130th Mid-Year Meeting in Miles City Brings Concert, Parade and Ranch Rodeo

Montana Stockgrowers 2014 Mid-Year Meeting Miles CityHold on to your hats and kick up your heels because the 130th Montana Stockgrowers Association Mid-Year Meeting in Miles City promises to be a weekend to remember, June 13-14. This year’s event will be highlighted by an amazing concert on Friday night featuring The Bellamy Brothers and opening act Copper Mountain Band!

“Miles City is very excited about the opportunity to host MSGA’s 130th Mid-Year and we look forward to a great meeting and events,” says Fred Wacker, MSGA Board of Directors member and rancher from the Miles City area. “In addition to Friday night’s concert, Mid-Year attendees will be treated to a horse parade in downtown, followed by the ranch rodeo on Saturday afternoon.”

RSVP in the Facebook event and keep up with the conversation by using #MSGA14 online!

Mid-Year is one of two major meetings MSGA holds annually where members will gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the rest of the year. Policy and Committee meetings this year will be hosted at the Miles City Community College.

Opening General Session on Friday morning will include an address by current president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Texas cattleman, Bob McCann. A ranch tour on Friday afternoon will include stops at Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Range Riders Museum, WaterWorks Art Museum, and OptiBlend Industries.

Everyone is welcomed to join us on Friday, June 13th for an amazing concert featuring The Bellamy Brothers at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds! The Bellamy Brothers have received nearly every music award there is to have, and they even hold the record in both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association for the most duo nominations.  They have written countless worldwide hits, crossed the globe just as their music has crossed genres, brought reggae to the Grand Ole Opry, and recorded 45 albums.

The concert will also bring in Copper Mountain Band as the opening act, a high-energy country music group from the great state of Montana. With a fiery passion for their craft and an appeal to all audiences, they incorporate music from many genres and styles into their performances.

Saturday, June 14th will bring more fun and excitement as attendees finish policy meetings, enjoy an Old Times All-Horse/Livestock Parade, grab a bite to eat at the Young Stockgrowers Tailgate Luncheon, and then head off to cheer on their favorite teams at the Miles City Ranch Rodeo!

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, and Sleep Inn. Discounted rates start at $90 and must be reserved by May 5th. For more information about MSGA’s 2014 Mid-Year Meeting, contact MSGA’s office at (406) 442-3420 or join the Facebook event. Registration packets are available online at www.mtbeef.org.Registrations received before June 2 will receive discount pricing.

Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Meeting Senator John Walsh Washington D.C.

Senator meets with Montana Stockgrowers, discusses concerns affecting ranchers

Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Meeting Senator John Walsh Washington D.C.

Pictured from left to right are Gene Curry (Valier),Tucker Hughes (Stanford), Sen. Walsh, Watty Taylor (Busby),Errol Rice (Helena), Tom Hougen (Melstone),Wanda Pinnow (Baker).

(The following is a press release from U.S. Senator, John Walsh) – Senator John Walsh today announced that starting Tuesday, April 15, Montana farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs.

The disaster assistance programs will be implemented by USDA, bringing long-awaited relief for many livestock producers. The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses for calendar years 2012forward.

 “Montana’s farmers and ranchers not only generate the most economic growth in our state, they generate some of the best products in the world,” said Walsh.  “News of the enrollment period for the disaster assistance program is welcome, but far overdue. I will continue to bring Montana’s voice to the Senate and I will continue to fight against FSA office closures that could prevent Montana’s farmers and ranchers from enrolling in the disaster relief program or accessing other resources they rely on.”

Disaster assistance, possible Farm Service Agency (FSA) office closures, sage grouse, and the effects of diseases on Montana livestock were discussed during a meeting Walsh had today with representatives of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

During the meeting with Montana Stockgrowers, Walsh highlighted the beginning of this enrollment period and discussed the negative consequences if the Obama Administration’s plan to close 250 FSA offices goes through.  Last week, Walsh wrote to the leaders of the appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction, urging them to maintain funding for the FSA offices and block the Administration’s proposal.

The Stockgrowers also expressed their concern over the effects of bovine brucellosis on Montana’s livestock, and the possibility of using federal funds to research the disease in cattle.

MSGA brings back the Top Hand Club with Frontline Ag Sponsorship

Affiliate Mentorship ProgramHelena, Mont. – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is excited to announce its first year partnership with  Frontline Ag. Frontline Ag is an “Official Affiliate Top Hand Club Sponsor” of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and they have been instrumental in helping MSGA to implement the Affiliate Top Hand Club for 2014. This year’s top prize will be a John Deere Gator sponsored by Frontline Ag.

The Top Hand Club is a part of Stockgrowers’ Affiliate Mentorship Program, announced earlier this year, as a renewed effort to strengthen local affiliate members across the state.

“We have been hard at work this year making plans to bring back our Top Hand Club to our membership. We could not have accomplished this without the very generous support of Frontline Ag” said Tucker Hughes, Montana Stockgrowers Association President. “John Deere makes a great, dependable product that holds up on our Montana ranches. We appreciate the commitment Frontline Ag has made to our membership and the Montana Stockgrowers Association!”

The Affiliate Top Hand Club is the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s “member-recruit-a-member” program, which has been developed to recognize those Local Affiliate Associations and members who continually give their time and effort to help increase the strength of their state organization, the Montana Stockgrowers Association.Frontline Logo

The Top Prize for the Affiliate Top Hand, a John Deere Gator from Frontline Ag, will be awarded to the Local Affiliate Association that recruits the highest number of new memberships for MSGA within the current recruitment year. The winner will be announced at MSGA’s Annual Convention to be held Dec. 11-13, 2014 in Billings at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana.

To learn more about MSGA’s 2014 Affiliate Top Hand Club and to find information on the individual membership top hand prizes please visit www.mtbeef.org.

Listen to this post as a podcast on SoundCloud! Click HERE – bit.ly/MSGATopHandFrontline

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.

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Montana Range Days Havre Montana

Montana Range Days Coming to Hill County

Montana Range Days Havre Montana2014 marks the 38th year of Montana Range Days and the final time this premier range education event is coming to Havre. It’s not very often when your four year old can become a buckaroo for the day; your 13 year old can become a wrangler; and parents get a taste of the rancher division and learn about one of Montana’s most important resources: Range.

Montana Stockgrowers Association Research and Education Endowment Foundation, Montana Cattlewomen, and Montana Association of Grazing Districts are proud to sponsor Montana Range Days.

This year’s event begins Monday June 23rd in Beaver Creek Park, the Nation’s Largest County Park. Having Range Days in this part of the state introduces new grasses, forbs, trees and possibly weeds, both noxious and introduced, that perhaps participants haven’t seen before. The first day will be an opportunity for those serious about the competition to get onto the practice site and begin studying plants that may or may not be in the contest. Those interested in weed control can tour Dalmatian Toadflax biological control plots in the area.

Tuesday, June 24th is full of activity, with workshops for all ages going on at Camp Kiwanis, Beaver Creek Park. The 4 to 6 year old (Buckaroos) will learn about rangeland environments with lots of hands-on activities. The 7 to 8 year olds (Ecosystem Explorers) will learn about range and our ecosystem through fun games and activities. For the 9 to 11 year olds (Superstarters) they get a little more serious and begin to learn about plant anatomy and identification to prepare them for the contest on Wednesday. The Wrangler division is for those junior high age students who want to learn about proper grazing, stocking rates, plant anatomy and identification. There are also the Open and FFA Divisions for 14 to 19 year olds to learn about the many aspects of range. While the kids are learning, the adults can be participating as well in the Rancher / Open Adult workshops or attend the tour slated for Tuesday. Tuesday’s tour includes: The Blaine County Wildlife Museum, the Blaine County Historical Museum and the Bear Paw Battlefield.

Montana Range Days Havre Montana WorkshopsWednesday, June 25th is the final day of Montana Range Days and also marks competition day in which teams of 3 or 4 members will compete on what they learned the day before in such areas of plant ID, soils, anatomy, monitoring and range management. There are several awards like Top Superstarter, Top Wrangler, and the Top Range Hand award of the event. Those participants who are too young to participate in the competition can take part in an educational program put on by the Montana Cattlewomen’s Association at Camp Kiwanis, while adults can tour Havre Beneath the Streets and the Wahkpa Chu’gn Archeological Site.

Montana Range Days is open to all families, all ages, and all skill levels. Come be a part of an event that has been going on for more than 30 years and has encompassed more than 15 communities in our great State and learn about this wealth of nature that covers nearly 70 percent of Montana better known as Rangelands.

Find the online electronic registration form at https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=lYj8Z7FSQjJx4OYCe8-ASA.

For more information you can call Jennifer at the Hill County Conservation District at 406-265-6792 ext.101 or email Jennifer.kenck@mt.nacdnet.net or go the website at www.montanarangedays.org.

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Montana Environmental Stewardship Award

Montana Stockgrowers Seeking Applications for 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award

Montana Environmental Stewardship AwardHelena, MT – Do you know a Montana rancher who is a leader in stewardship, implementing conservation practices to ensure the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of their operation? Encourage them to apply for the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award, presented by the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA).  Applications for the 2014 award are due June 30.

Each year, MSGA honors Montana ranches that exemplify environmental stewardship and demonstrate commitment toward improved sustainability within their communities. This award recognizes Montana ranchers who are at the forefront in conservation and stewardship and are willing to serve as examples for other ranchers.

“Montana ranchers are leaders in this country when it comes to being stewards of our environment and conserving the natural resources that help make Montana such a great state to live in,” said Ryan Goodman, MSGA manager of communications. “We are asking the community to get involved in helping us identify ranches that really go above and beyond when it comes to environmental stewardship and conservation in their local areas.”

2013 Montana ESAP Award Winner – LaSalle Ranch, Havre, MT. Read more in a previous post.

Ranches wishing to apply for the award and recognition are asked to complete an application packet (available at mtbeef.org/mesap); due to the MSGA office by June 30. Nominations can be submitted by contacting the MSGA office. Ranches must be a member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association to qualify for the award. A committee, which will include representatives from Montana Stockgrowers, Montana Beef Council, past Environmental Stewardship Award winners, and others invested in Montana stewardship and conservation will evaluate the applications after all applications are completed.

The ranch chosen for the award will be announced at MSGA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show in Billings, Dec. 11-13 at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana. The Montana ESAP winner will then work with MSGA staff to prepare their application for the Regional and National Award competition, which is typically due in early March of the following year.

Since 1992, Montana Stockgrowers has honored 21 state winners, ten of whom went on to win the regional award and two named national award winners. To learn more, visit www.mtbeef.org/mesap, or contact Ryan Goodman at ryan@mtbeef.org or (406) 442-3420. The Montana Environmental Stewardship Award is sponsored by MSGA’s Research and Education Endowment Foundation and funded by Montana Beef Producers with Checkoff Dollars.

Listen to this post on the SoundCloud Podcast!

2014 Montana Stockgrowers Mid Year Meeting Miles City

Preview: MSGA Plans Mid-Year in Miles City

Montana Stockgrowers is excited to announce that the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting will be held in Miles City, MT on June 13 & 14. Your Board of Directors and MSGA staff has been hard at work putting together a Mid-Year Meeting that will be one to remember!

Sneak Peeks to Mid-Year

  • Gather together to discuss the critical issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide our association.
  • Hop on the bus as we conduct a Ranch Tour that includes a tasty beef lunch, range and research tour at Fort Keogh, a tour of the Range Rider Museum, and a tour at Optiblend Industries.
  • Enjoy a Prime Rib dinner, watering hole, and entertainment at the end of the Ranch Tour on June 13th.
  • Dance the night away at the Miles City street dance, featuring the Copper Mountain Band, held on Friday night June 13th.
  • Fill up and re-energize at the REEF Pancake breakfast before finalizing committee meetings on June 14th.
  • Discover the big taste of the Kansas City BBQ cook-off.
  • Network at the tailgate lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Hold on to your hats and cheer on the contestants at the Miles City Ranch Rodeo to be held on Saturday June 14th at 1:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars! Save the date! Join the Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting. For more information and to register, visit www.mtbeef.org or call 406-442-3420.

2014 Montana Stockgrowers Mid Year Meeting Miles City


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Leon LaSalle Ranch Environmental Stewardship

LaSalle Ranch of Havre Nominated for Regional Environmental Stewardship Award

Cattle Trailing on the LaSalle RanchMontana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) announced this week that the LaSalle Ranch of Havre has been nominated for the Region V Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP), sponsored by DOW AgroSciences, funded by National Beef Checkoff dollars. LaSalle Ranch is a cow/calf and yearling operation mostly located within the boundaries of the Rocky Boys Indian Reservation. The LaSalles are members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and are the first Native American winners of Montana’s ESAP state-level award, which was announced in December 2013.

Each year, MSGA honors a Montana ranch that exemplifies environmental stewardship and demonstrates a commitment toward improved sustainability within the beef industry. This award recognizes Montana ranchers who are at the forefront in conservation and stewardship and are willing to serve as examples for other ranchers. Each year the state ESAP winner from Montana works with MSGA for the Regional, and eventual National, application process.

“The whole LaSalle family is very proud to be nominated for the regional and national recognition,” said Leon LaSalle, president of LaSalle Ranch. “We understand that if we take care of the land it will take care of us. Our ancestors lived in harmony with their environment and we try to do the same. This award means a lot to me personally, not for myself, but for my father who has spent a lifetime improving the environment—not only for us, but for numerous other farmers and ranchers throughout North Central Montana.”

LaSalle Ranch is operated by the LaSalle family: Leon and his wife Shannon, his father Robert L. and mother Jenny, and brother Robert W. and his wife Susie are all involved in the operation. Leon and Robert W. represent the third generation to ranch in the area. Their grandfather, Frank Billy, was one of the first Chippewa Cree Tribal members to enter the livestock industry after World War II.
LaSalle Ranch has partnered with the Montana Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Natural Resource Department, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to implement conservation practices and a planned grazing system to protect environmentally sensitive areas on the ranch. They have installed over seven miles of stock water pipelines, 25 wildlife-friendly watering facilities, and 10 miles of cross fences.

lasalle field wide openA major focus of the LaSalle family’s efforts has been Beaver Creek, which flows into Beaver Creek County Park, the largest county park in the U.S. This park is a very popular summer recreation area for Hill County and surrounding county residents who enjoy camping, swimming, fishing, and picnicking. The park is located on the downstream border of the LaSalle’s grazing allotment. The LaSalles have worked to keep cattle off the sensitive riparian areas of the creek by developing eight off-stream water developments, utilizing solar energy to pump livestock water to higher elevations to take grazing pressure off riparian areas and allow even grazing use of the pastures, and installing 3.5 miles of riparian area protection fences. These efforts have resulted in improved water quality in the headwaters of this watershed and a more pleasant environment for recreationalists.

The Regional ESAP winners will be announced in July at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, Colorado. Regional winners will be nominated for the National award, which will be announced February 2015 at the Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Since 1992, MSGA has honored 21 state winners, ten of whom went on to win the regional award and two named national award winners. To learn more, visit www.mtbeef.org/mesap.

Leon LaSalle Ranch Environmental Stewardship


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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.


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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