Montana Stockgrowers Foundation offers $1,000 scholarship

The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is offering an Educational Heritage Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

“Thanks to the vision and hard work of  Stockgrower members in Southeastern Montana, the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is once again able to offer our Educational Heritage Scholarship,” noted Foundation Chairman, John Grande.  “Every year we are impressed by the quality of the college students who apply for this scholarship and we again look forward to selecting and meeting a new winner.”

To be eligible for the Educational Heritage Scholarship, students must currently be enrolled in college and have completed at least one semester of coursework, be a member of Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), and demonstrate a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Applicants must complete the application form, include a copy of their current transcript, write a 500-word essay discussing their educational pursuits, and include two letters of recommendation.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE COMPLETED AND POSTMARKED OR MAILED NO LATER THAN APRIL 1, 2018.

For more information on this scholarship and to apply online, visit the MSGA website at mtbeef.org. For questions, please email Kori Anderson at kori@mtbeef.org. If you are interested in these scholarships but are not currently a member of MSGA, join today. Student memberships start at just $20.

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The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of MSGA programs. Its mission is to invest in Montana’ ranching community through leadership, education, and conservation.

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to sponsor Cattlemen’s Conference attendee

Don’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 to this year’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held May 30 – June 7, 2018. Applications, due March 15, are available at mtbeef.org.

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 OSI, Inc, McDonald’s Global Headquarters, and Capitol Hill.

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, mtbeef.org/young-cattlemens-conference. All applications must be complete and postmarked or received by March 15, 2018. Please mail or fax to MSGF at the following address: Montana Stockgrowers Foundation | 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 kori@mtbeef.org.

MSGA applauds appointment of Montana ranchers to national board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 27 members to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Two Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) members were among the appointees. Turk Stovall of Billings, Mont. and Katie Cooper of Willow Creek, Mont. will serve three-year terms on the Board.

“We are thrilled to have Turk and Katie represent Montana on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board,” said Errol Rice Executive Vice President of MSGA, “They are proven leaders in Montana and will be excellent advocates for the Beef Checkoff at the national level.”

Stovall and Cooper will be joining MSGA member, Lynda Grande of Columbus, Mont. who is currently serving a three-year term.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board is composed of 99 members, all of whom are beef producers or importers of cattle, beef or beef products. The board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985.

Montana Stockgrowers honor “Ranch Woman of the Year”

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) recently recognized Connie Townsend of White Sulphur Springs, Mont. as “Ranching Woman of the Year”. The announcement was made Wednesday, December 13 during the 133rd MSGA Annual Convention and Trade Show in Billings.

Connie (Niebel) Townsend grew up on the family farm and ranch in Four Corners. After attending school in Bozeman, she graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Home Economics.

She married Herb Townsend in 1954 and they made their home in White Sulphur Springs, where Herb was the County Extension Agent. There they raised three children: Tod, Trent, and Teri on the family ranch. She now enjoys the title of grandmother and great-grandmother.

Connie worked for the Beef Checkoff for eleven years; she was part of the Nutrition Coalition where she was instrumental in the introduction of serving breakfast in public schools through the state. She served as Chairwoman of the Agriculture in Montana Schools Foundation which today give Montana students a greater awareness of the contribution of agriculture to their lives and their community.

Connie remains active in Townsend Ranch and within the community. She is a member of the Hobby Club, helps at the Food Bank and is very active in her local church. Congratulations to Connie Townsend, an advocate of agriculture, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife, and friend!

The Ranching Woman of the Year award is an annual honor presented during MSGA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show. Contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420 to find out how you can nominate someone for next year’s recognition. To learn about previous honorees, visit mtbeef.org/ranching-woman.

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing 1,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

Montana Ford Stores and Montana Stockgrowers Association give away Ford Super Duty pickup

Keith Bales was the lucky winner of a 2017 Ford Super Duty pickup given away by Montana Ford Stores and Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 133rd Annual MSGA Convention and Trade Show.

Keith and his wife, Christl, ranch near Otter, Mont. and have been long-time members of the association.  Each year Montana Ford Stores donates a new Ford pickup to be given away to one lucky MSGA member attending the Annual Convention and Trade Show. This year, Congressman Greg Gianforte was on hand to draw the winning ticket!

“The winning partnership with Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Ford Stores continues to grow and prosper,” according to MSGA President, Bryan Mussard of Dillon. “We can’t thank the Montana Ford Stores enough for their continued support.”

2017 was the ninth year of partnership between MSGA and Montana Ford Stores. MSGA Rancher, Feeder, Stocker and Young Stockgrower members are eligible to win the truck. An entry form must be completed and the member must be present at Annual Convention when the truck is given away.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association meets annually to discuss and vote on policy that guides the Association activity representing its members. To learn more about MSGA programs and membership, visit mtbeef.org or contact the office in Helena, (406) 442-3420.

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

‘Benefits beyond the ranch’

Townsend ranching family honored with 2018 Environmental Stewardship Award for influential results in caring for water, wildlife, soil and ranching business.

 

The Hahn Ranch was honored as the 2018 Environmental Stewardship Award winners Dec. 13 at the Montana Stockgrowers’ Annual Convention in Billings. The award recognizes cattle ranchers who are exemplary stewards of the land, livestock, wildlife and natural resources.

The family has been ranching in the Missouri River Valley near Townsend for more than 100 years, working to preserve and enhance their natural resources for generations to come. Chuck Hahn, Dusty Hahn and Cory and Jennilee Bird accepted the award on behalf of the family ranch.

The ranch was nominated for the award by collaborators with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) for their partnership on projects that have benefited fisheries and water quality on the ranch and for downstream users. But their conservation practices expand far beyond the creek beds of their southwestern Montana ranch.

Ron Spoon, a FWP fish biologist, has worked with the Hahn family since 1990.

“I believe Chuck and his family provide a valuable example of how a long-term ranching operation can simultaneously create agricultural products and foster clean water,” Spoon says.  “Folks that collaborate with Chuck will know that he thoroughly protects the function of the ranching operation, but they know he genuinely pushes for solutions that benefit resources beyond the ranch.”

In addition to cattle, the diverse family ranch supports hay, small grains and forage crop farming, a trucking company and a pheasant hunting enterprise. The multi-generational ranch includes Chuck, his sons Dusty and Buck Hahn, his brother John Hahn, sister Bev Bird and her son Cory and wife Jennilee and matriarch Dorothy Hahn.

For nearly 30 years, the Hahn family has worked cooperatively with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), Broadwater Conservation District (BCD), the Broadwater-Missouri Water Users Association (BMWUA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Big Sky Watershed Corps (BSWC), Montana Ditch, and Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on restoration and conservation efforts on Deep Creek.

Between 1,000 and 3,000 Brown Trout annually migrate out of Deep Creek into the Missouri River. The Deep Creek waterway also provides irrigation and stock water on the Hahn Ranch. The family played a pivotal role in the installation of the Montana Ditch siphon, which ensured Deep Creek’s function as a free-flowing, connected nursery and cold water refuge in this blue ribbon fishery.

They’ve continued to work collectively with neighboring landowners and agencies to improve riparian health on the creek, conserve water use while protecting their agricultural production and show marked improvements in stream flow and water temperatures over the past two and a half decades.

“Water is one of the most precious resources, especially in the West,” Dusty Hahn says. “So anything that we can do to conserve and enhance that resource, we’re interested in. It helps everybody along the watershed of the Missouri and ultimately that drains into the Mississippi, and that’s important for us as agriculturalists.”

They’ve also prioritized preserving open spaces on their western landscape.

In 1998, the ranch enrolled in Broadwater County’s first conservation easement with the FWP to maintain 1,680 acres for agricultural purposes in perpetuity. The land sits next to the nationally unique Elkhorn Wildlife Management Unit and now provides a critical link between blocks of federal land to prevent further urban development.

“If we’re not able to have a viable land base for livestock grazing, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these arid landscapes being put into development,” Chuck says. “So the easement keeps those areas open and it gives us a chance to continue grazing.”

The easement allowed the ranch to expand a more efficient rest-rotational grazing system between their private and publicly leased ground, while also providing financial flexibility for expansion to make room for more family members on the ranch.

Their grazing plans on public and private lands are designed to benefit wildlife habitat and sustain their livestock, which work symbiotically to improve the health of the rangeland.

“This wide diversity of wildlife indicates how well the land and vegetative communities occurring on the Hahn Ranch are being managed as a whole,” FWP Conservation Technician Fred Jakubowski said.

The family also manages their farmland to simultaneously benefit their business, the livestock and wildlife. Growing both cash crops and forage crops extends their grazing season, allows for longer rest periods on the rangeland and improves organic matter and biodiversity in farmed soil. Incorporating cattle into the cropping system is essential to its success.

“By using cover crops and the no-till to enhance the soil health, we’re able to keep the soil organisms alive as long as we can during the year,” Chuck Hahn says. “The livestock are there to help incorporate that plant mass back into the soil.”

As recipient of this year’s award, the Hahn Ranch will be nominated for the regional ESAP award, which will be announced at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer conference in July 2018. The award is sponsored in a partnership between the Montana Stockgrowers’ Foundation, the Montana Beef Council and beef producers with Check-off dollars, and the World Wildlife Fund.

“Without conservation, we would not be here today,” Chuck says. “Our livelihood depends on the soil, it depends on the ranges, it depends on our livestock. It’s all a part of our life; it’s a part of what makes our living as well. And it’s what makes us happy.”

Since its inception in 1991, the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) has honored ranchers across the United States who implement practices the positively impact their land, livestock, wildlife, water and the ecological landscape as a whole.

 

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Editor’s note: Word count = 921. Photographs of Chuck Hahn, Dusty Hahn and the Hahn family are below. Additional images of the ranch and images of conservation practices are available on request.

Chuck Hahn

Dusty Hahn

Hahn Family

CONSERVATION ON THE HAHN RANCH // BY THE NUMBERS:

  • The Hahn Ranch has enrolled 1,685 acres in the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Block Management Program annually since 1996. Each year, roughly 900 hunter days are recorded on the Hahn Ranch.
  • The family enrolled 1,680 acres of their ranch in Broadwater County’s first conservation easement, providing a critical link between blocks of BLM and Forest Service lands to prevent urban development, establish a more efficient rest rotation grazing system and provide public/private land access.
  • Following the installation of the Broadwater-Missouri Canal siphon in 1991, Brown Trout spawning has increased significantly. In 1991, less than 10 Deep Creek brown trout spawning redds were located in certain locations along the creek. In 2016, one location on the Hahn Ranch noted as many as 75 redds.
  • Streamflow has tripled in a commonly dewatered reach of Deep Creek following 2012 irrigation projects that included the relocation of irrigation diversion and pumping system.
  • All streams naturally increase in water temperature as water travels downstream. While Deep Creek used to warm up by 8 degrees Fahrenheit in the lower 13 miles of stream, but now warms by 2.5 degrees as a result of changes with irrigation practices.
  • With the use of no-till farming methods and the incorporation of forage crop and livestock on their farm ground, organic matter in their farmed soil has moved from an average of three percent to closer to five percent. According to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, native grassland range in the state is typically comprised of about four percent organic matter.

 

 

 

 

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to host fire and drought seminar

Producers to discuss challenges and options following fire and drought

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation has joined with the Southeast Montana Livestock Association and the MSU Extension Service to provide a premier program to help livestock producers navigate management challenges following a devastating fire and drought season. Experts from around the country will address issues including how to manage the tax ramifications of drought influenced decisions, insurance, and risk management tools to assist in managing future risk. The program will begin at 1:00 pm, November 15 at the Range Riders Museum in Miles City, Montana. This event is free to the public.

For additional information, please contact the MSGA office at 406.442.3420.

 

Speakers:

Amy Iverson is a CPA in the Billings office of Wipfli CPA’s and Consultants. She specializes in working with those involved in agriculture and will present information on what options you have to manage tax issues related to decisions that are commonly made during the financial stress caused by drought conditions.

Brandon Willis is the owner of Rancher’s Insurance, LLC located in Utah. His expertise is helping ranchers manage their production risk through the use of forage, pasture, and rangeland insurance products. Brandon will provide information on how to decide if the available products might fit you particular situation and the mechanics of utilizing the various products.

Dr. Janna Kincheloe is the NDSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist located at the Hettinger Research and Extension Center. She will provide information on production strategies to manage through a drought. These include developing a drought management plan, efficient utilization of forages and alternative feeding options.

Dr. Andy Roberts, USDA-ARS Fort Keogh, Animal Research Scientist, research will be presented by Andy that shows how you can reduce the input cost of your cow herd while maintaining productivity through changes in your heifer development program.

Lance Vermeire, USDA-ARS Fort Keogh, Rangeland Ecologist. Lance has done extensive study on the effects of grazing on rangeland production following fire and drought. He will present strategies that allow for recovery of the range condition in the presence of grazing animals.

 

At Tester’s Urging, USDA Halts Importation of Brazilian Beef

Montana Producers Praise Tester for Protecting Consumers from Tainted Meat

 

(U.S. Senate)– Following Senator Tester’s repeated calls for a ban, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a suspension of all imports of Brazilian beef until safety concerns are addressed.

 

“I’m glad to see USDA has listened to our multiple demands to protect American consumers and producers across Montana,” Tester said. “This is a major win for Montana ranchers and American families. Montanans raise the best beef in the world and the government shouldn’t be undercutting them by importing unsafe, even rotten products from foreign countries.” 

 

Tester has repeatedly called on USDA to halt importation of beef from Brazil, going so far as to introduce legislation to ban Brazilian beef for 120 days until safety concerns could be addressed.

 

Yesterday, Tester called on Secretary Purdue to halt imports after five Brazilian meat-packing plants were removed from the exporter list.

 

Tester questioned Secretary Perdue about the importation of Brazilian beef in an Agriculture Appropriations hearing this month.  He also raised this issue with the Secretary face-to-face during his confirmation process.

 

Montana producers thanked Tester for his leadership on this issue.

 

“We would like to thank Senator Tester for taking the lead on this issue. The safety of our nation’s food supply is imperative to both Montana’s ranchers and consumers,” said Errol Rice, Executive Vice President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

 

“The Montana Farmers Union would like to thank Senator Tester for his efforts to protect Montana ranchers and Montana consumers and applauds the USDA’s decision to halt beef imports from Brazil,” said Alan Merrill, President of the Montana Farmers Union.

 

“USCA appreciates the work done by Senator Tester and his staff in reaching today’s announcement on the ban of Brazilian beef imports to the U.S.,” said Leo McDonnell of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.  “Senator Tester is a longtime advocate for the U.S. cattle industry and has taken the lead on this issue by providing a strong voice for producers in D.C. The Senator’s repeated calls for action by USDA have been answered and USCA appreciates his commitment seeing this ban through.”

MSGA Applauds News of USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef

Contact:  Kori Anderson
406.442.3420/406.214.5680
kori@mtbeef.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

MSGA Applauds News of USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef

The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today, to suspend all imports of fresh beef from Brazil due to safety concerns.

 

“We applaud the decision by USDA to put a ban on the import of Brazilian beef. International trade is an important aspect of our industry, but the safety of our nation’s food supply is imperative to both ranchers and consumers, said Errol Rice Executive Vice President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “We would like to thank Senator Jon Tester for taking the lead on this issue; as well as Secretary Sonny Perdue for taking swift action to initiate the ban.”

 

The USDA release can be found HERE.

 

 

MSGA Comments on Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting

Contact:  Kori Anderson
406.442.3420/406.214.5680
kori@mtbeef.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MSGA Applauds News of Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting

HELENA (June 22, 2017) – Today, the Montana Stockgrowers Association released the following statement in response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement that the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is being delisted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):

“The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds the action taken by Secretary Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear,” noted Errol Rice Executive Vice President for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “This has been a priority of the association for years and this is a critical first step for the State of Montana to regain management of the bear population.”

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.