Bryan Mussard

Bryan Mussard was elected President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association in December 2016. He will serve as President through December 2018. Bryan previously served as 1st Vice President, elected in December 2014.

Bryan has been involved in five major segments of the beef industry. He bought his first commercial cow when he was 10 years old. He ran commercial cows for the next 16 years. He purchased his first registered cows from Shultz Angus in 1984. Today, Bryan, along with his wife, Marcia, his family, and good friends operate Reminisce Angus which sells 100 bulls annually and runs 350 mother cows. Bryan has been actively involved in the commercial feeding business for 40 years. Today, his operation weans, backgrounds, and develops 10-12,000 head of cattle annually and collects genetic data for customers through their Tracker marketing program. Bryan also manages ranches through the Big West Management Program.

Bryan and Marcia have six children: Gerad (32), Zerah (31), Silas (27), Zach (26), Talitha (23), and Lauren (19). Bryan has been an MSGA member for 24 years. He served as chairman of the MSGA Marketing Committee from 2002 to 2005, on the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2009, and as trustee for the MSGA Foundation from 2010 to 2012. He has been a member of the South Western Montana Stockmen’s Association for 24 years, which awarded him “Stockman of the Year” award in 2009. Bryan has also been a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for 12 years.

Email: [email protected]

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Fred Wacker

Fred Wacker was elected to the MSGA Board of Directors as 1st Vice President in 2016. He previously served as 2nd Vice President.

Wacker is a third-generation Montana rancher. Cross Four Ranch operates in Custer and Rosebud Counties as a cow/calf, yearling, and a finished cattle operation. The entire Wacker family is involved in the operation and specializes in All Natural Cattle. Fred and his wife, Gwen, have four adult children: Sara Rehm, Julie Nowicki, Karen Martin, and Mike Wacker.

Wacker has served as chairman of MSGA’s Marketing Committee is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Live Cattle Marketing Committee, and served as Montana Cattle Feeders vice president, 2004-2005. Outside of the beef industry, Wacker has served on the Custer County Water & Sewer District Board (including four years as chairman), the Custer County Planning Board, and as president of the Miles City Kiwanis.

Email: [email protected]

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Jim Steinbeisser

Jim Steinbeisser was elected to the MSGA Board of Directors as 2nd Vice President in 2016. He previously served as a Director representing the Northeast District

Steinbeisser, along with his two brothers and one cousin, owns and operates VS Inc., a diversified farm raising several cash crops, feed for their feedlot, and wintering their cows. His father and uncle still participate on this family operation. The ranch where Steinbeisser lives is west of Sidney, while the farm and feedlot are located south of Sidney. Steinbeisser has been involved with the family operation full-time for 30 years. Steinbeisser and his wife, May Ann, have three children: Corbin (7), Liam (6), and Claire (5).

Steinbeisser is currently the chair of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)/Cattlemen’s Beef Board Joint Taste subcommittee and also serves on the Joint Evaluation Advisory Committee. He previously served as vice chair on the Joint Public Opinion & Issues Management Group. He previously chaired NCBA’s Information Committee and Issues Management Subcommittee. Steinbeisser served as president of the Montana Beef Council in 2010 and 2011. He was a director of the Montana Farm Bureau from 1990 to 1996, president of Mondak Stockgrowers from 2007 to 2010, past president of Richland County Farm Bureau, and president of Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Ag in 2002 and 2003. Steinbeisser is also the past president of Sidney FFA Alumni, past member of St. Matthew’s Finance Council, and current director of the Foundation for Community Care.

Email: [email protected]

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Charlie Rein

Charlie was elected to represent the South Central District in December 2015, he will be up for re-election in 2017.  He runs a ranch with his parents and wife, Rebecca, west of Melville near the Crazy Mountains. His great-grandfather established the ranch in 1893 and today the headquarters are still situated around the original homestead buildings. They wean and retain calves from their Angus cowherd to run on grass as yearlings. They raise all the hay and winter forage for the operation including the center pivot irrigated alfalfa hay, wild hay, and rangeland grazing. They utilize AI to breed their replacement heifers.

Charlie was a Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers board member from 2008-2014 and served as President in 2010. He was the MSGA Young Stockgrower Committee Chair in 2010 and currently serves on the Melville Lutheran Church Council.

Kim Peterson

Kim was elected in December 2015 to represent the North Central District. He is the owner and President of Peterson Grain & Cattle, Inc. located twenty-six miles northwest of Havre where his grandparents homesteaded in 1912. He has been involved in the family business for over 40 years and assumed ownership in 1982.

He is involved in the North Havre County Water District and the Wild Horse Volunteer Fire Department.


Jess Drange

Jess was selected for the Board of Directors in December 2014 representing the Southeastern District to fill a vacant seat. He was then elected in December 2015.

Jess and his wife along with his family operate a commercial cow/calf and yearling operation in Custer and Fallon counties. He is a member, past director and past president of the Southeastern Montana Livestock Association. He is active on his local 4-H council and 4-H Livestock Committee.

Email: [email protected]

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Race King

Race King was elected to the Board of Directors in December 2014 representing the Western District. He was re-elected in 2016.

Email: [email protected]

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Ed Fryer

Ed Fryer was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016; he will be up for re-election in 2018.

Ed and his wife, Beverly, ranch near White Sulphur Springs, MT; they have two children: Jim Fryer and David Fryer.

Industry Involvement: Commercial Cow/Calf, Stocker/Backgrounder: I started out as a cowboy on a large, remote, absentee owned mountain ranch in 1973. I was soon working with minimal oversight on sensitive projects such as heifer calving and running large numbers of yearlings with multiple owners on summer pasture. In 1982, I started on various supervisor positions responsible for all personal aspects, livestock inventory, grazing management, interaction with various agencies, input on budgets, bull purchasing, and other details.

In 1992, I moved into a series of management positions on several ranches, often with more than one division and separated by significant distance. Duties expanded to include operational budgets, accounts payable, product sales, equipment inventory and replacement, livestock inventory, facilities, water rights, public relations within communities and agencies, owner’s personal needs, plus the daily workload and details of ranching.

Most of those changes required a new address so decisions to move involved Bev, my wife of 40 years and my 2 sons. I have worked in two states, a number of countries, and my boys went to a half dozen schools. Each of those changes was also the result of a need for change within the organization. I was brought in from outside to facilitate something different from the status quo. Examples are personal, production, inventory and inventory management, facilities, equipment, and general accountability on all of the above.Both sons have college degrees, families and work in agriculture in Montana. They have done it all in a variety of settings. Both were in 4-H and did well with horses and steers. Bev and I helped with 4-H extensively then and still do occasionally. David my youngest son volunteered with the BQA project for a couple years demonstrating low stress livestock handling with which I helped with.

I also help produce and am president of the Smith River Ranch Rodeo on July 4th of each year. I help the Meagher Co. Cattlewomen with their major fundraiser breakfast for 1200 at the Red Ants Pants Festival. I have also volunteered and have been an assistant judge at the Montana Draft Horse expo in Deer Lodge. In my spare time, I make saddles and other leather products for both sale and use on the ranch.

Leadership Involvement: Committee Chair of Landowner/Recreation and Wildlife Committee at MSGA, President of Studhorse Allotment Grazing Association, and Director of the Green River Council-Wyoming in the early 90’s.

In your opinion what are the major challenges the beef industry will face in the next ten years? Communicating our story more effectively to consumers, excessive regulation and government over-reach, and keeping young people with hands-on experience interested and involved with agriculture.

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Bryan Ratzburg

Bryan Ratzburg started a farming and ranching partnership with his brother, Ernie, in 1985. They are still partners in both crop and livestock production. Bryan manages the livestock operations, while his brother manages the farming operations. Their family business is 100 years old this year. They are in the process of bringing back the fifth generation into the operation, as both brothers have three children who will eventually be involved in the business. The ranching entity is a mid-sized commercial cow-calf operation. They also develop bred heifers in a feedlot operation.  Bryan also manages a registered entity, Bobcat Angus; which markets bulls and bred heifers at their annual production sale the end of January in Great Falls. They raise our own feed for the feedlot at the farm and also market high-quality wheat, barley, and pulse crops. 

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Chisholm Christensen

Upon graduation from Montana State University, Chisholm was able to rent a portion of the property in proximity to the family ranch.  Through various young farmer lender opportunities, he purchased cattle and began his career in ranching working on his interests as well as that of my family.  Working on the ranch full-time for the last 5 years has been a rewarding as well as challenging endeavor.  Chisholm looks forward to growing his personal business and increasing his involvement and dedication to the industry as a whole.

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