Scholarship Available: Montana Educational Heritage

The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Research & Education Endowment Foundation is offering a scholarship for one MSGA member student.

Montana Educational Heritage Scholarship PromoFor current college students, the Montana Educational Heritage Scholarship of $1,000 is available. To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in college and have completed at least one semester in college, be a member of MSGA, or have at least one parent who is a member, 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 what they hope to do with their education, and include two letters of recommendation.

Applications are due April 15, 2014. You can apply online at bit.ly/REEF2014EHS

Kelsey Haughian Heritage Award “The Foundation’s continued support of college students is imperative for ranchers like me to further our education goals. The scholarship I received has allowed me to feel financially secure in my junior year of college at Montana State University,” said Kelsey Haughian, 2013 award recipient from Miles City, MT.

For more information on these scholarships and to apply online, visit the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s website at www.mtbeef.org/reef.aspx. For questions, please email Lauren Chase at Lauren@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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Montana's Charlie Russell Book Cover

Montana Historical Society to Host Charlie Russell Birthday Celebration

Montana's Charlie Russell Book Cover

MHS is excited to unveil the cover of Montana’s Charlie Russell. This book will be available in September and will include color reproductions of every Russell artwork in the amazing collection. Want to reserve a copy? Contact the museum store at (406) 444-2890 or mhsmuseumstore@mt.gov.

The Montana Historical Society in Helena is celebrating the 150th anniversary of cowboy artist Charlie Russell’s birthday with day-long activities and the grand opening of its remodeled Mackay Gallery of Charles M. Russell Art.

The event will be on the date of Russell’s birth, March 19th, Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the grand gallery re-opening at 6 p.m.

The MHS Museum staff is refreshing the Russell Gallery, which will now include special pull out drawers to allow visitors to get close up views of Russell’s illustrated letters and other smaller artworks on paper in MHS’ world-class collection. The Russell Gallery will be closed from February 20-March 19 to prepare for the event.

It begins at 10 a.m. with free admission and birthday cake all day long, a chance to sign up for a copy of MHS’ forthcoming “Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society,” and special sales of Russell prints and other items in the Museum Store.

Also at 10 a.m. Russell Gallery guide Marti Cook will be available to answer questions and provide insight into Russell’s work. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Kirby Lambert and Jennifer Bottomly- O’Looney, authors of the new MHS Russell book, will be in the gallery to meet the public and talk about Russell informally.

At 6:15 p.m. cowboy poet Mike Logan will read some of his poems based on C.M. Russell and the West in the MHS auditorium. At 7 p.m. MHS Director Bruce Whittenberg will welcome guests for a short program. At 7:30 p.m. actor Greg Younger will tell a story from Trails Plowed Under as C.M. Russell.

There will be a lookalike contest with special prizes for those who attend in costume as Charlie Russell of his wife Nancy. There will be free appetizers and a cash bar during the opening.

Special thanks to event sponsors the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Handle With Care. For information visit www.montanahistoricalsociety.org or call 406-444-2694.

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National Cattlemens Beef USA logo

NCBA Accepting Applications for Public Policy Internship

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2014) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s and the Public Lands Council government affairs office in Washington, D.C., are accepting applications for the fall 2014 public policy internship. The deadline to submit an application is Feb. 17, 2014.

“NCBA and PLC’s internship is a great opportunity to see firsthand a grassroots effort at work in the nation’s most powerful city,” said Rachel Abeh, a Montana State University senior and fall 2013 intern. “I have a better understanding of the complexity and implications of the political issues facing our ranchers back here in the West, along with a greater appreciation for the lobbyists who work on behalf of our producers day in and day out.”

See more thoughts from Rachel Abeh about her recent internship in our video posted yesterday.

NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts said this is a great opportunity for students with an interest in the beef industry and public policy.

“From food safety and trade to environmental issues and taxes, this internship will give college students the opportunity to work alongside staff on many critical issues affecting U.S. cattlemen and women,” Butts said. “The internship is designed to work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill; to assist with NCBA and PLC’s regulatory efforts; and to work closely with the communications team.”

The full-time internship will begin Sept. 8, 2014 and end Dec. 13, 2014. To apply, interested college juniors, seniors or graduate students should submit the application, college transcripts, two letters of recommendation and a resume to internships@beef.org. More information about the NCBA public policy internship is available on www.BeefUSA.org.

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The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America’s cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or membership@beef.org.

 

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MSU Extension and MSGA announce 2013 Steer of Merit certifications

Montana Stockgrowers and Extension Steer of Merit Recipients

L to R, Lane Brush (Madison County), Randy Kramer (Carbon County), Kayla Sylvia (Lewis and Clark County), Shelbie Oblander (Yellowstone County), Ty Handy (Richland County), and Rachel Endecott (MSU Extension)

Montana State University Extension and the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) distinguished 135 “Steers of Merit” out of over 900 entries for 2013. Out of 775 steers entered in the Carcass Division, 111 were deemed Steers of Merit. In the Ultrasound Division, 24 out of 141 entries received the distinction.

“The Steer of Merit award promotes and recognizes the production of the highest quality of Montana beef with carcass characteristics that meet the U.S. beef industry’s standards of excellence,” said Errol Rice, MSGA’s Executive Vice President. “We are proud to sponsor this great youth program that teaches and awards 4-H and FFA beef projects that have met or exceeded these industry benchmarks in order to meet both domestic and global consumer demand for the 21st century.”

The exhibitors and breeders of the top five steers in each category were honored at MSGA’s Annual Convention, Dec. 12-14 in Billings at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana. The top five steer entries in the Carcass Division were: 1) Timothy Eash, Lincoln County (Ed Braaten, breeder); 2) Randy Kramer, Carbon County (Justin Oswald, breeder); 3) Karleigh Bolin, Missoula County (Jeremy & Kate Roberts, breeder); 4) Kayla Sylvia, Lewis and Clark County (Troy Wheeler, breeder); and 5) Lane Brush, Madison County (Gerald Brush, breeder).

The top five steer entries in the Ultrasound Division were: 1) Mackenzie Lepley, Yellowstone County (breeder unknown); 2) Ty Handy, Richland County (Larry & Lauri Handy, breeder); 3) Brielle Gorder, Richland County (Allen Gasho, breeder); 4) Shelbie Oblander, Yellowstone County (Pam & Dale Bilyeu, breeder); and 5) Jalyssa Gorder, Richland County (Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch, breeder).

The number of Steer of Merit certifications for 2013 increased by nine steers, with 26 more entries submitted compared to 2012.

“Steer of Merit certification didn’t change much in 2013 compared to 2012,” said Rachel Endecott, Montana State Extension Beef Cattle Specialist. “This was the second fair season under the new hot carcass weight and back fat standards set by the Steer of Merit Committee in 2011; perhaps some adjustment to the new standards is occurring. And summer 2013 probably had better cattle feeding weather and conditions than summer 2012.”

The Montana Steer of Merit program was initiated in 1967 as a joint effort between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana State University Extension. The program was designed to measure, record, and improve carcass characteristics in beef cattle. Data from these carcasses has been summarized and analyzed statistically. Over time, significant increases have been made in quality grade and in yield grade, or cutability, indicating that cattle can be selected for leaner carcasses with higher cutability and still maintain high quality grade as reflected by marbling.

To be designated a Steer of Merit, carcasses are evaluated by a qualified individual using information that relates to yield of lean meat and eating quality. Beef carcasses must meet criteria set by the Steer of Merit Committee in the areas of hot carcass weight, dressing percent, fat thickness over 12th rib (back fat), total rib eye area, yield grade, percent cutability, and quality grade. Computer software programs help compile data and rank carcasses for state and county awards. Data is also analyzed periodically to track genetic and feed management progress. The minimum standards for Steer of Merit are reviewed each year and the program is updated to meet the changing industry standards.

For more information about the Steer of Merit program, call Rachel Endecott, Montana State Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at (406) 994-3747.

 

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Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors Mick Denowh Sidney

Mick Denowh of Sidney completes term on Montana Stockgrowers Board of Directors

Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors Mick Denowh Sidney

This week we are highlighting three Montana ranchers who just finished their terms on the MSGA Board of Directors. We are very thankful for all of the ranchers and their families who dedicate time to making sure our organization operates smoothly and continues to serve Montana Ranching Families well into the future.

Mick Denowh of Sidney has completed two terms on the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) Board of Directors representing the Northeastern District. His peers elected Mick to the 13-member board in 2009 and re-elected in 2011. Denowh was honored for his service at MSGA’s 129th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, Dec. 12-14.

“Mick had a long distance to travel to most MSGA meetings, but only missed one meeting due to his family’s spring bull sale,” says MSGA President, Tucker Hughes of Stanford. “Mick is attentive but quiet, a good quality when serving on a board with ranchers. He and his wife Debbie were always involved and I can speak for the entire board in saying we have enjoyed serving with Mick and thank him for his four years of service.”

Mick, along with Paul and Chad Denowh, run Gartner-Denowh Angus Ranch, a fourth-generation Seedstock operation. Mick is the ranch’s president. GDAR, which consists of two ranches located 35 miles apart, has been raising registered Angus since 1957.

Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors Mick Denowh SidneyMick and his wife Debra have four children, Chad, Charles, Chase and Chantz, two daughter-in-laws Jennifer and Barbara, and two grandchildren Danica and Cambree.

Mick is a member of the American Angus Association, served on the Montana Angus Association Board of Directors for three years and has been a delegate to the AAA national convention numerous times. He is a member of the MONDAK Stockgrowers Association and served as 4-H leader from 1988-2006. Mick served on the Richland Youth Hockey Board of Directors for three years and was chair of the Fireworks Booth & Bulls R. Us.

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Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors member Mark Harrison and wife Patti

Mark Harrison of Belt completes term on Montana Stockgrowers Board of Directors

Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors member Mark Harrison and wife PattiThis week we are highlighting three Montana ranchers who just finished their terms on the MSGA Board of Directors. We are very thankful for all of the ranchers and their families who dedicate time to making sure our organization operates smoothly and continues to serve Montana Ranching Families well into the future.

Mark Harrison of Belt has completed two terms on the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) Board of Directors representing the North Central District. His peers elected Mark to the 13-member board in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. Mark was honored for his service at MSGA’s 129th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, Dec. 12-14.

“Due to health complications, Mark chose to shorten his second term on the Board of Directors, but we are very pleased to hear his health is improving,” says MSGA President, Tucker Hughes of Stanford. “Mark, his wife Patti, their whole family and crew have been great supporters of MSGA and our ranching communities. “Mark has been an outspoken leader for the ranching communities. His ability to ask the tough question at our board meetings without being offensive is an admirable quality. He and Patti have always been willing to step up to the plate when events needed to be hosted, such as our Mid Year event in 2012”

The Harrison family moved to Montana in 2003. Mark and Patti purchased the old Jolly Roger ranch near Belt and have been building their own registered Angus Seedstock herd since then. The Harrisons also run a commercial herd; around 400 pairs total. Harrison Land & Livestock held their first production sale in March of 2010.

Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors Mark Harrison and Gene Curry

Mark and Patti have four children. Their two oldest sons, Matt and Joe, live and work on the ranch. Nathan serves in the Army. Elizabeth is currently in college.

Prior to moving to Montana, Mark served on the Foundation Board for Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wis. and on the American Red Cross Board in La Crosse.

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This week we are highlighting three Montana ranchers who just finished their terms on the MSGA Board of Directors. We are very thankful for all of the ranchers and their families who dedicate time to making sure our organization operates smoothly and continues to serve Montana Ranching Families well into the future.

Glenna Stucky of Avon named “Ranching Woman of the Year”

Glenna Stucky Avon - Ranching Woman of the Year - Montana StockgrowersGlenna Stucky of Avon was honored as “Ranching Woman of the Year” by the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), Saturday, Dec. 14 during their 129th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings. Stucky, wife of Earl Stucky, was excited to win the award and was joined on stage by her family. Stucky was nominated for the award by her granddaughter, Billie Jo Holzer.

Here is her biography, as written by Billie Jo:

Glenna was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana. Her youth consisted of 4-H, sewing, cooking, playing the piano for dances with her dad. Her 4-H years led her to her husband Earl Stucky.

In their early years of marriage, Glenna worked at the state 4-H office while she and Earl were 4-H leaders. They raised five kids on the ranch once known as Flying D. While Earl was away at cow camp, Glenna was often home alone with the kids, taking care of all the ranch chores, plus her chickens, milk cows and harvesting a bountiful garden. Her outside passions were passed down to her kids and grandkids.

Glenna and Earl then moved the family to the Keiley Ranch in 1976, which they purchased north of Avon. Glenna shared her brilliance in sewing, cooking, and gardening not only with her own kids and with grandkids, but enriched many 4-H’ers during her 35-year leadership role.

Glenna helped start the Powell County Cattlewomen and is a current member of the district and state Cattlewomen associations. One of her other loves is the Avon Get-Together Club which is a fundraising club for the community and is on her 21st year.

On the ranch Glenna still keeps books for 1000+ head operation, feeds the hired men and takes care of her five milk cows and a dozen plus orphan calves. An encounter with a hostile heifer during calving, that laid her up for a time, has not slowed her down and she still takes her checks during that busy season. Caking heifers with her daughter every spring morning and making sure the shelves are stocked with vaccines and medical supplies for the ranch are still some of her daily duties.

Her family looks up to her in so many ways and truly believe she is the rock of the family. Strong, loving, gracious, and dedicated are a few of her fine qualities.  Yes, Glenna Stucky is a ranch woman pioneer, passing down the legacy to her kids and grandkids with grace and love.

Family friends Ed and Bev Fryer add that even after raising her family, Glenna seems busier than ever. Glenna is always “helping at whatever ranch duties that she is called upon to do, volunteering at community events, and still being a mother, and especially a grandmother to her ever growing family. She has had her share of challenges, but still maintains a cheerful and positive attitude on life. She is just one of those people that you know when you meet them that they are very happy and successful being a Ranch Woman.”

The Ranching Woman of the Year Award is an annual honor given 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. Visit MSGA on the web at www.mtbeef.org.

Errol Rice Montana Stockgrowers Association Executive Vice President

Montana Stockgrowers Convention draws ranching crowd to Billings

Errol Rice Montana Stockgrowers Association Executive Vice PresidentView all Convention 2013 coverage by clicking here.

The 129th Montana Stockgrowers Association Convention and Trade Show, held at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, December 12-14, drew record crowds from the ranching community from across the state.

The three-day convention featured a number of speakers to help ranchers learn more about available management tools, as well as outlooks on the current status of cattle markets, industry trends, environmental and wildlife issues. Members also had the opportunity to discuss and vote on resolutions that guide policy activity for the Stockgrowers Association.

Here are some of the highlights:

-Elections were held to fill three positions on the Board of Directors due to expiring terms. Wayne Slaght of Ovando was elected to represent the Western district. Lee Cornwell of Glasgow was elected to represent the Northeastern district. Jack Holden of Valier was elected to represent the North Central district. Slaght, Cornwell and Holden are all cow-calf ranchers on family operations. Heath Martinell of Dell, Mick Denowh of Sidney and Mark Harrison of Belt are the outgoing Board members.

-Lacey Sutherlin of Stevensville was elected as Chairwoman of the Young Stockgrowers. She fills the position previously held by Collin Gibbs from Miles City. Travis Brown of Sand Springs was elected as Vice-Chair. Sutherlin and Brown will represent the Young Stockgrowers on the MSGA Board of Directors.

-The 2013 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to the Leon LaSalle family of Havre. Leon is president of LaSalle Ranch, a family corporation that includes his father Robert L., his mother Jenny, and his brother Robert W, along with his wife Shannon. LaSalle Ranch is a cow/calf and yearling operation, mostly located within the boundaries of the Rocky Boys Indian reservation. Leon is also an engineering technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Havre.

-Glenna Stucky of Avon was recognized as the Ranching Woman of the Year. Glenna, who lives in Avon with her husband Earl, has dedicated years of hard work to her family, ranch, and community. Close friends describer Glenna as a “ranch woman pioneer, passing down the legacy to her kids and grandkids with grace and love.”

-Zoetis Cattlemen’s College offered attendees several great opportunities for interactive learning about the tools available to improve management and record keeping on their ranches. Oklahoma State University Livestock Economist, Dr. Darrell Peel, offered great insight into the current market situations and an outlook on what we may expect in the long-term cattle numbers.

-Montana Ford Stores continued their sponsorship to give one luck MSGA member a new Ford Super Duty pickup. This year’s winner was Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney. Steinbeisser, along with his two brothers and two cousins, owns and operates VS Inc., a diversified farm raising several cash crops, feed for their feedlot and wintering cows. His father and uncle still participate on the family operation. Steinbeisser has been involved with the family operation full-time for 30 years. Jim and his wife, May Ann, have three children: Corbin (6), Liam (5), and Claire (4).

-Attendees heard encouraging and informative messages from many speakers throughout the 3-day convention. Sarah Calhoun of White Sulphur Springs, founder of Red Ants Pants, was the featured speaker at Opening General Session. American National Cattlewomen’s Association President, Barbara Jackson was on hand for several events including the Inspirational Breakfast and the Cattlewomen’s meetings.

-Policy meetings offered opportunity for attendees to hear updates on several issues affecting ranches, environmental and agricultural policy issues in the state. Representatives from Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Department of Livestock, Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Association were on hand to provide updates and insight on current events.

Convention coverage, photos and videos can be found on the Montana Stockgrowers Association Facebook page or blog (www.mtstockgrowersblog.com).

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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.
Sage Grouse Habitat Montana

Sage grouse, farm and ranch succession planning among topics at 2014 Winter Grazing Seminar

MILES CITY, Mont. – An in-depth discussion of sage grouse conservation and management – including a panel of ranchers who are currently managing sage grouse on their lands – is one of several topics on the agenda of the 2014 Winter Grazing Seminar, to be held Jan. 29-30 in Miles City, Mont.

The first day of the seminar will feature representatives from the Public Lands Council. Executive Director Dustin Van Liew will speak on multiple issues in agriculture. Montana Executive Director Jay Bodner and federal grazing permitee Lon Reukauf will also join the discussion. Next Tim Griffiths and Dr. David Naugle will give a presentation on Sage Grouse. To conclude the first day of the seminar a producer panel including Robert Lee from Forsyth will speak on a rancher’s perspective of sage grouse management on rangelands.

That evening, a social hour and banquet will be held at the Town & Country Club in Miles City. Northern Ag Network’s Haylie Shipp will be the Master of Ceremonies for the banquet. Range Leader of the Year Awards will be given to the winners of the rancher and professional categories. Governor Bullock is invited to give the keynote address. Bill Rossiter will be the evening’s entertainment with cowboy poetry and music.

The second day of the seminar will begin with Kevin Spafford, founder of Legacy by Design, with his presentation on Succession Solutions for Farm Families. The seminar will conclude with presentations from Fort Keogh researchers Dr. Andy Roberts on Heifer Development and Dr. Mark Petersen on Water Quality.

The seminar will be held at the Sleep Inn of Miles City. Registration is $30 per person before January 15 and $35 after. You may attend the banquet for $25 if you will be joining us for the meal.

There is no charge for those who would like to see Bill Rossiter for entertainment at the banquet.

This year’s Winter Grazing Seminar is proudly sponsored by the Custer County Conservation District, Prairie County Conservation District and USDA-ARS Fort Keogh LARRL, and in cooperation with the Rangeland Resources Executive Committee (RREC).

For the agenda and registration form please visit: http://dnrc.mt.gov/cardd/ConservationDistricts/WinterGrazing/default.asp

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Agriculture Safety Videos

Agriculture Safety Videos now available on YouTube and Mobile

Agriculture Safety VideosThe following is a safety tip from the Montana Ag Safety Program. Many agricultural operations make use of smartphones and other technology to communicate and this is a new way for them to access safety information they can use on their operation.  Montana Ag Safety program is a member of the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agriculture Health and Safety who made this technology available.

The best agricultural safety videos are one click away on the new YouTube channel, “U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers,” www.youtube.com/USagCenters. The channel is a joint project of the 10 Agricultural Centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

“Extension agents/educators, agricultural science teachers, producers/owner/operators, first responders and agricultural families would all find value in the videos,” says project leader Amanda Wickman, Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education (Texas). Videos can be used during job orientation, safety/health education, 4-H meetings, high school or college classes. One benefit of YouTube is that videos can be accessed from a mobile device to conduct tailgate trainings in the field.

“The channel is an inexpensive way to reach millions of people with safety and health information,” said project administrator Allison DeVries, High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (Colorado).

DeVries said that the Centers also hope to get valuable feedback on their videos through the YouTube comments. “Anyone can quickly establish an account and post a comment,” DeVries said.

“NIOSH established the Centers to protect the safety and health of more than 5.5 million full- and part-time contract and seasonal workers in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, as well as farm family members,” said Wickman. “Many Centers have created videos for this purpose, and we’re trying to enhance dissemination to people who can benefit most from them.”

The channel launched on Nov. 1. Each video has been produced and reviewed by content experts. Viewers are encouraged to check the site regularly for new additions. It is expected that nearly 60 videos will be on the site by the end of the year, said project technical administrator Aaron Yoder, Central States Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (Nebraska).

Topics include: respiratory protection, livestock safety, tractor and machinery safety, child development, emergency response, grain safety, pesticide safety, heat illness prevention, ladder safety and hearing protection.

Safety is an Attitude; Attitudes are contagious; Is yours worth catching?