 1982, and in 1998 he teamed up with two friends, Keith Robinson and Shayne Vandivort, to buy Western Ranch.
Even before Amazon.com‘s business model came along, Western has been offering customers free shipping since it opened nearly 60 years ago. But, unlike Amazon, the company pays all state and local taxes.
Eight trucks pulling flatbed trailers make monthly trips to farms and ranches across Montana and into western North Dakota and northern Wyoming.