Linda Swanz Named “Ranching Woman of the Year”

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Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) recently recognized Linda Swanz as “Ranching Woman of the Year”. The announcement was made Friday, December 9 during the 132nd MSGA Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Radisson Hotel in Billings.

Linda (Hannah) Swanz grew up in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains south of Moore, MT. She is the daughter of J.C. (Jack) and Betty Hannah. Linda has four siblings—John (Jean) Hannah of Torrance, CA; Marge Hannah of Helena; and Carol (Pete) Hannah Hinson of Billings. Linda graduated from Moore High School and then the University of Montana and went on to work as a social worker.

She married John Swanz in 1968 and a few years later they moved to their current home, a ranch in the Snowy Mountains east of Judith Gap. Linda and John have two children, Lisa and Jason. Linda has dedicated her life to ranching, and by extension, her family, for the past 48 years. A constant presence in the life of her family, raising her children, and now continuing to be a huge part in the lives of her four grandsons.

This year’s Ranching Woman of the Year has always been there to lend a helping hand:  from turning out pairs during calving, making sure everyone had a meal during brandings and shipping, hauling trailers, keeping the house and kids running, and even driving that old self-propelled square baler…even though her feet didn’t reach the pedals!

Linda is involved in the Central Montana Cattlewomen, the Montana Cattlewomen, and the Montana Beef Council. She was a 4-H leader for many years, has received honorary FFA degrees, and has been involved in numerous other agricultural and community related activities.

The Ranching Woman of the Year award is an annual honor presented during MSGA’s Annual Convention and Trade Show. Contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420 to find out how you can nominate someone for next year’s recognition. To learn about previous honorees, visit mtbeef.org/ranching-woman.

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

Ismay Rancher Wins Ford Truck at Stockgrowers Convention

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Jess Drange of Ismay, MT was the lucky winners of a 2016 Ford Super Duty pickup given away by Montana Ford Stores and Montana Stockgrowers Association at the 132nd Annual MSGA Convention and Trade Show.

 

 

The Drange family is very excited to be this year’s recipients. After the drawing, Jess announced he will be driving the truck all over the state! 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.

 

“The winning partnership with Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Ford Stores continues to grow and prosper,” according to MSGA President, Bryan Mussard of Dillon. “Each Fall we enjoy driving across the state visiting participating dealerships, thanking them for their commitment to agriculture and the Montana Stockgrowers.”

 

2016 was the eighth year of partnership between MSGA and Montana Ford Stores. MSGA Rancher, Feeder, Stocker and Young Stockgrower members are eligible to win the truck. An entry form must be completed and the member must be present at Annual Convention when the truck is given away.

 

The Montana Stockgrowers Association meets annually to discuss and vote on policy that guides the Association activity representing its members. To learn more about MSGA programs and membership, visit mtbeef.org or contact the office in Helena, (406) 442-3420.

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

Ranchers meet in Billings to elect leaders and set policy

800 ranchers from across the state gathered in Billings, MT Dec 7-9 at the Radisson Hotel for the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s 132nd Annual Convention and Trade Show.

The three-day convention featured several speakers to help ranchers learn about innovative tools and technologies available in the industry. Highlights also included nightly NFR viewing and Calcutta auction, live music from Insufficient Funds Band, over $100,000 in prizes awarded and a trade show with 100 exhibitors representing many services across the ranching industry.

Members had the opportunity to discuss and vote on resolutions that guide policy activity for the Stockgrowers Association leading into the 2017 legislative session. Important topics of discussion included wildlife and disease management, water law and tax policies.

Tracy Brunner, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, highlighted Thursday’s Opening General Session, sharing the priorities of ranchers at a national level.

During the Northern Ag Network Lunch, ranchers learned more about exports and the global market from John Hinners, Jr., Assistant Vice President of Industry Relations with U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Members elected new directors and officers while in Billings. Bryan Mussard of Dillon, MT was elected President of MSGA. Bryan, along with his wife, Marcia, and family operate Reminisce Angus which sells 100 bulls annually and runs 350 mother cows. Bryan has been actively involved in the commercial feeding business for 40 years.  His operation weans, backgrounds, and develops 10-12,000 head of cattle annually and collects genetic data for customers through their Tracker marketing program. Bryan also manages ranches through the Big West Management Program. He will serve a two-year term through December 2018. Fred Wacker of Miles City was elected First Vice President and Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney was elected Second Vice President. They will also serve two-year terms through December 2018.

Convention coverage, photos, videos and information about membership programs can be found on the Montana Stockgrowers Association Facebook page or website, mtbeef.org.

The following are highlights in recognitions and awards during the Convention:

-Elections were held to fill positions on the Board of Directors due to expiring terms. Bryan Mussard of Dillon was elected as the new President of MSGA. Dan Moore of Miles City was elected to represent the Southeast District. Shane Eaton of Terry was elected to represent Southeast ranchers. Ed Fryer of White Sulphur Springs was elected to represent South Central ranchers. Race King of Dillon was reelected to serve a second term. Outgoing Board members include Tim Todd of Ryegate representing the South Central district, Terry Haughian of Kinsey representing the Southeast District, and Jim Steinbeisser of Sidney representing the Northeast District.

-Lacey Ehlke of Townsend was elected to a second term as Chair of the Young Stockgrowers committee. Tyrel Obrecht of Lewistown was re-elected as Vice-Chair. Ehlke and Obrecht will represent the Young Stockgrowers on the MSGA Board of Directors.

-The 2016 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP) was presented to Two Creek Monture Ranch of Ovando, MT. The award was accepted by ranch managers Wayne and Karalee Slaght with their family. The ranch is a commercial cow/calf operation near Ovando, which exemplifies the qualities of ranchers focused on environmental stewardship, sustainability and conservation. As Montana ESAP winners, Two Creek Monture will compete at the regional level for the national ESAP recognition in Denver next summer.

-Linda Swanz was recognized as the Ranching Woman of the Year. Linda grew up in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains south of Moore, MT. She and her husband, John, have a ranch in the Snowy Mountains east of Judith Gap. Linda and John have two children, Lisa and Jason. Linda has dedicated her life to ranching, and by extension, her family, for the past 48 years.

 

-12 Cattlemen’s College workshops offered attendees several great opportunities for interactive learning about the tools available to improve management and record keeping on their ranches. Topics covered included cattle marketing, estate planning, nutrition, reproduction and cattle health.

-Montana Ford Stores continued their sponsorship for the eighth year to give one lucky MSGA member a 2016 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup. This year’s winner was Jess Drange. Jess and his wife, Junita, ranch at their ranch near Ismay.

-For the second year, Montana Massey Ferguson dealers donated a tractor lease, which was raffled on Friday evening. Incoming President, Bryan Mussard of Dillon, won the 8-month/200-hour lease on the 130-hp tractor and loader. NutraLix donated a saddle, which went to Marian Hanson.

-Top Hand Club recognition was awarded to Bo Bevis of Winnett, who received a trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention.

-Policy meetings offered opportunity for attendees to hear updates on several issues affecting ranches, environmental and agricultural policy issues in the state. Representatives from Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Department of Livestock, Public Lands Council and USMEF were on hand to provide updates and insight on current events.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association meets annually to discuss and vote on policy measures, which guide the Association in representing its members on local, state and federal issues. MSGA’s 2016 MidYear membership meeting will take place June 9-11 in Great Falls. To learn more about Stockgrowers programs or membership, visit mtbeef.org or contact the office in Helena, (406) 442-3420.

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

[Hi-res photos are available for download on Flickr at http://bit.ly/2016MSGA. Contact Montana Stockgrowers for more information – (406) 442-3420]

Montana Stockgrowers to Host 132nd Annual Convention in Billings

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Ranchers head to Magic City to attend convention and set policy for upcoming year

December 7-9. Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will celebrate 132 years of serving the state’s ranchers with their Annual Convention & Trade Show. This year’s meetings at the Radisson Hotel in Billings will host a trade show, educational workshops, policy meetings, over $100,000 in prizes and live music.

“It is time to make plans to attend the Annual Convention in Billings. Greet old friends and meet new ones while you work together to discuss important issues and set policy to guide your leadership for the 2017 legislative session,“ says MSGA President, Gene Curry from Valier.  “While there you will have opportunity to listen to informative speakers and educational programs. You will also have a chance to bid on a John Deere Gator, win a lease on a Massey tractor or drive home a new Ford truck!”

NCBA President, Tracy Brunner will be the featured speaker during Thursday’s Opening General Session.

A broad range of educational workshops will be offered during the Stockgrowers College. Speakers will touch on topics of vaccination programs, calf health and nutrition, calf management, antibiotic use, Grizzly Bear management, UAV’s in agriculture, DNA technology, livestock marketing, risk management and estate planning.

Each night of Annual Convention will feature viewing of the NFR on the big screens. Thursday night will include the second NFR Calcutta at MSGA Annual Convention, benefiting the Montana Stockgrowers’ Foundation. Friday night will feature live music from Insufficient Funds Band.

Friday’s Grand Finale Banquet will be highlighted by the annual live auction for Cattle Directory Priority Page advertisements. Over $100,000 in prizes will be awarded including a Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup and a Massey Ferguson tractor lease.

Policy meetings will take place on Wednesday and Thursday of Annual Convention. Guest speakers will address a number of topics affecting Montana’s ranching communities during the past year and in months to come. They will set policy and priorities for the upcoming Legislative Session. A Trade Show with over 100 booth spaces will be open to the public Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

A full meeting agenda, hotel information, details of policy meeting discussions and Stockgrowers College workshops is available on the MSGA website at www.mtbeef.org. Online and discounted registration closes Thursday, December 1. On-site registration will be available starting December 7. For more information, contact the Montana Stockgrowers Association at (406) 442-3420.

 

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

Montana Stockgrowers Association Opposes Initiative I-77

I-177 is an initiative that will appear on the ballot this November. The measure bans the use of traps for preventing the spread of disease and controlling dangerous predators on public lands in Montana. The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s (MSGA) vision is to exemplify leading innovation in ranching while preserving Montana’s complex natural landscape, history, economy, ethics and social values. I-177 fails to embody the vision of Montana’s ranching sector.

I-177 does not allow today’s advanced and ethical methods of trapping, to occur until after all non-lethal methods have been tried and found unsuccessful to prevent killing of cattle, thus deteriorating a rancher’s means to invest in environmental stewardship.

MSGA has worked proactively with the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and other stakeholders to evaluate trapping season structures, quotas and establish setbacks on public lands to avoid conflicts. Our system has worked and continues to work for Montana.

We cannot afford to limit Montana’s ability to manage public landscapes. MSGA encourages you to vote “no” on I-177.

Gene Curry
President
Montana Stockgrowers Association

Montana Stockgrowers Seeking Applicants for Year Two of Leadership Series

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is excited to announce the second year of a leadership program for young leaders in the ranching industry. The Stockgrowers Leadership Series is designed to provide training and skills to future leaders of MSGA and Montana’s ranching communities. The 12-month class kicks off in January 2017 in Helena. Applications are due October 31.

“We are excited to launch the second year of MSGA’s Leadership Series,” says Errol Rice, MSGA Executive Vice President. “Investing in leadership is a core strategy of MSGA’s long-range plan and our industry’s success will rely on our ability to develop a pipeline of leaders who are disciplined, well trained and inspired by the future of ranching.”

The Leadership Series is a 12-month program where participants will take part in a number of workshops and sessions exposing them to different aspects of the ranching business today. These topics include policy work, banking and finance, management, business relationships, awareness of industry topics, media training, and beef consumer concerns.

Program participants will also work with a designated leadership coach to build upon their strengths and skills. Sarah Bohnenkamp, 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.

The Leadership Series class will meet in several locations across Montana over the course of 12 months. Sessions will allow participants to travel on a summer ranch tour, network with industry leaders, gain valuable skills for their careers and be given further opportunities to be engaged in leadership positions upon completion of the course.

Applicants for the Stockgrowers Leadership Series should be between the ages of 25 and 40, be involved in the Montana ranching industry and have a strong interest in improving their leadership and business skills. Both ranchers and Allied Industry members are encouraged to apply.

For more information, contact the Montana Stockgrowers Association at (406) 442-3420 or email Kori Anderson at kori@mtbeef.org. Applications are available at mtbeef.org/leadership-series. All submissions should be postmarked no later than October 31, 2016.

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The Montana Stockgrowers Association, a non-profit organization representing nearly 2,500 members, strives to serve, protect and advance the economic, political, environmental and cultural interests of cattle producers, the largest sector of Montana’s number one industry – agriculture.

 

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.

 

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 this form and send it to jesse@mtbeef.org.

President
Gene Curry

Northeast District
Jim Steinbeisser

South Central District
Tim Todd

Southeast District
Terry Haughian

District Map

MSGA Member Selected for CME Working Group

Heather Fryer 2In 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 for Cargill including direct interaction with major hedge funds and exchanges. He has years of risk management and futures trading experience which makes him a key asset to discovering the cause behind the market volatility. For any questions about the NCBA/CME working group, please contact the MSGA office.

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

Friday, September 30

12:30-5:30 PM  – Area Ag Tour – Tentative stops include Frontline Ag, Giant Springs Fish Hatchery, McKamey West Ranch, Sponsored by Great Falls Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee
4:00-7:30 PM  – Registration Open
6:00 PM  – Social
6:30 PM – Dinner & Keynote Four “Musts” for Nailing Your Unique Brand of Leadership (And Why It Matters, Even if You Never Want to be “The Boss”) – Sarah Bohnenkamp, Millennial
Leadership Coach, Sponsored by Independence Bank, Monsanto, & Farmers Business Network

Saturday, October 1

7:30 AM-5:00 PM – Registration & Trade Show Open
8:00-9:00 AM  – Breakfast & Opening Session – Going Global with Beef Genetics, Darrell Stevenson, Stevenson Angus, Sponsored By Torgersons, LLC & Crop Production Services
9:15-10:30 AM  – Workshops – Sponsored by CHS, Inc and Agriclear

  • UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) In Agriculture, Brandon Ewen, Ag Data Source, PC
  • Planting the Seeds of Success: Financial Management Basics, Damon Alm, Northwest Farm Credit
  • The Veterinary Feed Directive Rule: Changes in the Use of Feed-Grade Antibiotics for Livestock, Rachel Endecott, MSU Extension Beef Specialist

10:30-11:00 AM  – Coffee Break and Trade Show, Sponsored by CHS Nutrition  
11:00-12:15 AM – Workshops:

  • Agriculturalists & Meteorologists-Deciphering the Weather, Megan Vandenheuval, National Weather Service
  • Sustainability and Stewardship Practices to Benefit Your Bottom Line, Leon LaSalle, LaSalle Ranch, Inc
  • Generation Elvis to Bieber: Generational Differences in the Workplace and How to Succeed Among All Age Groups, Jaime Edmundson, Montana FFA Foundation

12:30-1:45 PM – Lunch – Our Leadership Journey, Dan Manella, Cherry Creek Radio – Sponsored by Montana Farm Bureau Foundation
1:45-3:00 PM – Workshops:

  • Food For Thought? Discussion Panel, Carrie Mess AKA Dairy Carrie & Ryan Goodman
  • How the Organic Movement Effects Our Business, Bob Quinn, President of Kamut International
  • Estate Planning: Keeping the Ground in the Family, John Heyneman, Plank Stewardship Initiative

3:00-3:30 PM – Coffee Break and Trade Show, Sponsored by MT Livestock Ag Credit
3:30-5:00 PM – Entrepreneur Spotlights: Sponsored by Montana Land Reliance

3:30-4:00: Prairie Heritage Farm w/ Electric City Coffee
4:00-4:30: Parker’s Hangover Tonic
4:30-5:00: PinkSpurs & Co.

5:30 PM – Buses Depart for Centene Stadium
6:00 PM – Social, Sponsored by Northwest Farm Credit
6:30 PM – Dinner and Dance at Centene Stadium, Sponsored by Montana Beef Council, Stockman Bank & Farmers Union Insurance

Sunday, October 2

9:00-10:30AM – Closing Breakfast, “What Do Our Customers Really Want From Us?”, Carrie Mess, AKA Dairy Carrie, Sponsored by Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.

 

To REGISTER head to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s website or download the form HERE. Register before September 23rd to take advantage of early bird pricing!