Montana Stockgrowers Association

The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit membership organization, has worked on behalf of Montana’s cattle ranching families since 1884. Our mission is to protect and enhance Montana ranch families’ ability to grow and deliver safe, healthy, environmentally wholesome beef to the world.

Brucellosis funding would be appropriated from the General Fund in House Bill 3

Funding for the Montana Brucellosis Action Plan (which was given final approval by the Board of Livestock on Jan. 13, 2009) is in House Bill 3, sponsored by Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, by request of the office of Budget and Program Planning. HB 3 would appropriate money to various state agencies for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. The Department of Livestock would receive $2,375,784 from the General Fund for funding for brucellosis under the bill as it is currently drafted. The balance remaining in the Brucellosis appropriation on June 30, 2009, up to $2 million, is appropriated for fiscal year 2010. The bill also includes $3 million from State Special Revenue for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for wildfire suppression. The Crime Control Division would receive $15,000 of State Special Revenue for a domestic violence program and the Department of Transportation would receive $2.6 million of State Special Revenue and $17.4 million Federal Special Revenue for construction.

Government estimates one in 200 children is a vegetarian

A recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found one in 200 U.S. children under 18 years of age is a vegetarian. According to the study, a vegetarian diet is one totally devoid of meat – red or white.

The study is the government’s first estimate of vegetarianism in children. “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007” used data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey to report estimates of complementary and alternative medicine use among U.S. adults and children, including estimates of diet-based therapies. When reporting on vegetarianism in the adult population, the study found adults following a vegetarian diet decreased 0.1 percent from 2002 to 2007.

The Associated Press ran a piece about the study, which was picked up by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Charlotte Observer and the Chicago Tribune. According to the Associated Press piece, vegetarians say it’s animal welfare, not health, that most often causes kids to stop eating meat. According to the article, “Anecdotally, adolescent vegetarianism seems to be rising, thanks in part to YouTube animal slaughter videos that shock the developing sensibilities of many U.S. children.”

Additionally, 31 states and the District of Columbia aired at least one broadcast segment about the report findings. Most segments discussed the number of children vegetarians, what it means to be vegetarian and the potential nutrient deficiencies associated with vegetarianism. Broadcasts often noted most youths turn to a vegetarian diet for animal welfare reasons. The study also has received significant attention online. The Associated Press article was posted to several vegetarian-themed blogs including “Healthy Lifestyle with Vegetarian,” “Miami Vegan Blog” and “The Vegan Treehouse.”

An article by the Center for Consumer Freedom highlighted the fact that the percent of vegetarian children appears to have decreased from 2 percent of Americans aged 6 to 17 in 2001 to the current estimate from CDC of 0.5 percent. According to the article, “An Associated Press story is making the rounds this week concerning a CDC report on vegetarianism among American kids and teens. It’s being touted as evidence that meat-free dieting is on the upswing for youths, but guess what? History shows the data mean just the opposite.”

Although the percent of vegetarian children appears to have decreased in recent years, this study may spark questions about children and meatless diets or about animal welfare. We encourage you to monitor pickup of the Associated Press article in your local newspaper and respond online or in print, as appropriate. In addition, we are mobilizing online response to the piece by producers and third-party experts. Please refer to the messages below to respond to questions about vegetarianism in children. As a reminder, animal welfare talking points are available on the Extranet.

Funded by The Beef Checkoff

CDC Childhood Vegetarianism Report Talking Points:

-CDC’s finding that even a low percent of children are choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is alarming because of the dire importance of proper nutrition to growing and developing bodies and brains.

-The role of high-quality protein in the diet of growing boys and girls can’t be overlooked. Lean beef fits dietary recommendations while also providing valuable nutrients for kids’ growing bodies. Just one serving of lean beef is a good or excellent source of nine essential nutrients: protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin.

-Children are in a critical state of development and both extreme diets and the epidemic of obesity are leading health issues. Research has found there are a high percentage of girls who do not meet the needs for specific nutrients, such as iron and zinc, both vital to the development of this age group.

-It’s important for children to eat nutrient-rich foods – like lean meats – to keep them energized and attentive throughout the school day. Lean beef is a naturally rich source of several nutrients, including iron, zinc and vitamin B12, which play critical roles in cognitive development and functioning, and help kids remember what they learn at school each day.

Source: NCBA

Governor appoints new member to Board of Livestock

On Friday, January 9, Governor Schweitzer appointed Ed Waldner of Chester to the Board of Livestock. Jan French was redesignated as a cattle representative to fill the seat vacated by Meg Smith and Waldner filled the swine producer seat. Waldner’s term will end March1, 2011.

The Board of Livestock will meet today and tomorrow in Helena. Click here for the agenda. Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. Marty Zaluski will discuss the Brucellosis Action Plan and the IBMP Adaptive Management Plan. MSGA has some continuing concerns about the funding of the BAP. Zaluski has said that he has requested over $2 million from the state to cover testing and other associated costs of the plan. However, with the recent state budget concerns, MSGA is worried the money will not be available. Check back for more information as the meeting progresses.

Young Stockgrowers Conference to be held in Helena, Jan. 22 and 23

On Jan. 22 and 23, the Young Stockgrowers will gather in Helena for the 2009 Young Stockgrowers Conference. Held during every legislative session, the conference features a legislative training, tour of the Capitol building, interactive workshops, educational speakers, policy reviews, and meetings with legislators. On Thursday evening, Jan. 22, attendees will enjoy a social sponsored by Montana Livestock Ag Credit and participate in a dinner with some of Montana’s legislative leaders and leaders from the agricultural industry.

The price for the conference is $35/person and will be held at the Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel. Applications are available at and are due Jan. 19. The conference is sponsored by the Bank of the Rockies, Montana Livestock Ag Credit and the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Research Education and Endowment Fund. For more information, contact MSGA at 442-3420.

MSGA’s 125th anniversary: A five star celebration “back where it all began”

Nearly 125 years ago, a group of seven men, led by Col. Thomas J. Bryan, met at the newly formed Miles City Club and created the Eastern Montana Stockgrowers Association. Later, across the state in Helena, another group of men, led by Granville Stuart, formed the Montana Stockgrowers Association. The members of these two groups decided to merge them into the one Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) that exists today.

This spring, MSGA will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in Miles City, June 10-13. The 125th celebration will follow MSGA’s mid-year meetings which will take place Wednesday, June 10 through Friday morning, June 12. Thursday night will feature a joint 125th celebration with the Miles City Club. Attendees are encouraged to don period dress for an evening that will include history, music, and the traditional roast pork dinner. (In the early days, the Stockgrowers did not want to eat their inventory.)

Friday morning will begin with a breakfast celebrating frontier photographer ‘Lady’ Evelyn Cameron and honoring Montana’s 100-year-or-older working livestock ranches. After the conclusion of MSGA’s business meetings, the official 125th kickoff will ensue with a fun-filled review of the past 125 years. Following lunch, a golf scramble or variety of tours will be available to choose from. Friday will wrap up with the Stockmen’s Ball at the fairgrounds with a delicious meal (including beef provided by the Montana Beef Council), Barn Players performance, Brett Badgett Commemorative Bronze auction, ranch rodeo cowboy calcutta, and dancing to music by Whisky River.

Saturday’s highlights will include a horse drawn parade down Main Street. Only 1959 and earlier automobiles or tractors will be seen pulling floats. Various wagon trains will be converging upon Miles City and will take a trip down the parade route as well. On Saturday afternoon, participants will find excitement at the fairgrounds arena in the form of a traditional ranch rodeo. The evening will wrap up back on Main Street for a street dance.

This is a one-of-a-kind chance to celebrate the days of the Wild West. Join the Montana Stockgrowers in Miles City for a five star celebration “back where it all began!” For more information, visit, or call (406) 853-0411 or (406) 442-3420.

Press Release: Informational Meetings on Brucellosis Action Plan Scheduled

DOL – The Montana Department of Livestock will discuss its brucellosis action plan with livestock producers at a series of informational meetings in mid-January and early February.

Meetings have been scheduled for Beaverhead, Carbon, Gallatin, Madison, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties.

State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski said the meetings are a continuation of the department’s efforts to keep livestock producers involved and informed.

“We want to make sure producers know exactly what the (brucellosis action) plan means for their operations,” Zaluski said. “The meetings will give producers a chance to discuss the plan and ask questions.”

The plan, which can be viewed or downloaded and printed from MDOL’s web site at, is designed to help the state regain its Brucellosis Class Free status as quickly as possible. It was developed by work group that included livestock producers, veterinarians, livestock market operators, and representatives from industry organizations such as the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Cattlemen’s Association and Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

After a five-week public comment period that lead to significant revisions of the draft plan, the revised plan received preliminary approval from the Board of Livestock at its November meeting.

Dates, times and locations of meetings:

· January 13: Gallatin County – Three Forks, Headwaters Livestock, 11:45 a.m. The informational session will be included on the agenda of the Gallatin Beef Producers annual educational meeting. Contact: Gallatin County Extension, 406/388-3213

· January 20: Madison County – Ennis, Ennis Firehall, 3 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Andrea Sarchet, 406/287-3282.

· January 22: Sweet Grass County – Big Timber, Big Timber Library, 1:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Mark King, 406/932-5146.

· January 23: Beaverhead County – Dillion/Fairgrounds/4-H Building, 1:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent JP Tanner, 406/ 683-3785.

· January 28: Stillwater County – Columbus, Fairgrounds/Little Metra, 6:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agents Lindsay Wallace or Lee Schmelzer, 406/322-8035.

· February 2: Carbon County, Bridger, location to be determined, 6:30 p.m. Contact: MSU Extension agent Travis Standley, 406/962-3522.

Details on a meeting for Park County livestock producers, which will likely be held in early February, are pending.

MDOL will also make an informational presentation at the Montana Veterinary Medical Association annual winter meeting in late January, and for livestock markets and market veterinarians.

Montana had been designated as Brucellosis Class Free since 1985, but lost that status earlier this year after the second of two brucellosis-infected cows were found within a one-year period. The state is eligible to reapply for Class Free Status in May, 2009.

For additional information about brucellosis or the brucellosis action plan, see MDOL’s brucellosis update page at

Board of Livestock to meet Jan. 12-13 in Helena

The Montana Board of Livestock will meet Jan. 12 & 13 in the Scott Hart Auditorium, Scott Hart Building, 303 North Roberts St. (corner of 6th and Roberts), in Helena. On Monday, Jan. 12, the meeting is scheduled to run from 1-5 p.m., and on Tuesday, Jan. 13, the meeting will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Click here to see the agenda. Check back often as the schedule is subject to change. For more information, contact Sherry Rust at (406) 444-9321.

The cattle industry seat vacated by Meg Smith at the September 2008 meeting has not been filled yet, to our knowledge, though rumor has it that current board member Jan French will be moved to fill the cattle seat and another person will be appointed to the swine industry seat. This information has not been confirmed, so we will let you know the facts as soon as we get them. During the November 2008 meeting, Brett DeBruycker of Dutton, president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association, was appointed to fill the cattle seat vacated by George Hammond at the Sept. meeting. Stay tuned for more information.

Montana’s 61st Legislature convenes today

The 61st Legislature begins today in Helena. The Legislature meets every two years for its regular session lasting for 90 working days. This year’s session will adjourn on April 25. See below for a list of the important dates for the legislature and for links to some of the news coverage leading up to the Legislature. For more information, click on the Montana Legislative Branch website. The Montana Stockgrowers Association will be very active in the legislature this year, as always, so stay tuned for more information!

Key Legislative Dates: (from the Helena Independent Record)

Jan. 5 (Day 1) Opening day, with all new legislators sworn into office.
Jan. 16 (Day 16) Last day for legislators to request general bills to be drafted.
Jan. 24 (Day 17) Last day for legislators to request revenue or tax bills to be drafted.
Feb. 16 (Day 26) Last day for legislative committees to request general bills to be drafted.
Feb. 26 (Day 45) The halfway point and transmittal deadline for all bills, except for budget and tax bills, to be sent from one chamber to the other. Those that miss the deadline automatically die.
Feb. 27-March 1 A short breather. Legislators take transmittal break.
March 2 (Day 46) Second half of Legislature begins.
March 18 (Day 60) Deadline for House to send revenue-estimating resolution to Senate.
March 20 (Day 62) Last day for committees to request revenue or tax bills.
March 26 (Day 67) Deadline for the House to send all transmittal bills to the Senate.
April 10-April 13 Easter break.
April 14 (Day 80) Legislature resumes. Deadline for transmittal of amendments to appropriations bills.
April 16 (Day 82) Deadline for transmittal of amendments to revenue bills and revenue-estimating resolution.
April 25 (Day 90) Adjournment date.

Legislative Headlines

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Legislature convenes today
Montana state officials sworn in
Roster of Montana legislative leaders
Senate leader Story called a pragmatist
Incoming House speaker knows how to fight fires
Schweitzer looking forward to new term
Schweitzer plans few initiatives
Schweitzer’s budget risky, analysis suggests
Budget darkens session’s opening
Finances may help diminish divisions in 2009 Montana Legislature
Legislators face tough test with budget
Gazette Opinion: Shrinking revenue helps lawmakers focus on budget
Guest Opinion: Legislature should support business goals
Legislators’ priorities for session split along party lines
Outdoors issues await lawmakers
Brucellosis: Bill would make state pay for testing
Property reappraisal to dominate tax issues
Energy a hot topic at 2009 session
Carbon capture bill bubbling up in MT Senate
Water, education funding top Juneau’s priorities
Hot-button issues face Bozeman lawmakers
For those with online access, Legislature details a click away
Anyone can have say at Legislature
Legislative lexicon
TV coverage of Legislature expands