Highlights from MSGA’s 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show

Attendance was up at MSGA’s 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show, held Dec. 10-12 at a new location—the Crowne Plaza hotel and Metra Park in Billings, Mont. Nearly 750 registrations were recorded.

“We had a wonderful convention this year,” said Tom Hougen, MSGA’s President. “A large number of people participated in the committee meetings where policy is set and enjoyed our expanded trade show and educational seminars. The Von Trapp Children Singers provided entertainment that everyone enjoyed. Overall, it was a great convention in a great location!”

Below, please find some of the highlights:

-Tom Hougen, President, Watty Taylor, 1st Vice President and Tucker Hughes, Second Vice President were re-elected to the second year of their two-year terms.

-Michael “Mick” Denowh of the Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch in Sidney was elected to the Board of Directors representing the Northeastern District. Heath Martinell of Lee Martinell, Co. in Dell was elected to the Board of Directors representing the Western District.

-Policy to guide MSGA officers and staff through 2010 was set in a process that began with committee meetings, progressed to the second reading and finished at the third reading. Notable new policies address brucellosis, cap and trade legislation, export certification, wolf management, grazing issues, public lands access, the EQIP program, predator control, trapping, workman’s comp and property taxes.

-The Ranchers Stewardship Alliance (RSA) in Malta was awarded with the 2010 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award sponsored by MSGA and the Montana Beef Council at the Northern Ag Network Lunch. RSA is the 17th winner in the history of the award and the first group to be honored. MSGA will submit RSA for the regional and national Environmental Stewardship Award in February. Learn more about RSA at http://www.ranchersstewardshipalliance.org/.

-Governor Brian Schweitzer addressed 500 people at the Northern Ag Network Lunch.

-Radio and TV personality, and agriculture advocate, Trent Loos, entertained the attendees of the Opening General Session with stories about people who are out of touch with agriculture. He urged the group to get out and tell their stories about ranching and raising cattle.

-The Trade Show boasted nearly 100 booths, several large equipment displays, a lineup of Ford vehicles, free boot shines, a kid’s play area, free silk scarves, and sponsored dinner stations and “watering holes.” This year the Trade Show also included the First Annual Cattle Pen Display with 11 seedstock exhibitors.

-Curt Pate and Ron Gill’s two-hour “Effective Stockmanship” clinic headlined a full and diverse group of Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges that educated attendees about cattle handling, estate planning, and cattle nutrition and reproduction.

-Clarence Blunt of Malta was named MSGA’s “Top Hand” for recruiting 23 new members this year. He won a $1,000 gift certificate to the trade show exhibitor of his choice. Jim and Tammi Sitz of Dillon were second place top recruiters with 13 new members recruited. They were awarded $500 to spend at one of the trade show exhibitors.

-Carol Mosher of Augusta, Mont. was named “Ranching Woman of the Year” at the Grand Finale Banquet on Saturday night, Dec. 12.

-Ty Thompson, the 2009 World Champion Livestock Auctioneer was on hand to auction off many items during the Grand Finale Banquet including the Brett Badgett Bronze, a kids’ saddle donated by Bank of Baker, Basin State Bank, and Nutra-Lix, and reels of Ralgrow donated by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health. The Cattle Directory Priority Page Auction raised $49,600 to go towards marketing Montana’s seedstock and commercial cattle and allied services.

-Pauline Webb of Townsend won the zero-turn lawnmower donated by Torgerson’s LLC. She donated it to the Montana CattleWomen scholarship fund.

-The Von Trapp Children Singers, the great grandchildren of Captain and Maria Von Trapp from the Sound of Music, provided entertainment at the Montana CattleWomen Inspirational Breakfast and the Grand Finale Banquet on Saturday. The Von Trapps were raised in Kalispell, Mont. and perform all over the world.

-Michael and Paulette Keller of Sulphur Creek Cattle Co. in Lloyd, Mont. were the lucky winners of the 2009 Ford F-150 given away by MSGA and the Montana Ford Dealers at the Grand Finale Banquet.

-Copies of “The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana,” which was commissioned by the MSGA Board of Directors to celebrate ranching’s history in Montana and MSGA’s 125th Anniversary, were sold out with pre-orders and sales at convention. Editor Linda Grosskopf and artist Aubry Smith were on hand during the Trade Show to sign copies of the book.

-This year’s convention was marked by a special note of generosity by attendees. Over $12,000 was raised for the Younkin family who lost their brother and son in a car accident that also injured the family’s three other children. The giving began when Board of Director Jeff Pattison won the raffle of the David Graham painting and put it up for auction to benefit the Younkins. Arvin Arthun followed suit when he won the NutraLix saddle raffle. Mark and Patti Harrison of Harrison Land and Livestock won the print auction, and donated it back to be auctioned again, and then it was won by Bill and Betsy Donald of Cayuse Livestock Company, who also donated it back. The print ended up being donated to the MSGA office after the MSGA officers were the high bidder on the third raffle. The saddle went to high bidder Thompson Cattle Company and was donated back for another auction, the high bidder being Nick Schultz with the Grand Prairie Ranch in Roundup. Air Design donated a rock design that was auctioned for the Younkins. Also, many people dug in their pockets and donated what they could to help the family.

-Plans are already underway for MSGA’s Mid-Year meeting which will be held in Dillon, June 10-12.

***Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the event!***

MSGA’s 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show kicks off today!

MSGA’s 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show begins today with board meetings at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Tomorrow we move to the MetraPark. See the full schedule below. If you haven’t registered yet, you can register on site. We hope you’ll join us to “Celebrate the Ranching Spirit!”

Schedule of Events
Subject to change

Thursday, December 10
All meetings and functions to be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Trade
Show Big Equipment Move-In to be held at the Expo Center building at
7:00 a.m. Coffee Break
7:00 a.m. MSGA Executive Committee Meeting
8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Grass Conservation Commission Meeting
9:00 a.m. MSGA Board of Directors Meeting
10:00 a.m. Montana Hereford Assoc. Annual Meeting
10:20 a.m. MPLC/MASGD Joint Board Meeting
12:00 p.m. REEF Trustee Meeting
2:00 p.m. MPLC Annual Meeting
2:00 p.m. Trade Show Big Equipment Move-In
3:30 p.m. Steer of Merit Committee Meeting
5:00 p.m. Focus Group Meeting
5:00 p.m. MSGA Committee Leadership Orientation
6:00 p.m. MCW Board of Directors Meeting
6:00 p.m. MSU College of Agriculture & MSU Alumni Social
6:30 p.m. “Has Beens” Dinner
7:00 p.m. Montana Cattle Feeders Annual Meeting
7:00 p.m. Montana Simmental Association Meeting

Friday, December 11
All meetings and functions to be held at the MetraPark unless otherwise
6:30 a.m. Registration
7:00 a.m. Billings Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
7:00 a.m. Coffee Break
7:00 a.m. Trade Show Move-In
8:00 a.m. MCW Past Presidents Breakfast (Crowne Plaza hotel)
8:00 a.m. MSGA Committee Meetings
9:00 a.m. MCW Annual Meeting & Instillation
12:00 p.m. Northern Ag Network Lunch
1:30 p.m. Montana Ag Safety Recertification Program
1:30 p.m. MCW New Board of Directors Meeting
1:30 p.m. Trade Show Sneak Peek
1:30 p.m. Young Stockgrowers Caucus
2:00 p.m. Montana Range Days Steering Committee
3:00 p.m. MSGA & MCW Opening General Session
4:00 p.m. Second Reading of Resolutions
5:30 p.m. MCW Officer Reception
6:00 p.m. Trade Show Grand Opening
6:00 p.m. Young Stockgrowers Social

Saturday, December 12
All meetings and functions to be held at the MetraPark.
6:30 a.m. Registration
7:30 a.m. Inspirational Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Coffee Break
9:00 a.m. MSGA Business Meeting
9:00 a.m. Trade Show Opens
9:00 a.m. Women of the West Fair
10:00 a.m. Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges
12:00 p.m. President’s Lunch
2:00 p.m. Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges
5:00 p.m. Trade Show Finale
5:00 p.m. MSGA Membership Top Hand Club Reception
7:00 p.m. Grand Finale Banquet

Sunday, December 13
MSGA Board of Directors Meeting to be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel.
Trade Show Move-Out to be held at the Expo Center building at MetraPark.
7:00 a.m. MSGA Board of Directors Meeting
8:00 a.m. Trade Show Move-Out

Public comment on proposed trichomoniasis rule extended to Dec. 24

The Montana Department of Livestock is accepting public comment on proposed rule changes for Trichomoniasis through December 24.
The rule governs testing requirements for the disease, which can cause economically devastating reproductive losses in cattle, before cattle can be imported, sold, loaned or leased. The proposed rule changes also make violations a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $500 plus investigation expenses, said assistant state veterinarian Dr. Jeanne Rankin.

One PCR test or three negative weekly culture tests would be acceptable before import, sale, loan or lease, Rankin said, although other testing may be used by the herd owner and veterinarian for herd health screening. Test results will be valid for 90 days rather than the current 30-day limit as long as animals don’t co-mingle. The extra allows ranchers and veterinarians greater flexibility in selling test-negative bulls.

Non-virgin bulls cannot be sold for breeding without a negative test, Rankin said. If non-tested bulls are sold or leased into the state’s breeding herd in violation of Montana law, owners will be allowed the option of selling bulls to slaughter or paying to test them, but will be subject to fine, investigation expenses and/or a misdemeanor.

The proposed changes also outlines how quarantines on positive herds will be placed and released. It also describes movement restrictions on different ages and genders of cattle and testing requirements on bulls.

New to the rule is the requirement of annual testing of all non-virgin bulls on grazing associations with multiple permitees. In such situations, tests will be considered valid for up to 10 months as long as no co-mingling with female cattle occurs due to the fact that no change of ownership has occurred, and that these bulls will go back into the same environment year after year.

The proposed order was written after a series of 10 town hall meetings held by MDOL earlier this year to discuss the need for changes to current Trichomoniasis rules.

Comments on the proposed order, which can be viewed and/or downloaded at http://liv.mt.gov/liv/public/arm/32-9-198pro-arm%20_2_.pdf, will be accepted through December 24, and can be submitted via U.S. Postal mail at Trich Comments, Montana Department of Livestock, Helena MT, 59620-2001or via email at jrankin@mt.gov.

Trichomoniasis is a disease of the reproductive tract that causes 25-50% pregnancy loss in positive herds. The state’s rule requires testing of all bulls of breeding age, 24 months or older, before they can be bought, loaned, imported or used in breeding.

Centennial ranch book selling out fast; WAR to host book signing at MSGA convention

Time is running out to reserve your copy of “The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana.” We have fewer than 50 copies left for mail orders and will only have 50 copies available for sale at our 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show in Billings, Dec. 10-12. Don’t miss your chance to own a copy of this beautiful and important tribute to Montana’s ranching heritage! Mail order copies are $50 each, including shipping and handling. Books will sell for $45 at convention. Call (406) 442-3420 to reserve your copy!

Book orders will be available for pickup at convention

If you have already purchased/reserved your copy and will be attending convention, you will have the option to pick up your order then. We will gladly refund you $5 per book for shipping and handling by check in January, or you can donate the money to MSGA’s Advocacy Fund, which helps fund MSGA’s legislative and litigative efforts, or MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation, which helps fund various educational, research, and leadership development programs for the Montana livestock industry. (Gifts to REEF are tax-deductible.)

Get your book signed by the editors and artist!

The Western Ag Reporter will host a book signing at the Trade Show Grand Opening on Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. during MSGA’s convention. Book editors Linda Grosskopf and Nancy Morrison, and book artist Aubry Smith, will be on hand to sign your copy of “The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cow­ards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana” at the WAR booth, #78. Pick up your book at registration, or buy one for $45, and have it signed!

MSGA to “Celebrate the Ranching Spirit” for 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Dec. 10-12

MSGA is gearing up for its 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Dec. 10-12 at the Crowne Plaza hotel and MetraPark in Billings. To continue the celebratory mood of MSGA’s 125th Anniversary this past June, the theme of convention is “Celebrating the Ranching Spirit!”

MSGA’s convention will feature a great lineup of speakers, entertainment, educational seminars, policy discussions and business meetings.

“This year’s convention is a ‘can’t miss’ for anyone involved in Montana’s livestock industry,” said Tom Hougen, MSGA President. “We have a lot of important issues to address in our business meetings, but we also have some great entertainment lined up so we can relax a little and enjoy ourselves. We’re especially excited about our lineup of speakers and Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges this year. There will be plenty of opportunities for all of us to learn things that we can take home and implement on our own operations.”

Cattle rancher and Montana’s Governor, Brian Schweitzer, will address the Stockgrowers during the Northern Ag Network Lunch on Friday, Dec. 11 at the MetraPark Expo Center. Trent Loos, radio and TV personality and sixth generation farmer, will speak during the Opening General Session on Friday afternoon. Montana’s Congressional delegation, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester and Congressman Rehberg, have been invited to address the Stockgrowers during Saturday’s President’s Lunch. Tester will send a video message and Congressman Denny Rehberg is planning to make a personal appearance. The Von Trapp Children singers, great-grandchildren of Captain Von Trapp, father of the famous singing family whose story captivated the world in the musical “The Sound of Music,” will provide entertainment during Friday’s Inspirational Breakfast and Saturday, Dec. 12’s Grand Finale Banquet.

Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges scheduled for Saturday morning and afternoon at the MetraPark Expo Center will include: “Effective Stockmanship” with renowned Montana horseman, rancher and stockmanship instructor, Curt Pate, and Texas A&M livestock specialist and beef nutritionist, Ron Gill. Effective Stockmanship is an innovative hands-on training session using live cattle demonstrations to inform cattlemen about the importance and benefits of proper cattle handling—and its critical role in increasing the consumers’ confidence in beef; “Searching for the cows that will consistently make money for my ranch” with John Paterson, PhD, Extension Beef Specialist for Montana State University, focusing on research to better understand ruminant nutrition; “Animal husbandry, science & health in beef production” and “Doing your best, does it still pay?” by Gerald L. Stokka, DVM, MS, of the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations team; “Benefits of and tips to achieve a short calving season” by Rick Funston, PhD, the reproductive physiologist for the University of Nebraska, concentrating on reproduction advancement in cattle; “Getting to know your estate plan…before you die,” a panel discussion featuring speakers Curt Barnekoff, Bill Honzel, and Max L. Erickson who will answer questions like, how do I determine if my estate will owe a tax? How much will it be? Who will pay the tax and how will it get paid? And, who will assume operating and management responsibilities when I’m gone?

The expanded Trade Show on Friday and Saturday at the MetraPark Expo Center will feature cattle industry exhibitors, including indoor equipment displays, complimentary silk scarves, the First Annual Cattle Pen Display, beef dinner stations and complimentary “watering holes.”

The Grand Finale Banquet on Saturday evening will feature the Von Trapp Children singers, auctions of the last Brett Badgett bronze to commemorate MSGA’s 125th Anniversary and priority pages for the 2010-2011 Montana Seedstock and Commercial Cattle Directory, a saddle give-away by NutraLix and the MSGA/Montana Ford Dealers 2009 Ford F-150 XLT Truck give-away.

Business meetings will take place throughout convention with meetings of MSGA’s executive committee, board of directors, and the trustees of MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation being held at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Thursday, Dec. 10. The Grass Conservation Commission, the Montana Hereford Association, the Joint Montana Public Lands Council and Montana Association of Grazing Districts Board, the Montana CattleWomen, the Montana CattleFeeders and the Montana Simmental Association will also meet Thursday at the Crowne Plaza. Committee meetings will take place Friday, Dec. 11 at the MetraPark Arena to begin developing new policy for the year. The second reading of resolutions will follow the Opening General Session at 4 p.m. on Friday, along with reports from the committee chairs. The final reading of resolutions will take place at the MSGA business meeting on Saturday, Dec. 12. MSGA members will also vote on two new Board of Director members during convention and the winners will be announced on Saturday evening’s Grand Finale Banquet.

Other convention events include meetings of the Montana CattleWomen, Young Stockgrowers caucus and social, a Montana Ag Safety Recertification four wheeler safety demonstration, the Women of the West Fair, and the announcement of the 2010 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award winner. For more details, or to register, visit www.mtbeef.org or call (406) 442-3420.

BOL Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Brucellosis Order

DOL – The Montana Board of Livestock is seeking public comment on a draft order that proposes to create Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) for continued brucellosis surveillance, vaccination and traceability requirements in areas with risk of brucellosis transmission from wildlife to livestock.

The proposed order specifies:
-Boundaries for the DSA;
-Testing requirements for eligible animals;
-Individual animal identification;
-Requirements for mandatory Official Calfhood Vaccination (OCV).

State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, who presented the draft order to the Board of Livestock at its meeting in Helena last week, said the order “picks up where the Brucellosis Action Plan left off.”

“The draft order basically outlines a plan for surveillance and monitoring in increased-risk areas after the state’s Brucellosis Action Plan (BAP) sunsets on January 10,” Zaluski said. “We’ve known all along that some components of the BAP would be needed in some areas after it sunsets, and this order is consistent with what we’ve discussed with producers.”

If approved, the order would create a surveillance area that is significantly smaller than the seven-county area – Area 1 – created by the state’s Brucellosis Action Plan.

“I think we’ve shown that monitoring is an effective tool for detecting disease, and that it ultimately helps protect the marketability of Montana’s livestock,” Zaluski said.

The order also extends requirements for producers in Area 1 of the BAP who have not yet completed an operation-specific risk survey or whole-herd brucellosis testing. Producers with livestock in Area 1 are encouraged to contact Dr. Eric Liska (eliska@mt.gov; 406/444-2043), the department’s brucellosis veternarian, to complete a risk survey as soon as possible.

Comments on the proposed order, which can be viewed and/or downloaded at http://liv.mt.gov/default.asp, will be accepted through December 16, and can be submitted to the Department of Livestock via email at DSA-comments@mt.gov or U.S. Postal mail at DSA Comments, Montana Department of Livestock, Helena MT, 59620-2001.

Zaluski added that the comment period for the DSA is related to, but separate from, a USDA-APHIS comment period on a concept paper proposing changes in the nation’s federal brucellosis program (see the October 7 press release, APHIS Plan Open for Public Comment, for additional details).

Bill Davis Elected President of American Angus Association

American Angus Association® delegates elected five members to its Board of Directors Monday, Nov. 16 at the 126th Annual Convention of Delegates in Louisville, Ky.

Newly elected Board Directors include: Charlie Boyd II, Mayslick, Ky.; Scott Foster, Niles, Mich.; and Vaughn Meyer, Reva, S.D. Steve Olson, Hereford, Texas; and Cathy Watkins, Middletown, Ind., were both elected to a second term on the Board.

Bill Davis, Sidney, Mont., was elected the American Angus Association president and chairman of the board. He succeeds Jay King, Rock Falls, Ill.

Joe Hampton, Mount Ulla, N.C., was chosen by delegates to serve as vice president and vice chairman of the Board. Jarold Callahan, Edmond, Okla., will serve as treasurer for the year.

More than 340 elected delegates from throughout the United States and Canada represented American Angus Association members and conducted the business of the Association during the annual meeting and election. The meeting was at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) Super-Point Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show.

Bill Davis, the Association’s newly elected president and chairman of the Board, recently completed his term as vice president and vice chairman of the Board. He and his wife, Jennifer, operate Rollin’ Rock Angus near Sidney, Mont.

Davis has a bachelor’s degree in ag business from Montana State University and is a past director of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Angus Association, in addition to being past director and president of the Montana Beef Performance Association.

As Association president, Davis will serve as chairman of the Executive Committee and will work closely with all directors to lead the board during the next year.

Joe Hampton, newly elected vice president and vice chairman of the Board, most recently served as treasurer. He and his wife, Robin, operate Back Creek, a cattle operation near Mount Ulla, N.C., focused on the production of Angus bulls for commercial cattlemen. Hampton received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and has been involved with agricultural research for more than 25 years. He has served as president of the North Carolina Angus Association and as board director for the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association.

As vice president and vice chairman, Hampton will serve on the Executive, Breed Improvement, Finance & Planning, and Information & Data Management committees. He will also serve as chairman of the Research Priorities Committee and Angus Productions Inc. (API) Board, and as a member of the Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) Board.

Also during the Annual Meeting, delegates approved an amendment to the Bylaws permitting reinstatement of a Life Membership option, allowing members to purchase memberships valid throughout the life of the member. Life memberships cost $1,500.

A list of Board of Directors committee assignments and brief biographical sketches of newly elected Board directors follows.

The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef organization, serving more than 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit www.angus.org.

Congratulations to Jim Peterson Being Elected U.S. Meat Export Federation Chairman

DENVER —- While addressing U.S. Meat Export Federation members during last week’s U.S.M.E.F. Strategic Planning Conference in Denver, Jim Peterson, newly-elected U.S.M.E.F. chairman for the coming year, said limited market access for U.S. meat exports is costing the industry billions of dollars. Resolving these access issues would be a tremendous boost for livestock producers, he added.

“Many of you have heard me say the export market is a shovel-ready stimulus project waiting to be implemented,” Mr. Peterson said. “It is $3 billion a year to our industry and we’re not going to increase any U.S. debt in the process. It’s something that has to be done.”

He urged industry to be more receptive to voluntary measures that will help address overseas consumers’ concerns about source verification and food safety, offering some examples from his recent visit to Japan, China and South Korea.

“[The] number-one [consumer concern] is traceability,” Mr. Peterson said. “They want to know the background of the product. We saw computers on meat counters where you could swipe the bar code and up would flash the source of the product. Secondly, age source process verification is a big deal for those folks. And finally on everyone’s mind in the Asian markets is food safety.

“You know, there’s an old song a lot of us have learned to like [titled] ‘My Way,’” he added. “Well, I think it’s time we put that song on the shelf. We have to do it ‘their way’. If we’re going to open these markets, we have to listen to the consumers and they’re clear on what they want to have done if we’re going to implement this shovel-ready stimulus project.”

Mr. Peterson, a Montana rancher, succeeds Iowa pork producer Jon Caspers. Mr. Peterson works a ranching operation near Buffalo, Mont., and is majority leader of the Montana State Senate and Associate Dean of Agriculture at Montana State University.

He was formerly the executive vice-president of Montana Stockgrowers Association and executive secretary of the Montana Public Land Council. He was raised on a family operation in Montana and has been involved in cattle-feeding, farming, ranching, agricultural-banking and beef-industry associations for more than 30 years.

Other U.S.M.E.F. officers recently elected include Keith Miller, a farmer-stockman from Great Bend, Kan., as the new chairman-elect. Mr. Miller owns a commercial cow/calf operation and farms more than 7,500 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and milo.

Danita Rodibaugh, an Indiana pork producer, is the new vice-chair. Her family farm operation near Rensselaer, Ind. produces corn, soybeans, wheat and purebred seedstock swine. She became active with U.S.M.E.F. as a member of the board of directors of the National Pork Producers Council and as a past president of the National Pork Board.

U.S.M.E.F.’s new secretary-treasurer is Steve Isaf, president of Atlanta-based Interra International.

Producer input sought for International Livestock Congress

The annual International Livestock Congress USA (ILC) will convene Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010 at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. In preparation for the event, organizers are asking cattle producers to outline some of their short-term strategies of beef cattle managers. Results will be used to help frame a panel discussion about balancing costs and expenses in the cow-calf business. The panel will include John Maddux, Maddux Cattle Company, Nebraska; Kevin Yon, Yon Family Farms, South Carolina; and Butch Bratsky, Stockman Banks, Montana.

The survey can be completed in five minutes or less, and responses are completely confidential. We need your input!!! Click here to participate: (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Vm72ibGeYaY1M0rjOp8W_2fw_3d_3d)

Envisioning 2020 – Preparing for Future Global Demand is the topic of this year’s ILC. The keynote speaker will be Richard Brown, London, England, partner in GIRA Euroconsulting. GIRA is a French-based international organization which offers strategic marketing consultancy and research throughout the food industry. Brown will provide summary projections and analysis of the global beef industry based on the general economic outlook of the global financial system and global market developments.

Other speakers at this year’s ILC include: Wesley Batista, JBS Swift; Erin Daley, U.S. Meat; Export Federation; Greg Bloom, Colorado Meat Packers; Rob Shuey, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Jeff Simmons, Elanco Animal Health; Randy Blach, CattleFax; and Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Pre-Congress tours set for Monday, Jan. 11, will include stops at the JBS Swift meat packing plant in Greeley, Colo. and the Colorado State University Grow Safe System near Ft. Collins. Another tour within the Denver-area will feature the King Soopers Case-Ready beef processing facility and the NCBA’s new products development center.

Cost of the ILC is $175/person or $100/student before Dec. 11, 2009 and includes a continental breakfast, a buffet lunch, the Flavor of Beef Tasting reception and admittance to the National Western Stock Show. Tours are $45/person before Dec. 11 and $65/person after Dec 11. ILC is sponsored by the International Stockmen’s educational Foundation (ISEF).

Go to www.theisef.com for lodging information and to register on-line. For more details contact Clint Peck, Montana’s director of Beef Quality Assurance and 2010 ILC co-chair at 406-896-9068 or cpeck@montana.edu.

Effective Stockmanship seminar set for MSGA convention

The Montana Beef Quality (BQA) assurance program will present an “Effective Stockmanship” seminar at the Billings MetraPark Expo Center, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at 10:00-11:45 a.m. & 2:00-3:45 p.m. as part of the Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges.

“Effective Stockmanship” has been brought about by the efforts of Curt Pate of Montana and Texas native Ron Gill. Both have a passion for improving the stockmanship skills of cattlemen. Working horseback and on foot, these two men – and now with Ron’s wife, Debbie – have been conducting stockmanship trainings across the country over the past several years.

“Come to the MSGA convention and see how stockman everywhere are paying closer attention to their livestock handling skills as the beef industry comes under more and more scrutiny by animal welfare activist groups,” said Clint Peck, Montana’s director of BQA. “This is an event the entire family, as well as ranch employees, will find useful and enjoyable.”

Beyond the obvious ethical concerns, low-stress cattle handling works to reduce sickness, reduce labor costs and improve animal performance and gain. Come to Billings and see how Effective Stockmanship it can work – and pay – for your operation. For more details contact Peck at (406) 896-9068 or cpeck@montana.edu.