Cole is part of an extended family that has ranched together in Montana’s Blackfoot valley since 1882. He completed undergrad degrees in biology and philosophy at Helena's Carroll College and a masters in theology at Boston College. Cole began working for a startup beef cooperative in 2012 and was Director of Operations from '14 - '16. Later, as Associate Director at Western Landowners Alliance he worked on wildlife and natural resource conservation before leaving in 2020 to begin recruiting ranchers, butchers and chefs to form Old Salt Co-op. Old Salt is a meat company designed to bring Montanans together around good food in support of land stewardship. He lives in Helena with his spouse, Eileen Brennan, and sons Finn and Charlie.