MSGA Now Taking Applications for Young Cattleman’s Conference

Montana_Stockgrowers_Foundation_LogoFinalDon’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the structure of the U.S. cattle industry and gain insight on the legislative process that guides our business. Montana Stockgrowers Foundation will send one Montana delegate on this year’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held May 31 – June 8, 2017. Applications, due March 1, are available at

The Young Cattlemen’s Conference is an opportunity for cattlemen and cattlewomen between the ages of 25 and 50 to visit segments of the beef industry in other parts of our nation with young ranchers from other states. Facilitated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), participants will travel with national attendees to Denver, Chicago and Washington D.C., visiting JBS Five Rivers facilities, Chicago Board of Trade and Capitol Hill. Last year we had two Montana delegates, Andy Kellom from Hobson, Mont. and Ariel Overstreet-Adkins from Great Falls, Mont.

The primary objective is to develop leadership qualities in young cattlewomen and cattlemen and expose them to all aspects of the beef industry. The tour helps these young leaders understand all areas of our industry ranging from industry structure to issues management, from production research to marketing.

The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation will ensure funding for one participant for the full cost of the tour along with travel expenses. Remaining expenses are the responsibility of the participant, who will be chosen from those who apply. Participants must be a member of Montana Stockgrowers Association and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

To learn more about the Young Cattlemen’s Conference and to complete an application, visit the MSGA website, In addition to the form questions, two letters of reference are required to complete the application process. All applications must be complete and postmarked or received by March 1, 2017. Please mail or fax to MSGF at the following address: Montana Stockgrowers Association | Attn: YCC, 420 N. California St.  Helena, MT  59601.

If you have any questions about the application process or YCC trip, please call the MSGA Office at (406) 442-3420 or e-mail

NCBA and PLC Accepting Applications for Summer Internships

Open Positions Include Public Policy Intern and Semester Law Clerk

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2017 Summer public policy intern as well as a semester law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is March 1, 2017.

The internships give college students the opportunity to work alongside staff on a range of issues that impact U.S. cattlemen and women. The interns will work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill and assist with NCBA and PLC’s regulatory efforts, providing college students a one-of-a-kind view into the policy making process.

Producer-led and consumer-focused, NCBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national organization representing America’s cattle producers. PLC is the only organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated solely to representing cattle and sheep ranchers that utilize federal lands. The organizations work hand-in-hand on many issues, sharing office space in the heart of the nation’s capital.

The public policy internship will give students an opportunity to learn about career options and provide practical experience. From tax and trade to environmental and food safety regulations, interns will work on a variety of issues and have the opportunity to work specifically in the area of their interest. College juniors, seniors and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

The summer law clerk will provide support to NCBA’s Environmental Counsel on issues relating to environmental legislation and regulations that impact beef producers. The position will also work closely with the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council on issues relating to Federal lands management, grazing, and the Endangered Species Act. To apply for the law clerk position, students must currently be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school.

The full-time internship and law clerk positions will begin May 22, 2017 and end August 25, 2017. To apply for the public policy internship or law clerk position, visit

Week 7 || 65th Legislative Session

Listen and Kori Anderson and Jay Bodner sit down to discuss the bills affecting Montana’s ranching community.

House Bills

Appropriations Committee

HB 126 – Ray  Shaw HD 71 – MSGA supported this bill. It passed 2nd reading 94-6 and was referred to the Appropriations Committee. This bill is important because it retains MSU Extension as lead in the private applicators license training.

Natural Resources Committee 

HB 433 – Bradley Hamlett HD 23 – MSGA will support this bill. It clarifies a city or town may not condemn water or water rights if the water or water right is used primarily for agricultural purposes.

Judiciary Committee

HB 427 – Austin Knudsen HD 34 – MSGA will support this bill. This bill clarifies an owner of any property is not liable for damages or injury to a volunteer firefighter of a rural fire district, fire service area, or fire company while the firefighter is engaged in fire suppression activities on the owner’s property.

Agriculture Committee

HB 338 – Casey Knudsen HD 33 – MSGA will oppose the original bill, but have worked with the sponsor on amendments.

a. Currently Pasture Permits are only allowed through DOL for adjoining counties.  This bill would allow these permits to be issued for livestock to travel across multiple counties if they are going to the livestock owners privately deeded land.

HB 419 – Willis Curdy HD 98 – MSGA will oppose this bill. This bill would remove the provision that any movement of bison be certified by the state veterinarian as brucellosis-free. This would put the livestock at risk of expose of brucellosis outside the DSA.

Senate Bills

Natural Resources Committee

HB 124 – Sharon Stewart-Peregoy HD 42 – MSGA supports this bill; it is a water policy sponsored bill. Newly appointed water commissioners shall complete at least one educational program prior to administering water. It passed the House 98-2.

Judiciary Committee

SB 207 – Frederick (Eric) Moore SD 19 – MSGA supports as a private property right. If an eminent domain is exercised pursuant to this section, the location of any heritage properties or fossil remains on or beneath land, rights-of-way, or easements obtained for the common carrier pipeline is confidential and may not be disclosed by the entity exercising eminent domain

MT Department of Revenue mails livestock reporting forms for March 1 reporting deadline

The Montana Department of Revenue is mailing livestock reporting forms this week to Montanans who own livestock and need to meet upcoming reporting and payment deadlines.


About 18,500 livestock owners who reported last year will receive reporting forms. All livestock owners need to report by March 1, 2017, any livestock they owned as of February 1. Livestock owners can file online at or submit the hardcopy form. 


Livestock owners who have not reported in the past need to report online or fill out a reporting form available from or their local Department of Revenue office.


Livestock per capita fees are due May 31. Livestock owners who do not pay their per capita fees when they report will receive their bill in early May with payment due May 31, 2017.


“The department wants to make it more convenient for livestock owners to report their livestock and pay their fees,” said Director Mike Kadas, Montana Department of Revenue. “The online system is efficient and secure, which makes it easier for livestock owners to do business in Montana.”


For more information, visit or call toll free 1-866-859-2254, in Helena 444-6900.

Regional Pesticide Education Trainings offered across Montana in 2017

The Montana State University Pesticide Education Program is coordinating regional initial pesticide training programs across Montana. These six hour training opportunities are designed for individuals desiring to learn more about pesticides as well as individuals desiring a private pesticide applicator license. A private pesticide applicator license allows individuals to apply restricted use pesticides on land they own, rent or lease. Training opportunities are available in Kalispell on March 7th, Harlowton on March 9th and Lame Deer on March 29th. Interested individuals can obtain more information and register for these events at the following website:

Each program will cover many subject areas of interest including integrated pest management, pesticide movement in the environment, pesticide safety and toxicity, pesticide law, calibrating ground spray equipment, understanding the private applicator license, reading and understanding the pesticide product label. Montana State University state specialists speaking at the tour include Dr. Kevin Wanner (MSU Cropland Insect Specialist); Kima Caddell, Eric Clanton and Theresa Schrum (MDA District Officers); Amy Bowser (MSU Pesticide Education Technician) and Cecil Tharp (MSU Pesticide Education Specialist). Surrounding MSU Extension county and reservation agents will also be assisting with many of the presentations.

Cost and Private Applicator Credit Opportunities

The registration fee varies by location with Lame Deer (free), Harlowton ($20) and Kalispell ($25). This fee covers necessary manuals and a catered lunch. Private applicators may attend the morning or afternoon sessions for 3 private pesticide recertification credits; or both sessions for 6 credits. Attendees will qualify for a private applicator pesticide license by attending the entire event. Once qualified, individuals may send in a new applicator permit with license payment to the Montana Department of Agriculture to attain their Montana private applicator license. Attendees are strongly urged to pre-register as space is limited.

See initial pesticide training details below:

March 7th – Kalispell

Flathead County Building, 40 11th Street. Agenda is available online at To register contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; or register online at under the Kalispell initial training. For more information contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; $25 registration fee. Cost includes a catered lunch and pesticide manuals.

March 9th – Harlowton

Kiwanis Youth Center. 204 3rd Street Northeast. Agenda is available online at To register contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; or register online at under the Harlowton initial training. For more information contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; $20 registration fee. Cost includes a catered lunch and pesticide manuals.

March 29th – Lame Deer

Charging Horse Casino. ½ Mile East on US 212. Agenda is available online at To register contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; or register online at under the Lame Deer initial training. For more information contact Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; $20 registration fee. Cost includes a catered lunch and pesticide manuals.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: See each detailed program agenda online at and select the location of interest. Contact your local Extension agent or Amy Bowser (406-994-5178; for more information.

Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame honors inductees in Great Falls

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF&WHC) honored its newest class of inductees during the 11th Annual Circle the Wagons Convention in Great Falls, Feb. 3-4 at the Best Western Heritage Inn. The weekend events began Friday evening, Feb. 3, with the Welcome Gathering, emceed by District Trustee KellyAnne Terry of Lewistown. On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Hall of Fame welcomed 34 new inductees during the morning recognition ceremony and brunch. Over 600 people attended the Circle the Wagons events.

“Family and friends gathered in Great Falls from across the great state of Montana, Canada to Texas, Hawaii to Rhode Island, and as far away as Germany,” said Christy Stensland, MCHF&WHC executive director. “Attendees commented that the history lesson contained in the biographies of the inductees presented by District Trustee Will Rasmussen of Choteau and MCHF President Jeff Bolstad of Lewistown was incredible. Many were grateful for the family reunion opportunity.”

MCHF&WHC board members and trustees representing 12 Montana districts met for the organization’s annual business meeting and trustee gathering. The celebration continued into the evening with dinner, dancing, and a lively auction at the Cowboy Ball. Big Sky Country from Great Falls provided the music and emceeing the event was auctioneer Robert Toavs of Toavs Premiere Auction in Wolf Point.

The MCHF&WHC will announce its 2017 Inductee Nomination Policy and process in the coming week. 

A “Huge Victory:” Cattlemen Hail U.S. House Passage of Resolution to Repeal BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) today hailed U.S. House passage of a resolution that would repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Planning 2.0 Rule, calling it a “huge victory” for America’s ranchers. If the U.S. Senate also quickly passes the resolution, it would go to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

“For years, the Obama Administration ignored the concerns of ranchers and local officials and instead rammed through this massive regulatory overreach as they were being shown the door,” said Ethan Lane, Executive Director of PLC and NCBA Public Lands. “This is a huge victory for America’s cattle producers and a sign that some common sense is finally being restored in Washington.”

“Planning processes are critical to the ability of grazing permittees to operate in the West,” Lane continued.  “The final rule’s shift away from multiple use, as well as its disregard for both local input and economic analysis, make it unworkable for the more than 18,000 ranchers operating on BLM-managed lands.”

NCBA and PLC have long expressed concerns about BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule, which would represent a wholesale shift in management focus at BLM by prioritizing “social and environmental change” over ensuring multiple use of public lands, and by eliminating stakeholder and local input into the planning process.

The Obama Administration finalized the BLM Planning 2.0 Rule in December. Under the Congressional Review Act, the U.S. House and Senate have up to 60 legislative days after a new rule becomes final to approve a joint resolution of disapproval, which will fully repeal the final rule if and when the resolution becomes law.

“Congressman Liz Cheney of Wyoming deserves a great deal of credit for her leadership on this issue, and we call on the Senate to follow suit and approve Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) companion resolution as soon as possible,” Lane said.

Record Attendance in Nashville as NCBA Members New Elect Officers

The 2017 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show wrapped up on Saturday with the election of Nebraska cattleman Craig Uden as the organization’s new president. More than 9,300 people attended this year’s convention, shattering the previous record of 8,200, to engage in grassroots policy process, hear from industry experts and attend the expansive tradeshow. Attendees enjoyed live music all week and closed the convention with a night at the Grand Ole Opry.

Kevin Kester of Parkfield, Calif., was voted to serve as NCBA president-elect. Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., will serve as vice president. Jerry Effertz of Velva, N.D., is the new Federation chairman and the new Federation vice chair is Dawn Caldwell of Edgar, Neb. The new NCBA Policy Division chairman is Joe Guild, Reno, Nev. and Jerry Bohn of Pratt, Kan., is the new policy vice chairman.

Uden, a fourth-generation cattleman from Elwood, Neb., said he is proud to lead the organization.

“It is an honor to be selected to lead the industry that my family has worked in for four generations,” Uden said. “We have a great opportunity in the coming year and sharing our story on Capitol Hill and around the country is going to be top priority.”

Uden is a partner in Darr Feedlot Inc., a commercial cattle feeding operation in central Nebraska. Craig and his wife, Terri, also own and manage a commercial cow-calf operation.

In addition to electing the new officer team, NCBA members voted on new and expiring policy issues, and set policy priorities for the organization that will direct the efforts of NCBA in Washington D.C., and elsewhere.

“The coming year is going to be a huge one for the cattle and beef industry from a policy standpoint,” Uden said. “We are facing unprecedented change in Washington D.C., and we’re going to work tirelessly to make sure our producers’ voices are heard in Washington on important issues like tax reform, regulatory relief and international trade.”

As president of NCBA, Uden will lead the organization’s policy work and oversee efforts as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. To learn more about the organization visit the website:

$1,500 CME Beef Industry Scholarships Awarded to 10 College Students

Ten college students were awarded the 2017-2018 $1,500 CME Beef Industry Scholarships at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show today. The scholarship was sponsored by the CME Group and administered by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). Taylre Sitz of Bozeman, Montana, was the overall essay winner.

“We’re pleased to continue our support of the CME Beef Industry Scholarships, which provide education to future beef industry leaders,” said Tim Andriesen, CME Group managing director of agricultural products. “Our partnership with NCF enables us to continue investing in accomplished university students who represent the next generation of food producers here in the U.S.”

The CME Beef Industry Scholarship was introduced in 1989 in partnership with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Today this scholarship tradition remains strong by recognizing and encouraging talented college students who will one day be industry leaders.

“We cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are for the continuous support from CME for Beef Industry Scholarships to provide financial assistance for future beef leaders,” said John Lacey, chair of NCF Board of Trustees. “Each year we are impressed with the caliber of students that apply for these scholarships.”

In addition to the $1,500 scholarship, Taylre Sitz received a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, where she was recognized at the Best of Beef Awards Breakfast on Friday. Sitz currently attends Montana State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science, as well as a minor in Business Administration. She is currently enrolled in the pre-veterinary program with plans to become a large animal veterinarian.

“Growing up on a ranch, I developed a commitment to the beef industry at an early age,” Sitz said. “I am interested in becoming a large animal veterinarian, and through ranch life I have been able to see and visit as they doctored cut horses or lame cattle. These experiences only furthered my desire to pursue the large animal veterinary career.”

Other $1,500 CME Scholarship winners are:
Thor Burnside, Fort Hays State University, Talala, Okla.
Cole Grisham, West Texas A&M University, Van Vleck, Texas
Emily Ivey, Land Lake College, Loudon, Tenn.
Abby Marion, University of Florida, Deltona, Fla.
Garrett Nichols, Iowa State University, Marshalltown, Iowa
Dan Johnson, Kansas State University, Dillion, Mont.
Shelby Schiefelbein, Texas A&M University, Kimball, Minn.
Madison Slaven, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Rachel Waggie, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.

To learn more about scholarship opportunities and additional youth support from the NFC visit:

A big Congratulations to Taylre Sitz for taking home the top prize!

Insider Shares Political Realities at Record-Breaking Cattle Industry Convention Dana Perino tells audience to “Expect the Unexpected”

Actions of the new administration are like “a dog on ice chasing a marble,” Dana Perino told an audience at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 3. “You have to expect the unexpected.”

Perino spoke to many of the more than 9,000 cattlemen and women at the event – a record number of attendees for any cattle industry convention – at Friday’s general session. The previous convention record was in Nashville in 2014, at just under 8,300.

Renowned ag broadcast journalist Max Armstrong emceed the event, and introduced National Cattlemen’s Beef Association incoming president Craig Uden of Nebraska. Uden briefly visited with Armstrong about his vision for the organization and the industry. High Fidelity, a Nashville a capella singing quartet, sang patriotic songs to open and close the event.

Perino was the press secretary for President George W. Bush for seven years and is now a panelist on The Five, which airs daily on the Fox News Channel. Her exposure to the Washington scene brought an insider’s knowledge as keynote speaker at the general session, which was sponsored by Laird Manufacturing. Having grown up in Colorado and Wyoming, she said she felt “right at home” in front of the audience of thousands of cattlemen and women.

Perino said the recent presidential election was unique. The odds of getting an inside straight are 254 to 1, she told the audience, and those are the kind of odds Trump beat to win the presidency. “It was a hard hand to play, and he played it perfectly,” she said. While Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, she didn’t win states she needed, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. For two years she didn’t visit Wisconsin, Perino said, and she should have listened to her volunteers in the state, instead of her statisticians, who said the state was safe.

According to Perino, cattle producers should work to make sure they “get in front of the administration as much as possible” on things like trade. She suggested giving away the upper hand in trade to China through destruction of the TPP was not a good idea, but “he (Trump) can change his mind.”

“Government doesn’t work just like a business,” she said, adding that she hoped “things would settle down for them.” Donald Trump “thrives on chaos,” according to Perino. At some point, however, things will get calmer “or the chaos will take over.”

Perino was also confident that the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the country’s highest court would be successful. “Mark my words,” she said, “he will get confirmed to the Supreme Court.”

More than 350 exhibitors featured their wares and services on more than seven acres at the NCBA Trade Show, which wraps up Friday, Feb. 3. The 2017 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show started Wednesday, Feb. 1, and wraps up with the NCBA Annual Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 4.