MSGA News

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NCBA Takes Stand Against HSUS Attempt to Weaken Beef Checkoff

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2016) - The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was recently notified that Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) attorneys have filed a lawsuit against USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM). This lawsuit seeks to divide the beef industry against itself by opening old wounds and weakening the beef checkoff as HSUS drives toward its ultimate goal of ending animal agriculture. The lawsuit, filed by HSUS lawyers, seeks the release of documents related to two OIG audits of the beef checkoff and its contractors, including NCBA. Both audits found that producer investments in the checkoff are protected by the firewall, which prevents beef checkoff dollars from being used for policy activities. Two OIG full audits and multiple random audits by USDA have found contractors, including NCBA, to be in full compliance with the laws which protect checkoff funds. “Those findings haven’t satisfied the extre

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Montana Weekly Auction, Hay and Drought Report for Week Ending September 16th

MONTANA WEEKLY AUCTION REPORT | WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 Market: Billings Livestock Commission, MT Market: Public Auction Yards - Cattle, MT Receipts: 3,012    Last Week: 1,892    Last Year 3,767 Compared to last week: Feeder cattle were too lightly tested this week to develop any market trend. Feeder cattle quality was mostly average on steers and average to attractive on heifers with a few tested open replacement quality heifers of very attractive quality. Yearlings offered mostly average weigh up conditions this week and light flesh as most offerings were coming straight off grass. Buyers remain cautious this week as they bid on offerings. CME positions moved sideways throughout the week providing no real direction for feeder cattle buyers. Spring born feeder calves sold with mostly light demand this week. Quality on calves was average to attractive with several higher quality small packages on offer. With very few calves on offer and unpredictable weathe

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Top Policy Initiatives in Washington D.C. for the Week of September 12, 2016

House Agriculture Committee Addresses Outdated Packers and Stockyards Act This week, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 5883, legislation to modernize the Packers and Stockyards Act. Enacted in 1921, the Packers and Stockyards Act is intended to protect buyers and sellers of livestock from unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory practices. Having not been revised in decades, Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), chairman of the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 5883, to expand the definition of "marketing agency" to include video and online auctions and update acceptable payment methods to include electronic transfer of funds, ensuring the legislation keeps up with the latest technologies available as our industry and modern banking continues to evolve. Sage Grouse Provision Key for Western Producers Work continues in Washington, D.C., on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY17. The House-pas

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Cattle Complex Continues Downward Trend

Drought Monitor Update | Week Ending September 09, 2016 During the past week, areas east of the Continental Divide witnesses slightly above normal temperatures. Overall, the West was dry last week with the exception of areas of isolated precipitation in northwestern Washington, eastern Montana, and southeastern New Mexico. Dryness during the past 90 days led to expansion of areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) in southeastern and south-central Idaho. In northwestern Wyoming, an area of Severe Drought (D2) was expanded in the headwater region of the Snake River where baseflow has been well below normal. Montana Weekly Auction Report | Week Ending Septemb

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2016 Public Lands Council Meeting Wraps Up; Utah Rancher Takes the Reins

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2016) – On Sat. Sept. 10, 2016, the annual Public Lands Council meeting wrapped up with a high desert range and operation tour in Southern Idaho. The meeting drew more than 150 public lands ranchers along with affiliate representatives to engage in the grassroots policy process, hear from agency officials, and discuss critical issues that are impacting the West. This year’s PLC meeting focused on top issues for public lands ranchers including preserving and enhancing sage grouse habitat through land stewardship, managing wild horse and burro populations at appropriate levels, and fighting regulation that threatens multiple use and vibrant western communities. “We had a successful meeting this year, and we are pleased with the turnout of not only our members but agency officials that took to time to meet with us and hear our concerns,” said Ethan Lane, PLC Executive Director. At the conclusion of the business meeting Fri. afternoon, Dave Eliason, a fifth-

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Public Lands Council Annual Meeting Update

We catch up with Jay Bodner, MSGA  Director of Natural Resources and Montana Public Lands Council Executive Secretary. He gives us an update on what the top issues are at the meeting and how they affect Montana and MSGA members. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/282732266" 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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Public Lands Council Hosts Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (Sept. 8, 2016) – Western ranchers are gathering this week in Boise, Idaho, for the 2016 Public Lands Council annual meeting. As the only organization in Washington D.C. solely dedicated to representing livestock ranchers who utilize public lands, PLC’s annual meeting will focus on legislative and regulatory updates. This year’s meeting will again feature top-notch speakers covering a wide range of topics. “There’s never been a more important time for public lands ranchers to come together and shape the future policy for our livelihoods,” said Brenda Richards, PLC president. “Ranchers across the West have had some great wins over the past year, but there are still a number of critically important issues that we need to tackle. From the continued abuse of the Antiquities Act, locking off broad sweeps of public lands from multiple use, to en

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NCBA Works to Address Market Volatility

Colin Woodall, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs, discusses NCBA’s efforts to ensure the futures markets work for risk management. MSGA member Jim Fryer of Hobson, MT was appointed to the NCBA/CME Working Group this summer. This group has been engaged on many levels to address the market volatility. Check out the podcast below to learn more.   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/281726840" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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Dr. Temple Grandin to speak in Great Falls Sept. 23

GREAT FALLS – Dr. Temple Grandin, famed animal scientist whose work has had a major impact on livestock handling, will speak in Great Falls on Friday, Sept. 23. Dr. Grandin will speak at an event running from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kings Arena, 50 Foothills Lane, just east of Great Falls. Her visit is being organized by the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee and sponsored by Montana Farmers Union, Great Falls Clinic Hospital, Great Falls College MSU, Cascade County MSU – Extension Service, Greenfields Irrigation District, Cascade Conservation District, Torgerson’s, North 40 Outfitters, Western Ranch Supply, and the Montana FFA Foundation. Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State

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MSGA Board of Directors Upcoming Vacancies

There will be three vacancies on the board of Directors this upcoming December. MSGA will be taking nominations for these positions until September 30, 2016. Below are the directors that will have reached their term limit and will be leaving the Board. President Gene Curry will also complete his two year term this December. We want to thank these four for their years of service to MSGA! Without their dedication and hard work, MSGA would not be the success that it is. In compliance with Association bylaws, the MSGA Board of Directors will appoint a nominating committee consisting of seven members to nominate candidates for all upcoming vacancies. Nominees should be members in good standing and participate in the nominating committee’s interview and nomination process. Nominations for Director positions should be submitted to the Stockgrowers office. Please fill out

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MSGA Member Selected for CME Working Group

In response to the recent market volatility, MSGA nominated Jim Fryer of Hobson, MT to serve on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) / Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) working group. This working group has been tasked with investigating inconsistencies in the cash cattle market and ensuring a level playing field for all market participants. MSGA is proud to announce that Jim has been selected to serve on the working group. He is an excellent representative of Montana Stockgrowers and we are thrilled that he will be representing Montana’s cattle industry on this working group. Jim has decades of experience working in cattle and beef cash markets. For five years he handled global trading

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2016 T-Bone Classic Gala and Golf Scramble

Ranchers and leaders from Montana’s business communities had a great time at Big Sky last week for the 2016 T-Bone Classic. The event included a gala dinner and golf tournament, Calcutta auction and a day of great golf on the Big Sky Golf Course with great views below Lone Peak. The event benefits Montana Stockgrowers’ Research & Education Endowment Foundation and provides an opportunity for networking among leaders of Montana’s leading businesses and industries. The T-Bone Classic is the second largest tournament held at the Big Sky Golf Course. This year's winners included first place finisher - Tilleman Ag Equipment, second place - Erickson Financial Strategies and third place - Showdown. The calcutta winners were as follows: 1st pl

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2016 Montana’s Young Ag Leadership Conference

September 30 – October 2 ♦ Holiday Inn ♦ Great Falls Once again, we are proud to present Montana’s Young Ag Leadership Conference! This is a one-of-a-kind event, packed with everything relevant to being a young[ish] person in today’s exciting, changing world of agriculture. With workshops on marketing, finance issues, crop and livestock programs, emerging technologies, leadership development and more, there is something here for everyone. A committee of your peers from Montana’s leading ag organizations planned this conference to create a unique experience and you won’t find a better opportunity to network with other young leaders and industry leaders as you gather new insight on improving and promoting agriculture in our state. We hope you choose to be a part of this event, as well as take an active role in Montana’s agriculture…it’s your industry and your way of life. See you in September! 2016 YALC Planning Committee Schedule of Events

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Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductions

Today the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced the ninth class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The inductees were chosen from a field of candidates nominated by the general public. Inductees are honored for their notable contributions to the history and culture of Montana.   “Our volunteer trustees around Montana vote on nominations that come from the district in which they reside,” said Jeff Bolstad, Helena State Farm agent and MCHF&WHC President. “It gives the local communities a strong voice in who will represent them in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame exists to honor those who have made an impact in their part of the state and represent Montana’s authentic heritage for future generations.”   The MCHF & WHC board of directors has designated 12 trustee districts across the state from which up to 20 trustees may be appointed. Nomination criteria established by the board

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National Cattlemen’s Foundation Accepting Applications for W.D. Farr Scholarships

The National Cattlemen's Foundation is now accepting applications for the W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2016-17 school year. The scholarship was established by the National Cattlemen's Foundation to honor the successful career of the late W. D. Farr. Two annual $12,000 grants will be awarded to outstanding graduate students that demonstrate superior achievement in academics and leadership and will allow the students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry. To apply for the scholarship, graduate students planning to pursue a career in the beef industry should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a description of applicant's goals and experience, a statement of belief in the industry as well as a review of the applicant's graduate research and three letters of recommendation. Applications close on August 31, 2016 Qualifications Applicant must be enrolled as a gr

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Cow Sense Chronicle: Early Weaning As a Drought Management Strategy

From Cow Sense Chronicles by Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist I’ve been hearing from folks experiencing drought and fires throughout the state. Other regions are in good shape, but some are ready for winter to come to the rescue! This month, I’ll give a brief overview of early weaning as one drought management tool for ranchers. The majority of spring‐born beef calves are weaned at 6 to 7 months of age, typically in October or November. This timeframe will vary based on calving season, location, and marketing scheme. As dry conditions result in limited forage availability, producers may consider early weaning to ease some of the demand. By the time a calf is 6 to 7 months old, he or she consumes about half of the amount of forage that a mature cow consumes. Weaning calves removes the lactation demand for nutrients. Cow requirements and intake will both decrease after weaning.

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Updated Veterinary Feed Directive Course Dates

Montana State University Extension is hosting Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) Short Courses. These informative classes will provide you with all of the information you need on VFD and answer any questions you may have. For more information contact Megan Van Emon, Extension Beef Specialist, at 406-874-8286 or megan.vanemon@montana.edu.   Editor's Note: The Great Falls VFD seminar on September 12 is at the Paddock Club within the fairgrounds at Montana Expo Park starting at 1pm.

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Checking in on the Checkoff

By Chaley Harney, Executive Director Your Montana Beef Council has a busy summer of promoting beef as we come into the home-stretch of the fiscal year, ending September 30. And with a new fiscal year approaching, we will again be seeking funding requests from contractors to help carry out the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef. In this fiscal year, we have worked with over 20 different organizations to build more demand for your product right here in Montana. Additionally, there are four representatives that also voice your interest on the national and international le

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Young Ag Leadership Conference is heading to Great Falls

GREAT FALLS—Mark your calendar! Montana’s thirteenth annual Young Ag Leadership Conference (YALC) is set to take place September 30-October 2 at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls, MT. Young people involved and interested in agriculture, aged 18-40, are invited to attend this one-of-a-kind conference where leadership, personal development, education and networking take center stage. This year’s agenda boasts top-notch speakers, including the well-known advocate for agriculture, Dairy Carrie. There will be cutting-edge workshops, exciting entertainment and new this year, an Entrepreneur Spotlight of local businesses. YALC’s action-packed program is put together specifically with young agriculturalists in mind by representatives from each of these organizations: Montana Agri-Business Association, Montana 4-H Foundation, Montana Wool Growers Association, Montana Grain Growers Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Alpha Gamma Rho

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Tester Skewers Administration’s Brazilian Beef Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 4, 2016   Marneé Banks | 202.604.5521 Dave Kuntz     | 202.224.8544 Luke Jackson  | 406.702.5484   Tester Skewers Administration’s Brazilian Beef Decision Senator Stands Up for Montana Agriculture Producers and Consumers   (Big Sandy, MT) – Senator Jon Tester called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase transparency and address safety concerns regarding the importation of Brazilian beef.   This week USDA announced a policy change allowing Brazil to send raw beef to the United States.  Tester sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack on behalf of Montana consumers and hard-working cattlemen and women outlining his concerns about Brazil’s food safety standards and its meat industry’s recent history of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).  Tester pushed the USDA for answers on what the Administration has done to improve the emergency response to an ani

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Guest Column: U.S. Senator Steve Daines

One of the greatest privileges I have in the U.S. Senate is standing up every day on behalf of Montana’s farmers and ranchers. There are more than 25,000 farms and ranches across Montana which are the foundation of our economy, and make up our number one industry: agriculture. But agriculture is more than just an economic driver of our state, it’s a way of life for thousands of Montana families and supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our state. In Montana, we have about two-and-a-half times as many cattle as we do people – that’s over two and a half million cattle – which helps to provide a safe, reliable and

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Living with Grizzly Bears

MSGA Director Wayne Slaght of Orlando, MT shares his practices for living with grizzly bears Written by Wayne Slaght, Ovando, MT Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide have continued to be in the headlines, due mostly to the numerous conflicts with both humans and livestock. With an estimated population of over 1000 bears in this area and along the Rocky Mountain Front, these animals continue to expand their range and encounters with landowners. As a director on the MSGA board and ranch manager in the heart of grizzly bear territory, I wanted to share with the membership some of my experiences and some of the practices we have implemented to help reduce conflicts with grizzl

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Montana StateFund Application

The Montana State Fund (MSF) and the Agricultural Group Associations have entered into an agreement to provide a group program to qualifying Agricultural group members. To participate in the program, a group member must complete and sign the Enrollment Application. Acceptance into the Agricultural Group Montana Workers’ Compensation Group program is subject to approval based on the eligibility criteria for the program. The criteria define the classes of business that qualify and eligible loss ratio and/or experience modification factors. The effective date of the policy must be within the contract year. This enrollment application must be received within 90 days of the effective date of the policy to be considered for participation in the group program. By enrolling in the Montana State Fund, participants are eligible to receive two annual dividends. Other benefits include individual help with your worker’s comp issues, ranch visits conducted at your request and staying up to d

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Cherry Creek Ranch wins regional award from national cattlemen’s beef association

MSGA members, Lon and Vicki Reukauf, discuss winning NCBA's Environmental Stewardship Award with Northern Ag Network's Lane Nordlund This commercial cow-calf operation, located in eastern Montana, is one of the few remaining original homesteads, a fact that instills pride in Lon and Vicki Reukauf, the third generation to operate the ranch. That legacy also drives the management philosophy for the Reukauf’s, who place a strong emphasis on rotational grazing as a way to manage pastures and maintain soil health. Cherry Creek Ranch, Terry, Mont., was honored last week as one of six regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program winners. The award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, is presented to farmers and ranchers who are working hard to protect America’s natural resources. Recently the Northern Ag Netw

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Montana’s Cherry Creek Ranch Receives Regional Environmental Stewardship Award

Montana Stockgrowers Association members win Regional Environmental Stewardship Award DENVER (July 15, 2016) – Cherry Creek Ranch, Terry, Mont., was honored this week as one of six regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program winners. The award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, is presented to farmers and ranchers who are working hard to protect America’s natural resources. The commercial cow-calf operation, located in eastern Montana, is one of the few remaining original homesteads, a fact that instills pride in Lon and Vicki Reukauf, the third generation to operate the ranch. That legacy also drives the management philosophy for the Reukauf’s, who place a strong emphasis on rotational grazing as a way to manage pastures and maintain soil health. “For three generations we wake up every morning wi

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National Cattlemen’s Foundation Accepting Applications for W.D. Farr Scholarships

Scholarship Awards Graduate Students Committed to Beef Industry Advancement DENVER (July 14, 2016) – The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is now accepting applications for the W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2016-17 school year. The scholarship was established by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation to honor the successful career of the late W. D. Farr.  Two annual $12,000 grants will be awarded to outstanding graduate students that demonstrate superior achievement in academics and leadership and will allow the students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry. 2015 scholarship recipient Greta Krafsur, DVM, a third year anatomic pathology resident at Colorado State University believes that the scholarship is an investment in the future of sustainable production of food animals. “By alleviating tuition expenses, the W.D. Farr Scholarship has allowed me to focus on my research of bovine pulmonary hypertension so that I may continue to find

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Veterinary Feed Directive Informational Meetings

The Montana State University Extension Beef Cattle Program is holding Veterinary Feed Directive educational meetings throughout the state this summer. These courses are free to the public and will be a great way to learn more about the VFD. For more information about the courses please contact Megan Van Emon, Extension Beef Specialist at 406.874.8286 or megan.vanemon@montana.edu.

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Montana Ranchers Plan for 200-mile Running Event

Each year, members of the Montana ranching community lace up their shoes, load up the vans and head out for a run with beef in hand. The group goes with an intention of meeting people from outside the state who have mutual interests in healthy living, the outdoors and running. The Montana Running Ranchers is a group of 12 members from across the state (and surrounding region) who are passionate about ranching, beef and running. They share their experiences with other runners from across the country; while spreading awareness of Montana’s ranching community and how beef can be an important part of a healthy diet.

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Montana Cattlewomen Announce Recipient of Scholarship

Allie Nelson, a Junior at Montana State University – Bozeman has been selected as the 2016 Montana Cattlewomen’s scholarship recipient. This $1000 Memorial Scholarship is made possible through donations given in memory of friends and loved ones of Montana Cattlewomen. Allie is majoring in agriculture relations with a leadership option. Allie’s accomplishments include serving as a Montana Beef Ambassador, Montana State FFA officer, and mentoring younger 4-H members; advocating for agriculture every step along the way. Allie plans to work for a non-profit organization after graduation. Allie is from Great Falls, MT; her parents are Ron and Becky Nelson.

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Senate Holds Oversight Hearing on Sage Grouse Habitat Management  

Source: National Cattlemen's Beef Association WASHINGTON (June 28, 2016) – Today, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining held an oversight hearing on the Federal sage grouse plans and their impact to successful ongoing state management of the species. Brenda Richards, Owyhee County Idaho rancher and president of the Public Lands Council, testified on behalf of the PLC and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Richards said that any Federal management plan must first recognize the essential contribution of grazing to conservation. “Ranchers across the west have a vested interest not just in the health of their livestock, but in the rangelands that

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Veterinary Feed Directive Impacts Feed-Grade Antibiotics

by Megan Van Emon, Ph.D. - MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist The new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule will change how medically important antibiotics are fed to livestock.  The rule does NOT include the use of injectable antibiotics.  Previously, feed-grade antibiotics have been labeled for control, treatment, prevention, growth promotion, and feed efficiency.  The VFD rule results in the removal of the statements and uses of feed-grade antibiotics for growth promotion and feed efficiency. Guidance for Industry proposal #209 concerns the use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals.  Guidance for Industry proposal #213 focuses on the drug companies and recommending they volunt

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Montana Stockgrowers Association sends two attendees to elite cattle industry conference

Representing Montana Stockgrowers Association, Ariel Overstreet-Adkins and Andy Kellom participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference. Andy Kellom hales from Hobson, MT. He is currently cattle manager for Bos Terra LP which is a 15,000 head feedlot and up to 7,000 head stocker operation. Andy is responsible for day-to-day cattle management. Andy was born and raised in Dubois, Idaho. He was involved with his family’s ranch from a young age.  Andy’s love of the beef cattle business started her

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Shaelyn Meyer

Written by Shaelyn Meyer   Being a part of the Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Series has challenged me in so many ways; some more personal than I feel comfortable sharing with the world. I will share a few personal details about why this has been an impactful program for me: It’s a very, VERY huge responsibility to be heard. It’s something that I’ve always shied away from. It’s scary! When you step up to be heard you’re opening yourself up to attack from anyone who might flat out disagree or just misinterpret what you’re saying. Let’s face it, what you SAY, is often not at all what people HEAR. Effective communication takes skill, skill comes from practice, and practice is best performed wit

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Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting Ends in Great Falls

The 2016 Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Mid-Year Meeting, held in Great Falls on June 9 - 10, drew ranchers and members of the cattle industry from across the state for policy meetings, a leadership-training workshop, and a Tour of Ryan Dam.   Ranchers in attendance kicked off the event by taking part in a workshop with Carrie Mess. Mess is a dairy farmer, blogger and ag-vocate from Wisconsin. Ranchers of all ages participated in the informative workshop, learning how to engage with their customers and effectively communicate their story.   A welcome reception was held to

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Weston Merrill

Post by Weston Merrill I was asked to write a blog post about my leadership brand. What intimidated me most were the words "blog post"! This relates to my leadership brand because my brand is difficult to define. I am all about being the maker of your own destiny. Whether we believe it or not at the end of the day we have control over how successful we will be. This includes how we feel about ourselves and others. My brand is not something that has one ingredient or that can even be defined in one word. It's much bigger than a blog post. The only way I can describe it would be that it can't be contained and that it's contagious, watch out!!!!!!!! The word that comes

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Attend the Sip & Sizzle Event in Billings this weekend

It is that time of year again to enjoy an afternoon of tasting wine and learning about the best summer grilling techniques! The Montana Beef Council hosts this annual event that will last from this Saturday June 18th from 3:00-7:00pm. Local chef Megan Jessee will be working hard to prepare complimentary beef samples and answer all of your questions. ESAP Auction There will also be an auction to support the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award Program starting at 6:00pm, Saturday! The ESAP acknowledges livestock producers who go the extra mile when it comes to preserving their land and enhancing the natural resources of Montana. Click here for more information on the ESAP Items to Auction:

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Meet the Leadership Series | Lacey Sutherlin

Lacey Sutherlin Stevensville, MT ------------------ About Lacey: Lacey Sutherlin was raised in Western Montana. Her parents are Mike & Janet Hunter. She has an older sister, Michele Hunter, who has a son and a daughter. Lacey enjoys being an Aunt. She also has a younger brother Isaac Hunter who works for Montana State University. Sutherlin attended college at Northwest College in Powell Wyoming for Agricultural Business and then went on to Montana State and received a bachelor's degree in both Animal Science and Agricultural Communications. She was part of the Livestock Judging team at bot

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Governor Gets Final Say in Year Round Bison in Montana

Source: Northern Ag Network If the Montana Department of Livestock and the Fish Wildlife and Parks can’t come to agreement on an issue of bison management, the governor gets to decide is the advice that the Montana Attorney General’s office is giving the Board of Livestock (BOL).  In this case, it means that Yellowstone Park bison will get to be in Montana year round. In April, the BOL had received a letter from the governor stating that since they had been unable to come to agreement with the Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) regarding a management change to the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IMBP) to allow year round tolerance f

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Supreme Court Upholds Landowner Rights in WOTUS

Source: Beef Magazine The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a pivotal decision in the ongoing and protracted efforts by cattle producers and other landowners to protect themselves from the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers and the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations. The Supreme Court’s ruling in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., set a precedent that landowners may challenge the Corps’ jurisdictional determination specifying that a piece of property contains a “water of the United States.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association filed an amicus brief in support of Hawkes. NCBA President Tracy Brunner said this is a major victory for landowners across the country. “This case highlights the issues landowners and lan

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Casey Knudsen

  Post by Casey Knudsen Leadership has always been an important concept to me.  Growing up heavily involved in sports, I realized early on that without an efficient and empathetic leader, a team cannot perform to its full potential.  This understanding of group dynamics between a team and its leader has carried over with me from sports and other extracurricular activities into my post-secondary education and professional endeavors.  I strive on a daily basis to lead by example. I do not always meet my goal, but I believe that the ability to self-examine, understand where I am deficient, and try to improve in those areas is important in any leadership role. I als

Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Trina Bradley

2016 MSGA LEADERSHIP SERIES Post by Trina Bradley Last fall I applied and was accepted into the inaugural Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Series, which is a year-long “class” that will help mentor and develop fourteen young ag leaders from across the state of Montana. As you all know, I am a born and bred cattle woman. I eat, sleep and breathe cows, and I want to make sure that my daughter has every opportunity to carry on this lifestyle and keep this ranch in the family for years to come. Therefore, I have been working on stepping up and getting involved in ag advocacy for the past few years.

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Electric City to host Montana Stockgrowers Association’s MidYear Meeting

Electric City to host Montana Stockgrowers Association’s MidYear Meeting Helena, MT - The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s MidYear Meeting will be held June 9-11 in Great Falls at the Hilton Garden Inn. This year’s MidYear event will be highlighted by a Cattlemen’s College workshop, policy committee meetings and a tour of Ryan Dam! Mid-Year is one of two major meetings MSGA holds annually where members will gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the rest of the year. Topics that will be covered in policy committee meetings include the Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting, brucellosis, elk management, the bison quarantine and an update from the Department of Livestock’s executive officer. The Cattlemen’s College workshops presented by Carrie Mess will kick off events on Thursday afternoon. Ranchers will have the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate their story

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MSGA’s Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis Comments – Update of General provisions

May 16, 2016   Docket Clerk, USDA-APHIS Docket No. APHIS-2011-0044 Regulatory Analysis and Development PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8 4700 River Road Unit 118 Riverdale, Maryland  20737-1238   RE: Docket No. APHIS-2011-0044, Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis:  Update of General Provisions   The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule to update the general provision of the Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis programs.  Since 1884 MSGA has been the voice of Montana’s cattle ranching sector and today we represent nearly 2,000 members.   MSGA has been engaged in efforts to eliminate and mitigate the threat of Brucella abortus to the livestock industry in Montana for many years.   MSGA does generally support the continued effort to review current regulatory mechanisms and propose changes to these programs that allow for additional flexibility and

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2015 Legislative Score Card now online

After every legislative session MSGA puts together a score card so members can see how their legislators voted and whether they are supporting issues that are important to the membership. This information is really important to take into consideration when voting for next year's legislators. The 2015 Legislative score card is now available in our members only section. You will need to be logged into your account to view the score card. Follow the directions below to access the score card. Click this link. (You must be logged into your account. You can recover your password on the log in page - if you have forgotten it.) If you are having problems accessing the information, please call the office or email kori@mtbeef.org.  

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Chisholm Christensen

My personal leadership story and why I’m stepping up to live larger by being a part of this program Post by Chisholm Christensen Writing is one of the more difficult and important tasks a person can undertake; requiring the author to think critically and explain effectively their topic of choice. Through writing, more so than speaking, we are able to fine-tune, rework and continually reanalyze our position free from external judgement or input until we ourselves are satisfied with the presentation and tone of our offering. This very personal task provides the writer an opportunity for personal growth while at the same time cementing his or her ideas and thoughts about the theme to be dra

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Administration drops lesser prairie chicken appeal

Statement by Ethan Lane, executive director, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands and Public Lands Council regarding the decision by the Obama Administration to drop their appeal of the federal court decision that overturned the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. “We are pleased that the Administration has elected not to proceed with their appeal of Judge Junell’s substantive ruling vacating last year’s unfounded listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act. Voluntary conservation efforts like the Range-Wide Plan are working to recover the species and must be given an op

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Heather Fryer

Post by Heather Fryer This year, I was selected to participate in the Inaugural Stockgrowers Leadership Series, a 12 month program hosted by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, designed to help participants succeed in their careers. What I have gathered from the class in the first four months has been more than I could have imagined. The networking has exceeded my expectations. My classmates are hilarious, friendly people, who support each other, and we’ve all made friends in this leadership series.  We’ve learned about various operations and perspectives, shared ideas and had great discussions.  We don’t

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Leadership Series | Guest Blog Post | Justin Iverson

STEPPING UP AND LIVING LARGER…. by Justin Iverson Backseat drivers. The first to speak up and the last to get behind the wheel. This year I took a risk, stepped out of my comfort zone and jumped into the driver’s seat. I’ve held leadership positions throughout the years but never felt fully at home. Most of the time I fell into those positions because no one else would take them and I have a problem saying no if asked. Feeling the need to sharpen the axe a bit I decided to take advantage of an opportunity through the Montana Stockgrowers Associa

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REEF Announces winner of scholarship

MSGA's Research Education and Endowment Foundation announces winner of Educational Heritage Scholarship Amanda Williams has been chosen as the recipient of the $1000 Scholarship. Amanda is from Miles City, Montana where she grew up on the family ranch, 2DO Ranch. She is currently attending Montana State University where she is majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Rangeland Management and Ecology. Though she is only finishing her second year at MSU, she is already at a junior status. She plans to become a county extension agent after graduation following in the steps of her father, grandfather and grandmother. Amanda believes this will be an excellent career for

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Local Photographer Invited to Promote Montana ranching

Modern Farmer’s Instagram account will feature Todd Klassy photographing Montana ranchers BILLINGS, Mont. – (April 27, 2016) – Todd Klassy, farm and ranch photographer from Montana, will be the guest Instagrammer for two days, April 30 and May 1, as he shares images, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at Montana ranching. Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry and ranks second in the United States with land in farms and ranches, totaling nearly 59.8 million acres. Modern Farmer is the authoritative resource for today’s cutting-edge food producers and consumers: the farmers, wannabe farmers, chefs and passionate home cooks who are influencing the way we eat right now, according to the company’s website. Modern Farmer sees themselves as the voice behind the food movement, delivering investigative journalism and rich photography. In search of rich photography, Todd Klassy’s images and stories will bolster local food, cowboys and cowgirls

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From the Great Falls Tribune: Death Camas Warning Issued in Yellowstone County

What is Death Camas and why is it killing Montana cows? Source: Great Falls Tribune David Murray, dmurray@greatfallstribune.com   The slender green plant is known as Death Camas, and given the right environmental conditions it can easily live up to its ominous name. Over the past week, at least four cows in Yellowstone County have died after consuming lethal quantities of the plant. In one case a dead cow was found with a Death Camus plant still hanging out of its m

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REEF Announces Selections for Young Cattlemen’s Conference

MSGA's Research & Education Endowment Foundation Announces Selections for Young Cattlemen's Conference Helena, MT - Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Research & Education Endowment Foundation (REEF) has selected two delegates to represent MSGA at the Young Cattlemen’s Conference this year. Andy Kellom of Hobson, MT and Ariel Overstreet-Adkins of Helena, MT will represent MSGA at this year's conference. The Young Cattlemen’s Conference, held June 1 – June 9, is an opportunity for cattlemen and cattlewomen between the ages of 25 and 50 to visit segments of the beef industry in other parts of our nation with young cattlemen from other states. Facilitated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), participants will travel with national attendees to Denver, Chicago and Washington D.C. The p

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MSGA, MASGD &PLC File Brief in Grazing Allotment Case

Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Public Lands Council, Montana Association of State Grazing Districts, along with the Southwestern Montana Stockmen’s Association, and National Public Lands Council filed our amicus brief on March 24th, in the case regarding two grazing allotments in the Gravelly Mountains.  The case was brought forward by the Gallatin Wildlife Association, with claims that grazing would cause irreparable harm to grizzly bears and bighorn sheep.  This case would directly affect permittees Helle Livestock and Rebish/Konen livestock, as well have potential national significance.  The case is being heard in front of U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris.  Judge Morris denied the original injunction and the case will proceed with oral arguments scheduled for May 26th in Great Falls.  The briefs in the case are available for review below, including briefs filed by the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Wool

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Beltway Beef discusses WOTUS with Scott Yager, NCBA Environmental Counsel

Chase Adams discusses legislative and litigation efforts against the EPA's WOTUS rule with NCBA Environmental Counsel, Scott Yager. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/260810937" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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Leadership Series Guest Blogger: Katelyn Dynneson

The Leadership Series was challenged this month to write a blog post that shares their personal leadership story and why they're stepping up to live LARGER by being a part of this program. Below we are sharing Katelyn Dynneson's blog post. Katelyn is the 4th generation on her family’s operation where they run a custom back-grounding feedlot, cow-calf operation and farm. She attended Montana State University and received a BS in Agricultural Business with a second major in Economics. Katelyn returned to the farm full-time after college and I have been loving every minute of it. Thanks for sharing this with us Katelyn!

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MSGA Leadership Travels to Washington D.C. to Advocate Top Priorities Facing Montana’s Cattle Industry

Helena, MT - A leadership delegation from the Montana Stockgrowers Association traveled to Washington D.C. April 12-14 to lobby numerous issues with Congress and Federal agencies. These issues included: Eradication of Brucellosis, Country of Origin Labeling for U.S. Beef, stopping the proposed federal bison quarantine facility, federal water regulations, sage grouse, endangered species, Antiquities Act (i.e. monument designations) reform and international trade. MSGA brought forth tactical ideas to eliminate the threat of Brucellosis expansion beyond Montana’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA). In a meeting with Dr. T.J. Myers, Associate Deputy Administrator with USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services MSGA requested that Brucella Abortus be removed from the USDA and Center for Disease Control’s select bioterrorism agents list. This would allow for more research to develop a more effective vaccine for bison, elk and cattle. MSGA also requested continued federal funding support for

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Capturing Montana’s Ranching Legacy and Celebrating Earth Day

Nominations, applications open for Environmental Stewardship Award   Montana ranchers depend on the health of their land and its resources to make a living and support their families. That means working to protect and improve the environment just makes sense to most cattlemen, Sidney, Montana rancher Jim Steinbeisser says. But ranchers often think of it as ‘good business,’ rather than a particular brand of ‘environmental stewardship.’ Steinbeisser chairs the state’s Environmental Stewardship Award Program task force, a program focused on showcasing how innovative stewardship and good business go hand-i

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Rancher Discusses Critical Habitat Designations

NCBA Federal Lands Committee Chair Robbie LeValley discusses the potential consequences of Fish and Wildlife Service's recently finalized rule regarding critical habitat designations, which expands their ability to designate habitat.   - See more online.   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/259844275" params="color=ff5500" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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Meet the Leadership Series | Justin M. Iverson

Justin M. Iverson Hometown Potomac About 3rd generation Montanan working on the family cow/calf operation. Bachelor's Degree from The University of Montana in Health and Human Performance; Go Griz! Married to a wonderful 5th generation Montanan. Occupation Rancher, Greenough Potomac Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief What sparked your interest in agriculture? Mom and Dad kicked each son in our family off the ranch to find our own path. After 12 years of living in rural Central Oregon, I

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USDA value-added producer grant funding available

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA, Rural Development State Director John Walsh today April 8th that USDA is making up to $44 million available to farmers, ranchers and businesses to develop new bio-based products and expand markets through the Value-Added Producer Grant program.  “Agriculture is Montana’s largest industry and adding value to this industry’s products will only help Montana’s farmers, ranchers, and rural business owners increase economic opportunities for their families and communities” said Walsh. “The Value-Added Producer Grant program is an under-utilized program in Montana.  This program can help expand agriculture markets and deliver a higher dollar return to producers.” Value-Added Producer Grants help eligible applicants enter int

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MSGA member, Hinman Angus, sells $350,000 bull

Legendary northwest Montana bull sells for $350,000 By Tom Lutey / Billings Gazette Malta, Montana -- With a $350,000 sales price Tuesday, a northwest Montana bull known as HA Cowboy Up can fairly be referred to as the Ferrari of the black Angus, though rancher Dave Hinman says the number that originally excited folks is much smaller: 4.25. The most expensive bull anyone can remember first turned heads as he gained 4.25 pounds a day, a staggering amount of weight for any bull, but particularly for one with a medium frame. It’s a big part of what made Cowboy Up the rancher’s version of the Powerball. Buyers from as far away as New England gathered Tuesday at Hinman Angus Ranch near Malta to bid on Cowboy Up, a bull that had the Hinman family’s phone ringing for 60 days leading up to the sale. There were literally groups of

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MSGA continues to oppose Bison Expansion | concerns left unaddressed

Governor’s bison plan OK’d; will reduce hazing near Yellowstone Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle By Michael Wright Chronicle Staff Writer WEST YELLOWSTONE — State, federal and tribal agencies agreed on Wednesday to adopt the governor’s plan to allow some bison to stay in Montana year-round, a move officials say will reduce bison hazing done each year near West Yellowstone. Th

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Meet the Leadership Series | Brenda “Bre” Ochs

Bre Ochs Home town Great Falls About I was born and raised in Great Falls. My grandparents are the original owners of this beautiful ranch in which I live on and operate with my family. After graduating high school, I graduated secondary college for Business; continued on with my education by graduating and receiving my Cosmetology license.  I was an active Independent Cosmetologist for 12+ years. In 2002 I became a co-owner of Oak Tree Constructions, Inc. and shortly after that, I began my own Bookkeeping services, Future Contractors, Inc., in which I operate both currently.

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After criticism, federal officials approve Eastern Montana irrigation project

By Tom Lutey Source: Billings Gazette Image by Larry Mayer/Gazette Staff Eastern Montana farmers will not go without irrigation water this summer now that federal officials have greenlighted Yellowstone River diversion work. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allow the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project to use boulders to rebuild a century

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MSGA Member Elected to AQHA’s Executive Committee

Though AQHA operates primarily upon the decisions of its members through the board of directors, the five-person executive committee is responsible for implementing these important decisions and governing AQHA between the annual meetings of the membership and the board. The AQHA Executive Committee - consisting of a president, first vice president, second vice president and two additional members - is elected each year by the board at the AQHA Convention. Each member serves a term of one year until the selection of his/her successor. The executive committee convenes bimonthly at AQHA International Headquarters in Amarillo to conduct business and consider all disciplinary matters.

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Over $1.6 Million Awarded to Combat Noxious Weeds in Montana

Every county and tribal reservation is eligible for $7,500 in funds The Montana Department of Agriculture announced the award of over $1.6 million for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs.  The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council reviewed 86 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant applications requesting over $2 million and recommended awarding over $1.6 million for education, research, and cooperative noxious weed management projects. The advisory council met the first week of March to review applications and make selections to assis

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Meet the Leadership Series – Casey Knudsen

Casey Knudsen Hometown Malta, MT About 5th generation rancher, mechanical engineer, firefighter, EMT, and I am running for the Montana House of Representatives. Occupation Rancher, engineering design What sparked your interest in agriculture? I was raised on my family's farm, and I have always had a deep connection to the land, animals, and way of life we have here in rural Montana. What makes a great leader? I believe a great leader must be able to empathize, because if you can't understand the people around you, you can't encourage them to reach their full potential. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I want to pick up a second language. Where do

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MSGA Leadership Series featured on Podcast

Wondering what the leadership series has been up to? Wondering who has been working with these future leaders? Check out this Agriculture Proud podcast that features Sarah Bohnenkamp, a leadership coach that is helping our leadership series blaze trails! She helps "young professionals get real with themselves. With their desires. With their strengths and special talents. With their values." Sarah, the former Executive Director for the Denver based American National CattleWomen, will coach the class in a series of workshops, webinars and at-home tasks throughout the year. Bohnenkamp has more than 14 years’ experience with leadership development and is familiar with topics faced by the ranching industry, having trained youth for the National Beef Ambassador program for many years. Want to learn more ab

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NCBA names new chief executive officer

Source: NCBA The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has named Kendal Frazier its new chief executive officer. NCBA president Tracy Brunner made the announcement, saying he is confident that the nation’s oldest and largest cattle industry association is in good hands. “It was the belief of the officers and others involved with the search process that NCBA owed it to our members, our stakeholders and the beef community to take our time as we selected the right individual to serve as the next chief executive officer,” said Brunner. “Today, we can say with confidence that Kendal Frazier is the right leader for the association. With many years of experience working for state and national beef organizations, he has helped to guide our industry through some of its greatest challenges. “Kendal’s dedic

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Montana State University Extension hosts on-farm success workshops

Planning for on-farm success workshops in Gallatin County begin March 26 Source: MSU News Service Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County will host the planning for on-farm success four-workshop series starting Saturday, March 26. Workshops are intended for beginning or experienced farmers and ranchers to improve business skills and provide the skills and resources needed to launch a business in Montana. The planning for on-farm success program is modeled after successful farmer training programs from across the country to help build a sustainable, successful farm business in Montana. MSU Extension in Gallatin County is partnering with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition to offer the workshops. Hands-on courses will be taught

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Meet the Leadership Series – Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson Hometown: Dillon, MT Occupation: Cow-Calf Operator About: I grew up and work on a family ranch based just outside of Dillon. We run a commercial cow herd made up mostly of Angus and Red Angus that calve in August and September. The cowherd runs on leased pasture from January through October. Upon graduation from Northwest College, with an Associates in Farm and Ranch Management, I moved to Livingston and I took over the day to day management on a lease we had just acquired. During that time I also managed a marketing association in Park County for three years. Today I manage the ranch’s four leases in Park County and spend about nine months of the year there. The remainder of my time is s

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MSGA Voices Support for the Delisting of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bear

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the delisting of the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as it has recovered and no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, as amended. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the GYE grizzly bear population has increased in size and more than tripled its occupied range since being listed and that threats to the population are sufficiently minimized. MSGA is in full support of the delisting of the GYE grizzly bear and will be submitting formal comments. If you would like to submit comments you may through the federal register; the deadline for comments is May 10, 2016. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the MSGA Office or kori@mtbeef.org.

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Meet the Leadership Series – Heather Fryer

Heather Fryer Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado About: I was raised in an Air Force family, with my officer father piloting a variety of planes and commanding multiple units.   During my childhood, I lived and traveled all over the nation, sometimes living in agriculture communities, at other times living in the suburbs.  My agricultural experience included raising and showing livestock in 4H and ranch-hand labor, helping to build fences in the mountains of Idaho.  The rural lifestyle and my enjoyment of raising animals set the course of my life, leading to university study in agricultural disciplines.  In 2002, I gradu

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Montana Stockgrowers Association Comments on Removal of Brucella abortus

Montana Stockgrowers Association Comments on Removal of Brucella abortus Helena, MT - The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing updates to the select agents and toxins registration list, as required every two years by the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002. APHIS has completed its fourth biannual review and

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Montana posts strong economic growth in Q3

Source: Great Falls Tribune WASHINGTON — Montana's economy grew a strong 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, the seventh-best showing in the nation, the U.S. Commerce Department reports. The state benefited from its heavy dependence on farming and outdoor activities, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting contributing 1.8 percentage points in gross domestic product during the period. Montana also posted strong growth in construction, retail trade, health care, and real estate. "It certainly bodes well for Montana that the economic growth was diversified across numerous sectors," said Jeremy Johnson, associate professor of political science at Carroll College in Helena. "The more that you can diversify your economy, you tend to be in a stronger position to weather the storm and attract outside investment." Montana trounce

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Myths about Bison Management

Bison management in and around Yellowstone National Park is a very complex and controversial issue. Many groups, agencies, tribes, and individuals have strong opinions about how to preserve this iconic, genetically-pure population of native, wild animals. We don’t expect everyone to agree, but we do expect everyone to tell the truth. Here are some common myths repeated by groups, individuals, and the media. If you care about bison conservation like we do, be part of the solution by recognizing fact from fiction. Myth 1: “The National Park Service (NPS) will roundup 900 bison in the next few weeks.” Not true. This year, all the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) partners announced that their goal was to reduce the Yellowstone bison population by 600-900 animals. This reduction was to occur through both hunting and shipment to slaughter and research facilities. For full transparency, we announced this number early in the season so there were no surprises, but

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Meet the Leadership Series – Trina Bradley

Trina Bradley About I grew up on a ranch west of Dupuyer, MT, lived in Wyoming for five years after high school, and came home and married a rancher. We have three beautiful daughters, and one adorable grandson. We run 350 mother cows on our ranch on Birch Creek. Occupation Rancher/Professional Photographer/Mom What sparked your interest in agriculture? I was born into agriculture. My dad worked as a ranch hand for the better part of my childhood until the oppor

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Meet the Leadership Series – Chisholm B. Christensen

Chisholm B. Christensen Hometown Hinsdale, Montana About I am a 5th generation rancher living and working on the same homestead my family settled over 100 years ago near Hinsdale, MT. Enterprises of the ranch include the cow/calf operation, small grains and hay production, as well as a loomix cattle supplement dealership. I graduated from Montana State University Bozeman with honors in the spring of 2013 where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Agricultural Education and was a member of the MSU Rodeo Team and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. I moved home when an opportunity arose for me to run my own cows close to home and my father was elected to a national positi

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Montana Ford Stores Partner with Montana Stockgrowers Association

[caption id="attachment_5433" align="aligncenter" width="980"] Ed Lord, Philipsburg - 2015 Winner | F-350 Super Duty from Montana Ford Stores[/caption]   Montana Ford Stores Continue Partnership with Stockgrowers for Eighth Year Helena, Mont. – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) and Montana Ford Stores are entering their eighth year as partners, designating Ford “The Official Truck of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.” MSGA and the Montana Ford Stores will give away a Ford Super Duty truck to one lucky MSGA member at the Montana Stockgrowers’ 2016 Annual Convention and Trade Show

Featured Article from NBCNews: Yellowstone Bison Cull

Source: Nbcnews.com By: Mike Brunker & John O'Connor The American bison is one of the nation's most enduring symbols, a heritage that helps explain the outcry that erupts like Old Faithful each year over the selective slaughter of hundreds of the wild-and-woolly creatures when they attempt to leave Yellowstone National Park. "The first time I saw a buffalo I cried," said Stephany Seay of the nonprofit Buffalo Field Campaign, which has been fighting the culling and slaughter of the Yellowstone bison for 19 years. "... They're hugely charismatic. I sometimes compare it to seeing a unicorn. You never get used to it." The bison — also known as American buffalo — have been the subject of a long-running dispute between the park service, animal rights activists, Native American groups and the state of Montana over their annual migration outside Yellowstone each winter in search of better grazing at lower elevations. The problem is that when t

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Cattle Group Alleges Corruption in Meatpacking Industry

Source: Great Falls Tribune By David Murray Less than a year ago, Montana beef producers were riding high on the steer. Cattle prices were at or near historic highs, and there was no end in sight to the gold rush in beef. In February 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected the price of fat cattle in the U.S. would continue to creep up toward $1.64 per pound through the end of 2017 – doubling what ranchers and feedlot owners had received for their animals just eight years earlier. The USDA was not alone in its rose-colored projections. Many prominent market forecasters — including the Livestock Marketing Information Center, Kansas State University and CattleFax — concluded U.S. cattle prices would remain at or near historic levels for the next two or three years. But something went wrong. Beginning in March 2015, U.S. cattle prices began to slide. At first the changes were subtle, amounting to only a few cents on the dollar. By August the av

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Meet the Leadership Series – Shaelyn Meyer

Shaelyn Meyer About I grew up on a commercial cattle ranch 12 miles outside of Ekalaka. Following high school I completed 2 years of college at Montana State University- Bozeman with no real idea what I wanted to study. I decided that some time off to pursue other interests was in order so I moved home to the ranch to work for my dad. I started my first colt during that time and some family friends offered me the opportunity to go to Oklahoma and ride cutting horses for 2 weeks. My interest in cow horses was piqued to say the least! After a few more months working at home I found a job working for a cutting horse trainer in Laurel. After loping horses in about a bi

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Meet the Leadership Series – Weston Merrill

Weston Merrill Hometown: Buffalo, MT About I studied business management at Rocky Mountain College where I also played football. I married the best part of my life in June of 2010. We have two kids, Raelynn (3) and Lennyx (1) and are waiting for the arrival of baby number three in June! My wife and I help out in the day-to-day operations of a commercial cow calf operation. I am also a sales rep for Milestone Seed out of Billings, MT. Occupation: Rancher What sparked your interest in agriculture? Growing up in it. What makes a great leader?

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Meet the Leadership Series – Katelyn Dynneson

Katelyn Dynneson Hometown: Sidney, MT I am the 4th generation on my family’s operation where we run a custom back-grounding feedlot, cow-calf operation and we farm. I attended Montana State University and received a BS in Agricultural Business with a second major in Economics. I returned to the farm full-time after college and I have been loving every minute of it. Occupation I work alongside my family every day on our operation and we all wear many different hats. What sparked your interest in agriculture?

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MSGA Comments on Yellowstone National Park Quarantine Facility

    Yellowstone National Park has recently released an Environmental Assessment to develop a bison quarantine facility on the Fort Peck Reservation. MSGA has reviewed this document and it is our determination that the proposal lacks any factual cost estimates, scientific rigor or even the number of bison that would enter into the facility. MSGA will continue to influence this issue on behalf of the ranching community as brucellosis remains a major concern for our industry and the state of Montana. Our full formal comments and recommendations to Superintendent Dan Wenk are linked below. The comment period was extended through February 29

Montana ag producers look to expanding Asian markets

Great Falls Tribune: by David Murray 2014 began as a year of high expectations for Montana's agriculture economy, but ended with them only partially realized. Spurred by the smallest national herd size since the 1950s, cattle prices reached historic highs in 2014. Late season prices for a 700-pound steer briefly flirted with the $2.50 per pound mark — more than double what they were 10 years earlier during the height of the Mad Cow Disease scare. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the value of Montana cattle sales has risen more than 56 percent since 2008 alone, and could exceed $2 billion for the 2014 production season. "Cattle prices peaked out at a perfect time for weaning this fall," said Montana Stockgrowers Association President Gene Curry. "A lot of producers have taken the opportunity to pay down debt, replace some equipment or add on to infrastructure — buy a new tractor or replacing a pick-up." Grain prices, by comparison, have bee

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Environmental Stewardship 2016 Winner | Cherry Creek Ranch

Reukauf family ranch thrives in arid eastern Montana by going for environmental gains By Laura Nelson Montana Environmental Stewardship Program Persevering in the harsh ranching climate of eastern Montana can build character, that’s for sure, Lon Reukauf jokes. But lessons of the land often run on repeat, so a well-read history book can point to opportunities to learn, grow, conserve and preserve a sustainable future. Fortunately, the Cherry Creek Ranch in Terry, Montana has a well-read history to help build the future. When Lon Reukauf’s grandparents homesteaded the area along Cherry Creek in 1910, there was a new p

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MSU Collegiate Stockgrower Honored with Two Awards

Kamron Ratzburg, former President of the MSU Collegiate Stockgrowers, has been awarded with two prestigious awards this week. He received both the 2016 Award of Excellence for demonstrating campus leadership and his community service work, as well as the 2016 Torlief Aasheim Community Involvement Awards, the university's top award for student service. The "Torley" Award recognizes senior students who, in addition to excelling academically, volunteer on campus and in the community. The award was named for the late MSU alumnus Torlief "Torley" Aasheim, former director of the Montana Cooperative Extension Service and a member of the class of 1937. The Award of Excellence honored students were nominated by faculty in their college or department. Qualified seniors must have at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, as well as demonstrated campus leadership and community service. The award-winning students each selected a mentor who was honored with them at the event.

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MSGA Now Taking Applicants for Young Cattleman’s Conference

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the structure of the U.S. cattle industry and gain insight on the legislative process that guides our business. Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Research and Education Endowment Foundation will send one Montana delegate on this year’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held June 1st-9th, 2016. Applications, due March 1, are available on the Young Stockgrowers Page.

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Montana Stockgrowers Association Drafting Formal Comments in Response to Environmental Assessment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Montana Stockgrowers Association Drafting Formal Comments in Response to Environmental Assessment Helena, MT – February 8, 2016 -Yellowstone National Park has recently released an Environmental Assessment (EA) to develop a bison quarantine facility on the Fort Peck Reservation. MSGA has reviewed this document and has determined that further action is needed. MSGA is drafting formal comments and requesting a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for a more comprehensive look into this facility. The MSGA has determined that the EA is incomplete as it does not include factual cost estimates, scientific rigor or adequate disease testing. It fails to include the costs that would be associated with the facility, the capacity of the facility or where funding would come from. These financial implications should be studied further to determine feasibility. The disease, brucellosis, remains a threat to cattle producers in Montana. The

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MSGA Affiliate, MRLA featured in Prairie Star

[caption id="attachment_5250" align="alignright" width="509"] The 2016 Marias River Livestock Association Board of Directors. Back row l to r: Trina Jo Bradley, Butch Gillespie, Carrie Sue Lerum, Bob Thompson. Front Row l to r: Marvin Kimmet, Jesse Wallewien, Maggie Nutter, Paul Turner.[/caption] The Marias River Livestock Association is one such organization. Formed in 2012 inresponse to concerns over bison being placed on the Marias River Wildlife Management Area south of Shelby, the group supports the livestock industry through public education on agriculture issues, promoting agriculture-friendly legislation and informing its members about issues pertinent to their operations.

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Livestock, Ag groups oppose grazing changes at Flat Creek Allotment

Livestock and agricultural groups including the Montana Stockgrowers Association, R- CALF and the Montana Farm Bureau have filed written protests to a Bureau of Land Management proposal to change the land-use provision on the Flat Creek Allotment in Phillips County, MT. At issue is a change in the class of livestock from cattle to bison, removal of interior fencing and allowing bison to graze year around. Currently the grazing permit for the allotment designates cattle as the approved species. The American Prairie Reserve (APR), a Bozeman, MT-based wildlife group, submitted the change request. APR has been purchasing private ranch land and acquiring BLM grazing permits for several years in an effort to create a private wildlife reserve for bison. The stated mission of APR on its website is “to create and manage a prairie-based wildlife reserve that, when combined with public lands already devoted to wildlife, will protect a unique natural habitat, provide lasting economic benefit

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MSGA Member Receives National Recognition

MSGA member, Larry "Skip" Ahlgren and Diane Ahlgren of Winnett, Montana received the National Association of Conservation Districts(NACD)/National Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award during the 2016 NACD Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada. The Ahlgrens were recognized for their superior service to the conservation community and commitment to promoting and leading conservation on private lands. Diane serves on the Rangeland Resources Executive Committee for the Montana Department of Natural Resources. Larry serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Grass Range Grazing District, as one of the Directors of the Williams Coulee Grazing District, and on the Board of Directors for the Montana Association of State Grazing Districts. The Ahlgrens ranch and produce cattle on their land in Eastern Montana.

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Now Taking Applications for Educational Heritage Scholarship

    Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Research & Education Endowment Foundation (REEF) is offering an Educational Heritage Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. This annual scholarship is awarded to a MSGA student member. Last year we had two scholarship recipients, Allie Nelson was awarded a $1000 scholarship and Kamron Ratzburg was awarded a $500 scholarship. Allie is majoring in Agriculture Relations with Agriculture Business as a

2016 Cattle Industry Convention Update with Young Stockgrowers Chair, Lacey Ehlke

[text] Young Stockgrowers Chair, Lacey Ehlke, gives us an update on San Diego and the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show [/text]   [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/245088059" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

CattleFax Says Market Shock Is Nearly Over

Recent price shock in the market and insights about the turbulence ahead were the focus of the CattleFax Outlook Session on Thursday at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show. More than 3,000 attendees were on hand to hear CattleFax CEO Randy Blach say he believes the market correction is mostly behind the cattle industry. He explained how tight global protein supplies and a strong export market in 2014 and 2015 led to the 'perfect storm' of market peaks and the significant drops seen in recent extremes. "We are coming off of historic peaks in the cattle market, created by unique conditions in the global beef and protein markets," said Blach. "Dynamics, specifically global beef supply, led to a large correction in price. That big market downward swing is nearly over now. However, the cycle shows prices continuing to trend lower in 2016, 2017, and 2018." Analysts predicted cattle feeders will see average losses near $200 per head, stocker operators will experien

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Leadership Series Kicks Off

  [caption id="attachment_5163" align="alignright" width="980"] Group Photo: Front Row (L to R) – Brenda Ochs, Shaelyn Meyer, Heather Fryer, Tony Johnson, Julia Dafoe, Katelyn Dynneson, Trina Bradley, Lacey Sutherlin, Sarah Bohnenkamp. Back Row (L to R) – Weston Merrill, Bo Bevis, Chisholm Christensen, Casey Knudsen, Justin Iverson. Not pictured: Cole Cook. Photo courtesy of Ryan Goodman[/caption] Montana is home to a growing group of young professionals in the farming and ranching communities. These aspiring Millennials and younger Generation Xers are passionate about the lifestyle and impact they can have on the industry. To succeed in their careers on multi-generation ranches or by providing industry services, they’ll need tools in leadership, ne

Research Promotes Beef Protein All Day

If beef is what’s for dinner, what should be on the plates for the other meals? If you said it’s still beef, you’d be right. The fact is, research shows that balancing protein throughout the day makes good nutritional sense. However, few Americans eat this way. The beef industry, however, through its Beef Checkoff Program, is working to educate consumers on the value of balance and adequate protein intake. The challenge has been formidable. Research shows that Americans eat about two-thirds of their total daily protein at the dinner meal. That doesn’t leave much room for protein in your breakfast and lunch meals or snacks – and that could be a problem, current researchers say. “The imbalance of protein meals is an issue,” according to Stua

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Miles City Rancher Wins Tractor Lease at Stockgrowers Convention

Fred Wacker of Miles City and his wife, Gwen, were the lucky winners of a Massey Ferguson tractor lease given away by Montana Massey Ferguson dealers and Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 131st MSGA Annual Convention and Trade Show on Saturday, December 5 at Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings. The Wacker family was very excited to be this year’s recipients of the 8-month/200-hour lease on a 130-horsepower tractor and loader. This is the second year Montana Massey Ferguson dealers have teamed up for the promotion, raffled off at the MSGA Convention and Trade Show. “The partnership with Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Masse

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Philipsburg Rancher Wins Truck At Stockgrowers Convention

Ed Lord of Philipsburg and his wife, Connie, were the lucky winners of a 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup given away by Montana Ford Stores and Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 131st MSGA Annual Convention and Trade Show on Saturday, December 5 at Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings. The Lord family is very excited to be this year’s recipients. After the drawing, Ed announced he will be donating the pickup to his daughter and son-in-law who are moving back to Montana to be involved in our ranching community once again. Each year Montana Ford Stores donates a new Ford pickup to be given away to one lucky MSGA member attending the Annual Convention and Trade Show.

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