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MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Troy Downing…

Editor’s note: With Montana’s Senate seat coming up for re-election this fall, we took the time to meet the candidates and get their opinions on some of the hottest topics in our industry. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce the candidates in preparation for the primary election on June 5.

By Kayla Sargent

A newcomer to

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Agri-Kid ~ April 19, 2018

Without a doubt, this young man is an excellent candidate for our ongoing Work Ethic 101 class! Thanks to Lana Smith for sharing. “I thought you and your readers might enjoy this picture of my just-turned-two-year-old grandson, William John Smith, clearing my driveway with his John Deere. He calls it his ‘plow tractor,’ and his most oft-used expression is

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Just Fifty Miles… Part II

Continued from April 5…

We started rolling and drove until dark. It had cleared up but was cold. The cattle was tired and never bothered that night. We got into Evanston about four o’clock the next day, a tired, sorry-looking bunch that put in the next day catching up on sleep. After we got our sleep out and settled

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Farm Tax Dollars Used Illegally to Influence Ohio’s Governor Race

Farm Groups Call on Governor Kasich to Stop the Illicit Expenditure of Farmers’ Tax Dollars on Lobbying and Electioneering

The Ohio Beef Council (OBC), a state agency of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, illegally used government property to promote a fundraiser for the Mike DeWine gubernatorial campaign. On April 6, 2018, the OBC used its email domain,, to

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Colyer Herefords and Angus Ranch Named March Small Business of the Month 

U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has named Colyer Herefords and Angus Ranch of Bruneau, Idaho as the “Small Business of the Month” for March 2018. Colyer Hereford and Angus Ranch will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the Senate.

“Over the past forty-two years, this family-owned business has

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These Ranchers Need Your Comments…

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is asking for the public’s help in determining what they should analyze as they consider proposed changes to several grazing leases.

American Prairie Reserve (APR) controls private properties tied to 18 BLM grazing allotments in Fergus, Petroleum, Phillips, and Valley Counties. They have submitted a proposal asking the BLM to modify their grazing permits.

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Comments on TPP

President Trump has been constantly pushing to address the trade issues the United States faces with multiple countries around the world.  It started just three days into his Presidency when he removed the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  President Trump said this move was aimed at protecting U.S. jobs.

Most recently, it has been the trade-war

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A Note from the Publisher…

I seldom address our readership in any other form than through my weekly column, Comments. However, this week is an exciting and transformational week at the Western Ag Reporter as we are pleased to introduce our new Editor, Kayla Sargent. Kayla’s fresh perspective, industriousness, and her knowledge of the industry has me beaming with excitement and optimism.

Following her resignation

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Nominations sought for the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Award

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust is seeking nominations for the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Award.  The award was created in 2008, in memory of Kurt Bucholz, DVM, a legislator and rancher from Saratoga.  Recipients exemplify the core beliefs held by Dr. Bucholz during his lifetime of dedicated public service and commitment to conservation.

The award is presented by the Wyoming Stock

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Wisdom should come with age

In May 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus, a Pole living in Prussia, published On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.  The book used mathematics and astronomy to postulate how the earth and the then-known planets rotated on their own axes as they orbited a stationary sun. Within days of its printing, however, Copernicus died.

His theory of “heliocentrism,” the first scientific

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Mother Nature Reminds Us Who’s Boss

by Kayla Sargent

In the agricultural industry, we are accustomed to having to adapt to the challenges of uncontrollable variables. And we have become resilient in many ways. But when Mother Nature turns on her fury, it is nearly impossible to be prepared.

Producers in Western Oklahoma are battling wildfires while ranchers in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota

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Syngenta acquires Abbott & Cobb to strengthen its vegetable seeds business in sweet corn

Syngenta announced today the acquisition of Abbott & Cobb, a U.S.-owned independent breeder, producer, and marketer of vegetable seeds.

Since 1917, Abbott & Cobb has served the needs of the commercial grower, distributor, retailer, fresh market, fresh-cut, and food services industries in the United States and worldwide.

Combining the expertise, portfolios and pipelines of Abbott & Cobb and Syngenta will enable Syngenta

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Front Page Photo ~ 4/19/18

Van Newkirk Herefords shared this photo and wrote: “Thankful, grateful, blessed! When we finally went to bed Friday night, it was with a sick feeling in our stomachs, talk about pulling at your heart strings! The wind was howling, the snow was relentless, and visibility was near zero. It was not safe, nor was it even possible to be

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NRCS Sets Program Funding Application Cutoff for June 1

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has set a June 1, 2018, application cutoff for agricultural operators to be considered for 2019 conservation program funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round, however, applications for 2019 funding consideration must be submitted by June 1, 2018. Applications made after the June 1 cutoff will be

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Thoughts from the Editor… Pleased to meet you; a bit about me

As the Western Ag Reporter undergoes recent changes, I am excited to introduce myself as the new Editor. Prepared with fresh, creative ideas and a new outlook, I believe this publication will continue to serve you and grow as a trusted agricultural news source.

Originating from a fifth-generation Montana ranch, I have a real connection to the agriculture industry. Knowing exactly

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2018 Farm Bill Draft Released by House

by Kayla Sargent

A much anticipated draft of the 2018 Farm Bill was released by the House Ag Committee on Thursday afternoon. The committee announced the highlights of the farm bill with enthusiasm.

“I’m excited to share our vision with the American people and eager for people to see the details of a proposal that offers people real

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Small Town Campaigning

As the primary elections in our state loom ahead, the candidates are all out pounding posts for signs, handing out brochures, and kissing babies. Having run for public office, I feel their pain. It is not easy to run for office and living in a small community makes it even harder!

Fortunately, I am running unopposed this term, but

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On a Side Note ~ April 19, 2018

I didn’t get an article in on time to say this at an appropriate time, but happy late Easter everyone! I have to admit, Easter is one of my least favorite holidays to be away from family! With the massive influx of great-grandchildren, watching the Easter egg hunt is always hilarious! There’s also just something about Easter that feels

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“Boots on the Ground” in Washington D.C. ~ ELD on the Front Burner

by Kayla Sargent

Over 200 cattlemen from across the nation convened in Washington D.C. last week for the NCBA 2018 Legislative Conference.  The forum provided the opportunity to have input on critical issues impacting the cattle industry.

“Modernizing the Endangered Species Act and finding a permanent fix for electronic logging devices/hours of service rules were on the top

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Never Forget

Perhaps I am late to this party, but Tuesday evening I discovered a disconcerting change.  The next morning, while running with friends, I mentioned my observation. World history teacher, Lisa, said she noticed my discovery several years earlier.  Later that morning, coworkers at my veterinary clinic, plus cowboys helping me fertility test bulls that afternoon, all agreed the change I

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Time to #HerdTheHill: USCA sets date for Washington D.C. Fly-In 

Mark your calendars and plan on traveling to Washington, D.C. on June 14th & 15th for the USCA Washington, D.C. Fly-In.  All USCA members are welcome to attend! There is no registration cost to attend (except for your own lodging, transportation, and meals).

Email Lia at with your intent to join our group. We’ll be staying at the Homewood Suites in Capitol-Navy Yard

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An injustice righted…

Last week Lobo revealed a bit more of who he is, and because of his genetics, there were some two-legged predators looking for him. Will Banjo be able to keep Lobo safe, or will Lobo do it on his own?

Lobo had barely begun spilling his guts when a breathless Tuff came racing toward them.

“They’re coming back tonight,” said Tuff, “and

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Montana Beef Promotion Continues

Despite ongoing lawsuit, beef promotion efforts continue in Montana.

The Montana Beef Council reminds cattlemen that programs will only be carried out by MBC after Montana producers complete and return the Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Form.  The form can be obtained at or by calling the Montana Beef Council at (406) 656-3336.

Due to the ongoing

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BLM seeks comment on proposed wild horse gather near Worland, Wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to gather excess wild horses in northern Wyoming.

The proposed roundup would take place in the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management Area and is located about 30 miles northwest of Worland in Washakie, Big Horn and Park counties.

The agency estimates that there are more than 400 horses in the area. It says the area

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