Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to host fire and drought seminar

Producers to discuss challenges and options following fire and drought

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation has joined with the Southeast Montana Livestock Association and the MSU Extension Service to provide a premier program to help livestock producers navigate management challenges following a devastating fire and drought season. Experts from around the country will address issues including how to manage the tax ramifications of drought influenced decisions, insurance, and risk management tools to assist in managing future risk. The program will begin at 1:00 pm, November 15 at the Range Riders Museum in Miles City, Montana. This event is free to the public.

For additional information, please contact the MSGA office at 406.442.3420.



Amy Iverson is a CPA in the Billings office of Wipfli CPA’s and Consultants. She specializes in working with those involved in agriculture and will present information on what options you have to manage tax issues related to decisions that are commonly made during the financial stress caused by drought conditions.

Brandon Willis is the owner of Rancher’s Insurance, LLC located in Utah. His expertise is helping ranchers manage their production risk through the use of forage, pasture, and rangeland insurance products. Brandon will provide information on how to decide if the available products might fit you particular situation and the mechanics of utilizing the various products.

Dr. Janna Kincheloe is the NDSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist located at the Hettinger Research and Extension Center. She will provide information on production strategies to manage through a drought. These include developing a drought management plan, efficient utilization of forages and alternative feeding options.

Dr. Andy Roberts, USDA-ARS Fort Keogh, Animal Research Scientist, research will be presented by Andy that shows how you can reduce the input cost of your cow herd while maintaining productivity through changes in your heifer development program.

Lance Vermeire, USDA-ARS Fort Keogh, Rangeland Ecologist. Lance has done extensive study on the effects of grazing on rangeland production following fire and drought. He will present strategies that allow for recovery of the range condition in the presence of grazing animals.


Stockgrowers Launches Affiliate Mentorship Program

Affiliate Mentorship Program Ranchers MeetingThe Montana Stockgrowers Association is renewing our efforts to connect with local Affiliate groups from across the state. The Affiliate Mentorship Program (AMP), which is a three year program, has been designed to connect the existing dots of communication between state affiliates and MSGA. It encourages individual producers across the state to get involved in the outcome of their own destiny within the ranching community through their local affiliate and on to MSGA.

Our AMP program kicked off with a two-day workshop held in Helena in January

MSGA 2nd Vice President, Bryan Mussard, helped attendees learn more about the services MSGA offers Affiliate members across the state.

MSGA 2nd Vice President, Bryan Mussard, helped attendees learn more about the services MSGA offers Affiliate members across the state.

85 leaders, representing 18 Local Affiliate Associations from across the state were invited to learn more about what Montana Stockgrowers is doing for members on a state and national level. Attendees were also invited to provide feedback on improvements in communication and opportunities Local Affiliates would like to see from MT Stockgrowers.

The leadership seminar is designed to empower individuals to engage by sharing their thoughts, ideas and concerns in a constructive manner to a constructive audience that can respond in a beneficial way and to become more familiar with how MSGA develops policy and strategies to continue to be an effective leader in the industry.

During the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to meet with the directors of three state organizations who work closely with Montana Stockgrowers: Christian Mackay, Executive Officer of Department of Livestock; John Tubbs, Director of Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; and Jeff Hagener, Director of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. These directors gave a brief overview of their work on current issues affecting Montana ranchers.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Montana Stockgrowers staff members to learn more about the work done at the state level that benefits Affiliates and members across the state. Executive Vice President, Errol Rice, gave an overview of MSGA’s structure and how information flows between state and local levels. Director of Natural Resources, Jay Bodner, informed the group on how MSGA handles policy issues during and between legislative sessions to give Montana ranchers representation on important policy and regulation changes. Manager of Communications, Ryan Goodman, introduced the group to the many ways MSGA is working to build communication channels within membership and to elevate the story of Montana ranchers.

Affiliate Mentorship Program

The outcome of the AMP program is to make a more consistent connection between MSGA and the local affiliates. We want to convey the message of who we are and how we are tied together from the local to state levels and then to a national level through existing networking. AMP conveys the message that individuals shape conversations. Those who show up, indeed run the world, however, “It is shaped by those who speak up.”

Affiliate Mentorship ProgramThe AMP program would not be possible without the support of generous sponsors. Special appreciation goes to Merck Animal Health, Montana Livestock Ag Credit Inc., along with the help of several additional private sponsors that wished to remain anonymous.

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Ryan Goodman Montana Stockgrowers

MSGA’s Goodman Wins National Award

Ryan Goodman Headshot IdahoThe Montana Stockgrowers Association’s staff knows how lucky we are to have Ryan Goodman on the team. His accomplishments in the agriculture communication world are outstanding and he brings that innovation to MSGA and Montana’s ranching community.

We aren’t the only ones who think Ryan is doing a great job…

On Dec. 4, 2013 Ryan was awarded the Alliance to Feed the Future Communicator of the Year Award, presented by Alliance to Feed the Future and CropLife America. This inaugural award recognizes an outstanding communicator who is helping to balance the dialogue on modern food production.

Dave Schmidt, president and CEO of the International Food Information Council, which coordinates the Alliance, stated, “The Alliance to Feed the Future Communicator of the Year Award recognizes effective and innovative new voices that are enhancing the dialogue about modern food production. These voices are concerned not just with the here and now, but with the needs of generations to come. We can’t think of a better place to award the Communicator of the Year than the Farm Journal Forum, one of D.C.’s top food and agriculture policy meetings.”

“The simple truth is that I have a passion for the cattle industry and the community of folks involved in producing our food,” says Goodman. “America’s farmers and ranchers have a compelling story to tell. Whether it is our hard work, resilience, sense of community, or passion to keep improving upon our skills, I am proud to be a part of a community focused on agriculture, and I am proud to receive this award.”

Further, Goodman, author of the blog Agriculture Proud says, “Blogging and using social media is a way to continuously tell the story of agriculture. The heart of social media is about building relationships with individuals, not only of our like mind, but to branch out to other circles.” Goodman also offers a farmer’s perspective through video vignettes he posts to his blog and on YouTube, and he has contributed several blog posts to CNN’s Eatocracy blog.

This award was presented at the 15th annual Farm Journal Forum held in Washington, D.C., where Goodman was selected from among eight finalists including top bloggers, journalists, students, farmers and other stakeholders invested in communicating about agriculture to society.

We are so proud of Ryan for all the work he has done and all he has yet to do. Be sure to follow Ryan on social media on the MSGA social media sites, as well as his personal platforms: