Costly Closings: USDA ARS proposed lab closures affect producers nationwide

By SUE ROESLER, The Prairie Star

USDA-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) center closures affect not only the producers in the state they are located in, but also farmers throughout the nation lose out on the benefits of national collaborative ag research.

Seventeen USDA-ARS research centers/labs may be closed under the administration’s 2018 final budget proposal delivered to Congress in June.

Of those 17, four ARS labs are part of this upper northern region, including centers in Dubois, Idaho; Miles City, Mont.; Morris, Minn.; and Brookings, S.D.

The USDA-ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab in Miles City, Mont., mirrors what producers do in the real world – raise cattle on native prairie and improved grasses on pastures and rangeland – and it has been conducting research there since the 1930s.

“Fort Keogh researches not only cattle but grazing rangelands, grasses and forages – that’s for a start. The center is a such a big fact-finder for those of us who run cattle on grass,” said Fred Wacker, first vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the owner of Crossfour Ranch near Miles City, Mont.

Wacker, a third-generation Montana rancher, has never been hesitant to pick up the phone and call Fort Keogh when he has had any questions. He wants to know the kind of grasses and other forages his herd would thrive and perform best on.

What he has learned at Fort Keogh has translated over to his all-natural beef program. He said his program is the exact fit for the beef program newly opened in China.

Fort Keogh is one of the largest research facilities in the world with 50,000 acres of native rangeland; 4,000 acres of pastures and 1,500 acres of irrigated crop and pasture land.

Line 1 Herefords originate from Fort Keogh and have had profound impacts on the cattle industry. Nearly 70 percent of all Herefords in the U.S. have Line 1 genetics in their pedigree, and descendants still form the herd at Fort Keogh.

Scientists at the ARS Fort Keogh Livestock lab participated in sequencing the cow genome as part of an international consortium. L1 Dominette 01449, a Line 1 Hereford, was the source of the DNA used to decode the bovine genome.

“Fort Keogh is very important to cattlemen in the U.S. They researched the reasons for bloat, when and how to condition my cattle, and they’ve done a lot of research on water and minerals,” Wacker said.

Their studies on grasses have been unmatched – what grasses perform better in drought situations, for instance. Fort Keogh is the expert on burning parts of the range to bring back better grasses.

The lab’s research feeding heifers and cows prior to breeding to maximize pregnancy rates found producers didn’t need to feed the industry standard to have females breed back.

Andy Roberts, ARS animal scientist at Fort Keogh, said, “The beef industry has traditionally recommended that cows be fed to a minimum body condition and heifers be fed to a recommended 60-65 percent of mature body weight pre-breeding in order to achieve high pregnancy rates.”

Roberts and other scientists at Fort Keogh found nearly the same pregnancy rates occurring in the limit-fed heifers as in the controls. Both were fed a mixture of corn silage, alfalfa, and a supplement, and the limit-fed heifers received 80 percent of what the controls were fed. The controls could eat as much as they wanted.

Another lab that could be closed in the Mountain region is the ARS U.S. Sheep Experimental Station (USSES) in Dubois, Idaho, near the borders of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

“It is the only ARS sheep research center in the nation – the only one,” said Mike Corn, president of American Sheep Institute, who runs a cow/calf and sheep operation near Roswell, N.M. “Without it, sheep and wool growers couldn’t operate in today’s economy.

This is the third time the USSES has been on the chopping block, and sheep producers and organizations have gone to bat to save it every time.

Corn said the U.S. would become more dependent on sheep and wool imports from other countries if the USSES were closed.

The station was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson and has been grazing sheep on the diverse landscape for more than 100 years.

“If we close the station that is in such a unique environment in the intermountain west where 62 percent of all sheep in the country are raised, we will be losing relevant research to most sheep producers, especially those with large flocks,” Corn said.

No other station conducts research into the unique challenges that confront sheep producers across the nation. The station regularly conducts research such as, the best grazing techniques, diseases and prevention, and developing new breeds.

“The sheep station has made germplasm available to ranchers and has developed three of the most important sheep breeds – the Columbia, the Targhee and the Polypay,” Corn said.

USSES has also conducted extensive research on the effects of fire on rangelands, the health and recovery of the sage grouse and its habitat, controlling invasive and noxious plants, and grazing management plans.

“They have found that grazing sheep can coexist with other wildlife – including the sage grouse, the grizzly bear and elk can coexist and have been doing it for more than 100 years,” Corn added. “That is huge for all us sheep producers.”

The North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab in Morris, Minn., is also on the proposed closure list.

Sue Dieter, the coordinator of the Barnes Aastad Soil and Water Conservation Research Association, said North Central has provided invaluable research to rural farming and ranching in the region and across the U.S.

USDA-ARS (Agricultural Research Service) purchased 15 acres of land near Morris, on which to construct the laboratory buildings. But there was no land available on which to conduct long- term water run-off and soil erosion research. Since the Morris research program was part of a larger national study on soil erosion, certain criteria had to be met with respect to soil type.

The Barnes-Aastad Association was thus formed as a non-profit organization for the purpose of purchasing land, which in turn could be leased, to the Research Laboratory for long- term field experiments.

Soil is an invaluable resource. Without knowledge of how to feed biology underneath the soil with crop diversity, farming practices and adequate residue, soils are subject to wind and water erosion.

North Central’s top 10 accomplishments include:

• Developing new and alternative oilseed cropsthat provide new revenue streams for improved cash flow, pollinator health and nutrition, and soil erosion control.

• Pioneered development of novel double-cropping strategies to sustainably intensify food and biofuel productionwhile promoting soil health and efficient use of agricultural resources.

• Improved pollinator health, abundance and diversityby the development of new crops and cropping systems.

• Led development and supported a large nationwide data baseto quantify the impact of agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions.

• Led development and supported a large nationwide network databaseto quantify the impacts of crop residue, such as corn stover, on soil properties.

• Developed best management practicesfor protecting soil resources.

• Created new non-chemical and environmentally friendly weed control alternatives(abrasive grit applicator) for organic weed control.

• Identified heirloom wheat and cornfor improved food security and nutrition.

• Developed economical wintercrops that sequester nitrate and eliminate nitrate losses to ground and surface waters.

• Accelerated development of green jet fuelfrom oilseed feedstocks.

Another USDA ARS lab closure is the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory or Integrated Cropping System Research Lab in Brookings, S.D.

Shannon Osborne, Ph.D., a research agronomist with North Central in Brookings, S.D., has been conducting research on incorporating cover crops in current production systems for the past 10 years.

Cover crops feed the biology in the soil in unique ways because they utilize many different types of crops.

One producer in North Dakota, Gabe Brown, said the use of cover crops has allowed him to not have to use fertilizer anymore. His yields have increased substantially, as well as the organic matter in his soils.

Other proposed USDA-ARS research laboratory closures include two ARS labs in Arkansas, one a partial closure; one in Florida; one in Illinois; one in Louisiana, one in Maine, one in Massachusetts, one in Mississippi; one in Missouri, one in Texas, one in Oklahoma and a partial closure at the Aquaculture Production worksite in Wisconsin.

This year, in 2017, the USDA-ARS is officially 54 years old. It continues to serve U.S. producers, and the labs work in concert with each other, so vital research is available to anyone.

Low-stress stockmanship clinic planned Oct. 7, Miles City

(MILES CITY, Mont.) – Ranchers and students of effective livestock handling have the opportunity to learn from low-stress
stockmanship expert Whit Hibbard on Friday, Oct. 7 in Miles City. Hibbard will present a day-long seminar on stockmanship,
which improves animal productivity, economic performance and human and animal safety. The clinic is hosted by the
Montana Beef Quality Assurance program. The classroom style program will run from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Miles City
Livestock Commission. Cost is $30, which includes lunch.
Trained in the style of legendary livestock handler Bud Williams, Hibbard shares his experience as a working cattleman and
lifelong scholar of animal handling in his clinics. Hibbard is a fourth-generation Montana cattle and sheep rancher and
former national park mounted ranger, and a student of low-stress livestock handling, natural horsemanship, ranch roping,
and facilities design. He believes strongly in the importance and value of stockmanship and is committed to its serious study
and promotion.
Hibbard participated in a major paradigm shift on his family’s ranch, Sieben Live Stock Co. in Adel, Mont., from conventional
to low-stress livestock handling. He was the director of a highly successful two-year project to round up trespass livestock
from Mexico in Big Bend National Park which used a stockmanship approach and similarly walked in wild horses at
Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Hibbard is the publisher and editor of Stockmanship Journal, authors a bi-monthly guest
editorial for Drovers magazine on stockmanship, and teaches clinics on low-stress livestock handling.
More information is available on the event Facebook page. Participants can register at Eventbrite or by calling Bill Pelton at
406.671.5100.

Miles City Rancher Wins Tractor Lease at Stockgrowers Convention

Fred Wacker Massey FergusonFred 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 Massey Ferguson dealers continues to grow and provide benefit for ranchers across the state,” according to MSGA President, Gene Curry of Valier. Proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets throughout the year go to benefit a number Stockgrowers programs for Montana ranchers.

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

Fred currently serves as Second Vice President for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. Outside of the beef industry, Wacker has served on the Custer County Water & Sewer District Board (including four years as chairman), the Custer County Planning Board, and as president of the Miles City Kiwanis.

2015 was the second year of partnership between MSGA and Montana Massey Ferguson.

Click here for more 2015 Annual Convention coverage from Montana Stockgrowers.

Montana Association of State Grazing Districts Annual Meeting June 17

masgdThe Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) will be holding their annual meeting on June 17th, in Miles City. This year’s meeting will be held at the Fort Keogh Livestock & Range Research Laboratory. The day’s events will include a joint board meeting between the MASGD and Public Lands Council board of directors, Grazing District Secretary Appreciation Lunch and the annual meeting starting at 1:00 p.m.

The meeting will include a great line up of speakers, with Dustin Van Liew, National Public Lands Council Executive, Richard Stuker, Commissioner on the FWP Commission, Mark Petersen, range leader for Fort Keogh and the Montana Stockgrowers Association. MASGD has also invited Jamie Connell, the Director the State Director of BLM and the Department of Livestock to provide presentations to the members.

The MASGD would like to invite those interested in learning more about these important topics to attend or contact Jay Bodner at the office for more information by emailing jay@mtbeef.org or calling (406) 442-3420. Learn more about MASGD by clicking here.

Specialists, Generalists, and Working with People

Rachel Endecott Montana Young Stockgrowers Mid Year Miles CityDr. Rachel Endecott, Belgrade, MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

Sometimes, it seems that the world wants people who specialize. For example, my job title is Extension beef cattle specialist; however, “beef cattle” is a fairly general topic. In fact, I’m trained as a ruminant nutritionist, but I help folks with cattle reproductive physiology, genetics, marketing, health, and general management questions on a regular basis in addition to their nutrition questions. I’ve found that my clientele don’t care how I was trained; they just expect answers to their beef cattle questions. My ranch background and animal science training has made me pretty comfortable with the generalist role. And if you think my work makes me a Jill-of-all-trades, think about your county Extension agent. Many of you live in single-agent counties, where that one person handles all the questions that come into the office.

What kind of tree is this? What kind of bug is this? Is this bug killing my tree? Can you help out with the community forum on the new swimming pool? Can you test my pressure cooker before canning season starts? Can you come take a look at the damage the hailstorm did to my wheat? Should I test my grain hay for nitrates? And I’ll leave all the 4-H related questions up to your imagination! I’d encourage you to sit down with your county agent(s) sometime and ask about the variety in their job; you might be surprised.

At Mid Year, I was invited to speak at the Young Stockgrower meeting about issues and trends in the beef cattle industry. I’d say that was a pretty generalist topic, so I started with changes in the use of feed-grade antibiotics and we had a good discussion about that and a few other topics. At the end, all the speakers took questions as a panel, one of which was “What advice would you give to a young person who wants to talk to their folks or grandparents about making a change on the operation?”

My answer was this: Get some soft skill leadership training before you have that conversation. Now this might raise an eyebrow or two out there in MSGA readership land, and probably did that day in Miles City, too. But here’s where I’m coming from: in school, we choose our area of interest to study with the goal specializing in that area of interest, be it animal science, ag business or whatever. I think most would agree that as you enter the workforce (and for the rest of your career), you might have to generalize some depending on the job.

Did you learn about how to effectively work with people from other generations or different personality types? I know I didn’t. And (as I was reminded at the ranch rodeo by one of my clientele), I’ve gone to a lot of school! But you know what a major part of my job is? Working with people. I bet it’s a pretty big part of your job, too. What would it be like to have some training to help you work more effectively with people?

Stockgrowers Continue Tradition, Host Mid Year in Miles City

MSGA Directors Jim Steinbeisser and Jack Holden in the Parade in Downtown Miles City

MSGA Directors Jim Steinbeisser and Jack Holden in the Parade in Downtown Miles City

The 2014 Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) Mid-Year Meeting drew over 300 ranchers from across the state for policy meetings and MSGA’s annual Ranch Tour. The meeting also hosted several events for the community, including a concert with the Bellamy Brothers, an All-Horse/Livestock Parade through downtown, and the Miles City Ranch Rodeo.

Here are some of the highlights from the 2014 MSGA Mid-Year Meeting:

-Opening General Session featured Bob McCan, Texas Cattleman and President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. McCan discussed several issues affecting Montana ranchers today. The NCBA continues working on rancher’s behalf including the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. proposed ruling, and foreign trade opportunities.

-The 2014 MSGA Ranch Tour began at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Center where ranchers learned more about the Center’s research work with forage establishment, cow longevity and grazing recovery following range fires. MSGA then traveled to the Range Riders Museum and WaterWorks Art Museum. Finally, the tour traveled to OptiBlend Industries to learn about work in the oil and gas fields, which has a large impact on the economy in Eastern Montana.

The Stockgrowers Ford at Mac's Ford in Miles City

The Stockgrowers Ford at Mac’s Ford in Miles City

-Following the Ranch Tour, a delicious dinner was served at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds. MSGA’s Research and Education Endowment Foundation (REEF) awarded Ariel Overstreet-Adkins of Helena the 2014 MSGA Educational Heritage Scholarship and held a fund-raiser auction to benefit education programs. The auction included a commissioned painting by local artist David Graham and a saddle donated in memory of the late-Shawn Pilster. The saddle garnered over $10,000 for REEF programs in a rollover auction.

-The community of Miles City also joined in on the Mid Year festivities. On Friday night, the Bellamy Brothers came to the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds for a well-attended concert opened by Copper Mountain Band. On Saturday morning, prior to the Miles City Ranch Rodeo, Stockgrowers hosted an All-Horse/Livestock parade through downtown.

-Two interim policies were passed through during committee meetings on Friday and Saturday mornings. The Beef Production & Marketing Committee passed interim policy in opposition of proposed importation of beef products from Brazil due to concerns of Foot and Mouth Disease being brought to the U.S. The Land Use & Environment Committee passed interim policy regarding the Montana Water Court, encouraging the completion of adjudication.

Ranchers in Policy Meetings at Miles Community College

Ranchers in Policy Meetings at Miles Community College

-The Membership Development & Services Committee passed a new dues structure that will allow Montana’s small ranchers to join MSGA through a fair-share dues structure. Rancher dues for those owning 1-60 head of cattle are now set at $75. Higher due levels are set for those ranchers owning larger numbers of cattle as a part of the dues structure.

-The Young Stockgrowers held a meeting on Thursday afternoon with five featured speakers. Topics ranged from changes in antibiotic use in livestock, soil management, land appraisals, market outlooks and advocacy.

-Mid-Year photos can be seen on MSGA’s Flickr page – bit.ly/2014MidYearPhotos.

-Plans are already underway for MSGA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show, which will be held Dec. 11-13 in Billings at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana. Watch for more information to be announced at mtbeef.org.

Fred Wacker Montana Cross Four Ranch

Southeastern Montana Update | Sage Grouse, Small Ranchers, and Mid Year

By Fred Wacker, Miles City, Southeastern Region Director

Fred Wacker Montana Cross Four RanchHere in Southeastern Montana, Miles City, surrounding towns and communities are all abuzz with talk of the up-coming 2014 Mid-Year Montana Stockgrowers Convention on June 13 & 14. People are excited to welcome Montana Stockgrowers members, guests, and supporters to Miles City for the 130th convention of Montana’s oldest and most respected agriculture organization. People are excited about the concert, featuring The Bellamy Brothers, who are known to play music that everyone enjoys. The concert, along with the all horse and livestock parade, and the convention, with featured speakers, Montana Governor, Steve Bullock, and President of the NCBA, Bob McCan, has the entire area looking forward to a great convention with lots of fun and something for everyone. Thanks to the business community for all of their financial support, this mid-year convention will be one of the best ever.

Stockgrowers members in Southeastern Montana have voiced support for the new smaller rancher dues structure that was unanimously passed by Montana Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors, and will be offered for adoption to the general membership at the Mid-Year convention. A review of the ag census data clearly shows that there are many more small ranchers in Montana that are not members of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. This new dues structure should allow the Association to have more members, which brings more clout when dealing with important issues.

Most all of Southeastern Montana is in the area involved in the new Sage Grouse plan. The restrictions and rules concerning the average ranch operation are of great concern to all ranchers and landowners in Southeastern Montana. MSGA board members, association members, and other interested parties have appeared at many hearings concerning Sage Grouse, and are keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

The wonderful moisture condition in Southeastern Montana, this spring, has brought green grass, full reservoirs and ponds to most areas. It appears to be the start of a great grazing and haying season, which is so important to all ranchers. The reports of above average snow pack, in the mountains, has everyone along the rivers hoping for an orderly melting of snow in the mountains that will not cause flooding in the area.

2014 brings continued enjoyment of an excellent cattle market. There have been many reports of early interest in contracting calves and yearlings at record prices. If the rains continue, and we have a great corn crop, this could be a record year for Montana ranchers.

As I am in my 3rd year as a board member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, I can assure you that your association has a very dedicated and capable staff, officers, and board members who all work hard for the good of Montana ranchers. It is a pleasure to be a part of this fine organization. Make plans to come to Miles City, and take in the 130th mid-year convention. Hope to see you in Miles City, where the cowboys ride.

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Young Stockgrowers to Host Meeting at Mid-Year in Miles City

Today’s Ranching Industry & Planning for the Future

Young Stockgrowers LogoRanchers under 40 years of age have an additional reason to attend this year’s MSGA Mid Year Meeting in Miles City, June 13 & 14. Prior to the main Mid Year events, the Young Stockgrowers are hosting a workshop and leadership training geared toward younger generations on the ranch. These workshops will give young ranchers an opportunity to network with their peers and learn skills and information they can take back to the ranch.

The Young Stockgrowers meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 at the Miles City Community College, Room 108. The meeting will have a series of speakers, workshops, and wrap up with a networking-social where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Montana Stockgrowers Board of Directors.

Workshops will include:

  • “Current Topics & Issues in the Beef Industry” with Rachel Endecott, Beef Cattle Specialist with MSU Extension
  • “Improving Soil Health” with Kate Vogel, North 40 Ag Agronomist
  • “Land Appraisals” with Christine Murphy, Appraiser at Northwest Farm Credit Services
  • “You get MORE with LESH” with Monte Lesh, Broker/Owner of Lesh & Company Real Estate
  • “Online Tools for Today’s Young Stockgrower” with Ryan Goodman of Montana Stockgrowers Association

“The YSG officers have put a diversified and outstanding group of presenters together for the workshop,” said Lacey Sutherlin, Young Stockgrowers Chair. “We will conclude the workshop with a panel discussion/question & answer session including all of our presenters and finalize the deal with a social event. This will be a great place to network with other producers facing the same challenges as you are within the Ranching and Farming Industry. It is going to be an excellent event and we encourage all of you to attend at no cost to you just a great investment of your time!”

The Young Stockgrowers meeting is made possible by generous sponsors from the Montana ranching community: Jocko Valley Cattle, Volberg; ORIgen Inc., Huntley; Gateway Simmental. Lewistown; Idland Cattle Co., Circle. YSG extends a great appreciation to these companies for their support and encouragement of young ranchers in Montana.

The YSG meeting is included in 2-day registration for the Montana Stockgrowers Mid Year meeting, June 13 & 14. Registration forms can be found online at www.mtbeef.org or by contacting the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420 or emailing ryan@mtbeef.org.

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130th Mid-Year Meeting in Miles City Brings Concert, Parade and Ranch Rodeo

Montana Stockgrowers 2014 Mid-Year Meeting Miles CityHold on to your hats and kick up your heels because the 130th Montana Stockgrowers Association Mid-Year Meeting in Miles City promises to be a weekend to remember, June 13-14. This year’s event will be highlighted by an amazing concert on Friday night featuring The Bellamy Brothers and opening act Copper Mountain Band!

“Miles City is very excited about the opportunity to host MSGA’s 130th Mid-Year and we look forward to a great meeting and events,” says Fred Wacker, MSGA Board of Directors member and rancher from the Miles City area. “In addition to Friday night’s concert, Mid-Year attendees will be treated to a horse parade in downtown, followed by the ranch rodeo on Saturday afternoon.”

RSVP in the Facebook event and keep up with the conversation by using #MSGA14 online!

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. Policy and Committee meetings this year will be hosted at the Miles City Community College.

Opening General Session on Friday morning will include an address by current president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Texas cattleman, Bob McCann. A ranch tour on Friday afternoon will include stops at Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Range Riders Museum, WaterWorks Art Museum, and OptiBlend Industries.

Everyone is welcomed to join us on Friday, June 13th for an amazing concert featuring The Bellamy Brothers at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds! The Bellamy Brothers have received nearly every music award there is to have, and they even hold the record in both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association for the most duo nominations.  They have written countless worldwide hits, crossed the globe just as their music has crossed genres, brought reggae to the Grand Ole Opry, and recorded 45 albums.

The concert will also bring in Copper Mountain Band as the opening act, a high-energy country music group from the great state of Montana. With a fiery passion for their craft and an appeal to all audiences, they incorporate music from many genres and styles into their performances.

Saturday, June 14th will bring more fun and excitement as attendees finish policy meetings, enjoy an Old Times All-Horse/Livestock Parade, grab a bite to eat at the Young Stockgrowers Tailgate Luncheon, and then head off to cheer on their favorite teams at the Miles City Ranch Rodeo!

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, and Sleep Inn. Discounted rates start at $90 and must be reserved by May 5th. For more information about MSGA’s 2014 Mid-Year Meeting, contact MSGA’s office at (406) 442-3420 or join the Facebook event. Registration packets are available online at www.mtbeef.org.Registrations received before June 2 will receive discount pricing.

2014 Montana Stockgrowers Mid Year Meeting Miles City

Preview: MSGA Plans Mid-Year in Miles City

Montana Stockgrowers is excited to announce that the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting will be held in Miles City, MT on June 13 & 14. Your Board of Directors and MSGA staff has been hard at work putting together a Mid-Year Meeting that will be one to remember!

Sneak Peeks to Mid-Year

  • Gather together to discuss the critical issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide our association.
  • Hop on the bus as we conduct a Ranch Tour that includes a tasty beef lunch, range and research tour at Fort Keogh, a tour of the Range Rider Museum, and a tour at Optiblend Industries.
  • Enjoy a Prime Rib dinner, watering hole, and entertainment at the end of the Ranch Tour on June 13th.
  • Dance the night away at the Miles City street dance, featuring the Copper Mountain Band, held on Friday night June 13th.
  • Fill up and re-energize at the REEF Pancake breakfast before finalizing committee meetings on June 14th.
  • Discover the big taste of the Kansas City BBQ cook-off.
  • Network at the tailgate lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Hold on to your hats and cheer on the contestants at the Miles City Ranch Rodeo to be held on Saturday June 14th at 1:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars! Save the date! Join the Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 2014 Mid-Year Meeting. For more information and to register, visit www.mtbeef.org or call 406-442-3420.

2014 Montana Stockgrowers Mid Year Meeting Miles City

 

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