Rancher Profile: Matt McElligott – Oregon PLC

Matt McElligott has family ties to agriculture that go back well over a century.

Starting out in Kansas, his family began ranching in the 1800s, eventually homesteading in Eastern Oregon where the family ranch still operates in the McElligott name through his cousins. Matt represents the fifth generation of a shared family heritage, owning and operating a place of his own in North Powder, Oregon. 

Matt grew up on his family’s ranch in Ione, Oregon and eventually left to pursue a college degree. Shortly after graduation, he began working as a representative for Purina. In 1999, Matt and his wife LaDonn decided to return to their roots and go back into the ranching business. They began by purchasing 12 bred heifers from the KG Ranch in Montana, and six years later grew to own and operate their own operation in Oregon. Not only does Matt run a highly successful business focused on improving rangelands and producing quality beef, but he has humbly become an industry leader by making it a priority to give back to his community. 

It is no secret among ranchers that rangeland health and proper management are critical to a successful operation and a sustainable business plan, and the McElligotts epitomize this approach. Matt continually puts sustainability at the forefront of his operation by incorporating practices such as cross fencing, water development, and rotational grazing. Even with these measures in place, invasive species can prove difficult to manage and can have a serious detrimental impact on range productivity. Matt knows this firsthand, as he has sought to mitigate the spread of medusa head and ventenata grass on his operation’s grazing lands. 

Professional work aside, nothing is more important to the McElligotts than family. After raising two kids with his wife LaDonn, Matt looks forward to one of the most satisfying parts of sustainable ranching: passing it on to the next generation. Whether within his community or on the range, Matt McElligott’s passion for ranching and stewardship drives his success as both an operator and leader, helping to forge a better future for upcoming generations to enjoy. 

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