Montana Stockgrowers to Host 134th Annual Convention in Billings

December 11-13. Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will celebrate 134 years of serving the state’s ranchers at their Annual Convention & Trade Show. This year’s meetings at the Northern Hotel and DoubleTree Hotel in Billings will feature a trade show, educational workshops, and policy meetings.

“Our 2018 Annual Convention will feature a large number of discussions about issues that will turn into policy for the Association,” noted MSGA President, Bryan Mussard of Dillon. “Policy set at Convention will guide the actions of MSGA at the upcoming Montana Legislative Session. I encourage everyone to come to Billings to lend their voice to help guide the future of Montana Agriculture! Your voice is your future. Share your insight, learn from others and help shape our industry.”

Department of Interior’s Tim Williams, the Deputy Director of External Affairs, will be the featured speaker during Wednesday’s Opening General Session. Williams originates from Nevada, where he served as Deputy Director of the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. Prior to that, he was a partner at a political consulting firm, managing local, state and Congressional races.

A broad range of educational workshops will be offered during the Stockgrowers College. Speakers will touch on topics of calf health and nutrition, calf management, heifer development, antibiotic use, access issues, soil health, EID systems, DNA technology, risk management, and estate planning.

Policy meetings will take place on all three days of Annual Convention. Guest speakers will address a number of topics affecting Montana’s ranching communities during the past year and in months to come. A Trade Show with over 100 booth spaces will be open to the public Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thursday’s Grand Finale Banquet will be highlighted by the annual live auction for Cattle Directory Priority Page advertisements and a beef dinner!

A full meeting agenda, hotel information, details of policy meeting discussions and Stockgrowers College workshops are available on the MSGA website at Online and discounted registration closes Thursday, December 6. On-site registration will be available. For more information, contact the Montana Stockgrowers Association at (406) 442-3420.

Join our team – MSGA is hiring!

The Montana Stockgrowers Association is hiring for the Director of Natural Resources position. This position is responsible for the formulation, institution, and monitoring of policies, programs, and issues related to natural resources that are affecting the cattle industry. This position also serves as the executive assistant for the Montana Association of State Grazing Districts and the Montana Public Lands Council and represents the associations at the state legislature. A full job description is included below.

Director of Natural Resources

Oversees natural resource division, represents MSGA at the state legislature, serves as the executive assistant for Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD), and the Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC).

Reports to: Executive Vice President (EVP)


  • Formulate, institute, and monitor policies, programs, and issues related to natural resources that are affecting the cattle industry.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and performance of all natural resource department programs, activities, and services, ensuring that program goals are being met.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Director on natural resource issues updates to MSGA membership.
  • Monitor state and federal agencies meetings and activities to provide necessary input that advances MSGA policies, programs, and issues:
    • Environmental Quality Council
    • Board of Environmental Review
    • Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission
    • State Land Board
    • NRCS Technical Advisory Committee
    • Board of Livestock  


  • Serve as Executive Assistant for MASGD Board of Directors.
  • Analyse and monitor regulatory activities of state and federal agencies impacting livestock management on federal and state lands. Including, but not limited to BLM planning process documents.
  • Submission of detailed comments representing the livestock industry on regulatory or legislative actions
  • Oversee departmental operations including business planning and budget development.
  • Prepare financial statements, reports, memos, dues invoices, and related documents as needed for MASGD
  • Plan all necessary arrangements for MASGD meetings and events.
  • Represent MASGD on range tours, natural resource-related meetings, and field activities that have a focus on grazing management.
  • Attend grazing district annual meetings and provide updates.  
  • Support EVP in representing  MASGD and grazing interests at the Montana legislature.
  • Establish and maintain communications strategy with Grazing Districts.
  • Coordinate activities with the Montana Grass Conservation Commission.
  • Assist grazing district members with issues affecting individual state or federal grazing permits.
  • Actively promote the establishment of new grazing districts.
  • Coordinate with the staff of the National Public Lands Council regarding national issues.
  • Responsible for MASGD Membership database development.


  • Monitor and engage in state and federal agency actions impacting livestock grazing permittees use of public lands.
  • Submission of detailed comments representing the livestock industry on regulatory or legislative actions impacting federal or state lands.
  • Assist in representing MPLC and public land interests at the Montana legislature.
  • Provide general administrative support for MPLC.
  • Plan all necessary arrangements for MPLC meetings and events..
  • Maintain a database of all federal grazing permittees in the state.
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of the MPLC Membership Marketing Strategy.
  • Prepare financial statements, reports, memos, dues invoices, and related documents as needed for MPLC.  
  • Oversee departmental operations including business planning and budget development.
  • Provide a communication strategy for MPLC members on public land issues.


  • Staff support for MSGA Standing Committee.
    • Provide administrative support for the committee chairman and vice chairman.
  • Additional duties as assigned by Executive Vice President.


The Director of Natural Resources is expected to demonstrate professional skill, high standards, sound judgment, and professionalism. It is important for this position to exhibit a high level of communication to enhance working relationships both internally and externally. Successful applicants will have the ability to manage multiple priorities while maintaining a calm and pleasant demeanor. Problem-solving and an attention to detail will be critical in this role. A prior knowledge of the demographics served by the Montana Stockgrowers Association is preferred. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and experience in a related field.

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to Kori Anderson at The application deadline is July 31, 2018.



MSGA to host agency officials at MidYear Meeting

The Montana Stockgrowers Association will be hosting their annual MidYear Meeting in Dillon, MT June 14-15. A highlight of this year’s event will be the two Agricultural issues briefings held on June 15 at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds.

“This is a great opportunity to engage with high ranking officials at this historic event,” said Bryan Mussard MSGA President. “Everything from natural resources to trade to environmental regulation will be discussed during these briefings. You won’t want to miss the high caliber of speakers that will be on hand to answer your questions.”

Confirmed speakers include U.S. Senator Steve Daines; Allen Rowley, U.S. Forest Service Director of Forest Management; Brian Steed U.S. Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director, Programs & Policy; Langston D. Hull, DVM, PhD USDA APHIS Director – Cattle Health Center; Alan Mikkelsen BBureauof Reclamation Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Water and Western Resource Issues. Other invitees include USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg Doud and Senior advisors to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator.

Friday, June 15 also includes a parade through the streets of Dillon starting at 11:00 am and a concert that evening headlined by Nashville based band Saints and Angels, they will be joined by Brian Bonds, original guitarist for Florida Georgia Line.

To learn more about the event, visit

MSGA Applauds Introduction of Legislation Addressing Hours of Service Changes for Livestock Haulers

The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauded the introduction of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act, noting this legislation would ensure animal welfare and the safety of livestock haulers. The bill was introduced last week by U.S. Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jerry Moran of Kansas, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Doug Jones of Alabama. Following the introduction, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines has also signed on as a cosponsor.

“We would like to thank Sens. Tester and Daines for cosponsoring this common-sense piece of legislation. The current Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers present serious challenges for our industry and jeopardize the health and well-being of livestock,” said Bryan Mussard President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “This has been a priority of the Association and an issue we have worked on relentlessly.”

Starting Oct. 1, Livestock haulers are scheduled to have to start using Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to track their driving times and distances. Under current rules, they would be required to turn on their ELDs after crossing out of the 150-air-mile radius from their loading point, after which they can only drive for 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour break. This 11-hour drive time with mandatory 10-hour rest would mean cattle from Montana would not make it to destinations in Nebraska and Kansas without having a mandatory rest period, this puts the animals at risk.

The TLAAS Act takes into full consideration the fact that there are living and breathing animals on the trailer that must be kept moving, and that they must get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible.  This bill provides for more drive time for livestock haulers, as well as granting the flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during the trip without the break counting against HOS time. This bill also allows for another 150-air-mile exemption on the back end of a livestock haul to account for the wait time that occurs when unloading live animals.

MSGA met with the U.S. Department of Transportation last year to raise concerns about the effect the ELDs and the Hours of Service will have on animal husbandry. MSGA will continue to follow this legislation as it moves through the process and will work with Montana’s congressional delegation to pass this critical piece of legislation.


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.

Nominations open for Environmental Stewardship Award

The Montana Environmental Stewardship committee has opened nominations for their 2019 award.

The Environmental Stewardship Award Program is an opportunity to honor and showcase ranchers in the state who go the extra mile in the conservation and stewardship of their natural resources. Ranchers can be nominated for the award before June 1 at

Sidney, Montana rancher Jim Steinbeisser chairs the state’s Environmental Stewardship Award Program committee. The committee consists of a team of ranchers and conservation organizations who are focused on showcasing how innovative stewardship and good ranching business go hand-in-hand. He says the award program is a place to start an open, honest dialogue in ranching communities and Montana cities about how ranchers care for their land and livestock.

“Ranchers, in general, are just humble people. We don’t want to brag or pat ourselves on the back, but that’s not what this award is about,” he said. “It’s about sharing the facts of environmental stewardship and the story behind why it matters so much to us. We know it’s important to our livelihoods that we reach out to our customers and show them what we do and how we do it, and to encourage our fellow ranchers to do the same.”

The award nomination process is an opportunity for county conservation districts, water districts, local livestock associations, wildlife organizations or other local and state agencies focused on conservation and multiple land use to recognize partnerships with ranchers who help them accomplish mutual goals. Any Montana Stockgrowers Association member who is working to leave the land better for the next generation would be an ideal candidate.

For more than 25 years, the Montana Stockgrowers Association has proudly sponsored and honored ranchers across the state with the program. Today, the program is sponsored in a partnership between the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation, the Montana Beef Check-Off and the World Wildlife Fund.

“The Environmental Stewardship Program has now gone far beyond encouraging fellow ranchers to improve the management of our resources,” Steinbeisser said. “We’re focused on reaching out to our customers and consumers so we can share what we do on our ranches and how we manage our resources to provide safe, healthy, sustainable food.”

Nominations can be submitted online at before June 1. The winning ranch will then have the assistance of a professional writer and photographer to capture their ranch’s story – their family’s legacy of caring for the land and livestock – to represent Montana in the regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program. The winner will be recognized at the Montana Stockgrower’s Annual Convention and Trade Show in Billings this December.

To learn more, visit, contact Kori Anderson at or call (406) 442-3420.

Dillon, Mont. to host Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting


Contact:  Kori Anderson

Dillon, Mont. to host Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) has announced their Midyear Meeting will be held in Dillon, Mont. June 14-15. MidYear 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 year.

“Please join us for an unforgettable summer convention in Dillon!  It’s time to show southwest Montana how important ranching is to preserving the west.  This year, we have invited the entire community and surrounding area to join us in this great celebration,” said Bryan Mussard of Dillon, President of MSGA. “Dillon, Montana is the crossroads of agriculture and environmentalism. Every time an endangered species is identified in Montana, there is a cow standing over it, protecting it with thousands of acres of open space and hundreds of miles of clean watersheds.  We are all busy, but it is necessary for all of us to participate in this event.  Our consumers will be on hand to meet us personally.  So, get your chores done, call your neighbor to watch the gates and get to Dillon for this historic event.”

Thursday’s Opening General Session will feature Dr. Vaughn Holder the Ruminant Research Group Director for Alltech. His keynote “Expanding Nutritional Horizons” will address the science and technologies that are changing the face of cattle nutrition. His keynote will be followed by policy meetings where members have the opportunity to hear about issues facing Montana ranchers and set policy to exact positive change.

Following the policy meetings, the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is hosting a Gala Dinner and Auction. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best “Cattle Baron – Turn of the Century Attire”. The Gala will include an auction of four local float trips, five commissioned original Montana art pieces and many other amazing items!

The fun doesn’t stop on Friday which kicks off with an inspirational breakfast at the Fairgrounds, a 500-horse parade through Dillon, a BBQ cookoff, Stagecoach viewing, a cattle judging competition and so much more! The day culminates in a Preserving the West Concert headlined by Saints & Angels, a Nashville based band that will be joined by Florida Georgia Line’s original guitarist Brian Bonds. Montana’s own Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys will kick the party off!

For more information about MSGA’s 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, contact MSGA’s office at (406) 442-3420 or join the Facebook event. Visit for tickets and more details


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.

MSGA Seeks Applicants for Executive Vice President

The Montana Stockgrowers Association is seeking applicants for the position of Executive Vice President. The Executive Vice President is ultimately responsible for the overall management of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and its operations.

Qualified applicants will have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience at an executive level.  Candidates are required to have a background in livestock production either by experience, education or both.  Qualified applicants will demonstrate strong verbal and written communications skills, financial management and the development of human capital.

Exceptional candidates will show a strong and successful background in organizational management and resource development, evidenced by years of experience, and contacts in the political, ranching and natural resources industries. The ability to travel locally, regionally, and nationally, as well as the ability to work nights and weekends as needed.

Please see the full job description and supplemental questions for additional information.

To be considered for the position, submit answers to the supplemental questions along with a resume and cover letter to Kori Anderson at The deadline for application is May 11. Questions can be directed to the MSGA office at 406-442-3420 or

MSGA advocates for Montana ranchers in Washington DC

The Montana Stockgrowers Association had a successful trip in DC, including meeting Secretary Pruitt(L to R) Back Row: MSGA First Vice President Fred Wacker of Miles City, MSGA Second Vice President Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney, MSGA Director of Natural Resources Jay Bodner, NCBA Environmental Counsel Scott Yager. Front Row: MSGA Communications Director Kori Anderson, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt, MSGA President Bryan Mussard.



Contact:  Kori Anderson

MSGA advocates for Montana ranchers in Washington DC

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) traveled to Washington DC to meet with Montana’s Congressional Delegation and Agency officials last week. President Bryan Mussard of Dillon, Mont.; First Vice President Fred Wacker of Miles City, Mont.; and Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney, Mont. attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Legislative Conference April 10-12.

The MSGA officers met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, Congressman Greg Gianforte, and senior officials from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) were a top priority of MSGA during the trip. They spoke extensively about the need for a permanent fix for livestock haulers, and the trio presented each member of the delegation with a list of minimums to consider.

MSGA had the opportunity to meet with Senator Daines the day before he met with President Trump to discuss the tariffs on China. The Association voiced their concerns over the proposed beef tariffs and explained the effect it would have on Montana’s number one industry.

A common theme of the week was reducing burdensome regulations, it costs ranchers $12,000 a year to comply with state and federal regulations. From the EPA to Interior, it was evident there was strong support for said action. Administrator Pruitt promised to look into streamlining the record keeping system for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) after discussion with the MSGA officers.

In order to best serve the ranchers of Montana, it is a priority of MSGA to work with the Congressional Delegation and Federal Agencies to accomplish the goals set forth by the membership. To learn more about what a membership with MSGA can do for you, please visit


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.

MSGA meeting with Secretary Zinke.

MSGA meeting with U.S. Senator Jon Tester.

The Montana Hunter Advancement Program:  Ethics, Access and Education

A Project of Common Ground
Common Ground, a collaborative group of landowner and sportsmen organizations, is developing a comprehensive, advanced hunter education program designed to put more ethical, educated, and effective hunters in the field. The 2018 pilot course is now accepting applications from qualified hunters.

The program’s mission is to provide advanced hunter education that increases hunter competence, ethical hunting behavior, private land access and knowledge of agriculture and land stewardship. The goals of the program are as follows:

  • To educate hunters about landowner issues and concerns related to hunter access, including but not limited to, respect for private property, appropriate use of ranch roads, impacts of weeds, safety, impacts of public hunters on farming and ranching operations;
  • To educate hunters regarding the economics of ranching/farming and the impacts that wildlife have on the operation of a farm or ranch;
  • To increase hunter knowledge of all aspects of the hunt, including ethics, shooting skills, care of game, woodsmanship, first aid, survival skills;
  • To create new hunting access opportunities for public hunters on private farms and ranches;
  • To provide landowners with a new hunter access program which includes a new hunter management opportunity;
  • To build mutual respect and cooperation between landowners; and
  • To increase the potential for better wildlife management opportunities for landowners and more quality land access opportunities for ethical hunters.

To learn more about this program and for information on how to apply as a hunter or landowner, please visit

Common Ground Members
Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Wildlife Federation, Montana Bowhunters Association, Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Western Landowners Alliance, and several individual outfitters, sportsmen, and ranchers.

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to sponsor Cattlemen’s Conference attendee

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the structure of the U.S. cattle industry and gain insight on the legislative process that guides our business. Montana Stockgrowers Foundation will send one Montana delegate to this year’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held May 30 – June 7, 2018. Applications, due March 15, are available at

The Young Cattlemen’s Conference is an opportunity for cattlemen and cattlewomen between the ages of 25 and 50 to visit segments of the beef industry in other parts of our nation with young ranchers from other states. Facilitated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), participants will travel with national attendees to Denver, Chicago and Washington D.C., visiting OSI, Inc, McDonald’s Global Headquarters, and Capitol Hill.

The primary objective is to develop leadership qualities in young cattlewomen and cattlemen and expose them to all aspects of the beef industry. The tour helps these young leaders understand all areas of our industry ranging from industry structure to issues management, from production research to marketing.

The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation will ensure funding for one participant for the full cost of the tour along with travel expenses. Remaining expenses are the responsibility of the participant, who will be chosen from those who apply. Participants must be a member of Montana Stockgrowers Association and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

To learn more about the Young Cattlemen’s Conference and to complete an application, visit the MSGA website, All applications must be complete and postmarked or received by March 15, 2018. Please mail or fax to MSGF at the following address: Montana Stockgrowers Foundation | Attn: YCC, 420 N. California St.  Helena, MT  59601.

If you have any questions about the application process or YCC trip, please call the MSGA Office at (406) 442-3420 or e-mail