MSGA News

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2008 MSGA Convention Highlights

This year, despite sub-zero temperatures and terrible road conditions, 644 people attended the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, Dec. 11-13. Below, please find some highlights from the convention: -Tom Hougen of Melstone was elected the 59th President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. -Walter “Watty” Taylor of Busby was elected 1st Vice President. He previously served as 2nd Vice President from 2006-2008. -Tucker Hughes of Stanford was elected 2nd Vice President. He served on the Board of Directors from the South Central District from 2004-2008. -New Board of Directors: Northeast District – Jeff Pattison of Glasgow Southeast District – Dean Wang of Baker South Central – Larry Berg of Judith Gap

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Young Stockgrowers plan to meet in Helena for the Young Stockgrowers Conference

On January 22nd and 23rd, the Young Stockgrowers will be convening in Helena for the 2009 Young Stockgrowers Conference. The conference is held during every legislative session and features a tour of the Capitol building, interactive workshops, educational speakers, meet with local elected legislators and review policies. The price is $35/person and will be held at the Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel. For more information, contact MSGA at 442-3420.

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Lon and Vicki Reukauf of Cherry Creek Ranch in Terry win brand new truck at MSGA convention

Lon and Vicki Reukauf of Cherry Creek Ranch in Terry were the lucky winners of the 2008 Dodge truck given away at the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Reukauf’s drove away from convention with full ownership of the Dodge Cummins Diesel truck, valued at $40,000, thanks to Lithia Dodge of Billings, First Interstate Bank of Billings, Northern Ag Network, Western Ranch Supply, Pfizer Animal Health, WALCO Animal Health and MSGA. The drawing was open to all MSGA members and required presence at the Grand Finale Banquet to win. The banquet crowd of 450 people roared its approval when Lon’s name was called.“I didn’t even know they were giving

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124th Annual Convention begins today

MSGA's 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show has gotten off to a great start with business meetings today at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings. Meetings include the MSGA Board of Directors, MSGA's Research Education and Endowment Foundation, the Young Stockgrowers Committee, the Grass Conservation Commission, Montana Hereford Association, the Montana Public Lands Council/Montana Association of State Grazing Districts joint board meeting, the Steer of Merit Committee, and the Montana Cattle Feeders. Other events include the Young Stockgrower's Social, a SimSeminar with the American Simmental Association, the MaPa 200 Club Reception, Young Stockgrowers Dinner, and the "Has Beens" Dinner. Tomorrow, registration will start at 6:30 a.m. followed by the Billings Chamber of Commerce Pancake Breakfast. At 8 a.m. the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Montana CattleWomen Opening General Session will kick off. Commi

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Greenhouse Gas COW TAX

Recently I have been traveling Montana to many of MSGA's local Stockgrowers Affiliate meetings. One question that was consistently posed to me time and time again was the issue about the Evironmenatl Protection Agency (EPA) imposing a tax on Green House Gas emmissions from cattle. I am posting a statement that came out of EPA just yesterday regarding this issue.EPA’s Statement on “taxing” livestock GHG emissions:“It is unfortunate that recent media articles have incorrectly reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to tax emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from livestock.EPA welcomes public comments from all interested parties on this important issue.EPA's greenhouse gas advance notice of proposed rulemaking (GHG ANPR) does not recommend the use of any particular Clean Air Act (CAA) authority, make judgments about a preferred pathway, regulate any emissions or commit to specific next steps

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Latest draft of DOL’s Brucellosis Action Plan discussed at BOL meeting

Montana State Veterinarian, Dr. Zaluski, presented a revised Brucellosis Action Plan to the Board of Livestock on Tuesday, Nov. 18. He amended the plan based on comments he received during the plan's comment period and at several town meetings. Most notably, the plan has been changed from a three area plan to a two area plan based on county boundaries and encompassing Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, Park, Sweet Grass, Stillwater and Carbon Counties in the Area 1: Special Focus Area. All producers living in these seven counties will be required to complete a risk assessment with the Department of Livestock. Testing and other requirements will depend on the result of this assessment. To see the new plan please click here. (A preliminary budget is included in the plan.)Zaluski said that many comments suggested that we do no testing and wait out the time required to regain our brucellosis-free status. He said that he

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National Brucellosis Elimination Zone proposed

APHIS has a newly released proposal to regionalize the areas surrounding Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The area will be called the National Brucellosis Elimination Zone. To see the proposal, please click here.

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Other notes from BOL meeting

The second day of the Board of Livestock meeting began with a budget report, resolution of two brands disputes and division updates.The Montana Livestock Loss Reduction & Mitigation Board reported that it is running out of money to compensate ranchers who have suffered confirmed wolf depredations. The board took over these duties from Defenders of Wildlife in April of this year. Defenders of Wildlife contributed $50,000 to the board this year to pay to ranchers, and has committed $50,000 for next year. However, other funding sources have been hard to find and unless another source is found soon, ranchers may not be compensated for further claims this year.The Diagnostic lab reported a huge influx of brucellosis tests. There have been 49,342 tests since July this year, compared to 14,538 during the same time period last year. The lab is currently turning the tests around in one day, and can handle up to 3,000 per day. Currently the lab expects to receive a

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Governor appoints one of two Board of Livestock seats

Today, Governor Schweitzer appointed Brett DeBruycker, current president of the Montana Cattlemen's Association, to the Board of Livestock. His appointment filled the seat left vacant by the resignation of George Hammond in September. Meg Smith also resigned in September, but her seat remains empty for now. New appointees must be approved by the state Senate and serve six-year terms.The Board met at 1 p.m. today for its regular bi-monthly board meeting. Quentin Kujala of the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks gave a presentation on the agency's 2008 Elk Brucellosis Surveilance. He discussed research on elk movements in the Madison and Paradise Valley compared to data collected between 1976 and 1986. According to his data, elk are spending less time in the forest and more time in the valley bottoms on private land. He said that the agency firmly believes that elk are congregating in certain areas because of lack of hunter access to these areas. He explained that this has the ef

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It’s a busy November for MSGA – Convention will be here before you know it

November has already shaped up to be a very busy month here at the MSGA office. With the election come and gone, we are hard at work attending important industry meetings, putting the finishing touches on planning and preparation for our 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show, and looking ahead to the upcoming legislative session.On November 5 & 6 Errol and I attended the 5th meeting of the Interagency Bison Management Plan partners. They are holding series of meetings, open to the public for observation, to decide on “Adaptive Management” changes to the plan for the upcoming management season. MSGA has been keeping a close eye on these discussions as the partners push to allow for more and more tolerance for bison outside Yellowstone National Park. So far, the partners have agreed to allow untested bison to be outside of the park in various areas of Hebgen basin, near West Yellowstone, during most of the year. On the North side, after the completion of the buyout of th

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President and CEO of JBS Swift USA to speak at Montana Stockgrowers’ 124th Annual Convention

Wesley Batista, President and CEO of JBS Swift USA, based in Greeley, Colo., will speak at MSGA’s 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Billings Holiday Inn Grand Montana, Dec. 11-13. Convention attendees will have the opportunity to hear Batista speak and ask him questions at the end of the Opening General Session on Friday, Dec. 12.JBS Swift USA is a division of Brazil’s JBS S.A., currently the world’s largest beef producer and exporter with a daily slaughtering capacity of 65.2 thousand head of cattle and the largest global exporter of processed beef. The company’s operations include 22 plants located in nine Brazilian states, six plants located in four Argentine provinces, 16 plants in the U.S., 10 in Australia and 10 in Italy. After purchasing Swift & Co. last year, JBS USA became the third-largest beef processor in the U.S., behind top-ranked Tyson Foods and second-ranked Cargill.“We appreciate Wesley Batista taking the time to travel to Billin

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USAHA passes resolution to regionalize GYA for brucellosis

The Northern Ag Network continued coverage of the USAHA, reporting that the U.S. Animal Health Association finished their meeting yesterday and the association approved a resolution to regionalize brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. USDA is required to respond to the group.According to Northern Ag's report,The resolution has 5 key concepts:1 – We must recognize that the level of risk for brucellosis exposure varies geographically in each state in the GYA.2 – We must implement and enhance traceability and have more rigorous testing for brucellosis.3 – Additional cases must be allowed to be found in the GYA without it affecting the free status of the state.4 – Advancements in the elimination of brucela abortus need to be made to eradicate brucellosis from the wildlife.5 – We need to support funding for these efforts.According to Dr. Zaluski, Montana State Veterinarian, the border of a buffer zone

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U.S. Animal Health Association considers new plan for brucellosis in GYA

The Northern Ag Network reported today that the U.S. Animal Health Association is considering a resolution that could change the way brucellosis is dealt with in the Greater Yellowstone Area.Check out the article with sound clips of an interview with Dr. Walt Cook, Wyoming's State Veterinarian. http://www.northernbroadcasting.com/stories_detail.asp?ID=1274According to Northern Ag Network's report, USAHA supports the concept of regionalizing the GYA. There will be a zone around Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming that will not affect the brucellosis status of the rest of the states. Cook said that increased testing requirements will be required for the zone, but did not say who would pay for it. The report mentioned that the "group did stress that there needed to be a more aggressive approach taken to help handle the problem in the wildlife," but did not give any spec

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Schweitzer vs. Brown: Livestock Industry Campaign Donations

Chuck Johnson wrote an article this morning comparing the campaign collections between Brian Schweitzer and Roy Brown. See the article at the following link. http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/10/28/news/state/25-donations.txtIt was interesting to see that Roy Brown's second largest campaign contributing industry sector was the livestock industry whose contributions totaled $50,600. Schweitzer's second largest industry contributors were lawyers and lobbyists who's contributions totaled $251,000. Schweitzer did show $42,200 given to him by the livestock industry. Which is comparable to Brown's amount. Although it didn't show up as a top contributing industry sector.What do people out in cattle country think about this?

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Did you send in your comments on the draft brucellosis action plan yet? Comments are due Nov. 1

Last Thursday and Friday I attended two town meetings on the Department of Livestock’s draft brucellosis action plan in Ennis and Dillon. State Veterinarian, Dr. Zaluski presented the plan to a crowd of about 50 people at the Ennis Public Library on Thursday, and Dr. Linfield, who has been contracted by the DOL to develop herd plans and work with producers in the Greater Yellowstone Area, presented the plan to a crowd of about 40 in the 4-H Building at the Dillon Fairgrounds.Both portrayed the plan as a short-term, targeted surveillance plan to help us get our brucellosis Class Free status back. Both Dr. Zaluski and Dr. Linfield were careful to say that the plan is not split-state status and it is not a regionalization plan. Both estimated that it will take 12-18 months to get our status back with this plan. The lines for the three areas, Area 1 – Special Focus Area (elevated exposure potential); Area 2 – Assurance Area (minimal or no exposure potential); Area 3 – Area of

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Planning underway for MSGA’s 125th Anniversary Celebration in Miles City

Planning is underway for the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, June 10-13, 2009, in Miles City. The celebration will cap off the organization’s regular mid-year meeting.In 1884, a group of seven men, led by Col. Thomas J. Bryan, met at the newly formed Miles City Club and founded the Eastern Montana Stockgrowers Association. Later, across the state in Helena, another group of men, led by Granville Stuart, formed the Montana Stockgrowers Association. The members of the two groups decided to merge into the one Montana Stockgrowers Association that exists today.MSGA will hold its mid-year meetings Wednesday, June 10 through Friday morning, June 12. Just before noon on Friday, the 125th Anniversary Celebration will begin. So far these events are planned: golf scramble, Solaris Feeders tour, Fort Keogh tour, Frontier Photographers presentation at the Art Center, Western Roundup exhibit at the Art Center, Range Riders Museum visit, Frid

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Montana Stockgrowers Association’s 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show set for Dec. 11-13 in Billings

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will hold its 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings, Dec. 11-13.The convention’s highlight will be the Grand Finale Banquet on Saturday night, Dec. 13. This year, Tucker Hughes, who energized and entertained the crowd last year, will return as emcee. Events for the Grand Finale Banquet will include a prime rib dinner, live entertainment, fashion show, auction and drawings for a Nutra Lix saddle, lawn mower and more! For the grand prize, one lucky member will drive away in a 2008 Dodge Cummins Diesel truck sponsored by Lithia Dodge of Billings, First Interstate Bank of Billings, Northern Ag Network, Western Ranch Supply, Pfizer Animal Health, WALCO Animal Health and MSGA!Other notable events include Friday night’s “Night around the Campfire” Trade Show Grand Opening, beginning at 5 p.m. and featuring music by the Ringling 5. The convention will include meetings, speakers, an

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PETA’s take on the Schweitzer/Brown vegetarian brouhaha

October 22, 2008Governor Brian Schweitzercc: Senator Roy BrownDear Governor Schweitzer:We at PETA have noticed that vegetarianism has made news lately in Montana, so we wanted to provide a little food for thought. Vegetarians might be outnumbered by cows in Montana, but that doesn't mean you should contribute to the B.S. America's meat habit fuels our obesity epidemic, and meat consumption has also been linked to heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. A recent U.N. report found that meat production is a leading environmental hazard: Animal waste from factory farms pollutes rivers and bays from coast to coast, and raising animals for food tops the list for causing greenhouse-gas emissions. And anyone who follows the news knows that slaughterhouses across the nation repeatedly violate the federal Humane Slaughter Act. These and many other facts show why a meatless diet is something that everyone should embrace. Please vi

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A letter from Roy Brown

Roy Brown's campaign sent us this letter regarding recent allegations that he is a vegetarian:"As many of you have most likely heard, the governor and his political thugs have attempted to mislead those in the livestock community to believe that I do not support ranchers with my political policy or with my diet. Both allegations are completely false. I am disgusted that anyone would attempt to manipulate any sector of our community with such lies. I am not, nor have I ever been a vegetarian, and I believe allegations that one’s personal eating habits would have a direct effect on their political policy to be ridiculous and the signature of a desperate and petty campaign. It is an obvious attempt to turn your attention from his own failed leadership on issues that have impacted agriculture in Montana.I find it despicable that my opponent would attempt to turn attention to such a ludicrous allegation in an effort to duck responsibility for failing to protect Monta

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U.S. Department of Justice approves JBS merger with Smithfield and blocks merger with National Beef

by Errol Rice, MSGA Executive Vice President The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil antitrust lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago to block the proposed merger of JBS Swift and National Beef Packing Company LLC. Montana’s Attorney General Mike McGrath is joining the Department’s lawsuit. The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is uncertain as to who requested McGrath to join the case. (more…)

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DOL to hold town meetings for draft Brucellosis Action Plan

The Montana Department of Livestock has scheduled a series of meetings to discuss its draft brucellosis action plan, which is open for public comment through November 1. Meetings will be held: (more…)

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Montana Public Lands Council Update

by Jay Bodner, MSGA Natural Resource Director Due to your support, the Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC) has been active this past year defending your grazing rights on federal lands. It is only through your valuable contributions that our organization has been successful at protecting your rights at the state and national levels. This summer, MPLC collected and submitted data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent sage grouse from being listed under the Endangered Species Act and intervened in the lawsuit trying to overturn the delisting of the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone area. (more…)

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Come see us at the NILE!

MSGA will be at the NILE this week! We have a lot of great things going on: We will have a booth at the trade show Wednesday through Saturday. Stop by to join, renew your membership or just visit! We will also be selling raffle tickets for a 3 day/3 night package for this year’s NFR. The package includes hotel, tickets to the rodeo and $500 for travel. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Proceeds will go to MSGA’s Advocacy Fund for the upcoming Legislative Session. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18. If you can’t make it to the NILE but would still like to purchase tickets, please call MSGA at (406) 442-3420. Don’t miss your chance for this great package generously donated by our friends from Fort Dodge Animal Health!

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Upcoming IBMP Meetings

Is allowing more tolerance for diseased bison the right thing to do in our current brucellosis crisis?by Errol Rice, MSGA Executive Vice PresidentAt a time when Montana needs to be extra cautious about brucellosis, I find it a bit perplexing that the Interagency Bison Management Plan partners are working hard to allow more tolerance for diseased bison outside Yellowstone National Park. Our State Veterinarian has released a complicated Brucellosis Action Plan with excessive and onerous surveillance and testing requirements for areas around Yellowstone National Park, yet he is so far willing to accept the idea of 300, or possibly more, untested bison on Horse Butte near West Yellowstone. (more…)

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Montana looking for Brucellosis Task Force members

DOL - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock are looking for ranchers and wildlife enthusiasts to serve on a task force designed to develop solutions to the spread of brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area. The seven-member task force will make science-based recommendations on wildlife and livestock management in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease. (more…)

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MDOL extends comment period on draft brucellosis plan

DOL - The Montana Department of Livestock is extending the public comment period on its draft Brucellosis Action Plan by three weeks through Saturday, November 1. State veterinarian Dr. Martin Zaluski said the public has expressed "significant interest" in the plan and is asking for more time to comment. (more…)

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Welcome!

Welcome to the Montana Stockgrower Blog! We've started this blog to provide you with up-to-date information from the Montana Stockgrowers Association. We'll let you know about important industry news and give you an opportunity to discuss things with one another. If you have any questions, please email ariel@mtbeef.org. Happy blogging!

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