Two young Montana ranchers recently joined over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2015 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Representing Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) were Dusty Hahn of Townsend and Lacey Sutherlin of Stevensville.
The aim of the NCBA’s YCC program is to give these young leaders an understanding of all aspects of the beef industry from grass to plate, and showcase issues management, research, education and marketing. Beginning in Colorado, the group got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry and the work being done on both the state and national level to address these issues on behalf of our membership.
While in Denver, CattleFax provided a comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends. At Safeway, the participants received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business and then toured the JBS Five Rivers’ Kuner feedyard, one of the largest in the nation, and the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant.
From Denver, the group traveled to Chicago where they were able to visit the Chicago Board of Trade, learning about risk-management and mitigation tools available to the cattle industry. In Chicago, they also visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers.
After the brief stop in Chicago, the group concluded their trip in Washington D.C. for an issue briefing on current policy priorities; including trade and Country-of-Origin Labeling and ample opportunity to visit with Montana’s congressional representatives.
Dusty Hahn of Townsend, Montana.
Dusty Hahn is a fifth generation cattle rancher from Townsend, MT, which is located near the headwaters of the Missouri River in beautiful southwestern Montana. After attending college at Montana State University in Bozeman and earning a degree in Agricultural Operations Technology, he returned to the family ranch, where he works with his father, brother, cousin, uncle, and grandmother to ensure the ranch’s continuing success.
Hahn Ranch is a diversified agricultural operation that strives for high volume, high quality production. A predominantly Angus based 500 head cow/calf herd ranges on a mix of private land and private, state, and federal grazing leases. The farm grows a mix of alfalfa hay, small grains, silage corn, and forage crops on 1,000 acres, most of which is irrigated by center pivots. A trucking company that hauls general flatbed freight, grain, and livestock, and a small cattle feeding enterprise round out Hahn Ranch’s business entities.
Dusty has been actively involved with the Montana Stockgrowers Association for 15 years. He has served as a committee vice-chair and chairperson. He recently complete a 9 year term on the MSGA Foundation’s Trustee board, where he served as vice-chair and chairperson. Dusty is an advocate for agriculture, and has hosted an international trade delegation, a Congressman, and school children so that they have a better understanding of agriculture. He has testified on ag related policy at the state legislature. He strives develop leadership skills that will guide the beef industry through pitfalls such as managing infectious diseases that threaten our livelihood, negotiating international trade, and creating favorable policy on the local, state, and federal level.
Lacey Sutherlin of Stevensville, MT
Lacey Sutherlin from Stevensville, MT has served as the Marketing & Sales Director for ORIgen Inc., a beef cattle genetics company based Billings, MT. The company was founded to provide an avenue for seedstock producers to market their own genetics.
In addition to working at ORIgen, Lacey and her husband Chad Sutherlin own and operate 3C Cattle LLC together in Stevensville, located in the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. They raise both Angus and Red Angus registered cows. They also grow some small grains and hay.
Lacey graduated from Northwest College in Powell, WY and from Montana State University with a degree in both Animal Science & Agriculture communications. Lacey was member of Livestock Judging Team at both NWC and MSU.
The cattle business is Lacey’s true passion and she enjoys helping today’s youth strive to reach their goals in agriculture, as well as working with her husband Chad to build and improve 3C Cattle. Lacey has served MSGA as a Young Stockgrowers Chair and as part of the Association’s Seedstock Committee.
With the beef industry changing rapidly, identifying and educating leaders has never been so important. Over 1,000 cattlemen and women have graduated from the YCC program since its inception in 1980. Many of these alumni have gone to serve in state and national committees, councils and boards. YCC is the cornerstone of leadership training in the cattle industry.
The Montana YCC delegates were supported on their trip by scholarships from the Montana Stockgrowers’ Research and Education Endowment Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of Montana Stockgrowers Association programs. For more information, contact MSGA at (406) 442-3420 or go to our REEF page.