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?

Ryan Goodman Montana Stockgrowers

MSGA’s Goodman Wins National Award

Ryan Goodman Headshot IdahoThe Montana Stockgrowers Association’s staff knows how lucky we are to have Ryan Goodman on the team. His accomplishments in the agriculture communication world are outstanding and he brings that innovation to MSGA and Montana’s ranching community.

We aren’t the only ones who think Ryan is doing a great job…

On Dec. 4, 2013 Ryan was awarded the Alliance to Feed the Future Communicator of the Year Award, presented by Alliance to Feed the Future and CropLife America. This inaugural award recognizes an outstanding communicator who is helping to balance the dialogue on modern food production.

Dave Schmidt, president and CEO of the International Food Information Council, which coordinates the Alliance, stated, “The Alliance to Feed the Future Communicator of the Year Award recognizes effective and innovative new voices that are enhancing the dialogue about modern food production. These voices are concerned not just with the here and now, but with the needs of generations to come. We can’t think of a better place to award the Communicator of the Year than the Farm Journal Forum, one of D.C.’s top food and agriculture policy meetings.”

“The simple truth is that I have a passion for the cattle industry and the community of folks involved in producing our food,” says Goodman. “America’s farmers and ranchers have a compelling story to tell. Whether it is our hard work, resilience, sense of community, or passion to keep improving upon our skills, I am proud to be a part of a community focused on agriculture, and I am proud to receive this award.”

Further, Goodman, author of the blog Agriculture Proud says, “Blogging and using social media is a way to continuously tell the story of agriculture. The heart of social media is about building relationships with individuals, not only of our like mind, but to branch out to other circles.” Goodman also offers a farmer’s perspective through video vignettes he posts to his blog and on YouTube, and he has contributed several blog posts to CNN’s Eatocracy blog.

This award was presented at the 15th annual Farm Journal Forum held in Washington, D.C., where Goodman was selected from among eight finalists including top bloggers, journalists, students, farmers and other stakeholders invested in communicating about agriculture to society.

We are so proud of Ryan for all the work he has done and all he has yet to do. Be sure to follow Ryan on social media on the MSGA social media sites, as well as his personal platforms:

 

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks logo

Comments Needed on New State Land Access Program Rule

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks logo

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would offer tax incentives to private landowners who provide public access to state lands.

The proposed rule is in response to a new law that established the Unlocking State Lands Program. Under the program, landowners can receive a $500 tax credit by providing public access to a parcel of state land through contractual agreements with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. A tax credit would be offered for each qualified access point, with a limit of $2,000 per year, per landowner.

The law requires the commission to adopt administrative rules for establishing contracts that address duration of access, types of qualified access, and reasonable landowner-imposed restrictions.

The law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2014 and terminates Dec. 31, 2018.

Public comment on the draft rule will be accepted through, Dec. 27. Copies of the draft rule and comment forms are available online at fwp.mt.gov, click “Public Notices“. E-mail comments to fwpunlock@mt.gov; or mail to Alan Charles, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service logo

Applications for USDA Conservation Stewardship program due Jan. 17

Popular Farm Bill conservation program seeks producer participation

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service logo(The following is a USDA press release) WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2014. Starting today through Jan. 17, 2014, producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS.

“Through the Conservation Stewardship Program, farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners are going the extra mile to conserve our nation’s resources,” NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. “Through their conservation actions, they are ensuring that their operations are more productive and sustainable over the long run.”

The CSP is an important Farm Bill conservation program that helps established conservation stewards with taking their level of natural resource management to the next level to improve both their agricultural production and provide valuable conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water, as well as healthier soils and better wildlife habitat.

Weller said today’s announcement is another example of USDA’s comprehensive focus on promoting environmental conservation and strengthening the rural economy, and it is a reminder that a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is pivotal to continue these efforts. CSP is now in its fifth year and so far, NRCS has partnered with producers to enroll more than 59 million acres across the nation.

The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy.

Some popular enhancements used by farmers and ranchers include:

  • Using new nozzles that reduce the drift of pesticides, lowering input costs and making sure pesticides are used where they are most needed;
  • Modifying water facilities to prevent bats and bird species from being trapped;
  • Burning patches of land, mimicking prairie fires to enhance wildlife habitat; and
  • Rotating feeding areas and monitoring key grazing areas to improve grazing management.

Eligible landowners and operators in all states and territories can enroll in CSP through January 17th to be eligible during the 2014 federal fiscal year. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods. To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). USDA is an equal opportunity
Public Lands Council Logo

Senate Committee Passes Grazing Improvement Act

Public Lands Council Logo

(The following is a press release from the Public Lands Council)

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2013) — The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for passage of S. 258, the Grazing Improvement Act of 2013.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) comes as a means to codify existing appropriations language — adding stability and efficiency to the federal grazing permit renewal process. The bill passed by the Committee will extend the term for grazing permits from a minimum of 10 up to 20 years, providing for added permit security. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have consistently — for more than a decade — carried a backlog of grazing permit renewals due to overwhelming and unnecessary National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) assessments. This bill provides sole discretion to the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to complete the environmental analysis under NEPA while allowing for an analysis to take place at the programmatic level.

“The act is vital for ensuring the fate of our producer’s permits — livelihoods are depending on the efficiency of the system — which undoubtedly needs restructuring,” said Scott George, NCBA president and Wyoming rancher. “Not only will the bill codify the language of the decades old appropriations rider, it will also allow categorical exclusions from NEPA for permits continuing current practices and for crossing and trailing of livestock. Additionally, it will allow for NEPA on a broad scale, reducing paper pushing within the federal agencies.”

The bill that passed was an amendment in the nature of a substitute which included troubling language, creating a pilot program which would allow for limited “voluntary” buyouts. These “voluntary” buyouts are not actually market based, due to outside influence. Where voluntary relinquishment of a rancher’s grazing permit occurs, grazing would be permanently ended. New Mexico and Oregon would be impacted — allowing for up to 25 permits in each state, per year to be “voluntarily” relinquished.

“PLC strongly opposes buyouts — voluntary or otherwise,” said Brice Lee PLC president and Colorado rancher. “Ultimately, buyouts create an issue for the industry due to the wealthy special interest groups who work to remove livestock from public lands. The language in the amendment addresses ‘voluntary’ buyouts; however, radical, anti-grazing agendas are likely at play. Litigation and persistent harassment serve as a way to eliminate grazing on public lands—and could force many ranchers into these ‘voluntary’ relinquishments, unwillingly. There can be no ‘market based solution’ in which any given special interest group is able to ratchet up ranchers’ cost of operation, and artificially create a ‘voluntary’ sale or relinquishment.”

Nevertheless, both Lee and George agree the bill is a strong indication that Senators from both parties recognize the current system is broken and must be fixed to provide stability for grazing permit renewals; despite the buyout language.

“Passage out of committee is a feat in itself — we applaud the efforts of Senator Barrasso and we are hopeful the bill will continue to improve as it advances in the Senate,” George said.

PLC has represented livestock ranchers who use public lands since 1968, preserving the natural resources and unique heritage of the West. Ranchers who utilize public lands own nearly 120 million acres of the most productive private land and manage vast areas of public land, accounting for critical wildlife habitat and the nation’s natural resources. PLC works to maintain a stable business environment in which livestock producers can conserve the West and feed the nation and world.