MSGA News

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2017 Cattle Slaughter Up, but Increasing Slower than Last Year

Total cattle slaughter is up 5.9 percent year over year for the year to date.  This follows a 6.4 percent year over year increase in 2016.  However, steer slaughter (which makes up more than half of cattle slaughter) is growing more slowly in 2017 and is up 3.5 percent so far this year compared to 2016.  The year to date increase is declining as weekly steer slaughter has averaged just 1.1 percent year over year increases since late April. Steer slaughter peaked seasonally in June and will trend lower week to week for the remainder of the year. On July 1, the number of steers in feedlots was 1.4 percent above last year and is projected to keep steer slaughter growth relatively low for the remainder of the year.  Total annual steer slaughter may be limited to less than a two percent year over year increase in 2017. Heifer slaughter is up 10.5 percent so far in 2017.  This compares to a 4.7 percent year over year increase in 2016.  The July

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HAY LOTTERY WILL EXPAND INTO MONTANA, SOUTH DAKOTA

North Dakota’s hay lottery will expand to include Montana and South Dakota, with each state to conduct its own drawing beginning in early September. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring credited Ag Community Relief, a Michigan organization, and North Dakota State University for making the relief effort possible. “We are pleased to open the hay lottery to producers in South Dakota and Montana experiencing drought and wildfire,” Goehring said. “Ag Community Relief, the Michigan organization arranging a large-scale hay donation convoy to North Dakota in mid-August, is fundraising and continues to seek donations and volunteers. We are so appreciative of their efforts. We are also grateful to NDSU for providing the space and staffing to store and distribute the donate

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USDA and SCORE Launch Innovative Mentorship Effort to Support New Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with officials from SCORE, the nation’s largest volunteer network of expert business mentors, to support new and beginning farmers. Today’s agreement provides new help resources for beginning ranchers, veterans, women, socially disadvantaged Americans and others, providing new tools to help them both grow and thrive in agri-business. “Shepherding one generation to the next is our responsibility. We want to help new farmers, veterans, and people transitioning from other industries to agriculture,” said Secretary Perdue. “They need land, equipment, and access to capital, but they also need advice and guidance. That's what SCORE is all about.” SCORE matches business professionals and entrepreneurs with new business owners to mentor them through the process of starting-up and maintaining a new business. USDA and its partners across rural America are working with SCORE to support new farming and ranchin

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Montana Fire Relief: Updated Ways to Help

The Lodgepole Complex Fire is now at 93% containment. Firefighters will continue fire repairs and mop-up. Command of the fire has been turned over to a local Type 3 organization. Sixteen homes have been destroyed as well as an unspecified but significant amount of fencing and haystacks. Numerous secondary structures have also been destroyed. McCone Electric has lost over 120 power poles. An additional 16 structures not included above were identified via satellite imagery as destroyed but type of use has not yet been determined. There are currently 26 active fires in the state of Montana. The Montana Stockgrowers Found

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Secretary Perdue Appoints New Leadership for Food Safety

(Washington, D.C., August 1, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today made two key appointments to help fulfill the vital mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply. Perdue announced that Carmen Rottenberg was selected as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and Paul Kiecker was named Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The two will serve in those capacities until presidential nominees are confirmed by the Senate for those roles. In making the announcements, Secretary Perdue issued this statement: “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is our most important responsibility, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness.  Both Carmen and Paul have dedicated their careers to the mission of food safety and I am pleased to have appointed them to these important roles within the USDA,” said Secretary Perdue. “I c

conservation applications

NRCS Offers Wildfire Recovery Assistance to Ag Producers in Montana

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering technical and financial assistance to agricultural landowners impacted by 2017 wildfires across Montana. NRCS is accepting applications for its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to assist with livestock grazing deferment, damaged fence and post removal, livestock fencing, water facility development, critical area plantings, and cover crops. NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round; however, applications for 2017 wildfire recovery funding must be submitted by Aug. 15, 2017. “NRCS in Montana is prepared to assist landowners in dealing with the effects of wildfires and dry weather conditions,” said Lisa Coverdale, NRCS state conservationist for Montana. “We want to work with landowners to help them address fire related resource concerns on their farm or ranch operations.” Hi

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Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

As drought conditions worsen and fires burn throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture has launched the Agriculture Fire and Drought Assistance Hotline. The hotline will serve as a tool to help connect those affected to available resources, programs and donations, as well as to provide information on how others can help. Questions related to hay/feed donations, livestock, fencing, and transportation can be directed to the hotline. The hotline number is 1-844-515-1571 and will be staffed 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. “Montana’s agriculture industry has been disproportionately impacted by disasters this year, both drought and fire,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “There’s currently a major need for resources and there’s been an overwhelming swell of support from folks across the state and throughout the country. We saw a need to get information out about resources available and ways to help connect peop

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Secretary Perdue on Japan’s Planned Increase of Tariff on U.S. Frozen Beef

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – The government of Japan has announced that rising imports of frozen beef in the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year (April-June) have triggered a safeguard, resulting in an automatic increase to Japan's tariff rate under the WTO on imports of frozen beef from the United States.  The increase, from 38.5 percent to 50 percent, will begin August 1, 2017 and last through March 31, 2018.  The tariff would affect only exporters from countries, including the United States, which do not have free trade agreements with Japan currently in force. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement: “I am concerned that an increase in Japan's tariff on frozen beef imports will impede U.S. beef sales and is likely to increase the United States’ overall trade deficit with Japan.  This would harm our important bilateral trade relationship with Japan on agricultural products.  It would also nega

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Montana FSA: USDA offers help to fire-affected farmers and ranchers in Montana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Acting State Executive Director, Amy Webbink in Montana, reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires that disaster assistance programs are available to support their recovery efforts. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences or eligible trees, bushes and vines as a result of a natural disas

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Drought expansion in Montana

Much of Montana and parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas had no rain this week; some areas have been drier than normal for the last 2 to 3 months; and some drought indicators reflect dryness for the last 12 months. D3-D4 were expanded in northeast Montana, and D3 expanded in northwest South Dakota and was added in southeast South Dakota, where the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was consistently at those dry levels for the last 1 to 9 months. D1-D4 expanded in northwest North Dakota where the SPI was consistently at those dry levels for the last 1-6 months. D0-D2 expanded across much of Nebraska, with collateral expansion of D1-D2 in adjace

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Wildfire Relief: Here’s How you Can Help

From Northern Ag Network: For those who are interested in helping, here is a running list of what is needed and where you can help or donate. Please contact the team leads before showing up with donations. This is one of the most important things you can do to help our neighbors in coordinating. We have so many generous neighbors and are trying to make the most out of the donations without overwhelming the locals! HAY, TRUCKING AND FEED LOT COORDINATION: ·        Jana Hance, Redwater Valley Bank: 406-485-4782, mobile 406-974-2555 Send details to Jana at jana@redwatervalleybank.com Call Jana and let her know what you have to donate OR what you need.

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USDA opens more land for emergency haying and grazing

On July 20 Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorizing the use of additional Conservation Reserve Program lands for emergency grazing and haying in and around portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota affected by severe drought. USDA is adding the ability for farmers and ranchers in these areas to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices. “We are working to immediately address the dire straits facing drought-stricken farmers and ranchers,” said Perdue. “USDA is fully considering and authorizing any federal programs or related provisions we have available to meet the immediate needs of impacted producers.” For CRP practices previously announced, including those authorized today, Secretary Perdue is allowing this emergency action during and after the primary nesting season, where local drought conditions warrant in parts of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that

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Miles City, FSA offices off the chopping block for now

Senate committees pass bills with language prohibiting closure of essential agricultural facilities The Miles City cattle research farm and county Farm Service Agency offices appear likely to stick around, with both winning language in budget bills for fiscal year 2018 that prohibit their closure. Language in the Senate’s FY2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill nixes closing both the Fort Keogh Range and Livestock Research Laboratory in Miles City and the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho. The two centers were among 17 USDA-Agricultural Research Service centers listed for closure in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. The bill rejects closing any of them.

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Tester Secures Major Investments, Advances Montana Priorities in Critical Funding Bills

(U.S. Senate)—U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, advanced Montana priorities and secured major investments in two critical funding bills. Tester successfully included amendments to strengthen the ban on Brazilian beef imports and to force the nomination of a USDA Rural Development Undersecretary in the 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.  Tester’s amendments will require USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to report to Congress on specific provisions regarding the Brazilian beef ban and to restore the position of USDA Rural Development Undersecretary, which Perdue has attempted to eliminate. “During times of drought and market uncertainty, it is critical that Montana family farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to protect their bottom line,” Tester said.  “This important bill invests in agriculture research, protects critical FSA jobs, improves water infrastructure, and ensures rural America h

Drought Relief Discount Announced by SweetPro & Agri-Best Feeds

SweetPro and Agri-Best Feeds have instituted a Drought Relief Discount of $80/ton on qualifying SweetPro orders delivered to ranches affected by the D2-D4 drought according to the U.S Drought Monitor – www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu .  The Drought Relief Discount is effective immediately and will continue on qualifying orders through the month of August. SweetPro is a complete supplement that not only fills in the gaps where the grass is lacking; it also helps cattle break their forage down better, resulting in cattle performing better on LESS grass.  SweetPro’s nutritionist, Abe Scheaffer Ph. D., states, “The digestible fiber in SweetPro helps extend the use of a pasture, whereas the sugars in molasses or starches in grain increase forage consumption.  We know that our customers are hurting, and we need to do what we can to keep them in business,” concluded Scheaffer. For more information and qualifications of the Drought Relief

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Montana Producers Have until Aug. 1 to Enroll in ARC/PLC

From the Prairie Star: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Montana Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director (SED) Amy Webbink reminds farmers and ranchers that they have until Aug. 1 to enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and/or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2017 crop year. These programs trigger financial protections for participating agricultural producers when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices or revenues.   “Producers have already elected ARC or PLC, but to receive program benefits they must enroll for the 2017 crop year by signing a contract before the Aug. 1 deadline,” Webbink said. “Please contact your local FSA office to schedule an appointment if you have not yet enrolled.”   Covered commodities under the programs include barley

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Momentum Continues for Red Meat Exports

U.S. pork and beef exports posted a strong May performance, increasing significantly from the previous month and from year-ago levels, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports reached 222,015 metric tons (mt) in May, up 11 percent year-over-year and the fourth-largest monthly volume on record. Pork export value was $583.2 million, up 16 percent. For January through May, exports increased 14 percent from a year ago in volume (1.05 million mt, a record pace) and 18 percent in value ($2.68 billion). Even with the growth in U.S. pork production, exports account for a larger share in 2017. May exports equated to 29.4 percent of total production and just under 25 percent for muscle cuts only – up from 28.4 percent and 24.3 percent, respectively, last year. Through the first five months of 2017, exports accounted for 27.9 percent of total production and 23.2 percent for muscle cuts (up from 25.2 percent and 21.3 perce

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Be Aware of the Montana Pesticide Disposal Program and 2017 Disposal Sites

by Cecil Tharp, MSU Pesticide Education Specialist Delaying removal of unused pesticide products often leads to corroded containers that pose unnecessary risks towards the environmental and human health. Pesticide applicators should be aware of the resources available for discarding pesticide waste. By following a few simple steps applicators can ensure that unused pesticides are discarded and disposed of legally and safely. Disposing of Pesticide Waste Applicators should use the Montana pesticide waste disposal program if they have unknown pesticide products (due to worn product label), unregistered pesticide products or unusable pesticides that are in need of disposal. The Montana pesticide waste disposal program began in 1

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U.S. Cattle Industry Leaders Establish Direction for Policy, Checkoff Programs

More than 700 at Summer Business Meeting in Denver, Colo. DENVER, Colo. (July 13, 2017) – More than 700 cattle industry leaders are gathering at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver this week to help create direction for industry programs. The meeting runs July 13-15. The event includes sessions of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Among the purposes of the yearly conference is to create a framework for checkoff and policy efforts on behalf of U.S. cattle producers for the 2018 fiscal year, which for NCBA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board begins Oct. 1. Keynote speaker at Thursday’s Opening General Session is Eric Baumgartner, executive vice president of VML, a global marketing ad agency. Baumgartner will provide insight into the advent of technologies that are changing how consumers purchase almost everything they buy, from hamburgers to vacations. General

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Consider filing for “Exempt” Water Rights

- by Krista Lee Evans Water rights are a property right critical to agricultural production, that water users need to protect. In the early 1980’s, at the beginning of the adjudication process, the Montana Supreme Court issued an order that all water users who wanted to claim a right to use water that was put to use before 1973 had to file a claim with the Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC).   The Court did, however, provide two exceptions to this requirement - instream stock use and domestic use - that was used prior to 1973.  These are the “Exempt From Filing” Water Rights that we now have the chance to address. This year’s passage of HB 110 provided a means to protect these property rights by clarifying the opportunity to file a claim for any “exempt” instream stock or domestic rights that were put to use prior to 1973, and that have not been claimed in the adjudication process. It is important that we recognize the significant opportunity that this

USDA Designates Eight Counties in North Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

In response to a request from Brian Haugen, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in North Dakota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, Mountrail and Sioux counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Montana qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are: Montana Richland, Roosevelt and Wibaux All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 6, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are

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Costly Closings: USDA ARS proposed lab closures affect producers nationwide

By SUE ROESLER, The Prairie Star USDA-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) center closures affect not only the producers in the state they are located in, but also farmers throughout the nation lose out on the benefits of national collaborative ag research. Seventeen USDA-ARS research centers/labs may be closed under the administration’s 2018 final budget proposal delivered to Congress in June. Of those 17, four ARS labs are part of this upper northern region, including centers in Dubois, Idaho; Miles City, Mont.; Morris, Minn.; and Brookings, S.D. The USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab in Miles City, Mont., mirrors what producers do in the real world – raise cattle on native prairie and improved grasses on pastures and rangeland – and it has been conducting research there since the 1930s. “Fort

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Northern Plains Drought Worsens, USDA Responds with Expanded Emergency Federal Program Measures on Conservation Reserve Program Acres

As conditions deteriorate and drought expands across much of the Northern Plains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering assistance to farmers and ranchers through numerous federal farm program provisions and continues to monitor the situation to ensure all viable program flexibilities are offered to producers.  Today, USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in South Dakota, acting SED Jamie White, announced that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency haying on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands beginning July 16 through Aug. 30, 2017 for counties in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota designated as D2 or greater on the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Similar to the authorization for Emergency Grazing announced last month, this authorization includes any county with any part of its border located within 150 miles of a county eligible for emergency haying of CRP based on the U.S. drought monitor. Increased demand for hay h

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Senate Agriculture Committee Confirms Giancarlo as Chair of CFTC

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry voted overwhelmingly on June 29, 2017 to confirm the nomination of J. Christopher Giancarlo as Chairman for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has served as Acting Chairman since January. This paves the way for his nomination to move forward to consideration on the Senate floor. “I am humbled by the bipartisan support in the Senate Agriculture Committee for my nomination as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and I look forward to consideration by the full Senate. During my time as a Commissioner, I have witnessed firsthand the enduring commitment of Chairman Roberts, Ranking Member Stabenow and members of the Committee to our common purpose of serving the American people and the agricultural producers upon which we all rely. I am confident that with their support, if confirmed by the Senate, we can fulfill the CFTC’s mission to foster open, transparent, competitive and financially sou

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Selective Culling and Early Weaning in Drought

From the Cow Sense Chronicle by Rachel Endecott - Beef Cattle Specialist While forage and pasture conditions are in good shape on the western side of our state, the eastern half is suffering from a worsening drought. Reducing forage demand is an important part of a drought plan and selective culling and early weaning are two strategies that can achieve that goal. The first level of selective culling is to remove cows with obvious production issues, such as age, bad teeth, feet, or udders, as well as open cows or cows with poor quality calves. The second level of culling is where things get more difficult. There are a couple of approaches to consider, and I suspect most producers would use a combination of them. The first approach is to identify cattle with the most value per unit of forage cons

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Montana based Agri-Best Feeds joins Arrowquip dealer network

Arrowquip is thrilled to introduce the newest member of the Arrowquip Family, Agri-Best Feeds of Billings, MT. As one of the largest dealers in Arrowquip’s growing dealer network, Agri-Best Feeds are bringing their knowledge and expertise of the livestock industry to ranchers in an all new way – by providing them with innovative cattle handling solutions designed to benefit the rancher and the ranch. Of their newest Authorized Dealer, Arrowquip President Andrew Firth said, “Their success in the livestock feed industry has been substantial, and we are confident that their success will carry over to cattle handling solutions as well. We couldn’t be happier to have Agri-Best Feeds on board”. Agri-Best Feeds was founded in 2006, and the family formed a corporation in 2007. To this day, Agri-Best Feeds remains a family-owned company, and in 2010 they were awarded “Montana Family Business of the Year”. Their expansion over the last eleven years has been rapid, and their reach ha

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USDA Authorizes Additional Flexibilities for Producers in Northern Great Plains

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 – On June 23 Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue authorized emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres during the primary nesting season in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana in the counties meeting D2 or greater, as indicated by the US Drought Monitor. Since that time the drought has continued to deepen and the forecast is for hot, dry weather in the upcoming week in the northern plains.  As such, the Secretary is authorizing emergency grazing of CRP for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of a county approved for emergency grazing of CRP. In addition, for any county in which any part of its border lies within 150 miles of any county approved for emergency grazing of CRP, USDA will allow CRP contract holders who hay their acreage according to their mid-management conservation plan to donate their hay to livestock producers. CRP contract holders still have the ability to sell their hay with a 25-percent

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Secretary Perdue to Travel to China to Mark Return of U.S. Beef

Events in Beijing and Shanghai on Friday and Saturday    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will travel to China this week, joining with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, to formally mark the return of U.S. beef to the Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus.  In events in Beijing and Shanghai on Friday, June 30, 2017 and Saturday, July 1, 2017, Perdue will meet with Chinese government officials to celebrate the return of American beef products to the enormous market after shipments were halted at the end of 2003.  On Friday in Beijing, Perdue and Branstad will ceremonially cut prime rib that originated in Nebraska and was shipped by the Greater Omaha Packing Company. 

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Tester Announces Assistance for Montana Counties Affected by Drought

Senator Secures Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers in Six Montana Counties   (U.S. Senate)– U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced that farmers and ranchers in six Montana counties would have access to drought assistance through U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief programs.   “Northeast Montana has been hammered by drought and I’m pleased this critical farm-saving relief is available to those who need it the most,” Tester said.  “I encourage all eligible Montana producers to contact their local FSA offices and apply for assistance.”   Farmers and ranchers affected by the drought are eligible to receive payments through the USDA’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program.  Payments are determined by the intensity and length of the drought for the impacted areas.   The Livestock Forage Disaster Program is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Assistance is available for producers in Gar

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Injunction interrupts beef checkoff collection: Montana Beef Council will seek permission from payers

On May 2, 2016, a national organization, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA), filed a complaint in the District Court for the District of Montana Great Falls Division, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, against Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). R-CALF alleges that the current administration of the federal Beef Checkoff Program in Montana violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution by allowing Montana Beef Council (MBC) to use a portion of cattle producers' assessments paid to the federal beef checkoff to fund promotional campaigns by the MBC, without first obtaining permission in advance from those producers. The Montana Beef Council is not a party in the lawsuit. On June 21, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris granted R-CALF a preliminary injunction enjoining USDA from continuin

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USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Drought-Stricken Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota

  WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017 – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.  All or parts of these states are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions – indicated as categories D2 and D3 on the U.S. Drought Monitor. “Due to reduced availability of forage, ranchers in the hardest hit locations have already been culling their herds,” said Perdue. “Without alternative forage options like grazing CRP lands, livestock producers are faced with the economically devastating potential of herd liquidation.” CRP is a voluntary program administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land and, when needed, provide emergency relief to livestock producers suffering the impacts of certain natural disasters. Emergency grazing is authori

At Tester’s Urging, USDA Halts Importation of Brazilian Beef

Montana Producers Praise Tester for Protecting Consumers from Tainted Meat   (U.S. Senate)– Following Senator Tester’s repeated calls for a ban, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a suspension of all imports of Brazilian beef until safety concerns are addressed.   “I’m glad to see USDA has listened to our multiple demands to protect American consumers and producers across Montana,” Tester said. “This is a major win for Montana ranchers and American families. Montanans raise the best beef in the world and the government shouldn’t be undercutting them by importing unsafe, even rotten products from foreign countries.”    Tester has repeatedly called on USDA to halt importation of beef from Brazil, going so far as to introduce legislation to ban Brazilian beef for 120 days until safety concerns could be addressed.

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MSGA Applauds News of USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef

Contact:  Kori Anderson 406.442.3420/406.214.5680 kori@mtbeef.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   MSGA Applauds News of USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today, to suspend all imports of fresh beef from Brazil due to safety concerns.   “We applaud the decision by USDA to put a ban on the import of Brazilian beef. International trade is an important aspect of our industry, but the safety of our nation’s food supply is imperative to both ranchers and consumers, said Errol Rice Executive Vice President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “We would like to thank Senator Jon Tester for taking the lead on this issue; as well as Secretary Sonny Perdue for taking swift action to initiate the ban.”   The USDA release can be found

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MSGA Comments on Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting

Contact:  Kori Anderson 406.442.3420/406.214.5680 kori@mtbeef.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MSGA Applauds News of Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting HELENA (June 22, 2017) - Today, the Montana Stockgrowers Association released the following statement in response to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's announcement that the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is being delisted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA): "The Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds the action taken by Secretary Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear,” noted Errol Rice Executive Vice President for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “This has been a priority of the association for years and this is a critical first step for the State of Montana to regain management of the bear population.”   ### The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a

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Amid Tainted Beef Scandal, Tester Renews Call for Brazilian Beef Ban

Following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s removal of five Brazilian meat packing plants from its approved exporter list due to safety concerns, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is once again calling on Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to ban imports of Brazilian meat until safety concerns can be adequately addressed.  “Our ranchers raise the best beef and pork products in the world,” Tester wrote.  “They adhere to extremely high safety standards and make extraordinary efforts to provide consumers with desirable and safe products.  I believe it is unwise to risk the public’s trust in domestic meat products by potentially allowing harmful imports to make it into our marketplace.”  The Brazilian beef market was rocked by scandal in March as news reports confirmed that Brazilian meat packers were using a cancer-causing acid in their meat.  This led to several nations temporarily halting

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Montana Cattlewomen Award Scholarship for 55th Year

Third generation Kirby rancher selected as recipient of $1,000 scholarship The 2017 Montana Cattlewomen’s Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Peter Taylor, who has completed his first year at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana.  Peter is a third generation participant in his family’s ranching business near Kirby, MT. Peter was one of five highly qualified applicants for the scholarship. Peter earned his B.A. degree in Geology and Governmental Studies at Bowdoin College, graduating in 2000.  He returned to the ranch and has actively served on the Montana Farm Bureau Federation Board for several years.  It is that position which opened his eyes to the breadth of litigation facing farming and ranching in Montana and also renewed in him a desire to attend law school and take a

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MSGA applauds news of U.S. Beef heading to China

The Montana Stockgrowers Association issued the following statement regarding the announcement that an agreement has been reached to begin shipping U.S. beef to China: “Montana ranchers have been waiting for this day for thirteen years,” said Montana Stockgrowers Association Executive Vice President, Errol Rice. “Restored access to China’s 1.3 billion consumers will create an immense market potential for Montana ranchers." The Montana Stockgrowers Association is still evaluating the technical aspects of the agreement. Included below are USDA's specific requirements for exports to China: Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S., cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the U.S., or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter; Cattle must be traceable to the U.S. birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the

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MSU College of Ag seeks nominations for outstanding agricultural leader

The Montana State University College of Agriculture is seeking nominations for its outstanding agricultural leader award to honor during its 2017 Celebrate Agriculture event, set for Nov. 3-4 on the MSU campus. The annual award honors those who have exhibited abundant leadership in Montana public service as an agricultural producer, industry advocate, agribusiness leader or as a friend of agriculture. The award is part of the college’s annual Celebrate Agriculture event, and awardees will be celebrated during the college’s Harvest Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 4. The award represents the important relationship between the land-grant mission and the agricultural community, according to MSU Vice President of Agriculture Charles Boyer. “This award has a long and special history in the College of Agriculture, because it highlights the good work done by people who represent agricultural leadership in Montana

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Fallon Creek Cattlewomen to host “Urban Meets Rural” tour

The Fallon Creek Cattlewomen invite their urban friends and neighbors to a day in the country full of ranch tours, activities and a beef barbecue on Saturday, July 8.   “Urban Meets Rural Day” is offered at no charge to those interested in learning more about how ranchers raise healthy, sustainable beef and care for the land. A ranch tour will be followed by a picnic in the open, pasture golf, horseshoes, roping lessons for the little ones, a silent auction, and more fun, games, and prize for all ages. Wrapping up the day will be a beef barbecue with chefs from Miles City’s Rib and Chop House on site to fry steaks and serve a specially prepared full-course meal. Registration is available at First Interstate Bank and Stockman Bank in Miles City, and also through Eventbrite.com. Attendees are asked to register by June 26. Departure for the tour is at 10 a.m. from the First Interstate Bank parking lot on Haynes Ave. in Miles City, and at 10:30 a.m. from the Bank of Baker par

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Cattle industry urges against mandatory ID

From Tri-State Livestock News: Cattle producers, veterinarians, sale barn operators and others involved in the cattle industry encouraged the federal government not to implement any kind of mandatory individual identification for feeder cattle 18 months of age and younger. That was the message that Wayne Gerbig, Amidon, North Dakota, rancher heard at the Billings, Montana, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service hearing May 24. The North Dakota Stockmen's Association board member said that the two most important and most common messages shared during the public hearing were: 1 – USDA was encouraged to not pursue a mandatory identification program for breeding cattle or feeder cattle 2 – hot branding

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Snowmelt Causes Rivers and Streams to Rise across Montana, More to Come

Rivers and streams are running high across the state of Montana from May snowmelt, and most have been above average for daily streamflows throughout the month. Data from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service showed that snowpack at high elevations in most basins peaked during the first week of May, but saw a rapid transition to melt shortly afterwards. “The high pressure which dominated the weather patterns this month brought abundant sunshine, mostly dry conditions, and above average temperatures—the perfect combination for snowmelt,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS water supply specialist. Some snow did fall in the high country over the month, adding to snowpack totals. SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) sites along and east of the Divide were treated to up to 31 inches of snow on May 18, providing one last day of powder skiing for those that were motivated to hike for it, Zukiewicz said. More importantly, he said this storm also helped to slow the snowmelt which was occurring a

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Time to Survey for Alfalfa Weevil

Written by Kevin Wanner and Emily Glunk Alfalfa weevil is the key insect pest of alfalfa, causing variable levels of economic damage across Montana each growing season. After mating the female weevils lay their eggs in alfalfa stems, and newly emerged larvae crawl up to the developing terminal buds where they chew small “pin” holes in the leaves. The larvae develop through four instar stages (Figure 1); the larger 3rd and 4th instar larvae feed openly on unfurled leaves and cause the largest economic loss. Severe feeding damage will give the field a “frosted” appearance. Mature larvae develop into the next generation of adults that leave the alfalfa field to find overwintering sites. In Montana there is one generation per year. The majority of crop damage occurs prior to the first cutting as a result of feeding by l

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MSU alum Norm Asbjornson donates $2 million to MSU’s Montana Plant Sciences Chair

BOZEMAN – Montana State University and the MSU Alumni Foundation announced today that longtime university supporter Norm Asbjornson has given $2 million in support of the Montana Plant Sciences Chair, the first endowed chair in the MSU College of Agriculture. The chair will formally be named the Winifred Asbjornson Plant Sciences Chair in honor of Asbjornson’s hometown of Winifred, where he grew up during the Depression. Asbjornson’s gift brings the university to within $200,000 of its $5 million goal for the endowment. The gift also marks the beginning of the fourth year of the endowment’s five-year fundraising plan. MSU plans to meet the remaining $200,000 through private development, according to Kevin Brown, senior director of development with the MSU Alumni Foundation. The Montana Plant Sciences Chair was conc

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MSGA participates in Farm Bill Listening Tour

from Roundup web by Jordan Hall About twenty people gathered at the Ullman Center at Dawson Community College at ten o'clock Friday, May 26, to take part in Senator Jon Tester's Farm Bill Listening Tour. Beginning with the pledge of allegiance led by Tester, the session was led by the Senator and seven other panelists from various public and private agricultural agencies in Montana. Taking part in the session were Ben Thomas of the MontanaDepartment of Agriculture, Kurt Voss and Justin Loch of MontanaFarmer's Union, Scott Flynn of the American sugar beet Grower's Association, Steve Pust of the Montana-Dakota Beef Grower's Ass

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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Support the Development of Rural Community Facilities

From USDA: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is seeking applications for technical assistance and training grants in the Community Facilities program. “Too often, rural community organizations lack the technical expertise they need to access federal dollars,” Perdue said. “These technical assistance and training grants will help rural organizations overcome hurdles that prevent them from fully utilizing the Community Facilities Program. Increased access to federal funding will help build essential community facilities, and will allow rural areas to thrive.” The grants are being provided through the

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Carbon Conservation District to Host Montana Range Days

The Carbon Conservation District, along with the local and state Montana Range Days planning committee, is hosting the annual Montana Range Days event at the Fairgrounds in Red Lodge, Mont., June 19-21, 2017.   Montana Range Days began in 1976 in Jordan, Mont., and has continued throughout the years to provide an educational format to youth ages 4-19, as well as adults of all ages, to have an on-the-ground, hands-on learning experience.  Rangeland professionals and landowners alike learn new and innovative ways of managing natural resources in Montana. Rangeland is the largest of those natural resources with rangelands, grazable pasture and forestlands covering 70 percent of the state.   “We are excited to have this opportunity to educate youth and others about Montana’s rangelands and all our natural resources and to showcase the Red Lodge area,” said Scott Blain, chairman for the local planning committee.   Estimating an average of 300 participants ea

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Bull Breeding Soundness Exams

By Megan Van Emon Montana State University Extension Beef Cattle Specialist   One of the most cost efficient methods of a successful breeding program is the breeding soundness exam (BSE) conducted on bulls.  Bulls are responsible for breeding 20 to 50 cows each breeding season while cows are responsible for one calf each year.  Having a BSE conducted on the bulls is crucial to a successful breeding program. The BSE is an exam conducted by veterinarians that includes a physical exam, semen evaluation, and an internal and external exam of the reproductive tract.  Evaluating the feet, legs, teeth, eyes, flesh cover, and scrotal circumference and shape is included in the physical exam.  The semen evaluation includes semen normality and motility.  The BSE should be conducted 30 to 60 days prior to the beginning of breeding.  It is important to note that the bull’s sperm production cycle is approximately 60 days, and if illness, injury or other issue occurs, th

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USDA Certifies Another Rural Business Investment Fund

Fund to Help Capitalize Small Rural Businesses WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 – Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA has certified the Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV LP as an investment pool for small and startup rural businesses. “This certification is another tool USDA provides to help rural businesses, to create jobs and to attract private-sector capital to rural communities,” Glendenning said. “Geography should not be a barrier to economic success. This pool will offer rural business owners the same access to capital as thei

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Why Should I Keep Records on My Cowherd?

written by John Paterson, PhD Emeritus Professor at Montana State University   When I was visiting about record keeping programs recently, a rancher was overheard to say “I don't see much use in collecting time consuming individual records for commercial cow herds. Pregnancy testing and my eyeball can let me know all I need to determine if a cow stays for another year.”  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but with increasing demands continually being placed on ranchers to ensure sustainability, records are a necessary part of a ranch business. Records provide benchmarks so that we can determine strengths and weaknesses of our ranch operations and how we demonstrate continuous improvement.  How records are kept varies from the very rudimentary to the very complex.  When asked several ranchers how they kept their records the answers varied: from “On the scale house wall”; “On the back of my Copenhagen can”; “In my IRM Red Book”; “On an Ex

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Chairman of CFTC to Headline Stockgrowers’ Midyear Meeting

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) has confirmed J. Christopher Giancarlo, acting Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Midyear Meeting held in Great Falls, May 30 – June 1. “We are excited to have someone as knowledgeable and respected as Chairman Giancarlo joining us for Midyear,” noted MSGA President Bryan Mussard of Dillon, MT. “We look forward to the insight he will share with our members surrounding the recent cattle market volatility and his outlook on the futures market.” The Midyear Meeting is one of two meetings that is held during the year to set association policy. This year’s meeting is held in conjunction with the Montana Ag Summit; hosted and co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Steve Daines. The summi

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EPA Requests Comments on Extending the Timeline for Pesticide Applicator Rule

from Cecil Tharp (MSU Pesticide Education Specialist): Pesticide applicators should be aware of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pesticide certification and training rule finalized on December 12th, 2016 and published in the Federal Register on January 4. 2017. The implementation of the final rule was extended to May 22nd, 2017; however the EPA is now proposing to extend the implementation of the final rule another 12 months to allow states and stakeholders more time to prepare. EPA has a comment period that expires May 19th to consider extending the final rule another 12 months. Comments on this rule can be submitted to docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183 via: https://www.regulations.gov/ on or before May 19, 2017 after the Federal Register notice publishes.

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Stockgrowers comment on announcement of U.S. beef access to China

Helena, Mont. (May 12, 2017) - The Montana Stockgrowers Association issued the following statement regarding the announcement that an agreement has been reached between the White House and China to restore U.S. beef access: "As the second largest importer of beef, we are extremely excited that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef to China. Montana’s ranchers have been waiting since 2003, to ship the nation’s highest quality beef to China’s 1.3 billion consumers.” Errol Rice, Executive Vice President, Montana Stockgrowers Association. ### 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.

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Montana to Welcome New Ag Education Specialist

From Northern Ag Network: After an extensive search process, Montana will soon have a new high school Agricultural Education Specialist, now that the open position has been accepted by a 13-year Ag Ed Instructor and FFA Advisor from Doddridge, West Virginia. Shannon Boswell grew up along the Ohio River in Parkersburg, WV where her love of agriculture began at an early age.  From weekends at her aunt and uncle’s farm, through 4-H where she showed horses and developed an interest in public speaking, to her involvement as an FFA Member in the Blennerhassett FFA chapter, agriculture has shaped Shannon’s passion for serving others. After completing her major in Agricultural Education at West Virginia University with a Master of Science degree, Shannon began her teaching career in 2004, starting a new agricultural program in Summ

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Podcast Update || MidYear Meeting 2017

Kori and Errol discuss highlights of this year's MidYear Meeting and why this is one event you don't want to miss out on! [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/321990975" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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Montana Mountain Snowpack Looking Good Entering Runoff Season

Streamflow Forecasts above Average for Spring and Summer After low flows in some of Montana’s rivers last summer caused issues for irrigators, anglers and recreationists, the spring and summer runoff this year looks to yield above average streamflows, according to snowpack data released by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Snowpack across the state is above normal for May 1 in all but a few sub-basins. Basins west of the Divide, which typically peak during the month of April, are all above normal with high elevations still gaining as of the end of the month. East of the Divide, where snowpack at higher elevations typically peaks a bit later towards the end of April to mid-May, also saw excellent gains during the month. “Last month there was some concern over the lack of snowpack in some basins east of the Divide that provide irrigation and municipal drinking water, but April provided relief via abundant mountain snowfall and valley precipitation,”

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NRCS Sets Program Funding Application Cutoff for June 2

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has set a June 1, 2017, application cutoff for agricultural operators to be considered for 2018 conservation program funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS provides funding and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices that provide environmental benefits to help sustain agricultural operations. Conservation program participation is voluntary and helps private landowners and operators defray the costs of installing conservation practices. NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round; however, applications for 2018 funding consideration must be submitted by June 2, 2017. Applications made after the June 2 cutoff will be considered in the next funding cycle. Additional information is available on the Montana NRCS website at www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov under the Programs tab or you can cont

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Montana’s 65th Legislative Session || Legislative Wrap-Up

That's a wrap on Montana's 65th Legislative Session. Jay and Kori sit down to discuss the outcome of 10 of the bills that were on MSGA's Priority List this year. Our lobbying focused on taxes, property and water rights, wildlife management, regulation and agency funding. Questions? Please email Kori or contact the office at 406.442.3420.   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/320739093" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: NCBA, PLC Accepting Fall Law Clerk Applications

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2017) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., has extended the law clerk application deadline for the 2017 fall semester. The new deadline to submit an application for the position is June 1, 2017. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said

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U.S. Ag Secretary Perdue to attend Montana Ag Summit

From the Great Falls Tribune by David Murray: Montana Sen. Steve Daines announced Wednesday that newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will deliver a keynote address at the 2017 Montana Ag Summit in Great Falls five weeks from now. The Montana Ag Summit, co-sponsored by Daines and the Montana Chamber Foundation, will take place in Great Falls on May 31 and June 1. It will bring some of the nation’s highest-profile agricultural leaders to Montana’s Golden Triangle to meet with the public and discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen Montana agriculture’s international relationships, showcase current technological advancements and examine the challenges of federal policies and regulations for both the current and future generations of farmers and ranchers. “I’m excited to host Secretary Perdue in Montana

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Sen. Daines Releases Welcome Video for Montana Ag Summit

The summit, co-sponsored by Daines, will take place in Great Falls on May 31 and June 1, 2017. The Montana Ag Summit will bring the nation’s agricultural leaders to Montana’s Golden Triangle. The summit will focus on strengthening international relationships for Montana agriculture, showcasing technological advancements, promoting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and discussing the challenges of federal policies and regulations. Held in conjunction with MidYear Meeting 2017, you will receive a complimentary ticket to the Ag Summit with your MidYear registration. The MidYear Meeting is one of two meetings that is held to set association policy that guides the Association through the year. While the main focus of the meeting is for the setting of interim policy we also use the meeting as a networking opportunity for the MSGA membership. Ranchers and allied industry professionals gather together from across the

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Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle Lectureship offered in Bozeman

In recent decades, genetic technology has evolved at a rapid pace. Keeping up with the genetic selection and evaluation innovations, and understanding which advancements are practical for your operation can be daunting. This lectureship will not only strengthen the foundational understanding of genetic principles among attendees, but it will also build upon them to enable attendees to apply advanced genetic technologies in the real world of seedstock and commercial cattle production. Montana State University Extension has partnered with the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management to offer its Application of Advanced Genetic Technology in Beef Cattle lectureship May 8-9, 2017, in Bozeman at the GranTree Inn. Drs. Matt Spangler and Bob Weaber, beef cattle genetics experts, will lead the lectureship. Registration is $300, which includes all workbook materials, refreshments, and meals. Online registration is available

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Calfhood vaccines, or, what are all those clostridial diseases?

From CowSense Chronicle by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist As April is turning to May, some folks in Montana are already branding while some are still calving. This month, we’ll focus on calfhood vaccination programs, which are most often based around the clostridial diseases. Producers may add other vaccines (pinkeye, H. somnus or other respiratory vaccines, etc.) depending on their situation and veterinarian recommendations. Clostridial diseases in calfhood vaccines belong to same genus as tetanus and botulism. Clostridial organisms are generally found in the animal’s body, but with ideal conditions, grow very rapidly to cause a disease state. Because of this, affected animals are usually found dead, not sick.

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Week 16 || Montana’s 65th Legislature

It is day 82 of Montana's 65th Legislature. This week Jay and Kori discuss aquatic invasive species, workers' compensation insurance, property valuation, well setbacks and state laboratories. Have any questions? Email kori@mtbeef.org or call the office at 406.442.3420.   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/318834567" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

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63 Indicted in Brazilian Beef Scandal

By Greg Henderson Federal Police in Brazil has indicted 63 people for their role in a vast corruption scheme within the Ministry of Agriculture. The charges allege federal auditors at meat processing facilities took bribes for years in exchange for fraudulent sanitary permits. The probe into Brazil’s meat corruption was launched March 17, 2017, by Brazil’s Federal Police. Brazil, the world’s largest beef and poultry exporter and the fourth largest exporter of pork, saw its exports drop to near zero within a week of the scandal’s announcement, though most export sales have resumed. The suspects in the case are charged with falsifying medical records and certificates, tampering with food products, conspiracy and corruption. One employee at a JBS processing plant in Brazil was included in the investigation, allegedly due to his relationship with federal inspectors. The employee was suspended.

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Daines Leads Congressional Delegation to China and Japan

Discussed Opening Chinese Markets to U.S. Beef Imports, National Security   U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he recently returned from an official overseas congressional delegation trip to China and Japan including visits to Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Hong Kong and Tokyo.   Daines met with China Premier Li Keqiang, as well as National People’s Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang, Vice Chairman Zhang Ping, National People’s Congress Lobsang Gyaltsen, Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Qi Zhala, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary for Japan and Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry for Japan. Daines also toured Isogo Clean Coal Power Plant in Tokyo. In Hong Kong, Daines met with Carrie Lam, Chief Executive Designate, Hong Kong.   Daines stressed the importance of expanding trade opportunities for Montana agriculture and produ

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Week 14 || Montana’s 65th Legislative Session

This week Jay Bodner and Kori Anderson sit down to discuss aquatic invasive species, sage grouse, tax rates and more. Have any questions about the topics discussed? Contact the MSGA office at 406.442.3420.   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/317377665" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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U.S. to seek China access for beef, services: White House

By David Lawder | WASHINGTON from Reuters U.S. trade negotiators will try to hammer out deals with China over the next 100 days to resume imports of American beef and to allow U.S. access to China's closed services sector, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday. Spicer said that U.S and Chinese officials were still at the early stages of "fleshing out" a pledge by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to develop 100-day plan to help reduce China's massive trade surplus with the United States that was made at their first meeting in Florida last week. Asked in a press briefing whether China had offered concessions on beef and financial services access, as reported by the Financial Times, Spicer said these sectors were among topics that U.S.-China talks would cover. "I think

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moving cattle montana pasture

Cattlemen Applaud Delay of GIPSA Rule, Call for Its Ultimate Demise

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded today's announcement that the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the effective date of its interim final rule an additional six months to Oct. 19, 2017.   “This is another step toward common sense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market,” said NCBA President Craig Uden. “That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits.”   Two proposed rules and one interim final rule came out on December 20, 2016, one month before the end of the Obama Administration. The interim final rule regarding the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule regarding undue preference and unjust treatment have a direct negative impact on the cattle industry. Current system

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association travels to Washington D.C. to advance national policy

[caption id="attachment_6406" align="alignnone" width="980"] From L - R: MSGA Director of Natural Resources Jay Bodner, Helena; MSGA 2nd VP Jim Steinbeisser, Sidney; Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke; MSGA 1st VP Fred Wacker, Miles City; MSGA President Bryan Mussard, Dillon; Marcia Mussard, Dillon; MT PLC Chair Vicki Olson, Malta; ANCW VP Wanda Pinnow, Baker; MSGA EVP Errol Rice, Helena[/caption]   Helena, Mont. (April 6, 2017) - Leadership from the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Public Lands Council and the Montana Cattlewomen were in Washington, D.C. March 28th - 30th. They met with cabinet members of the Trump Administration, lawmakers and agency officials on issues important to the Montana ranching sector, including public lands grazing, sage grouse, beef checkoff legislation, environmental

MDA awards over $1.6 million in Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants

Counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators across Montana will have more resources in the battle against noxious weeds after the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded over $1.6 million in grants from the Noxious Weed Trust Fund. The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council reviewed 74 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant applications requesting more than $1.7 million and recommended awards totaling more than $1.6 million for education, research, and cooperative noxious weed management projects. In total, 70 grant proposals were approved for funding awards, including 49 local cooperative projects, 10 research projects, and 11 education projects. "Noxious weeds are one of the biggest threats facing Montana's lands today," said MDA Director, Ben Thomas. "The importance of these grants can't be understated; these groups are the boots on the g

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Tester endorses Perdue for Ag Secretary; urges speedy confirmation

From David Murray and the Great Falls Tribune: It has now been two and half months since Donald Trump was elected President, and the U.S. Senate has not yet scheduled a full vote to confirm former Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue, as the next Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. On Wednesday, Montana’s senior senator Jon Tester, publicly endorsed Perdue for ag secretary and urged Senate leaders to speed up the confirmation process. “As a farmer and as Montana’s senator, I am honored to support Gov. Perdue so we can work together to support family farms and ranches across Montana,” Tester said in a prepared statement. “With planting season upon us, producers need the certainty of having a secretary responsible for strengthening our state’s number one industry.” Perdue, 70, was the last Cabinet member nominated by President T

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MSU to host annual agricultural research center field days across Montana

The public is invited to attend free annual field days across Montana to tour and learn about the people, places and projects involved with agricultural research at Montana State University's College of Agriculture and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station or MAES. Five research stations across the state and a local Bozeman campus farm will each host a field day this summer. “Statewide field days are a longstanding tradition where we invite the public to tour our facilities, meet our faculty and staff and learn about trends and progress in agriculture research that hopefully makes a difference in their lives,” said Barry Jacobsen, associate director of MAES. “What’s most important about field days is that they serve as an opportunity for statewide producers, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness to share successes and challenges face-to-face with faculty scientists and learn about what the university is doing in response to those challenges and needs. It’s a chance for faculty and st

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Daines, Tester Lead Senators Asking Trump to Prioritize Opening China’s Markets to U.S. Beef

39 Senators Sign Letter to President   U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester today led 37 Senators in a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to prioritize reopening China’s market to U.S. beef in his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.   “Opening this market to U.S. producers would create substantial opportunities for farmers and ranchers across the country as China has an import market in excess of $2.5 billion and is the second largest importer of beef in the world,” the Senators wrote. “The current environment of low commodity prices further emphasizes the significance of trade to U.S. farmers and ranchers and the beef industry overall.”    The Senators also underscored the quality of U.S. beef and the importance of expanding trade opportunities to increase economic opportunity for farmers and ranchers.   “

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USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Response to President Trump’s Directive

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), acting in response to a directive from President Donald J. Trump, today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas – the three states which were most heavily impacted by ongoing wildfires which began on March 6, 2017.  USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael L. Young issued a memorandum authorizing the emergency grazing of cattle by ranchers, who are facing the ruination of their herds due to lack of sufficient grazing land.  The authorization is pursuant to appropriate restrictions and conservation measures, which can be found in the Acting Deputy Secretary’s memorandum. “Ranchers are facing devastating conditions and economic calamity because of these wildfires and they need some relief, or else they face the total loss of their herds in many cases,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Young.  “These measures will allow them to salvage what remains of t

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Update from the NCBA Legislative Conference

This week Jay and Kori sit down to discuss the Public Lands Council & National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Legislative Conferences held last week in Washington D.C. Jay along with MSGA Executive Vice President Errol Rice, MSGA President Bryan Mussard, First VP Fred Wacker, and Second VP Jim Steinbeisser, traveled to D.C. to engage with federal agencies and Montana's Senators. They were joined by Montana PLC Chair, Vicki Olson and American National CattleWomen Vice President Wanda Pinnow (past MT CattleWomen President).   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/316062617" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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Sharing the common bond of conservation

Ranch nominations open for Environmental Stewardship Award Program   Montana’s ranchers, conservationists, wildlife biologists, water quality experts, range scientists and hunting advocates share an incredible common bond: they each love the land and care about the animals and natural resources that depend on it. “There’s no doubt we have more in common than most of us think,” Jesse Tufte, the program officer for World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Ranching Initiative said. She’s especially keen on the state’s cattlemen and women who put in much of the legwork to conserve and steward the health of grasslands. “We need to learn from, listen to and understand how we can keep ranchers ranching, because they contribute so much to conservation.” For more than 25 years, the Montan

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U.S. Beef Industry to President Trump: Please Help Get U.S. Beef Back into China

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today sent a coalition letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to raise the restoration of U.S. beef access to China when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. Leaders from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the North American Meat Institute also signed the letter. American beef producers have been denied access to China – a $2.6 billion import market -- since 2003. Last fall China announced that it had lifted its ban on imports of U.S. beef, but attempts since then to negotiate the technical terms of access have been unsuccessful. “We believe that access to the large and growing Chinese beef market is essential to the future health of the U.S. beef industry,” read the letter, which was signed by NCBA’s CEO, Kendal Frazier. “We understand that you have many important issues to discuss with President Xi, but we strongly encourage you to take this important opportunity to convey the urgent need for China to reopen its m

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Secretary Zinke Headlines Public Lands Council Legislative Fly-in

U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed the livestock grazing industry today during the annual Public Lands Council’s legislative fly-in, in Washington D.C. Secretary Zinke said the agency hasn’t been the best neighbor, but he will be holding the agency accountable and will restore trust in the department. “We're going to manage our properties just like you (ranchers) would manage your private lands,” said Zinke. “ Washington D.C. needs to understand that we work for the people, not the other way around.” The Public Lands Council represents the 22,000 ranchers that utilize grazing permits on federal lands. PLC President Dave Eliason said Zinke was a welcomed addition to the conference and that the ranchers are looking forward to his tenure with the Interior Department. “Secretary Zinke has consistently

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JBS suspends Brazilian production amid meat scandal

From the Fence Post: JBS, the biggest meat packer in the world, has suspended production at 33 of its 36 Brazilian plants as other countries — though not the U.S. — ban Brazilian beef due to a corruption scandal, Reuters reported. A Brazilian police investigation alleges that meat processors paid bribes for inspectors to turn a blind eye to unsanitary or irregular activity and has led to challenges on the quality of Brazil's meat exports, Reuters noted. JBS and BRF SA, the world's largest poultry exporter, are among dozens of firms targeted in the meatpacking industry investigation by Brazil's Federal Police, but both companies have denied any wrongdoing, Reuters added. Egypt, China, Mexico, Canada, the European

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Week 12 || Montana’s 65th Legislative Session

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/314767955" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Jay and Kori are back with an update from Helena. They discuss aquatic invasive species (AIS), grizzly bears, and exempt wells!

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President Signs Resolution to Repeal BLM Planning 2.0

President Trump today signed a congressional resolution directing the Bureau of Land Management to repeal their Planning 2.0 Rule. Wyoming rancher and NCBA and PLC member Joel Bousman was in attendance at the White House for the signing. Ethan Lane, executive director of PLC and NCBA federal lands, applauded the action and called it a significant victory for western ranchers. “BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule would have caused a wholesale shift in management focus at BLM by prioritizing ‘social and environmental change’ over ensuring the multiple use of public lands,” said Lane. “When you couple the wholesale shift away from multiple-use with the elimination of stakeholder and local input, the rule was unworkable for western communities. We applaud the action by President Trump and look forward to working with the new Administration to bring together a streamlined planning process that works for livestock ranchers and the western communities that depend on the use of BLM lands.”

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Senator Daines sends letter to acting Deputy Secretary Young

On Wednesday, March 22, Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Michael Young, regarding the recent developments in Brazil where several meatpacking companies are being investigated for corruption and fraudulent inspections of meat intended for freign markets. “While I appreciate the initial steps USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have taken to implement even more stringent inspections on all meat imports from Brazil, I request that you utilize all appropriate and legal means necessary to ensure that U.S. consumers are not at risk to any tainted imported meat from Brazil or other countries,” noted Daines in his letter to Young. In the letter Senator Daines requests further information on the scandal and personally commits to working with the Acting Deputy Secretary to ensure the nation’s food supply remains safe and secure. MSGA requested Senator Daines elevate the issue to the incoming Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny

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Tester Announces Bill to Ban Brazilian Beef

Senator Calls for Import Ban Following the Sale of Rotten Meat   U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced legislation to temporarily ban the importation of Brazilian beef to protect American consumers from consuming rotten meat.   Following news that Brazilian meatpackers have been exporting rotten beef and trying to cover it up with cancer-causing acid products, Tester’s bill will place a 120-day ban on Brazilian beef imports. A 120-day ban will provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture time to comprehensively investigate food safety threats and to determine which Brazilian beef sources put American consumers are risk.   “We must take decisive action to ensure no family in Montana or anywhere else in this country is exposed to the danger of deceptive Brazilian beef processors,” said Tester, who butchers his own beef on his farm ne

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South Dakota TB strain previously found only in Mexico, new to U.S.

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) was identified in three beef cows during routine slaughter inspection by U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service inspectors at two Nebraska slaughter plants in February, 2017. The cows had been in feedlots in Nebraska and South Dakota since November, 2016. Market records were used to identify the herd of origin, which was tested by state and federal animal health officials, revealing additional infected animals. The herd remains quarantined and 41 infected animals have been removed from the herd. Final disposition of remaining animals in the herd is being determined. Thirteen adjacent herds, comprised of over 8,000 head, were quarantined for testing. One herd has been released from quarantine with negative results of testing in all cattle two years of age and older. Testing is in progress in the remaining adjacent herds and the majority of that work should be completed over

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Week 11 || Montana’s 65th Legislative Session

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/313455225" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]   This week Jay and Kori discuss grizzly bears, b. abortus, Director of Agriculture appointee, exempt wells and so much more.

Tester, Daines resume effort to overturn lynx decision

Montana senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines have rounded up a lengthy list of supporters for a bill to overturn a federal court decision on lynx protection. Republican Daines and Democrat Tester join Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, on the bill to reverse the Cottonwood decision, which found that the U.S. Forest Service must do a top-level review of new critical habitat for lynx under the Endangered Species Act. The decision name refers to the Bozeman-based Cottonwood Environmental Law Center, which won the case before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. The ruling was essentially confirmed when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a Forest Service appeal in October.

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Montana Department of Livestock investigates TB in S.D. herd

Helena, Mont. - The Department of Livestock (DOL) is investigating ties to Montana cattle from a tuberculosis (TB) infected herd in South Dakota. Montana is focusing on three distinct groups of animals:  Contact herds - herds that have shared pasture or fence line contact with the affected herd; Herds that have supplied animals to the affected herd; and Herds that have received animals from the affected herd. At this time, two Montana cattle herds that had contact with the South Dakota positive animals must undergo a tuberculosis test to confirm that the disease has not spread. Additional herds may be identified as the investigation progresses. The likelihood that Montana herds are infected is extremely low, however, the department is conducting a thorough investigation. “Following up on interstate movements after a detection of TB or other animal disease is a routine part of disease investi

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Week 10 || Montana’s 65th Legislative Session

We are back with an update from Jay and Kori. We have passed the halfway mark but things are not slowing down at the Capital. Below you can find a condensed recap of the bills discussed in the podcast. If you have any questions about the bills discussed please contact the MSGA office at 406.442.3420. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/311765180" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="600" iframe="true" /]    

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Snowy February Improves Snowpack in Montana and Streamflow Prospects for Spring

 BOZEMAN, Mont., March 7, 2017 – February brought a notable change to the weather patterns that were experienced during the month of January, according to snowpack data collected by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana.   Record breaking snowfall for the month of February was experienced in northern and southern river basins of the state during the first two weeks of the month. Snow blanketed the Rocky Mountain Front at the beginning of the month, with low elevations and valleys receiving more than 3 feet of snow. Flattop Mountain SNOTEL (snow telemetry) site in Glacier National Park set a new record for February snowfall and received 12.5 inches of snow water during the month, well above the 30 year normal of 5.3 inches for February. Further south, Cooke City received copious amounts of snow, prompting the first ever “Extreme” avalanche warning for the area when Fisher Creek SNOTEL received 10.9 inches of snow water between Jan.

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Strong Finish for 2016 Red Meat Exports

U.S. pork and beef exports wrapped up an excellent 2016 performance with very strong December results, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork export volume reached a record 2.31 million metric tons (mt) in 2016, up 8 percent year-over-year and 2 percent above the previous high in 2012. Export value increased 7 percent from a year ago to $5.94 billion. December pork exports totaled 222,635 mt, up 18 percent year-over-year, valued at $564.2 million, up 20 percent. Exports accounted for 25.8 percent of total 2016 pork production and 21.5 percent for muscle cuts – up from 24.2 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively, in 2015. December ratios were 28 percent for total production and 23 percent for muscle cuts only – up significantly from December 2015. Export value per head slaughtered averaged $50.20 in 2016, up 4 percent from the previous year. The December average was $56.06, up 24 percent. Beef exports increased 11

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Landowners have until March 30 to apply for access tax credit program

Landowners have until March 30 to submit applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks for enrollment in a new program called Unlocking Public Lands that may qualify a landowner for up to $3,000 in annual tax credits. Through this program, a landowner who enters into a contractual agreement with FWP to allow public recreational access across private land to reach a parcel of otherwise inaccessible state or federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or United States Forest Service (USFS) land is entitled to receive a $750 annual tax credit per contract, with a maximum of four contracts per year. The Unlocking Public Lands program is a product of the 2015 Legislature, which expanded a program called Unlocking State Land passed by the previous legislature. While Montana contains nearly 31 million acres of BLM, USFS, and state land, much of this land requires landowner permission to cross private land to reach the state or federal land. “Offering a tax credit in exchange for allow

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Cow Sense Chronicle || Night Feeding for Daytime Calving

Written by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist We’ve all experienced that middle‐of‐the‐night calving incident that sure would have been easier to manage if it had happened in the daylight. Some ranchers use an evening feeding strategy to shift more cows to calve during the day. A case study comparing two sets of calving data with different feeding times illustrates this phenomenon well (Jaeger, et al. 2008. Professional Animal Scien st. 24:247). One group of cows was fed between 6 and 8 am (15 years of data, 1210 observations) and another group of cows was fed between 4 and 6 pm ( 5 years of data, 537 observations). Researchers divided the day into six, 4‐hour periods starting at 6 am and recorded the number of cows who calved during each 4‐hour period. Cows who were fed in the morning had nearly equal distribution of cows calving during each period of the day. This resulted in nearly equ

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Comments sought on invasive mussels rules

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on proposed amendments to rules needed to effectively contain, detect and prevent the risk of spreading invasive mussels and other aquatic invasive species to other state waters. Invasive mussel larvae were detected for the first time in Montana in October 2016 in Tiber Reservoir – and “suspect” detections turned up in Canyon Ferry Reservoir, the Missouri River below Toston Dam, and the Milk River. The discovery triggered a natural resource emergency in Montana and led to several recommended strategies to manage the threat of the mussels spreading.

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MSU Extension sets March 10 workshop on agricultural resiliency

BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County will host the workshop “Building Resiliency in Agriculture,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Gallatin County Extension office, located at 903 N. Black Ave., Bozeman. The workshop aims to improve farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to respond to variability and extremes in agricultural operations. Topics will include past, present and future climate; flexible stocking rates; emerging crops; weed management; irrigation efficiency and soil moisture measurement; and financial resiliency. To register, contact Emily Lockard, MSU Extension agriculture agent, or Brad Bauer, MSU Extension natural resources agent, at (406) 582-3280, gallatin@montana.edu. Attendees can also register at the Extension office in Bozeman. The workshop costs $10 and includes lunch. For more information, see: 

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Montana Stockgrowers Association commends confirmation of Representative Zinke

Helena (March 1, 2017) - The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) today applauded the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke to serve as the next U.S. Secretary of the Interior. MSGA Executive Vice President, Errol Rice noted Zinke’s experience living in the west gives him a unique perspective of public land issues. “We are excited to see the confirmation of Congressman Zinke,” said Rice. “He has a thorough knowledge of natural resource issues and how the management of said issues impact the states. Representative Zinke has been a great advocate for Montana and ranching during his tenure in Congress. We look forward to continuing to be a resource for him on the complex and diverse issues that impact not only Montana but the nation.” ### The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic,

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Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame seeks nominations for Class of 2017

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF&WHC) is seeking nominations for the 2017 Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame induction round. Every year, the MCHF&WHC honors living and historical figures that have made notable contributions to Montana’s western heritage. "People from across Montana are invited to identify those in their communities who are most deserving of inclusion in the hall of fame" said Mark Larson, MCHF&WHC board director. "Nominations are open and welcome from the public at large." 2017 marks the seventh year the MCHF&WHC will honor living inductees and the tenth year of honoring legacy (non-living) inductees. The MCHF&WHC Board of Trustees will cast votes to select one living inductee and two legacy inductees from each of the MCHF&WHC’s 12 Trustee Districts based on nominations from the public. Nominees can be men, women, ranches, stage coach lines, animals, hotels, etc.—anyone or anything that has made a notable co

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Trump Issues Executive Order on WOTUS

Today President Donald Trump issued an executive action ordering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider their controversial Waters of the United States Rule. The WOTUS rule, which was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama Administration, was challenged in courts by more than 30 states, environmental organizations, and numerous industry groups including the National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. . In October 2015, a federal appeals court issued a stay preventing the rule’s implementation. The National Corn Growers Association said, “We appreciate the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “We fully support the repeal of the WOTUS rule. Farmers and ranchers care deeply about clean water, but this rule had

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Daines to Lead Montana Ag Summit 2017

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that he will be spearheading the Montana Ag Summit 2017 in Great Falls this spring. The summit, sponsored by Daines, will take place in Great Falls on May 31 and June 1, 2017. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will deliver a keynote address at the summit. 'The summit will highlight our state's number one economic driver by bringing together agricultural leaders to discuss how to keep our agricultural heritage strong for generations to come,' Daines stated. 'Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of Montana's economy and I look forward to a Montana family conversation about the future of agriculture.' Audio of Daines' statement is available for download HERE. Chairman Pat Roberts: 'I am pleased to tra

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Costco Expansion Provides Even Greater Momentum for U.S. Beef in Korea

U.S. beef has been rapidly building momentum in South Korea, and received a further boost this week as Costco officially began converting its imported chilled beef selection from Australian beef to 100 percent U.S. product. The move follows a multi-year effort by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to persuade store managers that sales of U.S. beef – a popular item at Costco – would match or exceed Australian beef sales due to revived consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef. Costco currently has 13 warehouses in Korea, with two new locations scheduled to open this year. On Feb. 13, Costco began transitioning two of those warehouses to 100 percent U.S. chilled beef. The others will be converted in May. In total, Costco’s move represents an opportunity for about 15,000 metric tons (mt) of incremental new beef business in 2017, said Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. Yang noted that the theme of U.S. beef promotions in Korea has gradually moved from food safety to consume

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Week 8 || 65th Montana Legislative Session

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/309381958" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /] It has been a VERY busy week at the session. Jay Bodner and Kori Anderson sit down to discuss the week in Helena. Have questions? Call the MSGA office at 442.3420 or email kori@mtbeef.org. Click HERE for a written update.

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