LENNEP, Mont. (July 20, 2021) – The Montana Stockgrowers Association hosted its annual Raising the Steaks Environmental Stewardship Tour on July 15 – 16 in Lennep, Montana at the TG Ranch. The ranch is owned and operated by the Voldseth family, the 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award winners.
The Raising the Steaks Tour gathers an intimate group of thoughtful, creative individuals to put their boots on the ground in facilitated, diverse and informative discussions that highlight current issues and solutions to challenges ranchers and conservationists face when managing private and public lands for future generations.
The tour kicked off on July 15, at the Voldseth’s guest ranch, the Bonanza Creek Country Guest Ranch with the networking dinner. During dinner, guests were able to get to know the TG Ranch and the Voldseth family, along with other attendees.
Friday started bright and early as the group explored seven stops along the tour. Topics of conversation included the Voldseth’s efforts in improving pastures to increase carrying capacity and their work on sage brush control. Next the group discussed grazing management practices with the help of Erin Fryer, Townsend’s Acting District Ranger for the Forest Service. Erin also touched on how ranches work with state agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service, to keep the landscape healthy.
At the third stop of the day, Vance Voldseth talked about irrigation and the role it plays in water conservation and hay production. The ranch has installed four center pivots which are used on 500 acres throughout the ranch. All four center pivot systems are powered by gravity which pulls water from the Voldseth reservoir and allows for less fuel usage by the ranch.
Katie Rein, a large animal veterinarian with Crazy Mountain Veterinary Service, shared common animal health protocols in a chute-side demonstration. Attendees experienced first-hand how ranchers keep animals healthy, content and growing strong. Vance Voldseth and the rest of the TG Ranch crew were horseback for a cattle handing demonstration as well.
David Voldseth and Tyler Myrstol, owner of Myrstol Logging, shared the steady process of identifying and removing dead, diseased and defective trees to transform the forests on their private land for better fire resistance and improved forest health.
The last stop of the tour included lunch by the Meagher County CattleWomen at the Crow Creek Outfitters where Chuck Rein, president of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, shared a presentation on the importance of hunting management and the relationship between landowners and sportsman.
The tour closed with an open discussion on sustainability where attendees were able to have an informative discussion that highlighted current issues and solutions regarding environmental stewardship in the livestock industry.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation (MSF) was established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) programs. The Foundation supports the next generation by offering educational programs, academic scholarships and providing leadership opportunities.
For more information about the Environmental Stewardship Award Program and the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation, visit www.mtbeeffoundation.org.