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. 
ESAP Application logo

NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Calls for Entries

ESAP Application logoDENVER — The 24th annual Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) has officially opened its nomination season for 2014. Established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the program has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for more than two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle businesses.

Seven regional winners and one national winner are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and cattle producers. The nominees compete for regional awards based on their state of residency, and these seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, as well as the nominee’s leadership and the sustainability of his or her business as a whole.

“America’s cattlemen and women have always been focused on environmental stewardship and conservation, and these awards give us a chance to celebrate their dedication,” said NCBA President Scott George. “Over the past two decades, the ESAP program has inspired cattle producers to try new techniques, and shown the world that we are the true environmentalists. If you haven’t taken the opportunity in the past to nominate a ranch family you know, now is the time!”

Any individual, group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business that raises or feeds cattle. Past nominees are eligible and encouraged to resubmit their application; previous winners may not reapply. Along with a completed application, the applicant must submit one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominee’s leadership in conservation.

The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NCF and NCBA.

Applications for the 2014 ESAP award are due Mar. 7, 2014. For more information and a complete application packet visit: www.environmentalstewardship.org. – See more at BeefUSA.org.

Public Lands Council Logo

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

Public Lands Council Logo
(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.