MidYear Meeting 2024

The MidYear Meeting is one of two meetings that is held to set association policy that guides the Association through the year.

While the main focus of the meeting is for the setting of interim policy we also use the meeting as a networking opportunity for the MSGA membership. Ranchers and allied industry professionals gather together from across the state of Montana for two days filled with meetings, entertainment, education, and fun!

REGISTRATION TYPES

Online registration closes Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 11:00 pm. 

ALL INCLUSIVE PASS | $150 Members | $200 Non-Members*

(Includes Opening General Session, Committee meetings, Coffee Talk, Closing General Session, Breakfast, and Sunset Banquet)

MEETING REGISTRATION| $75 Members | $125 Non-Members*

(Includes Opening General Session, Committee meetings, Coffee Talk, Closing General Session, and Breakfast – Does NOT include ticket to the Sunset Banquet)

SUNSET BANQUET REGISTRATION | $75/attendee

(Includes access to Sunset Banquet only)

*Non-Member registrations will receive a pro-rated MSGA membership until Sept 30, 2024.

EVENT AGENDA

This agenda is tentative and is subject to change

Meetings and the Sunset Banquet will be held at the Custer County Event Center in Miles City, Montana

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

MSGA Executive Committee
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Miles City Hotel & Suites

MSGA Board of Directors Meeting
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Miles City Hotel & Suites

Welcome Social at the Miles City Club
New this year!
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Miles City Club

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Registration Open
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Montana Public Lands Council & Montana Association of State Grazing Districts Joint Board Meeting
8:30 am – 11:00 am
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Trustee Meeting
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Miles City Hotel & Suites

Montana Association of State Grazing District Annual Meeting
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Opening General Session
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Land Use & Environment Committee
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Tax, Finance and Ag Policy
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Sunset Social
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Sunset Banquet
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Sunset After-Party
8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Registration Open
7:30 am – 11:00 am
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Coffee Talk Presentation
8:00 am – 8:45 am
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Beef Production & Marketing Committee
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Closing General Session
11:00 am – 1:15 pm
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

Fort Keogh Field Tours
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Fort Keogh 100th Anniversary Celebration Banquet
More info coming soon!
Custer County Event Center, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS

OPENING GENERAL SESSION

Producer Profitability Initiative Listening Session Updates

This year, attendees will be the first to see results from MSGA’s Producer Profitability Initiative listening sessions. Learn what ranchers are saying across Montana regarding the challenges they are facing and ideas attendees have shared to make their businesses more profitable. MSGA will also be sharing priorities and action items that have been developed based on listening session feedback.

OPENING GENERAL SESSION

Mark Eisele, 2024 NCBA President

An update will be provided by the 2024 NCBA President, Mark Eisele, on the federal work NCBA is doing on behalf of ranch families. Eisele, who ranches in Wyoming, knows first hand the challenges that ranchers in the western United States face. He will recap the work NCBA is doing on endangered species, federal land management, and the farm bill.

Mark Eisele lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where his family runs Red and Black Angus cow-calf pairs, retained yearlings that sell into branded programs, and a custom haying operation on the historic King Ranch.

The ranch runs cattle on both privately owned and public lands with state and federal grazing leases. Eisele understands the delicate balance that is protecting private property rights and maintaining access to public lands while increasing numbers of people want to experience the beauty of the West.

CLOSING GENERAL SESSION

Brian Bledsoe, Meteorologist/Climatologist

As part of MSGA’s exclusive member benefit, the MSGA Ranch Weather Radar, Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe will present weather modeling and forecasting for the upcoming summer season and beyond. 

Brian Bledsoe is the founder and Chief Meteorologist/Climatologist for BrianBledsoeWX, LLC. His forecasts have been serving farmers and ranchers for the past 25 years. Brian’s goal is to help farmers and ranchers make their business more successful, by equipping them with actionable forecast information, both short term and long term. His strong background in agriculture is important, as he can directly relate to the producer and their specific needs. Brian has several clients in the Great Plains as well as the whole United States. He is regularly featured by many media outlets, speaks at many AG conferences, and is constantly advocating for farmers and ranchers.

COFFEE TALKS

Amorette Allison, Local Historian

To help celebrate the rich history and 140th anniversary of MSGA, Amorette Allison, a local Miles City historian, will provide an oral history of MSGA and its birthplace on Thursday morning during the Coffee Talks session.

Amorette Allison is a Miles City native who has lived her entire life in Montana. Her parents were both history buffs. Her mother, a journalist, was also a native of Miles City and loved the area history. Her father came from Ohio and belonged to a family that revered history.

After graduating from Custer County District High School in the Bicentennial Year, she attended Montana State University in Bozeman, where she met her husband, Steve, and got a bachelor’s degree.

She and her husband, who came from Whitefish, share a love of history, old houses and re-enacting. When a chance arose to buy an 1882 brick house in Miles City, Amorette and her husband quit their jobs in Bozeman, sold their 1981 new construction townhome in Belgrade and moved to Miles City.

Steve worked as the photographer for the Miles City Star until his retirement. Amorette fell into being the City Historic Preservation Officer for a decade before moving to work at the Star, too. That is when she started writing her popular weekly history column. She is now employed by the public school system and gives tours of the high schools for class reunions in the summer.

She is president of the Convent Keepers board, which maintains the old Ursuline Convent, now the Convent Keepers Community Center, in Miles City. She is a member of the Range Riders Museum, the Barn Players and the DAR. And works on her old house as time and energy permit.

COMMITTEE & MEETING AGENDAS

LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE AGENDA

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Miles City, MT

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

TIME AGENDA ITEM SPEAKER
2:30 p.m. Welcome and Call to Order John Hagenbarth, MSGA Director
2:35 p.m. Review and Approval of Minutes John Hagenbarth, MSGA Director
2:40 p.m. Montana FWP Update Quentin Kujala, Policy Chief
3:00 p.m. DNRC Comp. Water Review Update

  • Final Decree Transition
  • Water Planning, Growth & Exempt Wells
Raylee Honeycutt, MSGA EVP

Krista Lee Evans

3:20 p.m. Landowner/Rec and Wildlife Committee

  • Resolutions 
Colton Coffee, Chair
3:30 p.m. Land Use Committee

  • Resolutions 
Tom Sparks, Chair
3:40 p.m. Water Committee

  • Resolutions 
Rich Roth, Chair
3:50 p.m. Endangered Species Committee

  • Resolutions 
Trina Jo Bradley, Chair
4:00 p.m. Other Business John Hagenbarth, MSGA Director
4:00 p.m. Adjourn

TAX, FINANCE AND AG POLICY COMMITTEE AGENDA

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Miles City, MT

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

TIME AGENDA ITEM SPEAKER
4:00 p.m.  Welcome and Call to Order Monty Lesh, MSGA Director
4:05 p.m. Review and Approval of Minutes Monty Lesh, MSGA Director
4:10 p.m. LRP Presentation and Discussion Joe Kovanda, Compass Ag
4:30 p.m. DOR Land Classification Working Group John Lewis, MSGA Representative
4:45 p.m. Montana Cattle Promotion Program Update Gene Curry, Committee Chair
5:10 p.m General Ag Committee

  • Resolutions
Eric Moore, Chair
5:20 p.m. Tax Committee

  • Resolutions
Eric Moore, Chair
5:30 p.m.  Other Business Monty Lesh, MSGA Director
5:30 p.m. Adjourn

BEEF PRODUCTION AND MARKETING COMMITTEE AGENDA

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Miles City, MT

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

TIME AGENDA ITEM SPEAKER
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Call to Order Keith Dynneson, MSGA Director
9:03 a.m. Review and Approval of Minutes Keith Dynneson, MSGA Director
9:05 a.m. Department of Livestock Update Mike Honeycutt, Executive Officer
Jay Bodner, Brands Administrator
9:25 a.m.  CAFO Update  TBD
9:40 a.m. Cattle Health, Brand & Theft Committee

  • Resolutions
Rachel Endecott, Committee Member
9:50 a.m. Marketing Committee

  • Resolutions
Kirk Donsbach, Chair
10:00 a.m. Cattle Feeder Committee

  • Resolutions
Andy Kellom, Chair
10:10 a.m. Seedstock Committee Update

  • Resolutions
Leoma Wells, Chair
10:20 a.m. Other Business Keith Dynneson, MSGA Director
10:30 a.m. Adjourn

MONTANA ASSOCIATION OF STATE GRAZING DISTRICTS ANNUAL MEETING

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Miles City, Montana | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. Welcome and Call to Order Kevin Elias, MASGD President
11:05 a.m. Review and Approval of Minutes Kevin Elias, MASGD President
11:10 a.m. Issues Update Ellie Brighton, MASGD Executive
11:20 a.m. Bureau of Land Management Update David Wood, Conservation Biologist
11:45 a.m. DNRC Rangeland Resources Update Stacey Barta, State Coordinator
12:10 p.m. Grass Bank Program Rancher Stewardship Alliance
Winnett ACES
The Nature Conservancy
12:40 p.m. Election Kevin Elias, MASGD President
12:55 p.m. Other Business Kevin Elias, MASGD President
1:00 p.m. Adjourn

MPLC & MASGD MEETINGS

Wednesday
May 29, 2024
8:30 – 11:00 am
Custer County Event Center

MPLC & MASGD JOINT BOARD MEETING

STATE GRAZING DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETING

Wednesday
May 29, 2024
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Custer County Event Center

WHAT IS THE SUNSET BANQUET?

The Sunset Banquet is an annual fundraiser that benefits the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation (MSF). Hosted in conjunction with MSGA’s MidYear Meeting, the event brings together livestock industry professionals and the local community for a night of entertainment and giving back! All proceeds from the event support the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation’s mission of investing in the Montana ranching community through education, leadership, and conservation.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Foundation was established to ensure the future of Montana’s cattle industry through producer and public education, and promotion of MSGA programs. The Foundation supports the next generation by offering educational programs, academic scholarships and providing leadership opportunities.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

Live Music by Kyle Shobe & the Walk 'Em Boys

We are excited to announce that Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys will be headlining the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation Sunset Banquet!

Real-world country music influenced by dancehalls, rodeos, ranching and the western way of life, all blended into an honest, hard-working country music sound.

Banquet Meal

Prime Rib dinner provided by Uncle Mikes Barbecue

Yard Games

Plinko

How to Play: To play, simply drop a token into one of the holes at the top edge of the frame. Watch it bounce from peg to peg until it lands in a slot. If you land in the highlighted slots you get a raffle ticket to drop in a prize basket of your choice. Prizes will be announced after the live auction at the Sunset Banquet. Plinko tokens can be purchased for 1 chance for $5 or 3 chances for $10.

Price: 1 for $5 or 3 for $10

Ring Toss

How to Play: The object is to toss a ring around a bottle. Successful tosses will win that bottle. The game lasts until all bottles are gone. Rings can be purchased for 1 chance for $5 or 3 chances for $10.

Prize: Liquor Bottle

Price: 1 for $5 or 3 for $10

Heads & Tails

How to Play:

Our Sunset Banquet emcee will ask all Heads and Tails participants to stand up. Then participants select either “heads” or “tails” by putting their paint stick on their heads—or their tails! The emcee flips a coin and announces whether the coin came up heads or tails. Those participants whose choice matches the coin flip get to stay standing—everyone else sits down. The emcee continues asking participants to select “heads” or “tails,” then flipping the coin, eliminating more players until only a handful are left. 

Then the few finalists come to the stage for the last few coin tosses until only one player is left standing. The last player left standing will win a prize! 

Buying multiple paint sticks gives you a second chance! Use your additional paint sticks to keep yourself in the game. Once you run out of paint sticks, you are completely eliminated. Paint sticks can be bought for $5/stick. 

Price: $5/stick

MSF Live & Silent Auctions

Auction Open: May 20, 2024 at 12:00 pm | Auction Closes: May 29, 2024 at 8:00 pm

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Location: Custer County Event Center

5:30 pm Sunset Social
Cold Drinks
Yard Games
MSF Silent Auction

6:30 pm Sunset Banquet
Prime Rib Dinner
MSF Live Auction

8:30 pm Sunset After-Party
Live Music by Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys
Dancing

TICKETS

Tickets to the Sunset Banquet are $75/attendee

Not attending MidYear? You can still come to the Sunset Banquet! Tickets are available to the public so bring your family and friends for a night on the town. Registration includes a prime rib dinner, access to the Sunset Social, live music by Kyle Shobe & the Walk ‘Em Boys, drawings, auctions and more. Tickets will be available onsite and online.

All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation.

Montana Stockgrowers Foundation

Fort Keogh Centennial Celebration

The Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary at the end of MSGA’s MidYear Meeting. Attendees are invited to join the centennial celebration which includes field tours and a celebration banquet on May 30. MidYear attendees can register online for these events at no additional cost.

Fort Keogh Field Tours

Fort Keogh Headquarters Bldg., 243 Fort Keogh Rd, Miles City, MT

The USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station will be offering 3 hour-long tours that will begin at the Fort Keogh Headquarters.  Each of the 3 tours will begin at the top of the hour (1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm) giving participants an opportunity to attend all 3 tours.  The 3 tours include:

Thursday, May 30, 2024, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Tour 1: History of Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Lab: 100 Years of Agricultural Innovation

USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Montana State University’s Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) have partnered since April 15, 1924, to conduct state-of-the-art livestock and rangeland management research at Fort Keogh.  This work has led to many innovations in livestock production and rangeland management.  Fort Keogh staff will provide an overview of the history of Fort Keogh and describe some of the major research accomplishments that have occurred through the years.   Photos, books, posters, and other items depicting the history of the lab will be on display for participants to view.

Tour 2: Fort Keogh Rangeland Management Research.

Fort Keogh is one of the premier rangeland research facilities in the US with a rich history of research to address livestock production and ecologically sound use of rangelands.  Researchers at Fort Keogh will be on hand to demonstrate rangeland research tools and highlight research examining interacting effects of grazing, precipitation, fire and herbicides on plants and soils.

Tour 3: Livestock Reproduction, Nutrition, and Genetics Research at Fort Keogh.

Livestock has been a focus of research at Fort Keogh since the station’s inception in 1924 with one of the original purposes for establishment being “conducting experiments in stock raising”.  Fort Keogh researchers will highlight ongoing cattle nutrition, genetics, and reproduction studies being conducted to improve beef production efficiency. Animals from the Fort Keogh cattle herds will be available for viewing including the famous Line 1 Herefords.

Friday May 31, 2024, 8:30 am to noon

Fort Keogh Precision Livestock and Range Management Field Tour

Participants will meet at Fort Keogh Headquarter and then travel to a research site approximately 6 miles from headquarters.   Fort Keogh scientists will demonstrate equipment being used and studies being implemented to examine benefits of precision technologies for producers.  Scientists will also discuss technologies that are being tested for estimating forage quantity and quality to aid in stocking and supplement feed decisions.

Fort Keogh Centennial Banquet

The Fort Keogh Centennial Banquet will be held at the Custer County Event Center on Thursday, May 30 starting at 5:00 pm. Check back for more info!

History of Fort Keogh

Fort Keogh was established by Congress as an Army Calvary post on July 22, 1876, approximately one month after the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The 100 section (64,000 acres) Fort was named after Captain Myles Keogh, an adjutant to General Custer at the Battle. The initial commander of Fort Keogh was General Nelson Miles for whom Miles City is named. The Army relinquished the land in 1922 and following the complete withdrawal of all military personnel in 1924, Congress transferred Fort Keogh to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the purpose of conducting agricultural research. The date of transfer was April 15, 1924.

Read more

The earliest research at Fort Keogh focused on animal genetics and range management. Today, the animal research herd is restricted to beef cattle and includes research conducted in three broad disciplines; genetics, reproductive physiology, and nutrition. The earliest range research began in the 1930’s under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service. Today, the range management research is conducted in three broad disciplines; rangeland ecology, plant ecophysiology, and animal nutrition.

The Fort currently consists of about 55,000 acres of which about 50,000 acres are native rangeland, 2,500 acres are dryland planted pasture, 1,000 acres are irrigated pasture, and 700 acres are irrigated cropland. The remaining 800 acres are the headquarters area, corrals, etc.

Information from Discover Miles City

Fort Keogh Points of Contact

FREE Entry for MidYear Attendees at the
Range Riders Museum

Visit one of Miles City’s best attractions while in town! The Range Riders Museum is offering MidYear Meeting attendees FREE entrance to the historic museum May 28 – 31, 2024. 

Attendees wanting free entrance must present their MidYear Meeting name badge as proof of registration at the entrance of the museum.

About the Range Riders Museum

The Range Riders Museum was founded in 1939. In the past 70 years, the Museum has grown to include 13 buildings housing a total of over 38,000 square feet of display area. The museum’s 13 acres also presents numerous historic buildings for visitors to observe and enjoy.

Exhibits are as old as the dinosaurs – literally! The exhibits cover: the dinosaurs; the history of the Native Americans who lived in this area for millennium; the soldiers and the pioneers who took over this harsh land.

Learn more at www.rangeridersmuseum.com

LODGING

Reservations must be made before April 30, 2024, at both hotels to receive the discounted rate.

Miles City Hotel & Suites

1720 S Haynes | Miles City, MT

Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at (406) 234-1000.

Please mention the Montana Stockgrowers Association to receive the discounted rate of $159 + taxes and fees.

Miles City Hotel

1615 S Haynes | Miles City, MT

Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at (406) 234-1000.

Please mention the Montana Stockgrowers Association to receive the discounted rate of $129 + taxes and fees.

EVENT SPONSORS

If you would like to participate as a 2024 MidYear sponsor, please email Joey Berndt at [email protected] or call the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420.

 

Event Location

CUSTER COUNTY EVENT CENTER | Miles City, Montana

Future MidYear Meeting Locations

2025 Butte

2026 Great Falls

2027 Helena