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PLC and NCBA Hail House Committee Passage of H.R. 3189

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

WASHINGTON—(Nov. 14, 2013) Today, the Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the House Committee on Natural Resources for passage of H.R. 3189 The Water Rights Protection Act (WRPA), the bill passed as bipartisan legislation with a recorded vote of 19-14. The bill was introduced in early October by Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and co-sponsors, Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

WRPA was developed to protect water rights from a recent directive and actions by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) which allow the agency to usurp water rights from private entities — despite private water development and property rights. The USFS is attempting to obtain these water rights for the federal government as a condition of issuing standard land use permits; however, USFS has repeatedly failed to provide just compensation — a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

“This bill is commonsense legislation, which will allow western producers to stay in business,” said Brice Lee, PLC president and Colo. rancher. “The directive and actions by the Forest Service and their attempt to unjustly acquire these rights amounts to a total negligence of states’ water law, private property rights, and the Constitution. The full committee taking up H.R. 3189 is promising — we are urging the House to take the bill to the floor and stop the USFS directive in its infancy.”

Last month, the Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on the bill, inviting a panel of witnesses who testified to the importance of water rights to private business. Witnesses explained the necessity of sovereign state water laws, which are long-established in the West. Witnesses told the subcommittee how devastating the impacts of this directive are to industries, including ski companies and federal land ranching — stressing the importance of these water rights and their significance in keeping businesses viable in western communities.

NCBA President and Wyo. rancher Scott George applauded the committee for taking up and passing the bill.

“This legislation is urgent and the committee’s hearing sends an important message to the USFS — holding them accountable and ensuring they cannot abuse water-right holders any further,” George said. “Ultimately, the USFS directive and similar actions could put a lot of folks out of business. Committee passage of this legislation is a step in the right direction for Congress and serves as an opportunity for them to protect private property rights for the livestock industry.”

Both Lee and George urge the House to move H.R. 3189 to the floor for swift passage and for the Senate to take the bill up without delay.

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.
2013 Montana Stockgrowers Convention Trade Show

Annual Convention and Trade Show to be held at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana

2013 Montana Stockgrowers Convention Trade ShowThe 2013 Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) and Montana CattleWomen (MCW) Annual Convention and Trade Show will meet at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, Mont. on Dec. 12-14. The Convention will offer opportunities for attendees to learn tips to improve their ranch or business, find out about new products available for their animal health and ranch supply needs at the trade show, and for members to weigh in on policy discussions. Members who attend convention will be eligible to win a Ford Super Duty truck from the Montana Ford Stores.

At this year’s convention we are planning to have several amazing speakers, Sarah Calhoun, Founder and Owner of Red Ants Pants will be the featured speaker of the Opening General Session. The Zoetis Cattlemen’s Colleges will be held on Dec. 12 & Dec. 13 featuring Dr. Derrell Peel, Charles Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness, Larry Gran with Zoetis Animal Health, Dan Ellis with Zoetis Animal Health, and Dr. Rich Linhart, Managing Veterinarian with Zoetis Animal Health. The Zoetis Cattlemen’s College will feature educational topics such as Rebuilding the U.S. Beef Industry: Challenges and Opportunities, What you must know before vaccinating your cow herd: MLV vs. Killed Vaccination choices and Zoetis Ranch: An Interactive Cow Calf Game Designed to Explore Profit Opportunity from EPDs and HD50K Genetic Tests.

A major component of the convention is the setting of new policy and the review of past policies to guide the association through its day-to-day work. The policy process will begin on Thursday, Dec. 12 with the Beef Production & Marketing and Membership Development & Services committee meetings. The Land Use & Environment and Tax, Finance & Ag Policy committee meetings will be on Dec. 13. The Second Reading of Resolutions will be held on the morning of Dec. 14, with reports from each committee. The final reading, and an up or down vote on resolutions, will occur at the MSGA Business Meeting on the afternoon of Dec. 14. Resolutions that make it through the entire process will become association policy.

MSGA and Montana Ford Stores have teamed up to give a Ford Super Duty truck to one lucky member who attends convention. The drawing will be held on Saturday during the Grand Finale Banquet. To be eligible for the truck drawing, you must attend convention, be a current Rancher, Stocker/Feeder or Young Stockgrower member, and fill out the truck entry form.

For a full schedule of events, please click HERE. To learn more, please call the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420, or visit www.mtbeef.org where you can register on-line! Preregistration is available at a discounted rate for those attendees that register prior to Dec. 1. If you would like to reserve a trade show booth or sponsor part of the convention, please contact the MSGA office soon as there are limited spaces open.

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Logo

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to Donate Book Proceeds to Rancher Relief Fund

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Logo(Helena, MT) Montana Stockgrowers Association Research, Education and Endowment Foundation (REEF) announced today that a portion of the proceeds from each copy of “Big Sky Boots: Working Seasons of a Montana Cowboy” sold through Saturday, December 14, will be donated to support the Rancher Relief Fund. Earlier this month an early season winter storm moved through the area killing tens of thousands of livestock, leaving many ranchers devastated and heartbroken.

“We at Montana Stockgrowers are deeply saddened by the news of our fellow ranchers’ losses,” said Dusty Hahn, MSGA Foundation Chairman. “As ranchers ourselves we can relate when times get hard. MSGA is eager to help our fellow ranchers in South Dakota and surrounding states.”

The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund was established on October 8, 2013 by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard of Oct. 4-7, 2013.

In response to the devastation, Hahn said “as Stockgrowers, we’re always at the mercy of Mother Nature, but extraordinary events such as this bring out a sense of community and compassion for fellow producers. The ranching families featured in Big Sky Boots remind us of our neighbors impacted by this storm. REEF hopes that with the sales of Big Sky Boots, we can provide some relief to those in need.”

“Big Sky Boots” is the first in a five-part Montana Family Ranching Series from the MSGA Research, Education and Endowment Foundation Program. In “Big Sky Boots” readers can journey through the ranching year and learn about the great people that take care of the land, livestock and their families. This first book focuses on the cowboys themselves; the men and the seasons.

Copies of Big Sky Boots can be purchased through the Montana Stockgrowers Association website or by contacting the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420.

Big Sky Boots Montana Family Ranching Project Coffee Table Book

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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.

The Research, Education and Endowment Foundation of the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) 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.

Give Black Hills logo South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund

Donate to Rancher Relief Fund & Help South Dakota Producers Devastated by October Blizzard

Give Black Hills logo South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund

Click for link to Rancher Relief Fund

In wake of the devastating October Blizzard that affected many parts of South Dakota, we at Montana Stockgrowers are deeply saddened by the news of our fellow ranchers’ losses and as ranchers ourselves we can relate when times get hard. MSGA is eager to help our fellow ranchers in South Dakota by forwarding you this information on how you can help. A designated Rancher Relief Fund has been established to benefit those affected by the storm.

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and South Dakota Sheep Growers Association established the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund Oct. 8, 2013 with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard of Oct. 4-7, 2013.

The fund will be administered by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association for the direct benefit of the livestock producers impacted by this devastating blizzard.

To Donate

To donate to the Rancher Relief Fund visit, www.giveblackhills.org and search “Rancher Relief Fund” or click on this link. Donors can also mail checks to Black Hills Community Area Foundation/SD Rancher Relief Fund made out to the “Rancher Relief Fund.” Address: PO Box 231, Rapid City, 57709.

More about the sponsoring organizations

The mission of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association is to Advance and protect the interests of all cattlemen by enhancing profitability through representation, promotion and information sharing. Our vision is to be a producer-oriented organization that consumers and producers rely on for factual information to enhance a profitable business climate and promote environmental stewardship. To learn more visit, http://www.sdcattlemen.org/ or contact Jodie Anderson at 605.945.2333.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers is a grassroots, non-profit organization of independent livestock producers dedicated to the continued success and viability of the domestic livestock industry. Since 1893 our mission has remained unchanged, “to promote and protect the South Dakota Livestock industry.” To learn more visit, www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or contact Silvia Christen at 605.342.0429.

The South Dakota Sheep Growers is the trade association for sheep producers of South Dakota, representing both farm flocks and range operations. We are a state member of the American Sheep Industry, the sheep industry voice involved in: meat safety, marketing, regulations through national education, communication and lobbying and legislation. We focus on lamb and fiber promotion on a state-wide basis and keeping members updated on issues affecting the sheep industry. To learn more visit, www.sdsheepgrowers.org or contact, Max Matthews at 605.490.0726.

Montana Padlock Ranch Environmental Stewardship

Padlock Ranch among regional Environmental Stewardship award winners

Montana Padlock Ranch Environmental StewardshipNCBA Press Release

DENVER – Seven cattle operations from across the country were recognized as 2013 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winners during the 2013 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, Colo., today. The seven regional winners will compete for the national ESAP award, which will be announced during the 2014 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.

ESAP, now in its 23rd year, was created to recognize beef producers who make environmental stewardship a priority on their farms and ranches while they also improve production and profitability. The ESAP award is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; USDA-NRCS; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.

The regional winners are Mountain Meadows Farm, Sudbury, Vt.; Kissimmee Park Properties, St. Cloud, Fla.; BitterSweet Acres, Greenville, Iowa; Frank and Sims Price Ranch, Sterling City, Texas; Padlock Ranch Company, Ranchester, Wyo.; Kualoa Ranch, Kane‘ohe, Hawaii; and Gracie Creek Landowners Association, Burwell, Neb.

Regional and national award winners have been commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations. The common trait among all winners is the desire to leave the land in better shape for future generations while also inspiring the next generation of land stewards.

“America’s farmers and ranchers are passionate about their land, and it shows through conservation and environmental stewardship efforts,” said NCBA President Scott George. “The cattle industry is continually improving upon our environmental sustainability, and these seven finalists set an example that we should all strive to achieve. We look forward to naming one of these seven great cattle operations as our 2014 national ESAP award winner in Nashville next year.”

Young Farmers and Ranchers Call on the Capitol

Young Farmers and Ranchers at the Capitol Montana MFBF – Twenty young farmers and ranchers from across the state had the opportunity to sit in on hearings, have breakfast with legislators and meet with various state agencies during the Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (MFBF YF&R) and/Montana Young Stockgrower’s Calling on the Capitol Feb. 24-25 in Helena.

“The legislative breakfast provided a great opportunity to sit down and visit with your local legislator about any concerns,” noted Aaron Phipps, who sits on the MFBF YF&R Committee. He and his wife, Mollie, attended the event. “You really see how important agriculture is to Montana when you travel to Helena for the session. The legislators are very interested in what we have to say.”

The group met with the deputy director of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, with Montana State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski and Dept. of Livestock Executive Officer Christian MacKay, as well as with President of the Senate Jim Peterson and Speaker of the House Mike Milburn.

“I can’t stress enough that you must become an advocate, if you are going to protect your rights as a property owner and ag producer,” advised Milburn. “There are a lot of tough issues out there, like the current eminent domain one. There is a real need for transmission lines, but at the same time, the rights of the property owner need to be met.”

Peterson said as he looked around the room of young producers, he was very optimistic about agriculture, the state’s largest industry. “It seems agriculture is what’s going to lead this state out of its economic depression,” Peterson said. “This is the first time in a long time that agriculture is leading this show and you young people are the ones who are going to lead.”

In addition, they learned about working with the media and legislators in a session conducted by Ariel Overstreet, MSGA and Nicole Rolf, MFBF.

Overstreet encouraged the group to accept media interviews, gave them tips on getting their message across, and how to put a positive face on a story. Rolf told the group that before they testified, “Read the bill, make sure your comments are relevant, be factual, and tell your story in a concise manner.”

“This was an amazing opportunity to sit in on the hearings and see the legislative process in actions. Several of our group testified on a predator bill,” noted Charlie Rein, chair of the Montana Young Stockgrowers’ from Big Timber. “We were able to sit in the gallery and watch the Senate floor session, another really good experience. I feel privileged to have been able to meet one-on-one with our legislators, talk directly to agency leaders, and even have a guided tour the Capitol during this excellent event.”