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Organic Grains Hold High Potential in Washington

by Jamie Henneman

Grain producers in Eastern Washington now have a new option for marketing and shipping organic grains, as a formerly shuttered grain elevator in Kettle Falls has reopened.

Red Bridge Farm Mill Foreman Josh Titmus oversees a shipment of Certified Organic soft white wheat leaving the Kettle Falls elevator and destined for a buyer in Iowa.

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Change is Coming

by Kayla Sargent

They say in Montana, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour, it’ll change.”  A shift bigger than the day’s highs, lows, snow flurries, and sunshine is on its way for much of the nation though, according to Dr. Art Douglas, Professor Emeritus, Creighton University.

Sitting in a cooler-than-anticipated conference center in San Antonio, Texas,

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2019 NCBA Victories in Washington D.C.

by Mayzie Purviance

As 2020 began, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) met in San Antonio for their annual gathering, Cattle Con.

Although Cattle Con was riddled with various events such as the trade show, a concert, a PBR bull riding, and numerous seminars, one session stood out: the NCBA D.C. Issues Update.  In the update, numerous industry experts gave

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Checkoff, Check-mate Part II

by Mayzie Purviance

“Every dollar you invest in the Beef Checkoff arms the beef industry with the research capabilities and knowledge necessary to drive demand for beef for generations to come.  Your dollar helps promote beef around the world, elevate consumer trust with the latest news on nutrition and safety, supports cutting-edge innovation, and keeps beef producers informed through

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An Eye on the Market

by Kayla Sargent 

Photo by Cate Doubet

August 9 is a day that won’t soon be forgotten by those in the cattle industry.  The Tyson plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas sent cattle prices limit down and revealed just how volatile the cattle market is.  While the effects of the fire were devastating to many in the industry, it

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Buy Your Piece of Montana Ag

Several years ago, we decided that ranching for fun and not profit was not really working for us.  So, we decided to lop off a few acres with a view up the creek and down the Yellowstone and make money the old-fashioned way – selling the rural lifestyle to folks determined to get out of town and return to their

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President’s Budget Shortchanges Farm Programs for the Fourth Year in a Row

President Donald Trump recently released his proposed spending for fiscal year 2021.  The $4.8 billion budget would cut both mandatory and discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies while boosting spending on infrastructure and defense initiatives.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the “hypocritical” proposal overlooks the economic difficulties in farming communities.

“As both

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Western Ranchers Welcome President’s Proposed Interior Budget

The President’s fiscal year 2021 budget for the Department of the Interior was recently published.  Public Lands Council (PLC) Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover said it demonstrates President Trump’s “commitment to rural America and our public lands.”

“The proposed fiscal year 2021 budget prioritizes crucial resources for active forest and rangeland management to manage fuel loads and prevent catastrophic wildfire, demonstrates clear

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R-CALF Declares Victory In RFID Lawsuit

Last week the Wyoming federal district court dismissed the lawsuit filed in October by R-CALF USA, and ranchers Tracy and Donna Hunt and Kenny and Roxy Fox, against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  The court concluded that there was no longer any “case or controversy” as the agencies had officially

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Deputy Secretary of Interior Nomination Advances to Senate

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup of the nomination of Katharine MacGregor to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior was recently praised by the Public Lands Council (PLC) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“Kate MacGregor has been an exceptional advocate for multiple-use on public lands during her time with the Interior Department,” PLC Executive Director and NCBA Executive

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Vegan Q&A

In an attempt to better understand the vegan lifestyle, I reached out to various vegans (current and prior) via social media and received interview answers back from two subjects.  Below are the questions I asked with some of the answers which were provided.  Seeing that most of these answers are lengthy, I only included a portion of each answer.  To

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CattleFax Elects 2020 Leadership

Mark Frasier of Fort Morgan, Colorado, was elected 2020 president of CattleFax at the organization’s annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Antonio, Texas, February 4-7.

Frasier is a cow/calf, stocker operator and cattle feeder in Eastern Colorado and is active in his community and local cattlemen’s association.  He is a past

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Next Generation of Consumers Value Ethics Over Legacy

A new study on the country’s most trusted brands underscores the urgency for food companies to keep sustainability front and center if they hope to earn the trust and confidence of the generations driving food trends, according to The Center for Food Integrity (CFI).

In the first annual list of ‘The 25 Most Trusted Brands in America’ from Morning Consult, four

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South Dakota Producer Elected to Lead Lamb Board

Gwendolyn Kitzan has been a promoter and industry advocate as long as she can remember.  This fourth-generation sheep producer from Nisland, South Dakota, was elected chairman of the American Lamb Board (ALB) in January 2020.  She was appointed to the board in 2016 and has served as vice chair.

Gwen, husband Dwight, son Joshua, and daughter-in-law Heather have a flock of

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by Kayla Sargent

Markets, markets, markets…it seems all I have been writing about lately is cattle markets.  While the subject matter can get a bit dry from my seat behind a computer screen, it is critical that our industry bring this discussion to the forefront.

The Tyson fire seemed to blow up the discussion in a big way and sparked

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Sales around Reporter Country have continued to be extremely strong.  Some of these sales have been a touch lower than they were last spring, but on the other hand, many sales have been stronger than they were a year ago.  Whether they are a little higher or a little lower, one thing is for sure, there is strong demand for

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Doug Benevento Nominated as EPA Deputy Administrator

President Donald J. Trump recently announced his intention to nominate Douglas H. Benevento as deputy administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Doug Benevento has spent much of his career working to help protect the environment.  He served as EPA Region 8 Administrator from October 2017 through March 2019.  He then moved to EPA Headquarters where he has served as

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Fake Meat May Need Cancer Warning, According to CCF

The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) recently placed a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal revealing a hidden substance lurking in some fake meat products.  Several tests administered by an independent lab revealed the presence of the carcinogen acrylamide.  The acrylamide levels found are high enough to require Prop 65 warnings under California law.

In 1986, Californians passed a

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South Dakota Cattle Producers Unite for Fair Prices

by Lura Roti for SDFU

Fair prices.  Is that too much to ask?  More than 300 South Dakota cattle producers answered this question in unison gathering in Wessington Springs during the Foothills Cattle Producers Roundup.  Cattle producers called on D.C. leadership to support fair prices through truth in labeling.

“This is such an American issue, not a rural America issue,

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General Mills $1.65 Million Grant Promotes Regenerative Ag

The non-profit Soil Health Academy (SHA) recently announced it has received a $1.65 million grant from global food company General Mills to educate and mentor wheat and oat producers in targeted regions of the U.S. and Canada as they transition from conventional agricultural practices to soil health-focused regenerative agriculture practices.

To implement the three-year, mentoring, consulting, and evaluation components of the

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How Rural America Can Avoid ‘Another Century of Degraded Water’

Despite the presidential caucus debacle Iowa hosted Monday, February 3, the too old, too-white, and too-rural (at least to pundits who drop by every Leap Year) Hawkeye State still finished its awful week with an act of political courage rarely seen in U.S.  agriculture today.

On February 7, the Des Moines Register published a clear, sharp call to action on the

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Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Launches New Ad Campaign

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., managed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, is addressing common questions and hot topics in the beef industry head-on with the launch of new digital and social media ads.  The ads focus on the topics of sustainability, health, and meat substitutes.

Staying true to the brand’s notable swagger, the

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Walmart’s Beef Business Not Expected to Drive Near Term Changes to Cattle Industry 

Walmart, the largest food retailer in the U.S., officially entered the beef business in January when it opened a case-ready beef plant in Georgia after establishing its own Angus supply chain.  Creating an end-to-end beef supply chain is the latest step Walmart has taken in its vertical integration strategy for food and toward its stated goal of improving the quality

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A Great Escape

“Hey!” Rascal called.  

Pudge tiptoed across the white blanket of snow.  Her tracks were the only images etched into the pristine glimmer of white.

“Hey you, little cat,” he called from above. 

Pudge ignored the masked bandit.  She was on a mission to make amends.  A lightbulb clicked in Pudge’s brain when Hannah picked her up and told her she had courage. 

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Rural America Hasn’t Felt the “Great American Comeback” Touted by Trump

Citing stock market gains, recent trade deals, and low unemployment rates, U.S. President Donald J. Trump touted a “great American comeback” in his third State of the Union address.  But as rural communities lag behind in many respects, this hardly paints the whole picture of the American economy.

“President Trump’s rosy outlook for the American economy is not just inaccurate –

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Sandra Kay (Smit) Mundell | April 3, 1954 – December 24, 2019

Sandra Kay (Smit) Mundell was born April 3, 1954 in Wray, Colorado and left this life December 24, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.

She grew up with her parents, Harry and Ruby Smit, and her brother “Butch” Smit, who was injured at birth and lived at home his entire life.  Sandy was always involved with the family farm and ranch.  She took

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From Another Angle

The year I earned my pilot’s license I was also transferred embryos at our ranch in Wyoming.  My embryo equipment fit perfectly behind the seat of a Cessna 152 so the weekend prior to collecting embryos I bladed off a nice runway above the house.  Logging pilot time while cutting travel time would be a win-win.

Flush day arrived, I loaded

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Support Ag Literacy on Your Tax Form

The State of Montana has a voluntary tax check-off designation for Agricultural Literacy.  These funds have the potential to provide materials and agricultural curriculum to teachers and schools across the state providing adequate knowledge of agriculture for students.

On your 2019 Montana tax return, choose the voluntary check-off program to support ag literacy in Montana schools.  These funds have the potential

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