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Ten bucks a head…

There was a three-day horse sale advertised at the Northern Pacific Stock Yards in Billings, Montana. It must have been in 1906 or 1907. Anyway, it was after the Boer War when the English government bought so many horses in the Western states. At that time, I had a ranch south of Billings on Blue Creek.

George Williams, a well-known rider,

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Feds halts Wyoming wild horse roundup amid dispute

The U.S. government has agreed to halt a Wyoming wild horse roundup amid a legal dispute over whether it should count foals toward the roundup quota. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and roundup opponents agreed in a court filing October 10 that the roundup would stop at 1,560 horses of all ages, a number the BLM was set

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House Committee marks up National Monuments bill

By Leesa Zalesky


Last week, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee moved forward the National Monument Creation & Protection Act (H.R. 3990), which is aimed at modernizing the century-old Antiquities Act. The Farm Bureau-backed bill is supported by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), who says the bill will fix loopholes in the Antiquities Act that do not restrict hard

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When is a lamb a lamb?

By Zack Goggins


Although this news doesn’t particularly affect our U.S. sheep market, it comes with a good message for the industry in general as it seems global sheep markets are outgrowing their current models.

Little to my knowledge, countries around the globe have different industry standard definitions of what qualifies a sheep as being a lamb. If you follow news in

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Agri-Kid 10-17-17

This photo of Dr. Doug Zalesky, University of Wyoming’s Laramie Research & Extension Center, with brothers Bracken and Grady Mealor was taken during the 4th of July parade in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Bracken, 3, and Grady, 1, are the sons of Dr. Brian and Rachel Mealor of Sheridan, Wyoming, where Brian is the director of the Sheridan Research & Extension Center

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Shipping Season

Fall is shipping season. Normally, the Carhartts hanging on a ranch house back porch flavor the air with the aromas of cow manure, wet dog, horse sweat, and diesel fuel, but on shipping day, the wonderful aroma is roast beef, potatoes, and apple pie cooking in the kitchen. I love shipping season. It’s payday for ranchers who, after depleting previous

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ELD or Me… Do or die on December 18

By Leesa Zalesky


Truckers from around the country gathered October 6 – 8, some in the nation’s capital on Constitution Avenue, to protest the ELD (electronic logging device) rule that goes into effect for the trucking industry on December 18. Independent truckers, particularly those involved in hauling livestock and other ag products, say the federal mandate being imposed by the Trump administration

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Sortin Pen 10-17-17

Quote of the Week: Hello, Minnesota! This week’s fine quote was sent anonymously (that’s too bad) with a postmark from St. Paul, MN. It was reportedly found on a scrap piece of plywood outside a mess tent in Vietnam: “To really live, you must almost die. To those who fight for it, life has a meaning that the protected will never know.”


If you have

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Raccoons and packrats teamed up…

“It’s been a long few days,” said Banjo with a sigh. He watched the mama walk to the dog kennel.

“That’s no lie,” said Tuff. “I’m not used to being a caged animal. I’m starting to smell myself, and it’s not roses I smell.”

Banjo looked at him.  “Well, you’re right about that,” he said. “But having time to ponder this masked

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Electric door locks can add to the excitement…

The callous hard-boiled exterior that cowboys exude is often a mask for their Tootsie Pop centers. Such was the case when my late father-in-law was approached by his granddaughter Michelle to dog-sit. She had brought a new, shall we say, “crossbred” puppy home from a high school rodeo that fall and asked her grandparents if they could help out on

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Comments 10-17-17

I have been attending the Norther International Livestock Exposition (NILE) here in Billings this week.  As of press-time, cattle numbers and attendance at the NILE appear to be well up as compared to the last couple of years.

The various breed sales and horse sales will get underway here right away, but no sales have taken place as of deadline time

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Predictably irrational…

When it comes to the artful science of economics, most American farmers and ranchers are classic Ricardians, or followers of David Ricardo, an 18th century English stock trader whose influential book, “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation,” explained what he saw as the market’s guiding lights. Any ag econ student from the last 150 years can spot a Ricardian principle

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MT FSA: low interest emergency physical loss loans available for two counties…

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steven Peterson announced that physical loss loans are available for two counties in Montana. Farm operators who have suffered major physical losses caused by multiple wildfires that occurred on July 15, 2017, and continuing, may be eligible for emergency loans. This Administrator’s Physical Loss Notification has been issued for Mineral and Missoula Counties

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Yahoo! You sent in $51,000! Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Relief Fund

Yahoo! You sent in $51,000!
Out of the bad comes the good…
Garfield County Fire Relief Fund

Thanks to all you generous folks who sent their money to me to add to the Stockman Bank fund to help ranchers rebuild after the awful Lodgepole Complex fires earlier this summer – at press time, I have received 112 checks totaling an even $51,000 from

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Obituary – Glenn Forrest Golden

Glenn Forrest Golden
June 17, 1921 to October 6, 2017


Glenn Forrest Golden, 96, of Joliet, Montana, died peacefully at his home on October 6, 2017.

Glenn was born on June 17, 1921, in Roundup, Montana. He graduated from Klein High School in 1939 and earned his Vo-Ag degree from Montana State University in 1943.

Glenn married Annabel Talmage in 1944. A U.S. Army

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Keystone Hereford champions named

JTH SC Playmaker 22C ET was named Supreme Champion bull at the 2017 Keystone International Livestock Exposition National Hereford Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. SULL Diana 6993D ET, earned the Champion Hereford female honor. Daniel Fawcett, Ree Heights, SD, judged the 107-head Hereford show on October 6.

The Champion bull, JTH SC Playmaker 22C ET, was exhibited by Lowderman Cattle Company, Macomb,

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2017 YALC

By Anne Indreland


Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Young Ag Leadership Conference (YALC) kicked off on Friday, October 16 in Helena, Montana. Attendees were treated to some fun area ag tours with stops at Tizer Meats and Lewis & Clark Brewery. The tours wrapped up with a visit with Montana Department of Livestock Executive Director Mike Honeycutt at the Capitol Building.

As attendees continued

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Idaho’s Beckstead Jersey Farm


By Heather Smith Thomas


Dee Beckstead and his three brothers — Robert, Layne, and James — and their father Marcel have been dairying with Jersey cows near Clifton, Idaho, on the Utah border since 1976. “We moved here from the Salt Lake valley area where my father had a dairy. He grew up there on his father’s dairy and has been

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Batista brothers charged… U.S. IPO withdrawn

By Leesa Zalesky


In a Friday, October 13 filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), JBS Foods International, a subsidiary of JBS SA, pulled the plug on its plans to list its U.S. unit in an initial public offering (IPO). JBS Foods International, whose assets include beef brand Swift and Pilgrim’s Pride, said in its public filing with U.S. regulators

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On a Side Note 10-17-17

After a full recovery from my tonsillectomy, auctioneering at the sheep sale last week felt noticeably smoother and easier. I had tried to sell during my recovery, and it felt horrendous; it was not the wounds/ scabs themselves which hurt, but more so, my entire vocal mechanism in general… I had been unable to speak the previous weeks, so that

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Cowboy Sports 10-17-17


October 27-29
Big Sky Little Britches Rodeo, Billings, MT

November 1-5
PBR World Finals, Las Vegas

November 7-11
Indian National Finals Rodeo, Las Vegas

November 9-11
PBR Global Cup’s Debut in Edmonton, Canada

November 9-12
WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo, Amarillo, TX

November 10-12
Big Sky Little Britches Rodeo, Billings, MT

November 24-26
Big Sky Little Britches Rodeo, Billings, MT

December 3-9
World Series of Team Roping Finale, Las Vegas

December 7-16
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo,

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Front Page Photo 10-17-17

Dr. Doug Zalesky and his assistant wagon master for the day, three-year-old Bracken Mealor, drive Pistol and Pete, the ag ambassador Haflinger team from the University of Wyoming’s Laramie Research & Extension Center, during the Sheridan Research & Extension Center Field Day last July in Sheridan, WY. The foursome of man, boy, and two horses provided transportation for field day

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Montana fingerprints needed…

Standing next to Joe Goggins, Greg Gianforte talks to the BLS crowd.

By Kayla Sargent

As a nice set of heifer calves left the ring at Billings (MT) Live Stock Commission on Monday afternoon, Joe Goggins handed the microphone over to a special guest, Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte, who addressed the crowd with an update on ag legislation and took the

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