Selective Culling and Early Weaning in Drought

From the Cow Sense Chronicle by Rachel Endecott – Beef Cattle Specialist

While forage and pasture conditions are in good shape on the western side of our state, the eastern half is suffering from a worsening drought. Reducing forage demand is an important part of a drought plan and selective culling and early weaning are two strategies that can achieve that goal.

The first level of selective culling is to remove cows with obvious production issues, such as age, bad teeth, feet, or udders, as well as open cows or cows with poor quality calves. The second level of culling is where things get more difficult. There are a couple of approaches to consider, and I suspect most producers would use a combination of them. The first approach is to identify cattle with the most value per unit of forage consumed. These may be young cows and heifers that are products of the most advanced gene cs in your herd. Retaining the young nucleus of the cowherd is important for future gene c improvement, so marketing older cows, some of whom may still be productive, may be the best option to retain a future genetic base.

On the other hand, young cows and heifers have higher nutrient requirements compared to mature cows and are more likely to not breed back. Additionally, young cows and heifers often command a higher premium, so a second approach may be to identify and retain cows who are done growing and will tend to breed back easier in tougher conditions while raising heavier calves.

Early weaning can reduce forage demand in a couple of ways. Lactating cows experience dramatically increased nutrient requirements compared to dry cows. Energy requirements decrease over 20% and protein requirements decrease over 30% as cows move from late lactation to mid-gestation. This decreases the forage intake of the cow, as well as removing the forage demand the calf had been placing on the pasture. One rule of thumb indicates that for every day calves are early weaned compared to normal, about 0.6 grazing days worth of forage are saved. This rule was calculated using a 1300-lb cow who weans a 600-lb calf at 7 months of age. Positive impacts from early weaning are generally observed for cow body condition and reproduction as well. Because of the decrease in nutrient requirements for lactation, more nutrients are available for the cow to partition to body weight gain. Reproductive responses and their timing depend on the timing of early weaning. If the breeding season is already over, cow condition improvements may have an impact on breed back the following year if cows go into winter and calving in better body condition. If early weaning happens before the breeding season (calves around 80 days of age), reproductive performance can be positively impacted for the current year.

Hard decisions will have to be made if the dry conditions persist. In the meantime, pray for rain!

Time to Survey for Alfalfa Weevil

Written by Kevin Wanner and Emily Glunk

Alfalfa weevil is the key insect pest of alfalfa, causing variable levels of economic damage across Montana each growing season. After mating the female weevils lay their eggs in alfalfa stems, and newly emerged larvae crawl up to the developing terminal buds where they chew small “pin” holes in the leaves. The larvae develop through four instar stages (Figure 1); the larger 3rd and 4th instar larvae feed openly on unfurled leaves and cause the largest economic loss. Severe feeding damage will give the field a “frosted” appearance. Mature larvae develop into the next generation of adults that leave the alfalfa field to find overwintering sites. In Montana there is one generation per year. The majority of crop damage occurs prior to the first cutting as a result of feeding by larger larvae. Management decisions are based on surveying the number of weevils to determine if their population will exceed the economic threshold, the point that warrants action to be taken.

Alfalfa weevil sampling should begin in the spring when the stand is about 8 to 10 inches tall. Weevil populations can be estimated using sweep nets (net with a 15 inch diameter, can be purchased online) or by shaking alfalfa plants in a bucket. An average of 20 alfalfa weevil larvae per sweep meets the economic threshold for action. Ten sweeps are taken at each of 3-5 five sites in a field (30-50 sweeps per field) and the total number of weevil larvae counted to determine the average per sweep. An alternative is to cut 10 stems from each of 3-5 different sites in a field (30-50 stems per field) and shake the stems in a bucket to collect the larvae. An average of 1.5 – 2.0 larvae per stem meets the economic threshold for action. To get an accurate average more samples are required for larger fields. A minimum of three samples are recommended for fields up to 20 acres, four samples for fields up to 30 acres and five samples for larger fields. Based on historical weather data, sampling for alfalfa weevil in Montana typically begins between May 24 and June 16, depending on the location and the seasonal weather.

Typical dates that alfalfa weevil monitoring begins in Montana:

Sidney – May 24.    Glasgow – May 29.   Lewistown – June 13.   Kalispell – June 7.   Dillon – June 10.   Bozeman – June 8.   Red Lodge June 16.

When the economic threshold has been met (more than an average of 20 larvae per sweep or 1.5-2.0 larvae per stem) action is required to preserve yield. If stand growth is sufficient early harvesting is the most effective and economic action. If early harvesting is not an option then an insecticide can be used to reduce weevil populations below economically damaging levels. Additional management information including insecticide options is listed online in the High plains IPM guide: http://wiki.bugwood.org/HPIPM:Alfalfa_Weevil

Additional video resources:

Bull Breeding Soundness Exams

By Megan Van Emon

Montana State University Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

 

One of the most cost efficient methods of a successful breeding program is the breeding soundness exam (BSE) conducted on bulls.  Bulls are responsible for breeding 20 to 50 cows each breeding season while cows are responsible for one calf each year.  Having a BSE conducted on the bulls is crucial to a successful breeding program.

The BSE is an exam conducted by veterinarians that includes a physical exam, semen evaluation, and an internal and external exam of the reproductive tract.  Evaluating the feet, legs, teeth, eyes, flesh cover, and scrotal circumference and shape is included in the physical exam.  The semen evaluation includes semen normality and motility.  The BSE should be conducted 30 to 60 days prior to the beginning of breeding.  It is important to note that the bull’s sperm production cycle is approximately 60 days, and if illness, injury or other issue occurs, this could negatively impact the BSE and breeding capability of the bull and may need to be re-evaluated.  An additional BSE can be conducted at the end of the breeding season to determine if bull fertility decreased throughout the breeding season.

Body condition is crucial for bulls during the breeding season.  Having adequate flesh cover during the breeding season is needed to provide the extra energy required for breeding.  Body condition can be impacted by the number of cows the bull is expected to breed, the distance traveled to breed or eat, and nutrition during the breeding season.  A body condition score 6 or sufficient body condition that the ribs appear smooth across the bull’s side is the ideal flesh cover at the start of the breeding season.

Ensuring bulls are structurally sound in their feet and legs is needed to begin the breeding season.  Bulls with unsound feet and legs will have a difficult time walking and mounting for mating if a significant distance needs to be traveled for breeding.  General health of the bull is also needed to ensure bulls have adequate semen quality and the ability to mate.  Scrotal circumference is an essential measure because it is directly related to sperm production, sperm normality, and the onset of puberty.  The external and internal reproductive tract examinations ensure there is no inflammation, abscesses, warts, or penile deviations.

The semen evaluation includes the measurement of semen motility or the percentage of sperm cells moving in a forward direction.  The bulls needs to at least have 30% sperm motility to pass the BSE.  Sperm morphology, or the proper shape, is also determined and at least 70% of the sperm cells should have a normal shape.

If all of the minimum requirements are met, the bull will be classed as “satisfactory.”  However, if a bull does not pass one of the tests, they will be classed as “classification deferred.”  If a bull is classed as “classification deferred,” the bull should be tested again after 6 weeks.  If a mature bull fails the subsequent BSEs, they will be classified as “unsatisfactory.”  A young bull may be “classification deferred,” and pass the subsequent test.  Exercise caution when making bull culling decisions based on a single BSE. •

Why Should I Keep Records on My Cowherd?

written by John Paterson, PhD

Emeritus Professor at Montana State University

 

When I was visiting about record keeping programs recently, a rancher was overheard to say “I don’t see much use in collecting time consuming individual records for commercial cow herds. Pregnancy testing and my eyeball can let me know all I need to determine if a cow stays for another year.”  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but with increasing demands continually being placed on ranchers to ensure sustainability, records are a necessary part of a ranch business. Records provide benchmarks so that we can determine strengths and weaknesses of our ranch operations and how we demonstrate continuous improvement.  How records are kept varies from the very rudimentary to the very complex.  When asked several ranchers how they kept their records the answers varied: from “On the scale house wall”; “On the back of my Copenhagen can”; “In my IRM Red Book”; “On an Excel Spreadsheet”or  “On a Stand-alone Computer Program”.  The following table summarizes the different types of record keeping systems used by different herd sizes (NAHMS 2011).

When averaged across all operations, 83.3% of ranchers collected information about their operations, with the majority of these records kept in a hand-written form (78.6%). As the herd increased in size, the rancher was more apt to keep records on a computer.

 

In order to collect records, animals need some form of individual identification if the goal is to identify individual animals to monitor changes over time; weaning weights of calves, pregnancy, sire effects, etc.  The following table describes common methods of animal identification. These data were collected between 2007 and 2008 (NAHMS).

The plastic ear tag was the most commonly used form of individual animal identification.  The percentage of operations that used any form of individual animal ID on at least some cows ranged from 59% for operations with 1-49 cows to 89% of operations with 200 or more cows.

 

What information should be collected? Dr. Karl Harborth from LSU wrote an insightful article about where the beef industry could have the greatest impact on sustainability; improving calving rate.  The factors that influenced calving percentage include nutrition, health, genetics and body condition score.  A cow with a low body condition score is one that will have difficulty getting bred in a timely manner to maintain a yearly calving schedule.  In addition to having a goal of a high calving rate, the distribution of when the calves are born can have significant financial consequences.

 

As an example, let’s compare the theoretical calving distribution of two herds, Ideal  vs. Poor.

For the “Ideal” calving  distribution, 90% of the calves were born during the first 42 days compared with only 40% of calves born during the first 42 days for the “Poor” calving distribution.  The later the calves are born in the calving season; the potential for lighter calves at weaning exists. The Ideal system weaned 56,600 lbs. of calf compared to 48,400 lbs. for the Poor distribution system.  At today’s prices, the difference in income value could exceed more than $14,000 if calves sold for $1.80/lb. The challenge for the rancher is to determine what caused the poor distribution.  Was it because the cows were in a poor body condition at breeding time due to drought or poor feeding conditions (look at the number of open cows)?  Was it due to disease (e.g. Trich)?   Or was it due to an infertile bull?  More importantly, how can you correct this problem?

 

Another conclusion that can be garnered from the records is to determine if cows are calving every year. Let’s assume for the “Poor” distribution herd the average calving cycle was increased to 390 days compared with 365 days for the “Ideal” herd.  At 2 lbs./day gain for a nursing calf, this difference for the Ideal herd could be 25 days longer nursing  x 2.0 lbs./day gain x $1.80/lb. value of a weaned calf.  This would mean that cows in the Ideal cowherd could on average produce $90 more calf weaning weight than the Poor cowherd.

 

The new technology that you should consider is to DNA test replacement heifers to determine the ones with high stay-ability, calving ease, gain, docility and weaning weights of their calves.

 

These examples are reasons why simple record keeping can help to identify and solve problems that result in poor calving distribution and reduced weaning weights.  Record keeping systems do not have to be sophisticated; they just need to be used. Hand written results summarized from the IRM Redbook is a great place to start because it will allow you to benchmark your herd and give you clues on how to improve productivity and sustainability.

 

Paterson is currently Territory Manager for GeneSeek Corp. a DNA testing company.

 

Calfhood vaccines, or, what are all those clostridial diseases?

From CowSense Chronicle by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist

As April is turning to May, some folks in Montana are already branding while some are still calving. This month, we’ll focus on calfhood vaccination programs, which are most often based around the clostridial diseases. Producers may add other vaccines (pinkeye, H. somnus or other respiratory vaccines, etc.) depending on their situation and veterinarian recommendations.

Clostridial diseases in calfhood vaccines belong to same genus as tetanus and botulism. Clostridial organisms are generally found in the animal’s body, but with ideal conditions, grow very rapidly to cause a disease state. Because of this, affected animals are usually found dead, not sick. Thus, prevention of disease through vaccination is a better approach than treatment. Here is a brief overview of each strain:

Clostridium chauvoei causes blackleg, which presents as air-filled swelling in heavy muscle that will crackle when palpated. There is no history of wounds with blackleg, unlike the next strain.

Clostridium septicum causes malignant edema, which results from contamination of wounds. Unlike, blackleg, malignant edema causes so , fluid-filled swellings that pit on pressure. Large amounts of fluid are found in both subcutaneous and intramuscular connective tissue.

Clostridium haemolyticum causes redwater disease, also known as bacillary hemoglobinuria. Latent organisms lodge in the liver, waiting for localized cell death which is most often caused by liver flukes. C. haemolyticum produces beta-toxin, which ruptures red blood cells, leading to anemia and the presence of hemoglobin in the urine, hence the name redwater.

Clostridium novyi causes black disease, also known as infectious necrotic hepatitis. Like redwater, latent organisms wait in the liver for anaerobic cell death, again usually from liver flukes. Extensive rupture of subcutaneous capillaries can turn the skin black, giving this disease its common name.

Clostridium sordellii causes sudden death, primarily in feedlot cattle, and has no common name. It is characterized by massive black hemorrhage and smelly muscle necrosis in the brisket and throat area. Unlike blackleg, there is no gas formation from C. sordellii.

Clostridium perfringens type C and D cause enterotoxemia and overeating disease, respectively. Both lead to severe intestinal damage from necrotic and lethal toxins: type C produces beta toxin and type D produces epsilon toxin. Both are associated with the predisposing factor of the animal ingesting excessive amounts of nutrients. In calves, this may be after a period of dam and calf separation followed by a large intake of milk.

Successful vaccination needs an effective vaccine, a functioning immune system, and administration of vaccine before the animal is exposed to the disease. On branding day, do your part to make sure vaccines are effective: the temperature of your vaccine should be at least as important as the temperature of your branding beverages!

Cow Sense Chronicle || Night Feeding for Daytime Calving

Written by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist

We’ve all experienced that middle‐of‐the‐night calving incident that sure would have been easier to manage if it had happened in the daylight. Some ranchers use an evening feeding strategy to shift more cows to calve during the day.

A case study comparing two sets of calving data with different feeding times illustrates this phenomenon well (Jaeger, et al. 2008. Professional Animal Scien st. 24:247). One group of cows was fed between 6 and 8 am (15 years of data, 1210 observations) and another group of cows was fed between 4 and 6 pm ( 5 years of data, 537 observations). Researchers divided the day into six, 4‐hour periods starting at 6 am and recorded the number of cows who calved during each 4‐hour period.

Cows who were fed in the morning had nearly equal distribution of cows calving during each period of the day. This resulted in nearly equal proportions of cows calving between 6 am and 6 pm (52%) and those calving between 6 pm and 6 am (48%).

Cows who were fed in the evening did not have an equal distribution of cows calving during each period of the day. In fact, 85% of cows calved between 6 am and 6 pm and only 15% calved between 6 pm and 6 am.

There are many factors in addition to timing of feeding that can override the timing of calving. Research in cattle and other species suggests that physical activity, daily variation in hormonal secretion, ambient temperature, or day length may play a role.

Questions for Rachel? Rachel.endecott@montana.edu or 406-994-3747

Cow Sense Chronicle: Wintertime Herd Bull Blues

Happy New Year! As I write, we are finally experiencing some above-zero temperatures here in Montana for the year, which are very welcome. During my travels to Extension programs this month (fondly referred to as Asphalt Cowgirl January), I’ve seen a lot of herd bulls out to winter pasture, and I’ll be very honest with you – I have concerns about the future fertility of many of the bulls I’ve driven past.

Protection from inclement weather is a critical factor in winter herd bull management because of the very real concern of frostbit of the scrotum. While mild frostbite generally has a good recovery rate, severe frostbite can leave a bull infertile. Scarring from frostbite can hinder a bull’s ability to raise and lower the testicles for proper temperature regulation. This regulation depends on coordination of three structures: the tunica dartos muscle in the walls of the scrotum, which relaxes when hot and contracts when cold; the external cremaster muscle within the spermatic cord, which lengthens or shortens to lower or raise the testicles depending on temperature; and the pampini‐ form plexus, which is a coil of veins that provide an effective counter current temperature exchange by cooling arterial blood entering the testicle and transferring its heat to the venous blood leaving the testicle. Normal sperm formation only occurs at 4‐5 degrees below body temperature, so any damage to any of these three structures could result in infertility.

Pull up that National Weather Service windchill chart and take a look at some of the effective temperatures we’ve experienced already this winter. The frostbite warning zones aren’t going to be much different for that vital part of bull anatomy than they are for human skin. You’ve invested in those herd bulls for the future of your cow herd and sustainability of your ranch. Shouldn’t you put a little insurance policy on that investment? Ensure that bulls have the ability to get out the wind and are not lying on unbedded, frozen ground. Putting testicles on ice is not conducive to fertility.

Cow Sense Chronicle is written by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist with Montana State University Extension

Why doesn’t the beef checkoff promote “U.S. Beef” domestically?

By Chaley Harney
Executive Director, Montana Beef Council

There has been a lot of recent discussion in the media among producers about why the beef checkoff doesn’t specifically promote “U.S. beef” in its domestic advertisements and promotions. We would like to provide some information that might help checkoff investors in Montana better understand why that is.

It’s important to remember that state beef councils and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board all operate under the requirements of the Beef Act and Order – the enabling legislation under which our checkoff operates – and must remain in compliance with those documents.

The Acts states the purpose of the Beef Checkoff Program as: “…carrying out a coordinated program of promotion and research designed to strengthen the beef’ industry’s position in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for beef and beef products.” In the domestic market, the role is to nourish the growth of consumer demand for beef and beef products, in general, not just a particular category of beef.

The Act and Order further require all importers of live cattle, beef, and beef products to pay the equivalent of $1-per-head on those imports. Those assessments have added an average of $6.9 million per year to the national beef-checkoff budget during the last decade. And the “Guidelines for the Approval of Programs Under the Beef Promotion & Research Act” state, in Section III, that since producers and importers subject to the beef-checkoff assessment are required to contribute under the Act, “expenditures of checkoff funds should benefit the entire industry.”

The mission of the checkoff is to build demand for beef among consumers by serving as a catalyst to provide consumers with beef research, information and promotion of beef, in general – on the tenet that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” In other words, protecting general beef demand opens the door for individual producers, importers or companies to serve and promote to their favored niche markets – such as local, grass- or grain-finished, antibiotic-free, and the like – if they want more specific branding.

To maintain quality standards of the entire domestic beef supply, cattle imported to the United States, regardless of its country of origin, must meet the same USDA/Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) standards that beef produced in the U.S. must meet. Under statutory authority, APHIS and USDA/Veterinary Services monitor the health of all cattle (including semen and embryos) and beef and beef products that are imported to the U.S. Importers must meet requirements of an Import Checklist and obtain a veterinary permit for import of materials derived from cattle to ensure animal/meat health and safety.

Why Imports?

Let’s address one more topic at the very base of this that we’ve also seen bantered about in the country of late: Why do we import beef into the U.S. anyway?

To be sure, the need for imports is not as simple as the number of cattle needed to meet demand, but instead the demand for certain parts of the animal, such as lean trim, according to ag economists nationwide, including Dr. Thomas Elam, Ph.D. Lean trim is in very short supply in the U.S. because the number of beef and dairy cows and bulls being sent to market has declined significantly during the last decade, and we simply don’t produce enough lean. Over time, the United States has increased production of 50’s-percent lean and reduced production of 90’s, mostly due to economic factors.

With that, the vast majority of beef imported to the U.S. is lean trim (90+ percent) – primarily from Australia and New Zealand – to mix with 50/50 lean and fat ground beef produced in the U.S. so we can meet domestic consumer demand for lean beef. Without this, the U.S. beef supply would run far short of the lean ground beef required to meet our strong consumer demand for it. Importing lean trim to meet this need helps continue to grow domestic consumer demand for beef. Dr. Elam says that imports of lean beef actually enhance the value of the U.S. beef market and overall cattle prices and, in addition, allows U.S. cattlemen to maximize their competitive advantage of fed beef production.

Tips When Considering Cull Cows

Written by Dr. Megan Van Emon, MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

One area of the beef cattle market that is easily overlooked is the cull cow market. Most cows are culled because they do not re-breed or produce a small calf at weaning. It is important to remember that cull cows have potential to provide an additional source of income for the ranch. Here are a few tips to consider when culling your cows.

  1.  Cull Cow Market. The cull cow market varies throughout the year, with the lowest prices occurring between September and December. This occurs as many producers are weaning during this time period and flooding the market with cull cows. If it is economically viable, selling cull cows early in the summer or hold them over winter and selling in the early spring may improve cull cow prices.
  2. Feeding Cull Cows. Feeding cull cows after weaning can improve body weight, body condition, and quality grade. Determining feed costs and cost of gain for cull cows will determine if it is economically viable to keep cull cows to receive a better market price in the early spring.
    1.  Feed Sources. Cows should be adapted to a high energy diet over a 2 to 3-week period. Additional feedstuffs can be used, such as crop residues and additional pasture space.
    2. Length of Feeding. Type of diet has a significant impact on fat color of beef cattle. A high forage diet leads to yellow fat, which is not as desirable as white fat. Some research suggests that feeding a high concentrate diet for a little as 56 days can change yellow fat to white. Feeding thin cows to a moderate condition, will take time, and determining average daily gain will aid in determining how long it will take a body condition score 3 cow to move up to a body condition score 5.
  3. Second Pregnancy Check. When retaining cull cows after weaning, it may be beneficial to conduct a second pregnancy check. It is not uncommon for “open” cull cows to be carrying a calf, which can be retained to calve with the herd or sold immediately as a bred cow.
  4. Implants. Cull cows being fed to improve body condition and weight after weaning may benefit from an implant. The cost of implants should be considered when determining if they will be used and how they will impact weight gain and feed efficiency, and the potential to reducing days on feed.

These are several tips to consider when feeding cull cows, but the most important is economic viability. Deciding to sell or feed cull cows is a decision each producer must determine and how will that decision impact potential profits.

Montana Beef Council Board of Directors set plan for upcoming fiscal year

The Montana Beef Council will invest about $1.8 million into programs of beef promotion, education, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2017, which began Oct. 1. Programs approved are funded through Montana’s 50 cent in-state portion of the $1 per head beef checkoff.

In action concluding its Sept. 28-30 meeting in Billings, the MBC Board of Directors—all volunteers, including members from nearly all segments of the beef supply chain—approved checkoff funding for a total of 28 demand-building project funding requests, or proposals for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year.

“The projects that the board reviewed this year were high-caliber and made for great discussion as we determined programs that best aligned with our strategic priorities,” said Kristin Larson, Montana Beef Council president, a producer and livestock auction market partner from Sidney. “I also serve on the national Beef Promotion Operating Committee and the process for reviewing and determining projects to fund on the national level is very similar. Each representative on our Montana Beef Council board takes their responsibility very seriously and I am continually impressed with their engagement. As a producer it is exciting to be part of all the great work and programs happening on our behalf to promote our product.”

As a result of its deliberations, the board of directors approved requests from 21 different organizations that will meet the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef and beef products. The Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan for the Montana Beef Council includes:

Kristin Larson

Montana Beef Council President Kristin Larson (MSGA representative)

• $46,050 for in-state education programs, including health professionals, Team Beef athletes, classroom education, farm fairs, environmental stewardship pasture to plate tour and tradeshows across the state;
• $118,965 for in-state promotional programs, focusing on tradeshows, consumer radio and digital advertising, targeted consumer events in the Northeast United States, targeted U.S. beef promotion with Japanese retailers, barbecue cook-off and statewide retail and foodservice partnerships;
• $18,000 for in-state beef safety and issues management comprised of disseminating accurate information about the beef community to counter misinformation as well as the Montana beef quality assurance program;
• $34,450 for in-state producer communications, which includes producer outreach using digital and radio communication as well direct communications to producers about checkoff results;
• $281,000 for domestic consumer marketing to continue consumer outreach, digital advertising, beef safety research, nutrition research, quality research, issues management, retail support, influencer engagement and foodservice support; and
• $113,600 for foreign marketing and education in over 80 countries including Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico and many more.
Other expenses funded through the budget include $331,415 for administration, which includes insurance, office lease, equipment, office supplies, postage, telephone, Department of Livestock administration expenses, collection administration expenses, board expenses, travel and administrative staff compensation for program implementation.

The Montana Beef Council is active throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and can be found at www.montanabeefcouncil.org.

MBC Board

Board members. (Back row, L to R: Richard Anderson, Shane Flowers, Jim Taber, Brett Dailey, Jan Allen. Front row, L to R: Kiley Martinell, Linda Swanz, Bill Cok, Kristin Larson, Bruce Lee, Kathy Crieghton-Smith!

The Montana Beef Council is organized to protect and increase demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs including promotion, education and research, thereby enhancing profit opportunities for Montana beef producers. For more information, contact Chaley Harney at (406) 656-3336 or chaley@montanabeefcouncil.org.