The Ranchers’ Voice

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is a grassroots membership organization that has served as a trusted voice for the cattle industry and Montana’s cattle ranching families since 1884. Our mission is to protect and enhance Montana ranch families’ ability to grow and deliver safe, healthy, environmentally wholesome beef to the world.

To achieve this mission, we represent our members and the policy they set at the Montana Legislature and U.S. Congress. We advocate to government agencies, media, and the general public to ensure cattle ranching remains a relevant, safe and sustainable way of life for generations to come.

2021 Legislative Session Priorities

The Montana Stockgrowers Association advocates for private property rights, protects senior water rights, manages wildlife issues pertaining to ranchers, and provides oversight on agency regulations that impact the ranching sector.

Areas of Focus

AGENCY OVERSIGHT
MSGA actively engages in legislation that provides oversight to state agencies related to agricultural issues.

DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK
We continue to advocate to maintain a stand-alone agency governed by a producer board. We support sufficient funding for the Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Designated Surveillance Area, and Livestock Loss Program.

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES & CONSERVATION
We encourage creating efficiencies between the Water Court and DNRC to aid in the adjudication process in the Water Resources Division. We support reducing time and cost to accomplish a water right change. We continue to address DNRC’s effort to co-own private water rights.

We support continuing the state land leasing program and the 8,100 current grazing leases. We support school trust lands management which results in revenue from grazing leases that benefit public schools in 2020 approximately $13.3 million in grazing fees supported education.

FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS
We support legislation that achieves wildlife population objectives and a balanced management approach for wildlife and private property owners. We encourage local landowners’ input on any wildlife introduction decisions in their county, including bison.

TAXATION
We support the elimination of the Business Equipment Tax, support efforts to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, and work to ensure agricultural lands are treated as revenue-neutral.

WATER POLICY
We support the Prior Appropriation Doctrinefirst in time, first in right. We prioritize the need for the completion of an accurate and timely adjudication process.

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
We support adequate funding for state programs, like the Livestock Loss Program, that cover a portion of loss faced by ranchers due to predators. We advocate for reduced conflicts with grizzly bears and wolves. We encourage maintaining funding for the state Sage Grouse program.

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
We advocate property owners’ rights are protected. We ensure issues related to land and road access do not impede private property rights.

The Ranchers' Voice Podcast

The Ranchers’ Voice presented by Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is a place for conversations surrounding policy, the upcoming 2021 Montana Legislature, and issues that matter most to ranching families in Montana.

From the Capitol to the countryside, we’ll be the connection point between local ranchers and legislative decision makers, cattle producers and general consumers, and between all cattle ranchers across Montana.

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How Can You Help?

During the 2021 Legislative session agriculture will be facing more burdensome regulations and taxes than ever before: already there are proposed landowner fire assessment fees, legislation that impacts water rights, and an uncertain future for the Department of Livestock.

In addition to these issues, it is import to evaluate and promote the candidates across the state and nation that best represent ranchers. Every day, there are less boots under the table, less people connected to agriculture.

The Montana Agricultural Political Action Committee (MAPA), is an affiliate organization of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

  • Was established to support those candidates that best represent ranchers
  • Evaluates candidates and how they may impact our business
  • Supports candidates who have a commitment to work with Montana’s ranching sector

DONATE

Suggested levels of giving:

MSGA Prime …………… $1,500 or more
MSGA Choice …………… $1,000 – $1,499
Chairman’s Circle …………… $500 – $999
Capitol Club …………… $200 – $499
Big Sky Country …………… $100 – $199
Grassroots …………… $50 – $99

Contact Information

MSGA can be a valuable resource for legislators evaluating agricultural bills. Our staff can share perspectives and potential impacts from legislation impacting the cattle and ranching industry.
MSGA is a member of the MT Ag Coalition and Senior Water Rights Coalition.

Jay Bodner

(406) 431-4673 | [email protected]

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Raylee Honeycutt

(406) 799-4378 | [email protected]

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2019 Legislative Podcast