PACT Act Branded in the Books

By Kayla Sargent

With the stroke of President Trump’s pen, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act become law on Monday, November 25.  The Act will make certain acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide.  Specifically, intentional “crushing” – defined as crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or otherwise causing serious bodily injury – will now be unlawful, as will the

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Another Look at GRSB

In response to a recently published editorial opinion by Ethan Lane, NCBA VP of Government Affairs, ICOW (Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming) offers another side of the GRSB (Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef) issue. 

Mr. Lane said NCBA isn’t a member of WWF (World Wildlife Federation) and WWF is not a member of NCBA.  True, however, they are both on the Board

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Wildlife Corridors Open, Agriculture’s Door Closes?

By Mayzie Purviance

Conservation seems to be a highly discussed topic amongst various environmental and animal rights groups.  The general idea of conservation is widely agreed upon to impact the planet positively, but below the surface level, could certain aspects of conservation be detrimental to the agricultural industry?

On May 16, 2019, The Wildlife Corridor Conservation Act was introduced to the Senate

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NCBA Seeks Clarity and Consistency in Beef Labeling

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reaffirmed its policy supporting voluntary country-of-origin labeling (COOL).  Because the association takes the concerns of its members and stakeholders seriously, its Executive Committee has unanimously approved efforts to work with the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) to address the Agency’s longstanding policy on geographic origin statements.

Specifically, NCBA seeks solutions

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European Parliament Approves U.S. Share of Beef Market

On November 28, the European Parliament voted to approve a plan granting the United States a country-specific share of the European Union’s duty-free high-quality beef quota.  The agreement, which was signed and announced in August, will nearly triple U.S. annual duty-free beef exports to the EU over the next seven years, according to the Office of the United States Trade

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Diversify with Uber

We recently returned from taking the grandchildren to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and I came back home with a diversification idea for the ranch.  During our visit, we had several experiences with Uber which got me to thinking about starting my own version of Uber right here in Big Timber, Montana.

First of all, seven people do not fit in

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Duane Lathim July 24, 1934 – November 19, 2019

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, Duane Lathim passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home on the family farm at the age of 85.  Duane was born on July 24, 1934 in Dayton, Washington to Art and Okal (Walker) Lathim.

At the age of 9, the family moved to a small farm along the Snake River which is now Windust

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Agri-Kid

Caitlyn and Carly Cook of Rosebud Creek, Montana celebrate the building of their new bale castle with their grandpa, Tyler.  Caitlyn and Carly are the daughters of Cole and Lindsey Cook.

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Charles Roy Gaugler September 9, 1949 – November 24, 2019

Charles Roy Gaugler, 70, of Garneill died Sunday afternoon at his home of natural causes.  He was born September 9, 1949 in Lewistown, Montana the son of Bill and Faith (Stone) Gaugler.  He was proud of his birth date: 9-9-49.  He lived his entire life at his ranch headquarters in Garneill, Montana.  Charles will be remembered by his generosity, sense

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Opportunity in The Ark Valley

A portion of the farmers and ranchers who attended the event.

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Regenerative farmer and cattle producer Curtis Sayles was one of several speakers at the “Opportunity in the Ark Valley” mini conference held November 7-8 in Lamar, Colorado.  The conference offered farmers and ranchers a wide variety of information to improve their soils and learn about the

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Don’t Missed These Keynote Speakers

Opening General Session | December 11 | 8 a.m.

Mr. Renkes is a lawyer and business professional with over 30 years of legal, corporate and senior government experience.  He has held public sector positions at both the federal and state levels of government and has assisted major national and international corporations with legal, legislative and policy challenges involving local, state and

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Comments

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  I know many of you were feeding cows as a strong winter blast blanketed the majority of Reporter Country.  The weather the day of and the day after Thanksgiving got a little western.  My sales kicked in again two days after Thanksgiving and we have been going strong ever since – and

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One Hundred or Bust

As a kid at our mountain cow camps we played “one hundred or bust” after dinner to determine who did the dishes.  The cards are dealt and starting at zero, cowboy number one adds to the count by playing a card from his hand.  The count proceeds around the table until the first unlucky player busts one hundred.  They are

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Sets Policy for Coming Year

Irrigation infrastructure, taxes, private property rights, and migration corridors were among the many topics included in policies adopted at the 100th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  Held November 13-15 in Laramie, Wyoming, the meeting is an important step in the grassroots policy development process of Farm Bureau.

“County Farm Bureau members start the policy development process at

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I-BAND Holds 14th Annual Meeting

On November 15 and 16, the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND) held its 14th annual meeting at the Ramada Wyndam in Bismarck.  Dozens of cattle producers from across North Dakota and surrounding states participated in a diverse schedule of activities during the two-day event.

“This was one of our most successful and well-attended annual meetings,” I-BAND President Dwight Keller

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CSKT Compact and Grizzly Bears In Montana Farm Bureau Policy

Voting delegates of the Montana Farm Bureau (MFBF) Convention discussed, debated and voted on policy for the coming year.  The Delegates Session is what makes Farm Bureau a unique grassroot organization; farmers and ranchers developing policy during their county annual meetings which is then voted on at the MFBF Convention.

For the sixth year in a row, the delegates reaffirmed their

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A Holiday Heist

Last week the plot thickened: Banjo and the ranch crew knew about the renegade’s plot to steal back the lynx and her kitten, even on Thanksgiving day.  Will they get caught with Rascal’s help or does he abandon the crew at the last minute, and is there an early Christmas present headed to their way?

“Just a moment,” the Mama said

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Here We Go Again: More Mistruths About the CSKT Compact

By Hertha L. Lund

Even though I would rather not engage in the CSKT Compact debate due to the nasty, vitriol of some who oppose it, I find myself again responding to unfounded arguments against the CSKT Compact.  Recently, WAR printed an op-ed by someone who moved to Montana to fight the Compact who personally will not lose anything regardless of

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Stockgrowers College Courses Offered Wednesday and Thursday

These 60-minute sessions offer attendees valuable educational tips and a chance to enjoy face-to-face talks and hands-on technology education.

1

December 12 | 3 p.m. | Double Tree Skyview 1 & 2

Major Determinants of Profit, Five Essentials for Successful Ranch Management – ideas for heifer development, selecting bulls and culling cows, grazing management, marketing and leadership.

2

December 11 | 11 a.m. | Double

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R-CALF USA 20th Anniversary Convention Available on YouTube

R-CALF USA hosted its 20th Anniversary Convention in Deadwood, South Dakota on August 15 -16, 2019.  The convention proclaimed success boasting approximately 400 attendees; the organization’s largest convention in its 20-year history.  An additional 800 guests viewed the convention through online streaming sending its message throughout cattle country as never before.

Only days before the convention, producers faced the market malady

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Food, Family and Transparency

The holiday season is here which, for me, can be summarized with two words: food and family.  Although this column usually revolves around food (I mean, it is about agriculture after all), I want to take this opportunity to focus on family — specifically farming families.

A common claim I see online is the idea that America’s farms are no longer

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Brazil’s Big Steak in America

By Kayla Sargent

Scandal runs deep in the Brazilian meatpacking industry.  JBS SA and Marfrig Global Foods, the world’s top two meat processors, have each been involved in multiple bribery schemes in order to obtain loans.  Perhaps more concerning is the fact that these Brazilian companies used “ill-gotten financing to acquire American companies,” according to United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President

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Milk Shake-Up Just Beginning with Dean’s Downfall

While many in the U.S.  dairy sector focus on why the nation’s largest milk bottler, Dean Foods, filed for bankruptcy November 12, the smart money — if there is any smart money left after four years of crushingly low milk prices — is focused on what’s next.

What’s next is what’s always next when your business is built on shrinking markets,

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Montana Stockgrowers Association 135th Annual Convention Approaching

Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will hold its 135th Annual Convention and Trade Show December 10 – 12, in Billings, Montana.  In-person registration begins Tuesday, December 10 at 12:00 p.m. or attendees can register online at www.mtbeef.org/msga-events/annual-convention-and-trade-show/.

MSGA’s Annual Convention provides attendees with education, information, fellowship and decision-making opportunities for Montana’s cattle industry as well as access to the largest ranching industry

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Thoughts from the Editor

Last week I got halfway through an article published by Fast Company called “The beef industry wants you to think it has a ‘minimal’ environmental impact (it does not).”  You may recall author Kristin Toussaint citing World Resources Institute (WRI) fellow Tim Searchinger in an effort to dispel NCBA’s recently published white paper about the true, and minimal, environmental impact

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Bits & Pieces

Wyoming Farm Bureau Donates Money for 12,413 Meals

Wyoming families facing hunger received a boost mid-November with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee “Harvest for All” project.  The annual fund drive and raffle to benefit the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies raised $3,103.35 which is the equivalent of 12,413 meals for Wyoming families.

During the state

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Gather ‘Round the ‘Drool Log’ This Holiday Season

Just in time for the holidays, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is releasing a new craveable Beef Drool Log video sure to “spice up” any gathering and celebration.  The Beef Drool Log is a two-and-a-half-hour video featuring a beautiful Prime Rib Roast cooking to perfection on a rotisserie over open flame.  The video pays homage to the iconic Yule Log

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Montana Grizzly Bear Advisory Council Tackles A Complex Issue

By Trina Jo Bradley

The Grizzly Bear Advisory Council (GBAC) met November 13 and 14 in Bozeman, Montana to further discuss grizzly bear issues throughout the state.  At the forefront of the conversation was distribution and connectivity, and more specifically, how those aspects apply to the management recommendations that GBAC is charged with providing by 2020.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and

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Comments – November 28, 2019

First and foremost, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I know it seems like there are a lot of “trials-and-tribulations” in our lives at times, but this is the perfect holiday to reflect and be thankful we all live in this country.  Be thankful for the freedoms and

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Hang Tight

Corbin Cass, age 5, flanks a calf for the boys to brand at his family’s ranch just south of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Corbin is the son of Jacob and Ashely Cass and said working cows is his favorite thing to do.

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A Black Friday Brawl

I am all about shopping local as the Black Friday ads overshadow the Thanksgiving holiday – especially since the experience I had the last time I ventured out on Black Friday. Although it was six years ago, it still looms large in my memory.

During a temporary lapse of sanity, I found myself caught up in the Black Friday shopping frenzy –

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Pork’s Peak Demand

by Sheila Hildebrand

At first glance, the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak appears to be an unfortunate opportunity for American pork producers as they face the current domestic market malaise caused by bulging supply.  Ailing today’s hog market, Kerns and Associates Analyst Steve Meyer said “it is clear that it is neither export nor domestic consumer demand.  That leaves

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“Weird flex, but okay.”

by Mayzie Purviance

 

Over time, we as humans have combined various products for better or worse.  Phrases such as “Bacon makes everything better,” and the vocal stylizing’s of the country music power couple Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash prove that sometimes, combining two things can be beneficial.  On the other end of the spectrum lies many things which people

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Trump Administration Signals Support for CSKT Water Compact

by John S. Adams, Montana Free Press

Off-reservation water claims made by CSKT, on hold pending approval of the CSKT-Montana Compact.  Adapted from Montana DNRC.

Through two top cabinet officials, the Trump administration has signaled its support for a proposed settlement of the reserved water right claims of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).

First in a November

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Guard Dogs Gone Rogue

It was a Thursday. Sam slowly crept into my clinic and he was caked with mud.  Being a working Corgi, he was short in stature but usually long on enthusiasm so obviously, something was amiss.

X-rays showed Sam had torn his diaphragm and abdominal organs had herniated into his chest.  Surgery revealed his stomach had passed through the right side of his

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That’s Unreal

By Kayla Sargent

For the latest in fake meat news, Quiznos is testing out a new brand of so-called “beef.”  The fast food sandwich chain added a plant-based corn beef sandwich to their menu at their Denver locations on November 15. If the trial market is successful, the sandwich will be rolled out nationwide.

The vegan “corned beef” is made by

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We Don’t Need To Be Told What To Do

By Gilles Stockton
Grass Range, MT

I am sure that most cattle producers would embrace enhanced disease traceability if indeed it was shown that this is necessary.  But that is the point.  The need for electronic identification for cattle in interstate commerce has never been made.  Instead, like in a recent presentation by Joe Leathers at a Feeding Quality Forum

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Great Speakers On Tap for Montana Woolgrowers 136thConvention

The Montana Woolgrowers Association (MWGA) 136thAnnual Convention will be held in Billings, Montana on December 5 – 7 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.

The convention will kick off with the President’s Reception at the Hollenbeck Ranch near Molt, pending weather.  Dinner, drinks, and transportation to and from Billings Hotel will be provided.

Starting December 6, a great lineup of workshops

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Guard Dogs Gone Rogue

It was a Thursday.  Sam slowly crept into my clinic and he was caked with mud.  Being a working Corgi, he was short in stature but usually long on enthusiasm so obviously, something was amiss.

X-rays showed Sam had torn his diaphragm and abdominal organs had herniated into his chest.  Surgery revealed his stomach had passed through the right side of

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Hide and Go Seek…Kind Of

“Do you think there’s any leftovers?” Tuff asked.

Banjo looked at him curiously, “I’m still stuffed.  I don’t know how you can be thinking of leftovers already.”

“I can hardly wait,” Tuff said.  “We need to get these renegades off the ranch, so I can bury my nose in some more pumpkin pie.”  Banjo smiled.

“These fellows plot came at the worst possible

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Thoughts from the Editor – November 28, 2019

Two weeks ago, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) published a white paper proving what most in our industry already knows to be true – cattle are part of the climate solution, not the problem.  The research concludes that global beef lifecycle emissions, from feed production to consumer, account for 6 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The white paper

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Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture — Part III

When I was younger, one of the most important lessons Ma (my great-grandmother) taught me was about judgment.  She used an age-old expression, “Don’t make judgements unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”  As time went on, I realized just how true this statement could be.  Now, I think I see it more than ever in the way we,

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Agri-Kid

Corbin Cass, age 5, flanks a calf for the boys to brand at his family’s ranch just south of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Corbin is the son of Jacob and Ashely Cass and said working cows is his favorite thing to do.

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A Closer Look At Meat Substitutes

By Barbara Quinn-Intermill, MS, RDN, CDE, LMNT

There seems to be a lot of clamoring to replace real meat in the marketplace.  Here are some things to consider:

We need protein.  In fact, experts predict that within the next 30 years, the world will need to produce 50 percent more protein to adequately feed everyone on this

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Impeachment Halts Agricultural Economic Growth

by Mayzie Purviance

Since the 2016 election, it seems many people have called and continue to call for the head of President Donald J. Trump.  On September 24, 2019, impeachment of the president officially began, leaving the fate of the United States in the hands of opposing political officials.

Impeachment, however, does not mean President Trump will be removed from

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Brazil’s Piece of American Beef Grows

Brazil recently furthered its holding in the American beef supply chain.  Marfrig Global Foods SA increased its ownership in National Beef, a member of America’s “Big Four” packers, from 51 percent to 81.7 percent.

Jefferies Financial Group announced an agreement to sell its remaining 31 percent of National Beef to Marfrig for $860 million.  The deal is set to close by

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Closing the GAP

GAP Certification Can Only Be Authorized by EarthClaims

by Kayla Sargent

Cate Doubet Photo.

“GAP certified” may be listed in the sale catalog when a set of calves comes through the ring and the auctioneer exclaims, “these have all the bells and whistles, folks.”  Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certification may be worth the

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Disguised and Disgusted

By Kayla Sargent

Burger King’s television ad mocking the “foolish cowboy” for not distinguishing between a plant-based “Impossible Whopper” and a traditional beef “Whopper” yielded much different taste test results than the trial ran at the Western Ag Reporter (WAR).  WAR Assistant Editor Mayzie Purviance hypothesized that this would be such due to Burger King’s cooking methods where seasonings,

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A Permanent Solution To Death Tax Concerns Introduced

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently announced its strong support for the “Preserving Family Farms Act of 2019.”  Introduced by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D – CA) and Jackie Walorski (R – IN), this important bipartisan legislation would expand IRS Code Section 2032A to allow more ranchers and farmers to take advantage of the special use valuation and protect

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We’re Not Crazy, the Times Are

Thanksgiving was the kickoff to a month of bookkeeping, depreciation schedules and checkbook balancing for my parents on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth.  It culminated in an afternoon meeting, usually the week after Christmas, where my father would detail the farm’s annual performance to his three, city-dwelling partners and lay out his plans for the coming year.

The

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Ranchers’ and Farmers’ Pockets are Hungry this Thanksgiving

According to the annual Thanksgiving edition of the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) Farmer’s Share publication, farmers and ranchers take home just 12.1 cents from every dollar which consumers spend on their Thanksgiving dinner meals.  The popular Thanksgiving Farmer’s Share compares the retail food price of traditional holiday dinner items to the amount the farmer receives for each item they grow

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Donald Everett Little Sr. | April 9, 1934 – October 9, 2019

Donald Everett Little Sr., 85, passed away dreaming of his late wife, Donna at his park model in Yuma, Arizona on October 9.

Don was born April 9, 1934 in Springfield, Illinois to James and Vera (Goodan) Little.  After spending his younger years in Livingston, Montana, Don’s father relocated the family to Clyde Park when Don was a freshman.  Story is

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Protect the Harvest Comments on PACT Act

by Mayzie Purviance

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act passed through the Senate and the House, no questions asked.  At first glance, this sounds like a good thing, but for the everyday livestock producer, celebration is up for debate.

According to Protect the Harvest, it appears the PACT Act was not officially voted on in either the House or the

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Montana Beef Council Launches “Nicely Done, Beef” Billboard Campaign

The billboard graphic will be displayed in three locations across Montana over a six-month period.

The Montana Beef Council (MBC) is launching a new campaign to focus on the merits of their favorite protein, beef, focusing on the simplicity of one ingredient with multiple benefits.  Three billboard locations were selected throughout the state to carry a simple message, “Nicely

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Comment Open for Colstrip Pollution Cleanup Proposal

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is taking public comment on long-term plans to close and remediate a waste coal ash impoundment associated with Units 1 & 2 of eastern Montana’s Colstrip Power Plant.  Coal ash is the waste product of coal-fired power plants and is stored in enormous “ponds” outside the power plants.

The 1 & 2 ponds cover

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Elects Leadership at 100th Annual Meeting

Todd Fornstrom, of Laramie County, was elected to his fourth term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization’s 100th annual meeting in Laramie.

“I appreciate the vote of confidence,” Fornstrom stated.  “We will keep working hard for the members of the WyFB.  Advocacy for agriculture and policy development is crucial to our future.”

Todd and his family

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High Risk Loans for Cash Grain and Dairy Producers

At its recent monthly meeting, the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) board received an update on credit conditions in the Farm Credit System.

Despite increased risk in certain segments of the System’s loan portfolio, overall System credit metrics remain favorable.  System institutions have adequate capital to handle additional stress, but some are experiencing credit quality declines.

Prices for key commodities continue to present

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Young Farmers and Ranchers Donate $8,300 to Montana Food Banks 

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee presented a check for $8,300 to the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) at the MFBF YF&R luncheon Tuesday, November 12 in Billings.

The donation came from proceeds raised during YF&R Hoofin’ It for Hunger Race ($6900) as well as the Centennial Challenge for Change ($1400).  The race was held

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Tyson Beef Plant in Kansas to Resume Operations in December

Following the August 9 fire that disrupted operations at its Holcomb, Kansas beef complex, Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. recently announced reconstruction of the facility is near completion.  Efforts to resume harvest operations will begin the first week of December, with intentions to be fully operational by the first week of January.

“We recognize

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The Issues Change, The Mission Remains

by Kayla Sargent

Endangered species, WOTUS and, of course trade, were the main topics of conversation raised with American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall during his three day stint at Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s Centennial Convention.  Prior to traveling to the Wyoming Farm Bureau Convention, Duvall spent a few days in meetings, workshops, and hallway conversations with producers from across Montana

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Connecting Animals, People and Antibiotic Use in South Dakota

South Dakota One Health is a collaborative effort that promotes a deeper understanding of the connections between the health of people, animals and the environment.  SDSU Extension is partnering with the Sanford USD Medical School, the South Dakota Department of Health, the South Dakota Animal Industry Board and Area Health Education Centers to provide educational opportunities surrounding different topics important

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It’s Going to be a Long Winter 

Mother Nature turned a colorful, late fall into a bitterly cold, early winter as if to prove — after a planting, growing and harvest season marked by floods, drought and mud — that she’s still in charge and still not happy.

Not happy about what? No one can say but almost every American from Montana’s Western Slope to Maryland’s Eastern Shore

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South Dakota Stockgrowers Wrap Up 128th Annual Convention

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association wrapped up another successful convention and trade show November 1, where Scott Edoff of Hermosa, South Dakota was elected as the new president by the membership.

Immediate past president, Gary Deering, pulled together a great convention with many highlights.

“Convention attendance was up, and everyone had a great time,” Deering said.  “After 128 years this convention continues

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Burn Up the Phone Lines

By Samuel H. Clovis, Jr., MBA, DPA

Former National Co-Chair and Chief Policy Advisor,

Donald J. Trump for President Campaign

 

I am not sure people in Congress do not need a lesson in civics and perhaps a re-read (or more likely a first read) of the Constitution.  Their ability to change rules to avoid accountability has led to a very dangerous situation for

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MSU Student Wins Montana Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet

“The customer is always right.  How do farmers and ranchers think and respond, through the lens of consumer priorities and marketing trends, to build common values and confidence in modern production methods to build consumer acceptance?”

This was the discussion topic six competitors were given at the recent Collegiate Discussion Meet held during the Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Billings. 

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Holiday Decorations

While running in the pre-dawn darkness, I spotted this season’s first holiday light display.  I chuckled thinking of the meme condemning those who begin decorating for Christmas in October — “Mary hasn’t even told Joseph she is pregnant yet.”

Because I built my cattle-panel, Christmas igloo display three years ago and have neither used it nor taken it down, I might

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Make the Shot Count

by Jamie Henneman

All over-the-counter animal antibiotics will soon require a veterinarian’s prescription, according to a new guidance document released by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The proposed regulation is an effort to “limit medically important antimicrobial drugs in animals that are considered necessary for human health.”

Common antibiotics like tylosin, penicillin and tetracycline are some of the drugs that

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FSA Director Encourages Farmers to Schedule County Office Meetings Today

South Dakota’s farmers may think they’ve applied for all the programs they can to help mitigate some of the losses brought on by extreme weather and the trade war, but South Dakota’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Paul Shubeck says there may be other resources available.

“Please make an appointment to meet with your county’s FSA staff.  There are programs

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Bert Louis Hartman March 25, 1930 – November 4, 2019

Bert Louis Hartman, 89, entered his heavenly home on November 4, 2019.  Bert was always a man of God, and a hardworking cattle feeder and businessman who loved his family, his church and faith, and his work.

Born on March 25, 1930, Hartman remained a lifelong resident of Vineland, working as a cattle feeder for nearly 82 years, starting with his

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Helena Rancher Wins Polaris Ranger in Discussion Meet

Rocky Forseth, a young rancher from Helena, bested three other competitors to win the Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet.  He got the keys to a Ranger® 570 EFI and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national competition in Austin, Texas in January.  The three other contestants were Mark Boyd from Alder, Kim Gibbs from

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U.S. Beef Cattle Only Contribute Small Percent of GHG Emissions

A new white paper detailing the minimal environmental footprint of beef production in the U.S. was recently published by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.  The white paper, authored by Sara Place, PhD, senior director of sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, highlights why and how the U.S. is the leader

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Making The Change

It’s come to my attention that lately there’s been an influx of dairymen into the cattle business due to low milk prices.  For many, making “The Change” has brought great joy because some dairymen felt there always was a cowboy or cowgirl hiding inside a dairyman’s body.  But for others, making “The Change” has been more difficult because it involves

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Nation’s Top Milk Processor Dean Food Company Files Bankruptcy

by Kayla Sargent

Milk consumption in the United States has been on a steady decline since 1975, according to USDA ERS data.  Per capita, America was consuming about 247 pounds of milk a year in 1975 and today, only 146 pounds — or the equivalent of approximately 17 gallons.  In the meantime, dairy consumption as a whole, including butter, cheese, condensed

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The Dune Buggy Distraction

“Alright, alright, alright!” snapped Rascal.  “I’ve had about enough of this mushy stuff!  I’m outta here.  You mangy mutts can figure out this delivery truck gang yourselves and find some tasty treats elsewhere.”

The lynx mama looked up.

“Thank you for helping me get back to him,” she said and licked the top of her kitten’s head.  “Those men are no good,”

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Milton Ranch Receives Montana Leopold Conservation Award

Milton Ranch has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Montana Leopold Conservation Award®.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

Bill and Dana Milton of Roundup, Montana, were presented with $10,000 and a crystal award at

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Grouchy Grandma’s Holiday House Rules:

One of the nicest compliments I receive is when readers tell me that they have hung my column on their refrigerator or mailed it to someone (often anonymously) to try to make a point humorously and semi-tactfully.  Since we are going into the holiday feast season, and since several readers have asked me to rerun the code of conduct for

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Slate of Speakers Drew Crowd to Northern Plains’ 48th Annual Meeting

The 2019 annual meeting of the Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC) was recently held in Billings, and it covered a wide range of topics important to people who care about Montana agriculture and natural resources.  Numerous guest speakers presented at the meeting.

Mike Callicrate was the opening speaker.  He is an independent cattle producer and businessman from Colorado, and a longtime

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Thoughts from the Editor

In a time when there are continually more mouths to feed and an increasing need for high-quality, nutritious sources of protein, milk consumption has been on a steady decline for more than 40 years.  Dean Foods Company, the nation’s largest milk processor, recently filed bankruptcy and cited decreased demand as a reason for financial strain.

While some say more cultured culinary

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Comments

The Fall 2019 sale season kicked off in a big way for me last week as I attended a production sale every day of the week.  The week before I had a couple of bull sales, but last week saw things kick into high gear and it will continue to be extremely steady from now until Christmas.  I have already

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McDonalds a “Moover,” Wendy’s a “Wanna Be”

by Jamie Henneman

The single largest purchaser of beef in the United States, the McDonalds restaurant chain, recently pledged to only buy beef from sources that no longer use antibiotics for prevention purposes.  The decision caused the consumer-watchdog publication Consumer Reports to give the company high ratings, praising the commitment.

“To protect public health and push the beef industry to eliminate the

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Preserving the West in a Modern World

By Mayzie Purviance

The Green River Drift located in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Valley is a historic cattle drive which is still relevant today.  The Sommers family, along with a handful of other families, has not only driven their cattle to and from the high country of the Drift, but been a part of a historic and revolutionary PBS documentary, “The

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Bits & Pieces

Montana State University Students Donate Over $26,000

The Alpha Delta chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) at Montana State University has been very busy in the philanthropy department over the course of 2019.  The chapter came up with several new events and outlets for donations making it one of the most successful years yet.

Starting in the spring with a Horseshoe Scavenger

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Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture – Part II

Let’s talk about validity.  Validity, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the quality or state of being valid.”  Valid, also defined by Merriam-Webster, means “having legal efficacy or force,” “well-grounded or justifiable: bring at once relevant and meaningful,” and “logically correct.”

In any news piece, story, movie, radio broadcast or gossip session, validity is of the utmost importance.  If a source is invalid,

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Sheep Industry Encouraged to Comment on Herder Proposal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a policy memorandum (PM) that requires requests for temporary foreign workers for range sheep or goat herding or production be subject to the same requirements as other temporary agricultural workers.

USCIS is issuing this PM to ensure that H-2A non-immigrant sheep/goat herders may only fill temporary and/or seasonal herder positions, and that petitioners

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Here Comes Round Two

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  The payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving.  Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25 percent of the total payment expected, in addition

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Montana Farm Bureau Elects Leadership

Hans McPherson, a diversified farmer from Stevensville, was re-elected as president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) during the organization’s annual convention in Billings.  Cyndi Johnson, a Conrad small grains farmer, was re-elected as vice president.

Newly elected to the board were: Kris Descheemaeker, District 3, a cattle rancher from Lewistown; Joy DePuydt, District 7, a cattle rancher from Saco;

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Tyson Breaks Ground on Utah Case Ready Beef and Pork Facility

Tyson Fresh Meats recently broke ground on the site of the company’s new case ready beef and pork facility in Eagle Mountain City, Utah.

The plant will be a case ready meat-cutting and packaging operation that converts fresh beef and pork, brought in from other locations, into steaks, chops, roasts and ground beef.  The product is placed in trays, weighed and

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Agri-Kid

McKay Brady, age 3, is the son of Erica and Randy Brady. Needless to say, McKay found himself a snack while visiting the Snapp Ranch in Lewistown, Montana.

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Success through Social Media

By Mayzie Purviance

“We decided to do it ourselves,” Mary Heffernan said at the 2019 Montana Farm Bureau Convention in Billings, Montana on November 13.  This phrase sums up Heffernan’s speech and the entire concept of her family’s operation, Five Marys Farms.

After opening several successful small businesses in the San Francisco Bay area, Mary and Brian Heffernan, along with their four

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Shut Eye

My mother told me never to talk to strange men and I should have listened to her. But when a university professor and I got into a discussion and he told me that I could make more money by weaning my calves at home I made the mistake of listening to him. From experience I can tell you that professor

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Thoughts from the Editor

When I first began this column, it was the first and easiest thing for me to write each week.  As stories surfaced each day, there was always a new topic that demanded my attention and I knew exactly how I wanted to respond to pressing issues.  Fake meat, animal activists, environmental extremists, industry division, the potential topics for a journalist

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Meat, Make Room for Mushrooms

By Kayla Sargent

Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have dominated the new plant-based protein markets.  Now, the race is on to create plant-based “meats” that go ‘beyond’ the old ground products and replace whole muscle cuts like the beef industry’s prized possession — steak.

While research has been taking place overseas to “grow” cells on structures in a lab that resembles meat,

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Angus Legend S A V RESOURCE 1441 Dies

During his lifetime, the Angus bull 1AN01238 RESOURCE made an impact on the global beef industry with progeny located around the world.

1AN01238 S A V RESOURCE 1441, a bull that has graced the pages of the GENEX Beef Genetic Management Guide since 2013 and ranked in the top ten for USA Angus sire registrations for the past four

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Merlyn Altha Kirk Robinson September 5, 1926 – July 10, 2019

Merlyn Altha Kirk Robinson, 92, a longtime local Heppner area resident, passed away, July 10, 2019, at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, Oregon.  She was born September 5, 1926 and grew up on the local wheat and cattle ranches of her parents, Merle N. Kirk and Altha Devin Kirk.  Merlyn and her descendants became the third, fourth and fifth generations

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Elias “Eli” D. Stahl October 27, 1948 – November 1, 2019

With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Reverend Elias Stahl.  He passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side after a short period of colon cancer.  He was born October 27, 1948 at the Deerfield Colony where he lived all his life.

Eli was elected minister in 1987 and was ordained in 1995.  He lived a dedicated

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A Warming Reunion

By the time the sliding side door was pulled open, Rascal had scooted out of the crate.  He watched from the shadows of the many packages, as the delivery driver pulled the crate out of the box truck and slid the door snuggly closed.  The masked bandit took a deep breath of relief, but quickly changed his focus when he

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Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture – Part I

This week, I subjected myself to watching the film, “Cowspiracy.”  Although I have many scholarly thoughts and statistics to share, this week, we’re not going to do that — this week, we’re just going to talk.  No crazy facts and figures, just logical thinking.

Cowspiracy is a 2014 documentary which was produced to shed light on animal agriculture’s environmental impact.  If

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The Future of Agriculture is Bright and, Hopefully, Sustainable

By Mayzie Purviance

The future, especially for the agricultural industry, can bring forward some concerns.  However, events such as the Youth Ag Summit (YAS) shed some light on a younger generation of cultivators.

“It’s an awesome way to network with other people who are interested in your passions for wanting to make a difference in ag around the world and in our

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U.S. Meat Export Federation Examines Trade Challenges

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently concluded its Strategic Planning Conference in Tucson, Arizona, where Asian trade deals and alternative proteins were heavily discussed and new officers were elected.

On the final day of the conference USMEF members also received an informative breakdown of the trade landscape in Asia from Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute. 

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Comments

This week’s column is one I have been contemplating for several months.  It seems like every time I turn around I hear the word “sustainability” in agricultural circles.  Most conventions or meetings I attend, many articles and opinion pieces, and multiple speakers all center around sustainability and how it pertains to the U.S. agricultural industry.

The definition of sustainability, according to

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If You Like Your Water Right, You Can Keep It

By Catherine Vandemoer, Ph.D.

Polson, MT

 

Once again, the proponents of the CSKT Compact are flooding the airwaves, newspapers, and mailboxes with threats of “endless litigation” and “having to hire your own lawyer” if the CSKT Compact is not passed by Congress.  They claim that if the CSKT Compact is passed, Montanans will not have to go to court to defend their

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Why Sustainability?

By Ethan Lane, Vice President, Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

 

When the topic of sustainability comes up in conversation in cattle circles, it’s common to see heads shaking.  It’s not a topic we like to discuss in our industry – primarily because it’s so often raised with bad intentions and worse information.  We bristle because we’ve been doing things

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Educational Symposium Will Highlight Marketing in Cow-Calf Sector

All cattlemen and women are invited to attend the American Gelbvieh Association’s (AGA) fifth annual commercial cattlemen’s educational symposium titled Cattlemen’s Profit Roundup sponsored by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

Cattlemen’s Profit Roundup will be held Thursday, December 5, 2019, beginning at 3:30 p.m. MST at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Billings, Montana.  Cattle

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J is for Jackalope

A book review by Linda Grosskopf

Looking for a wonderful book for a Western-raised child?  If so, then here is a suggestion just in time for Christmas – “J is for Jackalope”, written and illustrated by Teal Blake.

I am a great fan of the artist Teal Blake.  I wasn’t aware, however, that his sizeable warbag of skills and talents included competent

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New Study Delves Into Management Factors Affecting BRD Risk

Animal welfare, sustainability and economics are affected when beef cattle suffer from bovine respiratory disease, or BRD.

“BRD is hard to simplify as there are multiple risk factors and pathogens involved, but it is one of the biggest health issues facing the beef and dairy industries,” Sarah Capik, D.V.M., Ph.D., assistant professor of ruminant animal health with Texas A&M AgriLife Research,

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Callicrate Discusses Rebuilding a Broken System

By Mayzie Purviance

Mike Callicrate joined the Northern Plains Resource Council at their 2019 annual meeting November 9, 2019 as their Saturday morning speaker.  Callicrate holds many titles: Cattleman, political activist, author, founder of the farm advocacy group, Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), and the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit again the world’s largest meat packer IBP (now part

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Bits & Pieces

Animal Agriculture Alliance Announces New Leadership

Last week, the Animal Agriculture Alliance announced a new chair-elect and six new board representatives.

The Alliance welcomed Sarah Novak, vice president of membership and public relations at American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), as its new board chairperson in May.  AFIA was a founding member of the Alliance and has held a seat on the board

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Study Places Value on Montana Hutterite Colony’s Economic Impact

By Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press

An economic study commissioned by a law firm representing Montana’s Lehrerleut Hutterite communities has concluded that the religious group’s collective business operations contribute $365.3 million annually to the Montana economy.

The study, billed as the first of its kind, was conducted by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and Montana State University’s

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The Restoration Begins with You

Last Friday, I spoke to the South Dakota Stockgrowers; ranchers who have persevered through recent, repeated, catastrophic weather events.  Like the twisted I-beam, makeshift flagpole jutting from the rubble of the World Trade Center, when the dust settles and the snow melts there are always a few determined cowboys still standing.  Such describes the cattlemen of South Dakota.  It was

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Hereford Hall of Fame Inductees Honored

Four Hereford producers including George and Harry Tjardes, Gibson City, Illinois; Denny Hoffman, Thedford, Nebraska; Guy Colyer, Bruneau, Idaho; and Mark Cooper, Three Forks, Montana, were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame.  The inductees were honored during the Hereford Honorees awards ceremony at the American Hereford Association’s (AHA) Annual Membership Meeting and Conference, October 25, in Kansas City, Missouri. 

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Considerable Risks Could be Associated with Hemp Production

The wait is over and the first look at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final hemp production rules are now available.  The rules were published in the Federal Register on October 31 and public comment will be allowed for 60 days on the USDA website.

These rules do not, however, grant anyone the right to begin planting hemp in Texas. 

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MSU Northern Ag Students Tour IX Ranch

Montana State University Northern Ag Operations Technology (AOT) Assistant Professor Brianna Bernhardt took her Range Livestock Production class to visit the IX Ranch near Big Sandy to observe how they conduct a pregnancy test on 800 cows in 8 hours.  Also on the trip was the Director of Industry Relations Mary Heller who has been working on this trip for

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China Plays the Long Game; U.S.  Keeps Getting Played 

Several years ago, when Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman was asked to choose which rising Asian nation, China or India, he’d bet the farm on, Friedman didn’t hesitate to pick India.

The reason, he explained, was that while both nations were on an expressway to the future, India (the world’s largest democracy) had an open road in front of it and

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The Devil in the Details

By Kayla Sargent

Readers may recall a WAR article about animal welfare versus animal rights titled “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.”  Cavalry Group founder Mindy Patterson warned us that animal “rights” is merely a political agenda while animal “welfare” is what ranchers know best — the animal’s health and wellbeing.  The recently passed PACT Act is the utmost example of “a

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Predicted Bacon Shortage May be Exaggerated

Amid popular reports of a possible bacon shortage, many consumers wonder what the future holds for their favorite cut of pork.  The future of U.S. bacon supplies isn’t clear enough for consumers to panic about a potential shortage in 2020, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.

David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist, College Station, quoted Taylor Swift, saying

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The Modern-Day Waltons

I have a whole new respect for the television family, the Waltons, after this past month of living with three generations under one roof.  I remember watching the Waltons back in the 70’s and loving the family togetherness it portrayed.

When our daughter, Brooke, and her husband, Doug, sold their house and decided to move in with us until their new

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Agri-Kid

Paisley Lusk, age 4 of Malad, Idaho, lined her mother out for gathering mama cows and calves for weaning. While gathering cattle, Paisley sang to them to “make them happy.” Paisley is the daughter of Andy and Bailey Lusk and, as one Facebook user commented, is “The Cow Boss.”

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Me Madre

By Barry Naugle

The first thing I noticed that morning was that the troop transport ship’s engines were quiet.  The ship was at dock.  The ship’s speakers told every soldier to stay in his assigned quarters.  Finally, our names were called and filed off the ship as an officer checked us onto American soil, once again, at the bottom of a

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NCBA Supports Effort to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) believes that responsible use of antimicrobial drugs will aid in preserving the future effectiveness of antimicrobial agents against common pathogens in both human and animal species.

In 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set forward a challenge to combat antimicrobial resistance, the AMR Challenge.  Since its launch, the AMR Challenge has been one

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Correcting the Crown

Last week, I wrote a feature story titled “Miss Montana Anti-Ag.”  For my column this week, I want to explain the back story because I believe it truly embodies the whole concept of Activists vs. Agriculture.

Now, bear with me here, I know nothing about pageants other than what I’ve seen on Toddlers in Tiaras or the smash-hit Netflix movie, “Dumplin.”

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2020 Sage Grouse Status Review

By Ron Stoneberg  Hinsdale, MT

It doesn’t seem possible that 2020 is just around the corner.

“What is the problem with that?” you might ask.

Well, just when you thought the sage grouse would follow the spotted owl into oblivion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) plans to review the sage grouse status in 2020 to determine whether it should be listed

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Noxious Weed Education Reaching More Montanans Than a Decade Ago

Farmers and ranchers in Montana are often intimately aware of the dangers posed by noxious weeds, but the general public’s knowledge of invasive species has also increased due to education and outreach efforts over the past 25 years, according to a recent survey.

An initial survey was conducted in 1994 to gauge public knowledge and pinpoint education needs.  The 2019 survey

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Four Sixes Ranch Manager Leathers Discusses Traceability

By Abbie Burnett

It’s been 16 years since the “cow that stole Christmas,” shut down exports from North America and cost the beef industry an estimated $9 billion.  Those were the days when terrorists also threatened to infect U.S.  herds with anthrax.

All these years later and still no national traceability program? Four Sixes Ranch manager Joe Leathers let some exasperation show

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Hacking Through Hemp Regulations

By Lilly Platts

The USDA announced an industrial hemp program on Tuesday, October 29, which is a long-awaited clarification to the legalization of growing the crop, which passed in the 2018 Farm Bill.  Since the legalization, Montana has been operating under its own approved hemp guidelines, and the announcement of the program will allow the state to further improve and clarify

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End of Trade War Looks Like Beginning of Cold War

If China agreed to purchase “$40 to $50 billion,” of U.S.  farm goods in “the next two years,” as President Donald J.  Trump announced October 11, the futures market — where market reality is quickly sorted from political talk — literally wasn’t buying it.

In fact, November soybean futures, the nearby contract, opened Monday, October 14 at $9.405 per bu.  and

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Tips to Improve Cow Performance While Consuming Low-quality Forages

Rob Ziegler, UNL MS Animal Science Student

Travis Mulliniks, UNL Beef Cattle Nutritionist, Range Production Systems

Low-quality range pasture and cold wet winter left cows in thinner than normal condition coming into spring this year.  The challenges of last summer and winter may have resulted in lower than average pregnancy rates in replacement heifers and young cows this fall, which may be

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Animals Are People Too

Contrary to her name, Happy is a not-so-cheerful 47-year-old elephant who is being held in captivity against her will, at least according to the Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP).  If you believe the NRP, Happy is being illegally held in the Bronx Zoo against her wishes and is being segregated from her “multi-generational social group,” which means “family” in English.

The goal

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Promoting Beef Quality Assurance to the General Public

About 85 percent of U.S.  beef today comes from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified farmers or ranchers.  But do American consumers know that? Just as important, do they know what BQA is — and what it stands for?
Those are the kinds of questions a new Beef Checkoff-funded campaign from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a Beef Checkoff contractor, is addressing.  Its

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Four Packers, Four Lawsuits

by Kayla Sargent

They say bad news travels in threes, but for the Big Four packers, the lawsuits didn’t stop there.  A fourth punch has been thrown in a court-bound battle against consolidation and alleged price fixing in the beef packing industry.

When R-CALF USA filed what they called a “historic” lawsuit against JBS, Tyson Foods, Cargill and National Beef they said

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Delivery Day Dilemma

From the back of the delivery truck Rascal leapt with pawfuls of candied fruit he’d pilfered from a gift basket.  The truck pulled away from the drive and the masked bandit waited until the dust settled and skedaddled to the barn.

“I should tell that mangy dog,” he said and took a bite of the fruit.

“I shouldn’t tell that mangy dog,”

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Packers Implement Beef Quality Assurance Requirements for Livestock Haulers

By Sheila Hildebrand

January 1, 2020 marks a deadline in which Cargill will fully implement Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQA-Transportation; or BTQA) requirements and certification for drivers delivering fed cattle to its plants.  Tyson implemented the same requirement in January 2019.

Cargill’s website explains that “BQA is a stewardship certificate program created by the NCBA, and includes training for cattle producers in

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Checkoff-Funded Masters of Beef Advocacy Program Reaches Major Milestones in 2019

Just 10 years after its inception, the Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program celebrated its 15,000th graduate in August.  The program was created to equip and engage beef industry advocates to communicate about beef and beef production.  It is one of the strongest beef advocacy efforts in the industry.

A self-directed online training program managed by the National Cattlemen’s

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Thoughts from the Editor

Just since our list of major chain restaurants selling or testing out Impossible Foods or Beyond Burger was published two weeks ago, a few more have jumped on the bandwagon.  The most recent include Pizza Hut and Denny’s.  Denny’s will initially offer the Beyond Burger in Los Angeles then expand to nationwide restaurants by 2020.  Pizza Hut is doing a

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Enjoy Every Minute

I turned sixty this week, so I thought I would try to write something astute to honor the milestone, but everything I wrote seemed rather cheesy.  I have always been flattered when readers call me things like “a cowgirl Erma Bombeck,” so I decided that no one said it better than Erma, so I would just share her thoughts.

It is

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Bullard Tells South Dakota Ranchers to Demand mCOOL

Speaking on October 31 to the 128th Annual Convention and Trade Show of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard told the crowd that restoring mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef was one of four core principles that independent cattle producers cannot compromise.

“Every industry has certain core principles that cannot be compromised under any circumstance, and for

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Montana’s Mamie Hertel Makes History

by Kayla Sargent

Truly living out her life motto, “There’s always more to it all,” Mamie Hertel became the first Montana female to earn a position on the National FFA Officer Team.  On November 2 at the conclusion of the 92nd Annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, six FFA members from across the region were selected to lead the organization

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Bits & Pieces

NRCS Chief Headlines Conservation Convention

Matt Lohr, Chief of the United State Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide the keynote address at the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts 74th annual convention.  Lohr serves as the 16th Chief of the agency and provides leadership for NRCS and its mission to support America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in

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TREAD with Some Traction for Livestock Hauling

by Kayla Sargent

While the industry works to find a permanent solution to grant livestock haulers some flexibility from burdensome regulations, the Senate managed to kick the can down the road for another year.  An appropriations bill passed on October 31 delayed the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for agricultural trucking.

“I’m pleased to see that after months of hard work, we’ve

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Snakebite

I have a 3.1 mile running path north of my house and because it winds through the sage brush while climbing over three buttes it has been tagged as the Kerns Killer 5K.  It is mowed to allow snake surveillance and we ran the course all summer without spotting a rattler.  Mike, a fellow runner from Laurel, was looking for

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Labeling Dominates Industry Discussion

by Kayla Sargent

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Labeling has dominated beef industry conversations for several months and now methods of “applying grease” are being revealed.

Labeling, whether it pertains to country of origin or real versus fake product, is in nearly every organization’s policy priorities and often is paired with the term “truthful” or “transparent.”  But just because most industry

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Creating a Sustainable Food Future

By Kerry Hoffschneider

“Can we feed 10 billion people without destroying the planet?”

This is the question the World Resource Institute (WRI) report Creating a Sustainable Food Future seeks to answer.

“I have been working on this for 20 years,” lead author Tim Searchinger said from his office in Washington D.C.  “I grew up in New York City and got interested in agriculture

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Comments

The time has finally come that I can say, “Bull Sale Season is in full swing around Reporter Country.”  From now until a few days before Christmas, there are few days where I don’t have a sale to attend.  A high percentage of these sales of all breeds will also be offering registered and commercial bred females as well.  We

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South Dakota Producers Offer Support for Eaton’s Comments at Testimony

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) supports the September 25, 2019 testimony of cattle producers who testified before the U.S Senate Ag Committee.

“Across the United States, cattlemen and women are facing unprecedented challenges to their livelihood.  As these threats rise, and cattle prices fall, more and more families have come to the realization that they simply cannot keep their bottom line

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Reporter attends Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Top of the Class Program

By Markie Hageman

With the divide between producers and consumers growing larger every day, it is pertinent to bridge the gap in agriculture. One way the beef industry is working to create a better relationship with audiences is creating better advocates.

Through the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) program, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand, producers and industry allies are encouraged to

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Speaking the Royal Truth

By Mayzie Purviance

Editor’s Note:

Last week I wrote about the current Miss Montana.  Miss Montana is a contender for the Miss USA pageant, not Miss America — Miss USA and Miss America are represented by different individuals.  Miss USA is part of the for-profit Miss Universe Organization.  Winners of Miss USA go on to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant.  The

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The Dakotas Ring a Bell for R-CALF Fundraising

By Sheila Hildebrand for R-CALF USA

R-CALF USA leaves behind a robust fall campaign with a myriad of success.  R-CALF USA hosted South Dakota and North Dakota meetings in Faith, Lemmon, Mobridge and Mandan.  In combination, over 500 members and guests attended the events, which resulted in 74 new memberships and $46K raised to support R-CALF’s work.  The monies and memberships

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Properly Placing Your Poppy

Author Unknown

Adapted by Bailey McKay

 

Ever wonder why Veterans Day is on the 11th of November and does not change?

 

World War I ended in armistice on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour.

 

Today I saw a gentleman selling poppies stop a lady and ask if he could re-position he poppy. While doing so he told the lady

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Agri-Kid

Chancin Schmitt, age 1, gets ready to punch cattle with his family in Chinook, Montana.

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House Representatives Propose Bill to Modernize Farm Workforce

A bipartisan bill to reform the agricultural labor system was presented by U.S.  Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and several other house members.  The bill is called “The Farm Workforce Modernization Act,” and is the product of negotiates between a diverse array of agricultural stakeholders and farmworker advocates.

“Many family farmers and ranchers rely on hired farmworkers to help

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Montana Ranch Ladies Stand Up For Their Industry

Dear Miss USA and Miss Universe Organization,

We are writing you from the heart of rural America as a collective community of ranchers, farmers and agricultural industry supporters to voice our belief that Miss Merissa Underwood is unfit to serve as Miss Montana USA.

With heavy hearts we want to inform you that we do not support Miss Merissa Underwood’s newly appointed

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Miss Montana Anti-Ag

By Mayzie Purviance

“The Miss Universe Organization empowers women to realize their personal, professional and philanthropic goals through experiences that build self-confidence and act as catalysts for future success.  We celebrate beauty, all forms of it, and provide the tools that help women to feel their most beautiful: ‘Confidently Beautiful.’” That’s the official mission of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) stated

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American Farm Bureau President to Speak at Montana Farm Bureau Centennial Convention

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall will headline the 100th Montana Farm Bureau Convention.  Duvall plans to attend the entire convention, allowing him time to network with members, provide updates on national ag issues and motivate and inspire members to lead Farm Bureau into the next 100 years.  American Farm Bureau Federation is celebrating its centennial this year, having

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Walking in the Shadow of Hope

The first obvious sign of the season-long flood is a perfectly level, three-foot high ring of dried mud on the machine shed’s siding.  Nature put it there and, in time, will likely wash it away.

Across the road, 100 feet behind a noticeably tilting mailbox, stands the empty, sagging farmhouse of my youth.  It sports no mud ring because it sits

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American Beef Production is A Climate Change Solution

South Dakota cattle producer Todd Wilkinson recently told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that contrary to the claims of some environmental and anti-animal-agriculture activists, “American beef production and consumption is a climate change solution.”

“Climate policies that unfairly target cattle producers fail to recognize the positive role of cattle and beef in a healthy, sustainable food system,” Wilkinson told members of the

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William T “Bill” Bennett November 28, 1927 – October 21, 2019

William T. (Bill) Bennett of Connell, Washington passed on to the great cattle ranch in the sky on Monday October 21, 2019 at the age of 91, he was one of the greatest cattlemen of all time.  Bill was born November 28, 1927 at their family ranch outside of Winona, WA the first son of John W. and Marie (Gribbin)

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Identifying the Right ID Program

By Kayla Sargent

As much of the industry was gearing up to implement radio frequency identification (RFID) in their cattle programs, the USDA signaled late last week that the agency may have jumped the gun.  A “factsheet” released in April 2019 by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provided an implementation timeline with three significant dates to achieve the

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Gathering Women for the Common Good In Agriculture

By Mel Burke

Despite an early-season snowstorm moving through the area, nearly 60 ladies attended the 2019 South Dakota Women in Ag conference held October 10 and 11 at The Lodge in Deadwood,  South Dakota.

This conference is held every fall and is dedicated to women who want to better themselves and the future of agriculture. It is not restricted to women

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Just Another Day At The Office

The general rifle hunting season started this past week, so hundreds of optimistic out-of-state hunters poured into Montana to fulfill their dream of shooting a big bull elk.  Few of those hunters’ dreams come true, but the statistics on success rates do not deter avid hunters from booking hunts or trying it on their own.

In general, the average hunter does

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A Silver Dollar

Note: This first appeared in the September 5, 1956, Western Livestock Reporter.

Money wasn’t so plentiful when I was a boy and everyone had a lot of respect for a dollar. I remember one time when I was staying with my grandparents in North Platte, Nebraska, that a silver dollar caused me a lot of grief. I can’t remember exactly how

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Common Calf Marketing Questions Answered by Experts

By Morgan Marley

Cattle buyers often know your calves by their history and connect that to your name.  Sometimes it’s all they know about you, good or bad.  With a “good name,” you can make deals by phone, sealed with a handshake.  Not preparing or knowing how calves perform after weaning keeps a lid on sale prices.

“It takes several years to

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Agri-Kid

Eight month old Max Robison, son of Haley Jo and Max Robison, sits next to his best bud, Sheila the bottle calf from Scranton, ND.

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The Word We Are Looking For is Colonialism

By Gilles Stockton, Grass Range, MT

I was happy to ignore the American Prairie Reserve (APR) until they petitioned the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to convert their grazing permits from cattle to bison and from summer-only to year-round.  Just previous to petitioning the BLM, the APR had purchased the Two Crow Ranch in northern Petroleum County, which is directly adjacent

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Farm Bureau Convention Workshops Tackle Challenges and Current Issues

Montana Farm Bureau members are set to attend the organization’s 100th Annual Convention, November 11 through 14 in Billings, Montana.  The convention will have a variety of informative workshops for attendees to.  These workshops will cover current topics of interest to farmers and ranchers including employment, rural broadband, mental health, estate planning, social media marketing and leadership.

Bob Milligan, professor emeritus,

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Comments

October marks the second straight month of year over year decline in total feedlot inventory, according to the Cattle On Feed Report released last Friday.  Total feedlot inventory for October came in at 11.3 million head, down 1.1 percent as compared to the same month last year.  September placements were up 2 percent and marketings were up 1.1 percent as

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation 100th Annual Meeting Approaching

“Honoring Our Past, Growing Our Future” is the theme of the 100th Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  The meeting will be November 13-15, 2019 in Laramie at the Hilton Garden Inn/UW Conference Center.

“We are about to celebrate a century of improving our way of life in farming and ranching by way of policy development,” WyFB President

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Hoofin’ it for Hunger Race Provides Great Competition, Fights Hunger

The Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Hoofin’ it for Hunger Race in Miles City on October12 drew runners from across the country to compete in an event which raised money to fight hunger in Montana.

This was the ninth year for the race which originated in Missoula in 2011.  The race, now held at USDA ARS Fort Keogh Range

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Stay Away from the Desert Tray

Preg-checking season used to be my favorite because herd work at a family ranch usually meant a noon time feast dwarfing Thanksgiving.  In my early years, I would devour a heaping, three-helping meal before attacking the desert counter.  After lunch, I felt like a Shetland pony who had stuffed himself on grass clippings and was pacing, looking for a comfortable

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The Money in Numbers

By Lilly Platts

Actual carcass data is extremely valuable but can be difficult for many producers to obtain.  South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) Calf Value Discovery program gives regional producers a reliable place to gather such data.  Beef producers can consign a minimum of five weaned and vaccinated steer calves between 500 and 800 pounds to be finished at the University

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South Dakota Cattle Producers Call for Fair Prices to Save Future of Cattle Industry

By Lura Roti for SDFU

Every year, Aberdeen, South Dakota cow/calf producers Jeff and Rachel Kippley visit their local Kessler’s grocery store and pick up prime rib for Christmas dinner.

Since they began the tradition four years ago, the couple has paid the same price per pound for this holiday delicacy – $10.99.  However, the price they receive for the 1,000-pound calves

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This Hunting Season, Thank a Private Landowner

By Brian Yablonski and Whitney Tilt

We hear a lot about the value of Montana’s public lands these days — and for good reason.  The region’s vast public lands are what draw many of us to the state.  But often overlooked are the tremendous contributions of Montana’s private landowners, who are the little-thanked stewards of many of the things we enjoy

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An Open Letter to PETA (and Any Other Anti-Ag)

“WTF?  Announcing you’re pregnant by putting your partner in a Cow rape rack…  This couple found the sexual violations cows endure for dairy somehow amusing.  The glove he’s got on is what farmers wear when they shove their arm all the way inside a cow to forcibly impregnate her.” – PETA, Facebook Page Post, October 22, 2019

Dear PETA,

I, personally, do

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Joshua Solomon Dykes August 4, 1972 – October 17, 2019

Joshua Solomon Dykes (47) went to be with Jesus on October 17, 2019.  Josh died while doing what he loved; moving cattle back to his ranch.

Josh was a dedicated disciple of the Lord Jesus, a faithful and loving husband, devoted father, cattle rancher, cowboy and owner of 9-Mile Ranch in Walla Walla County, Washington.

He was born August 4, 1972 in

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Thoughts from the Editor

This early, bitterly cold, windy and snowy, winter storm that set in throughout much of Reporter Country sure has put a damper on fall cattle work.  Producers in the midst of weaning, shipping and preg-checking are facing nasty weather that makes it tough on cattle, trucks and people alike.  The markets aren’t where we’d like them to be, our industry

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Curiosity Saved the Cat

“Is he still sulking?” Ben asked.

“Yep,” Banjo said.  They both looked at Tuff laying his head in the new fallen snow.  Portions of his snoot and side of his jowls were still missing its fur.

“Looks like a roll of duct taped attacked him,” Ben said.

“Ha, ha, or a glue trap,” Banjo said.  “Who would’ve known those would stick as well

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Bits & Pieces

Mike Callicrate to Speak in Billings, MT on November 9

Mike Callicrate, independent cattle producer, entrepreneur, and family ranching advocate, will speak at the Northern Plains Resource Council 2019 Annual Meeting on November 9, 2019.  Callicrate is an outspoken commentator addressing the rural, social, and cultural impacts of current economic trends in agriculture.  Callicrate is the author of the No-Bull Food

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Defining “U.S. Beef”

By Kayla Sargent

Consumers prefer U.S. beef and are willing to pay a premium for it.  In fact, a 2016 Consumer Reports study found that 87 percent of consumers want country of origin labels on their meat and 60 percent would like further information on where the animal was born, raised and harvested.

Today, strolling down the meat aisle in any given

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House Members Defend the Term “Beef” With REAL Meat Act

By Mayzie Purviance

In a world where food products are falsely advertised with a NON-GMO verification sticker and labeled as “Anti-Biotic free,” the word “beef” seems to be up for debate.  However, have no fear, the Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act of 2019 is here to save the meat industry.

The Real MEAT Act was recently introduced to the U.S. 

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Raymond L. Stokes March 24, 1939 – October 16, 2019

Pastor Raymond L. Stokes, age 80, of Sidney, Nebraska went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.  He was a loving dad, grandpa and friend who touched many lives with his old west, mountain man, historian way of life.  He will be greatly missed.

Raymond Lloyd Stokes was born to Harold R. and Leona Mae

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Nutritional Comparison

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Fake Meat Offered at these Chain Restaurants

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Panelists Say Rise Of Plant-Based Products Are A “No-brainer”

By Jamie Henneman

The industry who brought you margarine, diet soda and gut-twisting ingredients like the fat-substitute Olestra are now enthusiastically backing the new trend of plant-based meats.  In a recent convention hosted by The Good Food Institute, a panel of food industry experts weighed in on the future of plant-based products, noting the growing public interest.

In a discussion titled, “Why

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Communication is Key

Over the weekend, I got on Twitter and was blown away by the responses I saw regarding a video of someone sitting with a Holstein steer/bull (I couldn’t tell from the video) and preaching that people should “Meet your meat.”  To match the original tweet, the same user tweeted, “Male dairy cows don’t produce dairy guys…  They’re sent off to

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Mock-Meat Market as told by Experts

By Mayzie Purviance

The Center for Food Integrity hosted a webinar in September titled “The Protein Play: Emerging Trends and Consumer Appetites for Protein Alternatives.” This webinar contained a panel of four key players in the alternative protein (fake meat) game, two of which were David Ervin, Vice-President of Alternative Proteins for Tyson Foods, and Ujwal Arkalgu,creator of big data ethnography

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A Look At Impossible Foods’ Founder and CEO Pat Brown’s Point Of View

By Kayla Sargent

At a recent conference titled, “The Future of Meat,” the Good Food Institute rounded up scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and companies creating plant-based and cell-based proteins to discuss ways to progress the new industry in the coming years.  The event, which sold out for the second year in a row, gathered about 900 people to discuss alternative proteins

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Comments

I know everybody was holding their breath last week when news broke about the explosion at one of the Cargill plants — I definitely was.  Like I mentioned before, I wondered how long it would be until another “event” took place at a packing facility in an effort to demolish the fed cattle market again.  I was upset when I

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Diary of a Hunting Camp Cook

Hunting season has begun, which means I feel I should run a zig zag pattern between my house and my car when I head to work about daylight.  I am hoping we have some nice fall weather ahead, but I am pretty sure hunters are wishing for snow and cold.  I do remember hunting seasons that were not nice such

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Impossible Burger’s Successful Retail Launch

The Impossible Burger debuted on Gelson’s Markets store shelves on September 20 and immediately became the number one selling product, according to an Impossible Foods (IF) press release.  IF reported that Gelson’s has sold more Impossible Burger than all types of real ground beef based on both revenue and pounds sold.

As of October 1, the product remained in the number

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Dorothy Eileen Ketchem February 25, 1946 – October 15, 2019

Dorothy Eileen Ketchem, 73, of Billings, Montana was unexpectedly called home on Tuesday October 15, 2019.

Dorothy was born February 25, 1946, in Greeley, Colorado, and was the daughter of Lawrence and Eldora Stroh. Dorothy grew up in Greeley  with 6 siblings.

Dorothy met the love of her life, Tom, in 1962 and was later married on September 9, 1967.  The pair

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Fake Meat Industry Fights State Labeling Laws

By Markie Hageman

The Good Food Conference, held in San Francisco, California September 4-6, 2019, refers to itself as “the world’s leading event focused on accelerating the marketplace for plant-based and cell-based meat.”  Scientists, policymakers and all parties involved in the fake meat industry are encouraged to attend this annual event that focuses on the most current technologies, strategies and insights

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Fake Out 

It seems like everything is fake these days: fake news, fake ice cream, fake money, fake teeth, fake knees, fake hips and fake identities.  Bald guys are wearing toupees, women are getting fake boobs and fake people pester me on the phone with robo-calls from fraudulent folks.  Fake “reality” TV show stars in Hollywood are even creating fake grades and

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Drainers versus Sustainers

Not two miles from my central Illinois home, a farmer’s next crop — a dozen rolls of eight-inch, black plastic drainage pipe — wait to be planted several feet deep in this year’s browning corn stubble.

It’s tiling season in much of the Midwest, that post-harvest period when earth-chewing machines fight weather, mud and daylight to bury thousands of miles of

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Stopping the Apocalypse

By Kayla Sargent

The world is heading toward an “apocalypse” and animal agriculture, particularly cattle production, is one of the main causes.  That’s the overall message that was relayed by a panel of speakers at the Good Food Institute’s Second Annual Conference.  In a discussion titled, “The Why,” representatives from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two of the budding industry’s

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Fake Meat Investors See Promising Demand

By Lilly Platts

The “fake meat” industry has been able to make prompt progress thanks to many investments from folks like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and even Tyson Foods and Cargill.  At the Good Food Conference, a panel of investors discussed why so many companies are choosing to support this budding industry.

The panel was made up of the following, each with

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BLT?  More Like TBHQ-LT, Ad in USA Today Boasts

As part of our effort to educate the public on the contents of “plant- based” meat, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) placed an ad in USA Today.  The ad compares real bacon to fake bacon–an ultra-processed imitation.

Americans love bacon.  A poll revealed that only four percent of Americans don’t like the savory snack and nearly a quarter of Americans

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Aleph Farms Completes First Slaughter-free Meat Experiment in Space

Aleph Farms, a food company that grows cultivated beef steaks, recently announced it has successfully taken “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind” in producing meat on the International Space Station, 248 miles (339 km) away from any natural resources.  Through an international collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions (Russia), which develops implementations of 3D bioprinting technologies,

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Agri-Kid

Tinsley and Myla Reed of Helena, Montana, supervise while their family sorts pairs. Tinsley and Myla are the daughters of Shayla and Sage Reed.

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Getting Caught in a Sticky Situation

Banjo carried the plastic bag in his mouth and raced to the barn like a pup.  Surprised, Tuff followed Banjo into the barn.

“I haven’t seen you this excited…about anything, in along time,” Tuff said.  Banjo laughed.

“Ha…ha! This is perfect,” Banjo said with a snicker.  “I feel like Rascal in a trash can finding his perfect pranks.”  Tuff followed him.

“What’s in

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Hawaiian Convenience Store Eliminates Beef

One of Hawaii’s popular convenience stores, Minit Stop, announced a decision to eliminate beef from its menus on October 21.  All the offerings will now be replaced with the Impossible Burger.

“We’re seeing more and more residents and visitors opt for Impossible.  Impossible’s plant-based burger acts, smells and tastes like beef.  So much so that we can add our own local

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Thoughts From The Editor

As I sat down to listen to some recordings from the second annual Good Food Conference, I intended to write one article covering the entire meeting which was attended by roughly 900 people.  But after watching just one, hour-long discussion and writing down nearly every quote as I felt they were blatant, not to mention often false, attacks on our

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Shipping Day Crazy

Shipping calves and pregnancy testing their mommas marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next for those in the cattle business.  There is no other clear start-stop time.  With the calves gone and the cows out on fall pasture, late October is one of the few times ranchers can take a breather.  Processing everything in a

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Montanans Not Backing Down

Ted and Anna Brown (Katie and Ted’s oldest daughter) participate in Hi-Line Heritage’s fundraiser rodeo and auction, October 12.

By Mayzie Purviance

Katie Brown, her husband, Ted, and three children live on their fifth-generation family ranch located south of Malta, Montana.  In an informative and heart-felt Facebook post about the American Prairie Reserve (APR) and bison, Brown made a simple

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Sheep Industry Leader Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee

Burton Pfliger, a past president of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on September 25 in Washington, D.C.  His testimony came during a full committee hearing concerning perspectives on the livestock and poultry sectors.

Starting with the issue of international trade, Pfliger reiterated the fact that ASI supports ratification of

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Options Sought For Producers Enduring Wet Weather

The extensive wet pattern in North Dakota, topped with an early snowstorm, is creating a great deal of anxiety for farmers and ranchers.  The state is exploring all possible means of assistance and encouraging those in emotional distress to reach out for help, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Governor Doug Burgum said in a joint statement.

“We recognize the challenges our

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The Case of the Sneaky Scarecrow

“Hey! Who’s the wise guy?!” Rascal called as he tugged on the tack room door.  He looked down the barn’s alley, “That mangy dog skunked me again.”  He gave the tack room door another hard push with his shoulder to see if it would budge, but nothing…not even an inch.  Rascal turned with his paws on his hips, snoot down

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Agri-Kid

5-year-old Nevada Steadman of Georgetown, Idaho jumps off her horse after a long day of cowgirling.

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Cattlemen Participate in White House Event Spotlighting Federal Overreach

Two members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined President Trump at a White House event spotlighting past federal overreach by the U.S.  Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  During the event, the President signed two Executive Orders while will provide more clarity and transparency to often-daunting and complicated federal regulatory processes.
“Today’s event at the

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Deal or No Deal

by Kayla Sargent

As China and U.S. trade officials met for yet another round of trade talks, rural America held their breath.  After China’s untimely departure from the last meetings, frustration built in the countryside.

On October 11, President Trump tweeted that “good things” were happening at the most recent meetings.  He said it felt “more like the old days” and there

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Investigating the Meat Packing Giant JBS

cutting meat slaughterhouse workers in a meat factory

by Kayla Sargent

Two East Coast Senators are questioning foreign investments in the U.S. meatpacking industry.  Specifically, Brazilian meat processor JBS S.A.’s move into the U.S. market is of concern, considering its “admitted criminal conduct” and involvement in “illicit financial activities,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) wrote in

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Student Leaders Preparing for 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo

In a few weeks, the city of Indianapolis will transform into a sea of blue jackets when the National FFA Convention & Expo kicks off for the 92nd time.  This time-honored tradition will be held in the Circle City October 30 – November 2, 2019.

More than 67,000 FFA members from across the U.S., representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and

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Raising Voices Event Prepares Youth for Agricultural Advocacy

In conjunction with its Fall Legislative Fly-In earlier this month, National Farmers Union (NFU) hosted its first Raising Voices event for young agricultural leaders.  Thirty-three FFA and Professional Agricultural Student (PAS) members hailing from 14 states traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in an educational session and gain hands-on advocacy experience.

“Fly-In is always an exciting time for us in D.C.,

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Feeding Quality Forum Speakers Encourage New Thinking

By Miranda Reiman

The cattle industry needs to make some bold, creative changes to ensure its viability.

That was the wakeup call from speakers at the Feeding Quality Forum, August 27 to 28 in Amarillo, Texas.  Persistent problems may require new approaches.

“Revenue is the reward for doing the right thing,” Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 Analytics, said.

The retail food expert talked of

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Slow Cooker Recipes and Sticker-Priced Bovine

This past week when we received fourteen inches of heavy, wet October snow I decided it was time to go vehicle shopping.  The “Old Farmer’s Almanac” is predicting a polar-coaster winter, and I am tired of shoveling my Ford Taurus out of my half-mile long driveway.  While we were vehicle shopping, I hit upon an innovative marketing plan for cattle.

We

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Don’t Be These People

I’ve been in some form of the auction business for 45 years and have viewed auctions from all perspectives, from buyer, consignor, ring man, auctioneer, clerk, sale manager, etc. So I speak from some experience when I say there are some folks we’d just as soon NOT show up at an auction. Please, don’t be any of these people:

#10- The

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Bits & Pieces

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt Headlines PLC Annual Banquet

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt addressed many of his greatest partners in land management and conservation – federal lands ranchers – as he headlined the Public Lands Council (PLC) Annual Banquet in Great Falls, Montana on September 27.  Secretary Bernhardt addressed economic impacts to ranchers and the importance of grazing to

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Raised in a Barn

We recently motored through 1,300 miles of rural Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.  The trophy wife and I were sporting our new “Stand Up for Betsy Ross” tee shirts and worried we might trigger the perpetually offended blue voters of the eastern states.  However, barnyard flags and numerous “Trump-Pence 2020” signs calmed our fears.  Outside the socialist quagmire of urban

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Ag’s Coming Heart Transplant

If government and private estimates are accurate, hundreds of millions of American farm acres will have new owners in the next 15 years.

For example, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) survey takers and record keepers, predicts 100 million acres of today’s farmland will be sold by its current owners by 2023.

The American Farmland Trust (AFT), a

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Joe Thomas Helle May 14, 1932 – October 8, 2019

Joe Thomas Helle, age 87, passed away in Dillon, Montana on October 8, 2019.  Joe was born to Harold and Alice Helle in Williston North Dakota, May 14, 1932.

He spent his youth enjoying the outdoors and began his destiny in the rangelands of the West while working on the Shipstead Ranch in Scobey, Montana.  His adventures included chasing wild horses,

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A Modern Day Boston Tea Party

by Kayla Sargent

Like a modern day Boston Tea Party, Kansas cattle producers belonging to the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) are protesting what they see as “taxation without representation.”  Today’s situation has nothing to do with a tax on tea, but instead a tax on cattle sold.  The KCA believes the Beef Checkoff is “taxation without representation.”

After publishing a briefing paper

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Comments

Late last Friday afternoon, President Trump broke the news of what he called Phase 1 of a trade agreement between the United States and China.  Soon after, my phone started blowing up with texts and calls from folks wondering if I had heard any details.

President Trump said the Chinese have agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion worth of

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American Sheep Industry Files H-2A Comments

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) offered support for comments filed by Mountain Plains Agricultural Service and the Western Range Association regarding the Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States.  Comments were filed on proposed rules issued by the Department of Labor intending to make the worker program more efficient for use.

H-2A workers are critical to the

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Hille Selected as North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Brand Recorder

Stephanie Hille of Mandan, North Dakota was hired as the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) brand recorder.  She started on September 9.

As the brand recorder, Hille’s main responsibilities will include maintaining the state’s brand records by renewing, recording and transferring brands; publishing the brand book and monthly and annual supplements; and generating missing livestock reports, permanent horse permits and other

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California Law Could Dictate Production Practices Nationwide

by Kayla Sargent

With the enactment of Proposition 12 in November 2018, practices changed for egg, pork and veal producers across the state of California.  Commonly referred to as Prop 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative established new confinement standards for certain farm animals and bans the sale of product in the state that was not produced under those standards.

By 2022,

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Thoughts from the Editor

It has been a busy few weeks in the world of ag news.  Discussions about markets, trade, packer investigations, the beef checkoff and the seemingly unending battle between our trade organizations have kept journalists and readers alike on their toes.  I have noticed over the past month a new wave of producers getting involved, educating themselves and speaking out —

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“The Wannabe”

By John Purviance and Chad Edwards

 

There’s a species on this earth

That no man can deny.

 

He’s found in towns throughout the West,

And easy to identify.

 

He’s not a special critter,

No he’s not a real exotic.

 

He does not hail from Kathmandu

Nor an island in the tropics.

 

No one seems to know

How or where he originated.

 

His purpose on this earth

Is a subject that’s debated.

 

But in

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The Reality of the Beef Checkoff

by Cattlemen’s Beef Board CEO Greg Hanes

In the few months since I took the helm as CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) – the governing and administrative organization of the Beef Checkoff – there appears to be many misperceptions, false rumors, and misinformation about how the checkoff works and is administered.  Let’s look at its history, what the Beef

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Minnesota Congressmen Introduce Wolf Legislation

Representatives Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) and Pete Stauber (R-MN) recently introduced the Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2019 that would return management of the Western Great Lakes gray wolves to state control in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

“Choosing between protecting their livelihood or complying with a federal judicial decision is a choice no farmer should have to make.  The gray

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Corteva Agriscience Commits $600,000 to Support SDSU Raven Precision Agriculture Center

Corteva Agriscience recently announced a $600,000 gift to support the South Dakota State University (SDSU) precision agriculture program and construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center on campus.  The gift will sponsor the Corteva Student Atrium inside the new facility.

“We are very fortunate to have Corteva Agriscience partner with us on this groundbreaking precision agriculture facility and program,” John

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Montana Could See Fourteen Livestock Markets Auctions

By Sheila Hildebrand

The Montana Department of Livestock held a “New Livestock Market Public Hearing” regarding Robbie Cattle Company Inc. and Montana Cattle ConneXion’s application for a “Livestock Market Permit” on October 8, 2019 at the Park City High School.  The meeting, attended by approximately 40 livestock producers/community members, was conducted in compliance with the Administrative Rule of Montana 32.15.104 which

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“Agriculture isn’t destroying the planet — agriculture is feeding it.”

What’s worse than an anti-ag activist?  An un-informed anti-ag activist.  This week, we’re going to focus on a heavily discussed topic: Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

For the past year or so in the anti-ag and vegan Facebook groups I’m a member of, it seems the “animal-ag-is-bad train” has derailed from the historically consistent, “we shouldn’t kill another living thing,” argument to the

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The Great American Cow Dog

Most cowboys love their dogs.  When your soul is stained with horse sweat and cow manure, it is good to have a little buddy as eager to work at two o’clock in the morning as eleven o’clock at night.  Even in their senior years, the great American cow dog holds the day’s task in higher esteem than life itself.  They

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R-CALF USA Files Lawsuit to Stop USDA’s RFID Ear Tag Mandate

On October 4, Harriet Hageman, Senior Litigation Counsel with the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Casper, Wyoming representing the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and four ranchers from Wyoming and South Dakota, to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) effort to eliminate all animal identification

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A Peanut Butter Puzzle

Banjo lifted one sleepy eye open when he heard Tuff burst through the screen door and the wood banged against its frame.  Not wanting to move anything other than his eyelid, Banjo tried to ignore Tuff racing towards him.

“Rise and shine,” Tuff called.  “The mama is on a rampage.”

With that, Banjo lifted his head.

“Why?’ he asked.

But his question was answered

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Robert Smith February 19, 1931 – October 3, 2019

Robert T. Smith, 88 of Forest Grove, Montana, died at his home on October 3, 2019 surrounded by family.  He was the oldest of five siblings, born February 19, 1931 in Harrison, Nebraska.  He graduated 8th grade from Drylander School and then high school in Grass Range, class of 1949.

Robert served in the Navy during the Korean War and was

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There’s Always Kansas City

The internal memo only confirmed what unofficial Washington had been saying for more than a year and what official Washington had been downplaying for even longer: The White House plan to move two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies to Kansas City will severely cripple USDA data collection, handcuff policymakers who depend on the data and analysis, and gut both

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Thoughts from the Editor

In the late-September Senate Ag Committee hearing on the state of the livestock industry, Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) stressed the importance of unity in our industry.  He said it would be much easier for our Congressmen and women to work on our behalf if Congress was  receiving the same, clear message from cattlemen across the nation.  We have witnessed the

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We Ought Not Squander the Opportunity

By U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Vice President Brooke Miller

Like most ranchers, I am not too keen on leaving the ranch and getting involved in politics and policy.  In fact, if I hadn’t bumped into Jess Peterson at a bull sale in southern Virginia a few years back, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA).  After we chatted,

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Taking the Bull by the Horns

C4T founder Couy Griffin recently met with President Trump after the C4T cowboys rode their horses to the site of the 9/11 attacks in honor of those who died in 2001.  C4T hopes to work with the President and his administration to solve issues affecting rural New Mexico.

By Jamie Henneman

It’s not certain that riding horseback into Washington D.C.

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Study Shows Red Meat Isn’t Bad for the Body

by Mayzie Purviance

After a three-year study focused on examining the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommended a limited weekly serving of red meat, the verdict is in: Red meat is not bad for the body.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife, “On September 30 a series of systematic reviews that used a higher standard of evidence announced a recommendation that for

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Trump Signs “Historic” Trade with Japan Lowering Beef Tariffs

On October 7, President Trump signed a bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan.  Joining President Trump at the signing ceremony were Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston, Montana Stockgrowers Association President Fred Wacker and other key officials.
Wacker said the beef agreement is the most significant beef agreement Montana’s cattle ranchers have ever seen. 

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BLM to Host National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in D.C.

The BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board (NWHBAB) will meet October 29-31 in Washington, D.C.  The Board will discuss the pressing challenges of wild horse and burro management, including the number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM facilities and the effects of overpopulation on public lands.  The public meeting will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5

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Focus and Unity Must Prevail

by Joe Goggins

Well folks, I am not going to make a habit out of writing in our publication, but I felt the need to fill everyone in on my thoughts on the #FairCattleMarkets Twitter campaign.  First of all, thanks to all the producers and feeders across America for participating in a grassroots campaign.  I really believe we were recognized and

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Alexa, Play “Wild Horses,” By the Rolling Stones

Today we’re going to discuss something that isn’t easy to talk about: animal control, specifically in wild horses.

Thousands of wild horses or burros roam American soil.  Although movies and books paint the picture of wild horses being beautiful, majestic animals, this is not always the case.

According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency manages and protects approximately 88,000

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Robert E. Koch October 2, 1934 – September 27, 2019

Robert was born on October 2, 1934 in New Castle, Nebraska to Marie (Pierson) Koch and Hurbert Koch.  Bob was raised in New Castle, Nebraska and graduated from New Castle High School in May of 1952.  He married Mary Lou LaDue in March 1957 and to this union five children were born, Kim, Jeff, Jan, Jody and Danelle.  Mary Lou

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NILE to Bring Together Ag Community in Billings

By Lilly Platts

The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) has been offering participants and spectators alike a place to gather in Billings, Montana each October for over 50 years, and this year’s event, October 12-19, promises to be jam-packed with youth events, rodeo, livestock, top-quality equine, and much more.

Radiant Rodeo is a recently organized event at NILE, which was started to

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Agri-Kid

One-year-old Adalynn Olive Smith and her Mini Aussie, Finn, are enjoying some tractor time under the Big Sky in Whitehall, Montana.  ‘Addy’ is a 4th generation rancher on the Smith Charolais Ranch.

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The Lucky Ones

by Kayla Sargent

In the heat of the day in mid August nearly, 900 horses find cover in 15,000 acres of high-mountain desert pasture.  The grass is far too dry to take a Suburban off the well travelled road, but eight horses meandered to the top of the ridge — four bays and four grays.  The horses are fairly quiet and

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The Pack Rat War of 2014

There is no animal on earth more detestable than a pack rat.  I believe it is because they mark everything, so they just ooze as they go, and they build a huge nest called a midden wherein you might find everything that has been missing in an outfitter camp for the last five years.  They do not make good tent

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Comments

One of our biggest fights in livestock agriculture since the 1970’s has been all of the “Health Experts” recommending consumers in the United States and the rest of the world eat less red meat.  The last few years have even seen recommendations of NO red meat consumtion.

Last week a new report came out that may prove

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New Officers Elected to Lead Montana Beef Council

In action concluding its September 12-13 meeting in Billings, the Montana Beef Council (MBC) Board of Directors – all Montana volunteers, including members from nearly all segments of the beef supply chain – approved checkoff funding for nearly 30 beef demand-building and producer communication project funding requests in coming the fiscal year.  The board of directors also elected new leadership

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John Chatham, Jr. February 15, 1933 – September 16, 2019

John Robert Chatham Jr., 86, of Huntley, Montana was lifted up to Heaven on Monday, September 16, 2019.  He was born in Crow Agency on February 15, 1933 to John Robert Chatham Sr. and Edith (Erickson) Chatham.

John received his education from Antler School on Rotten Grass Creek, Lodge Grass High School, and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.  He married

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Seeking Competition and Transparency

by Kayla Sargent

In the midst of the recent Western Ag Reporter (WAR) #FairCattleMarkets campaign, the question and answer session at the Senate Ag Committee titled, “Perspectives on the Livestock and Poultry Sectors,” that WAR initially covered last week, spotlighted several issues and potential solutions to bring competition and transparency back to cattle markets.

When the cattle market plunged following the Tyson

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Vesicular Stomatitis Cases Confirmed in 35 Colorado Counties

Cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) have been identified in the following 35 Colorado counties:  Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Ouray, Park, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Summit, Teller, and Weld.  The total count of premises

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A Successful Campaign Creates Conversation

By Mayzie Purviance

35,173 represents the number of Tweets containing #FairCattleMarkets in a one-week period.  35,173 times people were concerned about unfair cattle markets.  35,173 times people cared about the cow-calf producers and independent feeders across the nation.  35, 173 times people wanted to help the hands who feed them.

President Trump may not have tweeted using #FairCattleMarkets himself, but it’s safe

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Public Lands Council Concludes 51st Annual Meeting

Following an appearance from U.S.  Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, the Public Lands Council (PLC) concluded its 50th Annual Meeting in Great Falls, Montana.

The sold-out meeting attracted greater than 200 industry leaders who traveled from across the West to partake in the event.  Attendees heard from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service officials, as well as key

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Thomas Dashiell . June 23, 1919 – September 24, 2019

Thomas Wayne Dashiell, 100, was born to parents George and Annie Dashiell on June 23, 1919 at the family homestead and farm near Mt. Hope, Washington.  Tom passed away peacefully the morning of September 24, 2019 at Palouse Country Assisted Living in Fairfield, Washington.  He lived in the area on the same road his entire life.

He was preceded in death

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Partisanship, Piffle and Prattle

Some years ago, I wrote a column on how farm groups sternly preached the value of what they reverently called “sound science” but, in fact, usually endorsed only “science that sounds good” to the groups.  Not coincidentally, I noted, most of that good-sounding science was “science” tied to research bought-and-paid-for by the groups themselves.

Examples of this thumb-on-the-scale tactic continue to

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Breakfast with Beck: Beef, There’s No Alternative

by Mayzie Purviance

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) mission is “To serve the beef industry by improving the business climate and growing global beef demand.”  In other words, it’s NCBA’s duty to defend beef.  This statement rang true at the 50th Annual Public Lands Council Meeting in Great Falls, Montana.  NCBA Director of Government Affairs Danielle Beck presented “Beef, There’s

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Calorie Burn and Climate Change

The trophy wife and I are training for marathons in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York scheduled for the first week of October.  Last week, my Garmin watch showed I have pounded out 1,746 miles over the previous 12 months.  Druann leads me with 1,936 miles.

Interestingly, my app also shows I burned 229,005 calories, so at 3,500 calories per pound of

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“In 1492…”

I am so excited my favorite holiday of the year is near.  Columbus Day, which is also celebrated on the same day as Thanksgiving in Canada, is the perfect holiday because you don’t have to buy cards or gifts for it, decorate for it, cook for the celebration, or even gather all of the family together for it.  It is

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He’ll Get What He Deserves

Last week Banjo thought his biggest problem was Rascal getting his grubby paws into the peanut butter until the sinister snake revealed himself in a surprise attack.  Just when Milo the mongoose thought the coast was clear, Banjo realized it was the snake’s plan… it was a ruse.  What will happen to Milo?  Will the rattler revel in his plans

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Keep the Mice at Bay as the Weather Cools

by Heather Smith Thomas

Mice can be a huge problem in a shop, barn, tack room, or even some older homes where the little pests find ways to squeeze through cracks and chinks and get inside.  In our old farmhouse, (the original two-room cabin built from hewed logs in 1885, added onto multiple times through the decades) mice have always been

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Black Hills Angus Tour

Unseasonably green grass was present throughout the tour due to a surplus of rain this year.

Rod Geppert, Angus Area Regional Manager, announces Ryan Effling as the winner of the $1200 Grand Prize Giveaway as Tour Coordinator Justin Urhig congratulates him.

Greg Shearer of Spear U Angus greets the crowd and announces his upcoming Complete Herd

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Thoughts from the Editor

Our #FairCattleMarkets campaign wrapped up on Monday this week and reflecting on the grassroots movement, our team is in agreement that it was a success.  It successfully reached a total of 1 million people on Twitter alone.  But the reach was only a small portion of the success — this led to many more wins.

The campaign successfully started some meaningful

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Olive Branch or Trojan Horse?

by Kayla Sargent

In an effort to “extend an olive branch” to ranching communities in strong opposition to their mission, the American Prairie Reserve (APR) modified the scope of their BLM grazing request.  The “olive branch” instead struck many area ranchers as more of a “Trojan horse” United Property Owners of Montana (UPOM) spokesman Chuck Denowh said.

The APR submitted a Livestock

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Who Does NCBA Support?

Supportive commentary by Phil AcMoody, Butternut Ridge Farms, Michigan, regarding Gilles Stockton’s commentary, “Non-logic and the NCBA” in the August 15, 2019 Western Ag Reporter.

As we look at and talk about the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) media and lobbying push to have the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) – better known as NAFTA 2.0 – ratified by Congress,

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Smear Campaigns

by NCBA CEO Colin Woodall

The activist-funded Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has again resorted to half-truths and smear tactics to pit beef producers against one another.  It’s clear that their allies at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have taught the staff some new tricks to help tear the beef industry apart from the inside.  It should come

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Market Situation Dominates Discussion at North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Convention

North Dakota’s cattle producers rolled up their collective sleeves and went to work on the critical issues facing the state’s beef industry as they convened for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s (NDSA) 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “This is Stockmen’s Country,” in Minot, North Dakota, September 19-21.  NDSA President Dan Rorvig, a commercial cow-calf producer from McVille, said, hands

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Agri-Kid

Sarah Wehrman, a member of the Huntley Eagles 4-H Club, said a tough goodbye to her 4-H lamb at the sale.  Turns out, the buyer of the lamb returned it to Sarah!

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Captive Supply Reform

By Gilles Stockton, Grass Range, MT

Feeders and ranchers alike have every reason to be upset at the hit cattle prices took following a fire in a Tyson slaughter plant back in August.  We can’t call this downturn a collapse because the collapse came in 2015 when Congress rescinded Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).  However, we were all hopeful that the

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The Deal Down with Japan Boosts Producer Attitude

by Kayla Sargent

On September 25, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the completion of a trade agreement that is expected to greatly improve access for U.S. agricultural products.  The trade deal would level the playing field for American producers that have been at a disadvantage since leaving the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Once fully implemented the new deal

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100% USDA Grade A Bull – Part III

“What’s the other one taste like?” I asked, “Dog food,” they answered.  And that, my friends, about sums up this entire Beyond Beef® vs.  traditional beef series.

To give you a recap: Last week at the grocery store I purchased a pound of ground Beyond Beef®, a pound of regular ground beef, hamburger buns, salt, pepper and sliced cheddar cheese to

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Comments

Last Monday the board was higher and in the first few days of our #FairCattleMarkets Twitter campaign, I suggested sticking up for ourselves and trying to reach President Trump could have something to do with the uptick.  Some analysts were attributing this to 9 percent lower cattle on feed.  They forgot to mention that this decline was due to cratering

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USCA Urges President Trump to Reinstate COOL

On September 23, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump reiterating that a successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) includes the reestablishment of a country-of-origin labeling program for U.S. beef.

In the letter, USCA Preisdent Kenny Graner states:

“Though COOL failed to make it into the final text of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada

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Arlen Sawyer, January 30, 1953 – September 10, 2019

Arlen James Sawyer, 66, passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska.  Arlen was born January 30, 1953 in Madison, South Dakota to Richard James and Dorothy Elizabeth (Cherrey) Sawyer.

He was raised on his family’s Angus farm near Howard, South Dakota.  Arlen graduated from Howard High School in 1971.  He was a 4-H member

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NCBA Names New CEO, PLC Seeks New Executive Director

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced two significant leadership changes on September 18.  The NCBA Executive Committee confirmed Colin Woodall to serve as the association’s new Chief Executive Officer.  Woodall, who was named after an exhaustive national search, managed NCBA’s efforts in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade.  Since joining NCBA in 2004, Woodall has been instrumental in

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ASI Announces Staff Changes, Additions

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) announced recently that Zahrah Khan has moved into a full-time position with the association and will now serve as project manager for accounting and convention.  Khan has worked with the association since December of 2008 – first on a contract basis and then part-time for many years – and she will now oversee ASI

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Campaign Launch Successful

By Mayzie Purviance

On behalf of cow-calf producers and independent feeders everywhere: thank YOU!  Thank you, from the neighbor who will be hauling steers to their local sale barn this coming weekend.  Thank you, from that kid in your child’s class who is wearing muddy jeans to school because she got up early this morning to feed cows and complete her

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Be Neat, Eat MORE Meat, Ag Advocates Urge

By Markie Hageman

The Ellen Show sparked an uproar with her fans when she posted a video to her Instagram timeline telling people to “Eat less meat.”  In her video, she addresses her audience by saying, “Oh hi there.  It’s Ellen DeGeneres here.  I was scrolling through the Gram (Instagram), and I noticed that a lot of people are talking about

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Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Just before flying to Washington D.C. Shane Eaton met with USCA Marketing and Competition Committee Member Joe Goggins to discuss his oral testimony. Goggins offered Eaton advice based on his experience testifying before Congressional leaders in 2016 regarding the yet-implemented Electronic Logging Device mandate.

By Kayla Sargent

From his remote ranch in Eastern Montana, Shane Eaton worked with United States

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Students Dine on North Dakota Foods in School Lunch

Students across North Dakota dined on food products from their own state on Thursday, September 19, during the 18th Annual Agriculture in the Classroom School Lunch Day.

“Highlighting North Dakota food products grown by our farmers and ranchers and processed by local businesses helps students learn how their food is raised and produced,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.  “School lunch programs

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USDA Must End NRCS Abuses, Farm Bureau Says

Farmers and ranchers are being denied due process as part of an abuse of discretion by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, according to a scathing ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  The ruling is highlighted in a letter from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) calling on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to enact much-needed reforms in

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The Rising Rattler

Tuff slipped on the wet grass as he raced for the barn.  He could hardly believe his eyes, and unless Banjo saw it for himself, he wouldn’t either.  The gust of wind helped thrust him through the barn door just in time to see Banjo and Ben leading their way out to the corrals.

“Banjo! Banjo!” Tuff called.  “It’s absolutely unbelievable! 

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Staying Alive with Canine Heart Sounds

I entered college in the ‘70s when UW’s Hill Hall boomed with the driving beat of disco.  Rock music was foreign to me because FM signals exhausted themselves before reaching our ranch in northern Wyoming.  Even AM signals were sketchy until after sunset when Oklahoma City’s KOMA signal made its 925-mile trek to the Big Horn foothills.

I was a poor,

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Dude Horse Heroes

I have been fortunate in my lifetime to have owned many amazing horses.  In fact, I have hardly ever met a horse I didn’t like.  I think the horse is the most majestic creature God has created.  I even love horses that don’t belong to me such as Max, the dude horse subject of this often-requested poem I wrote as

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Agri-Kid

Six-year-old Graydin Arthun isn’t afraid to jump in and help push calves for branding at their ranch near Wilsall, Montana.

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Ranchers Raise $17,000 for DMD Research

The Heaton family in front of BLS after the sale.

Grant Heaton watches as cattle sell in the fundraiser for DMD at BLS.

September 19 dawned a bit dreary, but the sun shone through the clouds as the sale at Billings LiveStock Commission (BLS) broke for lunch.  Resuming the sale after lunch the lots commissioned for the Calves

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100% USDA Grade A Bull – Part II

Ingredients for burgers.

With a hefty amount of professional etiquette and journalistic integrity, I will give you my detailed review of purchasing, cooking and eating a plain and dry burger made with Beyond Beef®.  Please note, everything I am about to say is 100 percent my opinion and could possibly gross you out a little.  Read with caution.

Last week,

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Big Four Catching Heat

by Kayla Sargent

Even though the Tyson and Cargill fires are out, the big four have caught some heat from the industry over the past few months.  They are asking that some of that “heat” simply be dismissed.  In a document filed on September 13, 2019, the packers’ legal team sought to dismiss the class action antitrust lawsuit alleging that they

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MSU Seeks Steer Donations for 2019-2020 School Year

A continuously growing student program in Montana State University’s College of Agriculture is seeking donations of steers, feed or financial support for the 2019-20 academic year.  The Steer-A-Year program allows students to learn about every element of cattle management through hands-on involvement.  Students feed and raise the cattle through the winter and spring, collecting data about daily intakes, feed efficiency

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Register Now for North Dakota Shearing, Classing Schools

The North Dakota Sheep Shearing School and Certified Wool Classing School are set for November 23-25.  With both classes limiting the number of students able to attend, register early to assure your place.

The shearing school will be held at the Hettinger Fairgrounds and is open to both experienced and non-experienced shearers.  The professional shearing pattern, tagging and eyeing, equipment maintenance

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It Takes a Carpenter

In the early morning fog the other day, I heard a claw hammer’s tap, tap, bam, bam, bam, boom drive a nail into its place for who knows how many years.  A moment later, another six, clear, sharp notes cut through the fog and another nail was set for, maybe, a century or more.

There were no carpenters on the southern

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Comments

The Twitter campaign to reach President Trump is in full swing.  We asked all of you to tweet our President daily from September 23 to September 30 and we certainly need to flood his account this entire week, but feel free to keep sending tweets for as long as you wish.  The first tweet I sent to President on Monday

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Tyson Plant Expected to Resume Full Operation By Early 2020

In a blog post on September 20, Tyson Fresh Meats Group President Steve Stouffer said the plant at Holcomb, Kansas is expected to resume normal operations by the beginning of 2020.

“While it is not visible from the outside, the fire severely damaged one of the most critical parts of the plant: the hydraulic and electrical system that supports the harvest

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Thoughts from the Editor

Grassroots advocacy.  This is a term that nearly all ag organizations, large or small, like to boast about.  But boy oh boy, have we seen the power of it shine over the past two weeks.  Between our #FairCattleMarkets Twitter campaign, the Senate Committee hearing on the livestock industry and the wide-spread and respectful responses to Ellen Degeneres urging viewers to

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NCBA Grants Itself $27 Million of Your Beef Checkoff Funds

By Joe Maxwell, Organization for Competitive Markets

This week the Beef Checkoff Program budget for 2020 was released, outlining how cattle producers’ $40,900,000 in research and promotion funds will be spent in the coming year.  The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) named seven organizations as contractors that will be granted the beef checkoff funds.  Once again, the

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Proposed Rule Would Make Millions Vulnerable to Food Insecurity

A proposed rule to change the eligibility guidelines for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would erode food security in the United States, according to the Alliance to End Hunger.  If the rule is implemented, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 3.1 million hungry Americans would lose food assistance through SNAP, and more than 500,000 children from affected

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Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductions

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) recently announced the 12th class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.  The inductees were chosen from a field of candidates nominated by the general public.  Inductees are honored for their notable contributions to the history and culture of Montana.

“The Hall of Fame exists to

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2020 Checkoff Budget Splits $40.9 million Between Seven Contractors

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will invest approximately $40.9 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications during fiscal 2020, subject to USDA approval.

In action at the end of its September 10-11 meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved checkoff funding for a total of 15 “Authorization Requests”

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MSU Purchase Local 4-H Pigs for Dining Hall

In a continuous effort to support local Montana growers and producers, Montana State University Culinary Services has purchased 4-H pigs to feed MSU students in its dining halls.  This year, Culinary Services went to 15 state fairs across Montana and purchased 52 pigs, three rabbits and two goats from 57 4-H and FFA members.  The pigs were butchered at nine

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John P. Chase, Jr. July 2, 1934 – September 5, 2019

After a long, hard fought battle, John P. “Jack” Chase, Jr. passed away at the Sheridan Hospital on September 5, 2019, with his family by his side.

Jack was born on a small farm in Canton, Massachusetts, on July 2, 1934 to Barbara and John P. Chase.  He grew up in a large family with an older brother, George, and four

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Final Nail in the WOTUS Coffin

By Kayla Sargent

The September 12 announcement of the final repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule was met by widespread praise across the agriculture industry.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the previous WOTUS rule expanded the definition of Waters of the U.S. beyond the limits imposed by Congress and

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AccuWeather Predicts Poor 2019 Corn and Soybean Yield

By John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer

The latest AccuWeather 2019 crop production analysis affirms the belief that 2019 will be a down year for corn and soybean production both in terms of quantity and quality.  AccuWeather analysts predict the 2019 corn yield will be 13.36 billion bushels compared to 14.42 billion in 2018, while the soybean yield will be 3.658 billion

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Agri-Kid

Here is definite bronc rider in the making.  If his good seat on that pony doesn’t say enough, his name Rodee Owen DeMers certainly does!  This 10 year old from Phillipsburg, Montana has a long rodeo career ahead of him!

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100% USDA Grade A Bull — Part I

I’m calling it now, the official word of 2019 is, “fake.”  It seems I hear this word on a daily basis.  Our president is constantly tweeting about fake news, young girls are constantly calling each other fake and, in the agricultural industry, we’re constantly discussing the topic of fake meat.

Fake meat is a current hot button issue among the food

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On the Offense

She knew he was close because Wynonna could smell him.  A rattler had a scent unlike any other snakes.  This is what set Wynonna above all other rattlesnake wranglers – she could smell the musky odor they emitted.  Usually a snake will release a vile odor as a method of self-defense, which most everyone can smell, but for Wynonna she

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The New (Dis)order in Today’s Agriculture Markets

AgResource President Dan Basse shared market outlook at the 2019 Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo, Texas.  Abbie Burnett photo.

By Abbie Burnett

Producer Communications,Certified Angus Beef LLC

“Economic and political order has become disorder,” AgResource president Dan Basse said in market analysis comments at the 2019 Feeding Quality Forum in Amarillo, Texas.

In a third of the world’s economies today, Germany included,

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Comments

Hope all of you are working on setting up a Twitter account if you don’t already have one.  Since we started the “Tweet President Trump, Our Cattle Markets Need Help” campaign, I have been pleased with the number of people who have called, emailed, or told me at events that they created a Twitter account – many had to have

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Tweets

On the front page of last week’s Western Ag Reporter, Joe Goggins urged a Twitter attack to combat the crisis in the cattle market.  I am up for that!  I am sharpening my poison pen, cracking my knuckles and ready to join in the Twitter attack.

Truthfully, I do have a Twitter account, but I don’t really know how to Tweet. 

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Thoughts from the Editor

Driving home from another long day at the office of getting our Annual Herd Reference Edition off to print and sealing the details of our #FairCattleMarkets campaign, a radio advertisement caught my attention and made me double check what station I was tuned to.  “Four companies control over 80 percent of the meatpacking industry,” the ad announced.

Still fired up from

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The Plan is No Plan

You know you’re deep in the rabbit hole when bad news – say, a government report that shows steep cuts in anticipated 2019 crop yields – is good news because it will hopefully boost prices.  Conversely, when good news arrives, like an unexpected week of perfect September weather, it’s actually bad news because it just drags already low prices even

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Strength in Numbers

By Jamie Henneman

It is a high, arid place where the elevation averages over 5,000 feet, rainfall is intermittent and winter closes in quickly.  Ranches are often limited in their numbers due to these conditions and average 100 head or less.  A lack of access to public lands, limited water availability and sparse options for winter feed also check ranch growth.

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Have You Struck Your Colors?

John was born in Scotland, became a sailor at 13, captained his own ship at 21 and then emigrated to Virginia.  He was so enthralled with the dream called America, none were surprised when he joined her fledgling Navy – fledgling being the proper term for a Navy lacking ships, sailors and armaments.  John was eventually deployed to European waters

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Wool Growers, UW Extension Create Producer Group

Aspiring wool producers would support each other and draw expertise from established producers and from outside sources in an effort being crafted by the Wyoming Wool Growers Association and University of Wyoming Extension.  Established producers would offer their knowledge to help their younger counterparts and help grow the industry, extension educator Bridger Feuz said.  Feuz, based in Uinta County, and

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Regenerative Agriculture Counters Fake Meat

Multiple species grazing at White Oaks Pasture.  Angie Mosier photo.

by Kerry Hoffschneider

You may have seen Will Harris, agriculturist and livestock steward, from Bluffton, Georgia on a recent episode of CNN’s Vital Signs where he confronted Dr. Pat O’Reilly Brown, Impossible Foods founder in a dialogue about “fake meat” vs. beef raised out on the land.  Harris is the

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Bits & Pieces

Nevada Centennial Awards Apps Due October 20

Farms and ranches in operation for 100 years or longer can apply for the Nevada Centennial Awards.  The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) is accepting applications for the 2019 Nevada Centennial Ranch and Farm Awards until October 20.  The application is available online and can be submitted via email or by mailing to the

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Western Ag Reporter Launches #FairCattleMarkets Campaign

By Kayla Sargent

On behalf of cow-calf producers and independent cattle feeders nationwide, Western Ag Reporter is launching a Twitter campaign asking President Donald Trump for assistance in rebalancing the cattle markets.  The ever-widening gap between packer profit margins and producer’s price for cattle has raised concern across the countryside.

“We are dispersing cowherds and seeing farmers wanting to

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Thoughts from the Editor

Wow, if you read both John and Joe’s commentaries on the front page regarding the cattle markets before you got here, chances are you are fired up — and you should be.  Going into the fall run and maybe having calves at home that have yet to sell, you are probably concerned about when this criminal action in the market

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Tweet President Trump, We Need Help

By Joe Goggins

Cow-calf producers and independent cattle feeders, it is time to be heard and it is time to fight.  Very seldom do I get the notion to write an opinion in our newspaper, however after reading these comments early this week, my blood began to boil:

An Excerpt from a Monday, September 9, 2019 Report by David Kruse, CommStock Investments,

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Is Silage an Option for Corn Impacted by the Canal Breach?

By Karla H. Wilke

Producers with a corn crop impacted by the canal breach may want to consider making corn silage out of this year’s crop.  Photo credit Troy Walz.

UNL Cow/Calf Systems and Stocker Management

On July 17 when the Gering-Ft. Laramie canal breached, it left over 100,000 acres of irrigated crops in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska without water. 

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Wyoming Producers Warned of Palmer Amaranth Weed

With up to one million seeds per plant, growth of three inches per day and being highly adaptive to environments and herbicides, Palmer amaranth has proven to be a weed of major concern.  Goshen County has the only known reports in Wyoming – so far.

“The biggest thing right now that producers need to be doing is just looking for it,”

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Camp Cook Necessities

When autumn is in the air and the bull elk start to bugle, I get homesick for the smell of wood smoke coming from the cook tent.  I spent most of two decades cooking in hunting camp in the Scapegoat Wilderness for the Todd’s K Lazy 3, and I have hundreds of great memories of those years.  I retired from

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Comments

How long is our government going to continue to allow the packers to have their way with us?  Million-dollar question, isn’t it… or should I say billion-dollar question?

Live cattle futures took a big dive again last Friday with the October contract down the limit ($3) to settle a little below $95.  Feeder cattle futures followed suit seeing losses of roughly

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Those Bloody Activists are at it Again

Crime and punishment, the concept is simple: you commit a crime, you get punished for it.  Whether that punishment is issued by law enforcement or normal civilians, it’s safe to assume you will get punished if you commit a crime.  Evidently, a group of activists didn’t think their plan to “free” rabbits from a rabbit farm in rural Australia was

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Trump Administration Rolls Back Key Protections from Methane Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released plans to eliminate direct oversight of methane releases from the oil and gas industry, despite widespread opposition from community groups, health advocates and even major oil and gas companies.  This rollback will mean more waste of a valuable resource, increased pollution that affects public health and accelerated release of greenhouse gases which worsen climate

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Two Points for the Price of One

Over Labor Day I went speed camping with my 10 mini-Kimmels and four mini-Kernses.  The South Fork of the Judith River is wader-friendly and before tents were pitched the grandkids hit the creek.  A couple of my descendants had swimwear, but the youngest bunch stripped to their underwear and jumped into the water.  Mountain streams are icy cold so three

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Montana Congressmen Urge Swift Investigation into Beef Pricing Margins

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue urging a swift, thorough and transparent investigation into the impact of the fire that occurred at a Tyson Food beef processing plant in Holcomb, Kansas.

“We appreciate this decision and urge you to ensure that this investigation is conducted

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Front to Back or Back to Front?

Any way you look at, there’s something unique about this week… actually the next nine days are.  It’s Palindrome Week.  If you’ve never heard of it you’re not alone.

Palindrome means a word, phrase or sequence of numbers that reads the same whether it’s read forward or backward.  For example, Bob, racecar or mom.

Starting Tuesday, 9-10-19 through next Thursday, 9-19-19 the

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Agri-Kid

Four-year-old Keegan Peter dove right in and ran the gate while the family sorted fall-calvers from spring-calvers late last month near Quitman, Missouri.  His dad Craig Peter and Grandpa Randy McCollam were doing the sorting in the back and he was letting the cows into the triangle pen.  Grandpa Randy said Keegan loves to work and help wherever he can

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ARS Efforts Should Help Ensure Our Wheat Supply

By Dennis O’Brien

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their partners published a study that should boost efforts to develop new varieties of wheat that are better equipped to resist a fungal disease that threatens global wheat production each year.

The report in Nature Genetics, by Guihua Bai and his colleagues, identifies a key gene that could be used as an important

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University of Wyoming Student Awarded Beach Scholarship

Ashley Hyche of Wheatland, Wyoming was selected as the Gary Beach Memorial Scholarship recipient.  Hyche majors in Agriculture Communications with a minor in Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.  She plans to attend law school specializing in water resource law, environmental protection law, and agriculture estate planning upon graduation in May 2020.

Hyche graduated from Wheatland High School

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Farmers Share Demonstrated with 25 Cent Lunch

South Dakota’s number one industry of agriculture is hurting.  In addition to dealing with extreme weather during 2019 calving and planting seasons, grain and livestock prices are down.  But at the same time, grocery store prices hold steady.

“When consumers buy a pound of burger at the store and pays $4, they think I’m making $4 a pound for the cattle

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Lyndell Petersen to be Inducted into SD Hall of Fame  

On Saturday, September 14 long-time South Dakota Stockgrowers supporter and agriculture advocate, Lyndell Petersen, of Pennington County, will be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.  The following is an excerpt from his biography with the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

“The variety of people I met, situations I faced, and the needs I felt had to be served led

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USDA to Invest up to $300 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

RCPP eligible partners include private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities. 

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Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust Announces New Executive Director

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (WSGLT) announced that Eric Schacht has been named Executive Director, following a brief appointment as Interim Executive Director.  Schacht has been with the WSGLT for four years and previously served as the Conservation Director, where he was instrumental in conserving almost 50,000 acres of Wyoming’s working agricultural lands.

Agriculture and natural resources management, specifically rangeland

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This Country is Better with Beef, and we Aim to Prove It

By Mayzie Purviance

With vegan campaigns popping up in the wake of Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger, the time to counter these anti-ag movements is now.  The great state of Colorado is leading by example and doing just that with the launching of the “Better with Beef” campaign.

The agricultural industry has been catching flak for environmental activists claims that animal

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The Cougar An excerpt from “Sod and Nelda”

By Nelda M. Williams

About 8:00 a.m., January 1, 2000, the first day of the new millennium and our 58th wedding anniversary, a cougar jumped up onto our porch.  Our dog hadn’t met me at the door the prior morning and we’d feared that coyotes had ganged up on her.  I was fixing breakfast and would always sit down each morning

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Take One Threat At A Time

A gentle rain washed over the ranch.  Banjo and Tuff sat dircetly in the center of the lane enjoying every moment of the mist from the sky.

“Sure is refreshing,” Tuff said.

“You said it,” Banjo replied.  “I’m not sure where this front came from, but I’m thankful for a little reprieve from the hot weather.  Plus, it helps cut down on

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2020 NILE Merit Heifer Recipients

Congratulations to the young men and women receiving heifers from gracious donors later this fall.  After a year of monthly reports, lessons, and breeding the heifers, they will show at the 2020 NILE and then take full ownership.  We’re excited to see young people interested in agriculture and specifically beef cattle.  Thank you, donors – we couldn’t do this amazing

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Whipping the soy-boys is no way to win customers

P.T.  Barnum, the quintessential American showman, might have found today’s food carnival more interesting and far more profitable than his namesake circus of yore.

For example, slow food is taking note of the fast rise of meatless, or plant-based, burgers this year.  Veggie burgers, their previous incarnation, are not new; the lovely Catherine has been buying and trying them for decades. 

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Trade War Tied to Fires in Brazil, NFU Says

An escalating global trade war is inarguably bad news for American farmers and ranchers, who have already collectively lost billions of dollars.  Long-term damage to important trading relationships will likely cost billions more.  But there’s another victim of the trade war: the environment.

Without the United States as a reliable trading partner, China has been forced to seek other markets for

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$90,000 Available to Idaho Livestock Producers for Wolf Depredation

The Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC) is now accepting applications for verified livestock losses due to wolves during the 2019 calendar year.  The deadline for compensation applications is December 31, 2019.  Funding has been made available through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Project Grant Program.

The grant compensates livestock producers for wolf-caused livestock losses. 

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Farmers Union Board Calls on Administration to Strengthen Agricultural Markets

In a pair of unanimously approved resolutions, the National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors called on the administration and Congress to address mounting financial difficulties that have been exacerbated by recent policy decisions.  Specifically, they urged the resolution of ongoing trade disputes, the enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard, (RFS), and the strengthening of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) before

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Montana Producers Send Message to China

by Kayla Sargent

On a plane to Bejing, China, three letters from Montana agriculture organizations sat in Senator Steve Daines’ (R-MT) briefcase.  Senator Daines hand delivered those letters to Vice Premier Liu He during over four hours of face-to-face meetings where trade was discussed with some of China’s key leaders.  The letters from Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), Montana Woolgrowers Association (MWGA),

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What Does Greater Access to Japan Mean for U.S. Lamb?

Late last month, the Trump Administration announced an agreement in principle to provide greater access to the Japanese market for U.S. goods.  While the details of the agreement are not yet available, it’s widely speculated that it will include reductions in the tariffs certain U.S. products face, perhaps even achieving tariffs rates sought under the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Currently, U.S.

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“Food Deserts,” a Rural Montana Issue

Branson Grocery opened in an old church building on the edge of Ekalaka in February.  Eric Dietrich / MTFP photo.

Getting fresh fruits and vegetables in one of Montana’s most isolated small towns, hours from the nearest shopping center, can be an ordeal.  It got more difficult last winter when the only grocery store in the county, the Main

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Agri-Kid

Madison Cederberg of Miles City, Montana just turned 2 years old this past August and loves helping her family as a chute hand. Her parents are Dallas and Kimberly Cederberg and her grandparents are Daryn and Kass Cederberg of Three Forks, Montana.  “She is no bigger than a peanut, but she loves whipping those cows up in the chute!” Kass

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Thoughts From the Editor

The American Prairie Reserve (APR) is 14,000 acres closer to their goal of creating the nation’s largest nature reserve right in our backyard.  The acquisition of another Phillips County ranch last week brings their total control of leased or purchased land to 419,000 acres.  This is a far cry from their projected three million acres that they hope to acquire,

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Saving the Ranch and Some Horses

Nine hundred geldings gathered from BLM ranges five years ago now graze 15,000 acres at the Spanish Q Ranch near Ennis, Montana. Karen Rice photo.

by Kayla Sargent

Many envision an iconic stud horse galloping across the prairie with his mane blowing in the wind when wild horses are mentioned.  In reality, the image seen in many wild horse herds

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My Fake News Checkoff

Vaughn Meyer, Reva, SD

A few weeks ago, the Cattleman’s Beef Board (CBB) shared the “good news” results of our producer Return on Investment (ROI) study.  Dr. Harry Kaiser, professor of economics at Cornell University, conducted another five-year ROI update embodying more positive attributes for beef producers.  Dr. Kaiser’s analysis concluded a 71-cent increase over our 2014 ROI of $11.20.  Seventy-one

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American Lamb Board Hosts First Lamb Summit

The first American Lamb Summit took place in Fort Collins, Colorado, this week as producers, packers and association representatives came together to plot a course for the American sheep industry.  Sponsored by the American Lamb Board and Premier 1, the summit hosted nearly 200 members of the lamb industry in the beginning stages of a quest to look critically at

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Martin SwandalOctober 28, 1935 – August 23, 2019

Martin “Marty” Allan Swandal, 83, of Wilsall, Montana passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, August 23, 2019.

Marty was born on October 28, 1935 in Livingston, Montana to Chris and Ruth Swandal.  He was raised along Flathead Creek in Wilsall.  He attended Wilsall schools and graduated in 1954.  He married his high school sweetheart Virginia Nelson on June 4,

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Registration Open for 2019 Young Ag Leadership Conference

Registration is now open for the 16th Annual Young Ag Leadership Conference (YALC).  This exciting, one-of-a-kind conference is set to take place October 4-6 at the Copper King Convention Center in Butte, Montana.  YALC is a collaborative effort between nine of Montana’s agricultural organizations, offering attendees a chance to discuss current ag issues, take part in various workshops, meet with

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Bits & Pieces

Palmer amaranth found in Grant County

Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was confirmed in Grant County, a county in western North Dakota.

A farmer in the Grant County area contacted his county weed officer about suspect plants, who worked with North Dakota State University Extension to submit samples for DNA analysis to the National Agricultural Genotyping Center, where it was confirmed as Palmer

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Washington State Open to Public Comments on Wolf Management

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is canceling a series of in-person wolf post-recovery planning open houses and will schedule online, interactive webinars this September and October.

“We’ve seen incredible intensity around wolf issues this summer, on both sides of the issue.  For outreach to be meaningful, our meetings have to be productive.  Unfortunately, we’ve received some information that

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North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Convention and Trade Show

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) is set to host their 90th annual convention and trade show, “This is Stockmen’s Country,” at the Grand Hotel, Minot, North Dakota, September 19-21.

The event will celebrate the organization’s achievements, select new leaders and pave a path to plan for the future of NDSA.  The convention will house educational workshops, inspirational speakers, policy-development sessions,

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APR Completes 29th Land Acquisition

American Prairie Reserve (APR) is pleased to announce the purchase of the Blue Ridge Ranch, located approximately 45 miles southeast from Malta in southern Phillips County, Montana.  The 14,122-acre property is comprised of 9,695 deeded acres and 4,427 leased acres, and brings APR’s total deeded and leased property to more than 419,000 acres.

The Blue Ridge property is nestled in the

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Wild N’ Wooly Youth Rodeo For A Cause

Entries continue to pour in for what promises to be another Rootn’ Tootn’ good time at the 7th annual Wild N’ Wooly Youth Rodeo scheduled for Sunday, September 8.

The Wild N’Wooly Custer Youth Rodeo is an annual event for children 18 and under to have fun while raising money for those in need within the community.  Each year the event is

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Gone But Not Forgotten

My friend Woody always has been forgetful. In fact, it’s why he got fired, but I’ll let him tell the story.

“I had this real good ranch job working for an absentee owner who lived in Chicago. He was pleased with my work and I was happy with his money. Then one day the owner writes me from the windy city

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The Fire’s Silver Lining

Last week while Banjo was checking the hillside pastures with Big Ed, a thunderstorm breached the ranch scattered lightning from hilltop to hilltop.  One strike was a direct hit on the ranch, threatening the sheep flock with fire.  Then, Big Ed and Banjo discovered that fire isn’t the only thing putting the flock in peril.  Will the flock make it

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Animal Wellness Applauds Gianforte for Helping Protect Horses

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693, by a vote of 333 to 96.  U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) voted in support of the measure and was also a cosponsor of the bill in the 115th Congress in 2018.

The PAST Act seeks to strengthen the Horse Protection Act and end the

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Empty Nester Syndrome

Many colleges and universities are back in session now and there are packs of mourning mothers walking around suffering empty nest syndrome. My advice to them is that it will pass.  I remember when I sent my last child off to college and thought I would be bored and lonely forever, but such is not the case.  I saw a

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Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture Conference

Make plans now to attend the annual Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture Conference at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman, Montana, October 1-3, 2019.  This year’s conference theme, “Salute to Agriculture,” is packed with speakers who will deliver information on today’s most relevant agricultural topics.

The Women in Business panel will feature LeVonne Stucky, The Wool Mill; Nikki Edmundson, Canty Boots;

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Comments

Hope all of you had a great Labor Day weekend.  It sure was hot around our part of the country, but it made for ideal grilling conditions.  I hope the majority of the U.S. was able to fire up the grill and throw some beef on for their families.  I am anxious to see how beef movement was over the

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The Enemy of My Enemy Remains an Enemy

Most rural Americans are old enough to remember when their president noted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”  That was, after all, several tariff hikes, dozens of trade meetings, and more than 15,000 presidential tweets ago.  It may seem like a lifetime, but it was just 19 months ago, on March 2, 2018.

What most have forgotten about

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Montana Groups Join Coalition Tackling Rural Broadband Gap

A national organization that aims to completely eliminate the digital divide in rural America over the next five years has expanded its presence in Montana.  The Montana Chamber of Commerce has joined Connect Americans Now (CAN), a coalition that advocates for a mixed-technology approach to bridging the rural broadband gap, particularly by encouraging policymakers to clear the barriers so innovative

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Unprecedented Market Disruption Spurs Investigation

by Kayla Sargent

The fire at Tyson’s Holcomb, Kansas plant wreaked havoc on the market.  Live cattle prices were limit down immediately after the fire.  Yet packers were seeing record profit margins, earning over $400 per head per day, doubling their margins prior to the fire.  And despite what was expected to cause a constraint in packing capacity, the week after

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A Letter To Governor Polis

by Bill McKee, Colorado

To Governor Jared Polis,

Being neither well educated nor well spoken, I feel unqualified to lend advice to you as a speech writer… but here we go.  Two key points when addressing a specialized industry group (farmers, ranchers, rocket scientist, etc.) would be:  1. DO NO HARM and 2. LEARN A FEW KEY FACTS (every industry has a

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The Farmer’s Almanac Predicts a Brutal Winter

By Mayzie Purviance

Have you ever wondered when the best time is to wean calves, potty-train a toddler or even wax the floor?  Well, according to the Farmer’s Almanac it’s today, September 6, 2019.  The Almanac, which began publishing in 1818 and has since grown into an online and print edition and e-newsletter, claims to be “time-tested and generations approved.”

“It is a

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Catching Flies with Honey

It’s the top of the ninth in the Activists vs. Agriculture baseball game.  The Activists, although playing a dirty game, are up by a number of runs.  They came out swinging hard and despite their lack of basic common knowledge and tendency to bribe the umpire, they’re winning.

Agriculture, I regret to inform you, is losing.  And we’re going to continue

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Digging Up My Talent

Vince Lombardi said nothing compares to “collapsing exhausted on the battlefield – victorious!”  Rather than feeling victorious after sunsetting this column, I felt hollow.  It was as if I left fellow patriots alone on the battlefield, because I had.

About two o’clock on a sleepless Wednesday morning I was paging through my American Patriot’s Bible, a gift from the trophy wife. 

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North Dakota Stockmen’s Seeks Certainty in Uncertain Time

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) is working to lessen the effects of the recent Tyson beef processing plant fire and subsequent shutdown on North Dakota beef producers.  The 6,000-head-per-day processing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, which burned earlier this month, represented approximately six percent of the nation’s total beef processing production capacity.  The situation sent ripples through the industry, as evidenced

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Calves to Cure DMD

by Lilly Platts

Blonde-haired, bright blued-eyed Grant Heaton lives his life like any active ranch kid would.  He loves horses, cows and helping his dad out on the ranch.  At the age of three, Grant was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  DMD affects 15,000 children in the U.S., and 300,000 worldwide.  While rare, the disease has no cure and

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Thoughts from the Editor

The recent market news and manipulations, increasing popularity of fake meat, challenging trade talks and all of the assaults that continually hit our industry can take the wind out of anyone’s sails.  And honestly I have been a bit down in the dumps.  But when this dark cloud sneaks up on me, I am reminded why I chose to be

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Comfort Food for the Empty Nest

As mothers of kindergarteners and college students are mourning the transition of their children from the nest to school, I started looking back through the archives for columns about both of those topics, but I got distracted by this essay I found which Bret wrote for a college composition class.  With his wedding approaching, I found it especially noteworthy.

All parents

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Federal Court Sends Illegal Water Rule Back to EPA

A federal court said the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act (CWA) because of its “vast expansion of jurisdiction over waters and land traditionally within the states’ regulatory authority.”  The court for the Southern District of Georgia found the agency overstepped not just the CWA, but also the Administrative Procedure Act,

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Before Silage Season, the Hand-me-down Season

Sometime in mid-August, well after fair season and just before corn silage season, my brothers and I endured the hand-me-down season on the southern Illinois dairy farm of our youth.  It was just as you suspect.  One morning some weeks before school began, my mother watched as we tried on our next older brother’s clothes to see how they fit

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Court Rules in Favor of Pork Council in HSUS Lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in its appeal to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  The court rejected HSUS’s attempt to advance an anti-meat activist agenda through an unwarranted suit designed to hurt 60,000 U.S. pork producers

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Spinning a Web of Lies

Today, the term “fake news,” made famous by President Trump, is used in everyday conversation.  While I, along with many other people, use fake news as a response to outrageous Facebook posts or light-hearted teasing, I’m here to tell you, fake news is no joke.

Fake news is a derivative of the word “spin.”  The Open School of Journalism defines “spin”

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Fire on the Mountain, Lightning in the Air

The morning was cool.  Banjo took in a deep breath and released as he gazed across the ranch.  Geese flew above his head and heard their wings push up and down through the air.  He spotted a clump of quaking aspens whose leaves where changing to a glimmering gold and noticed the south pasture was showing signs it needed water

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A Sigh of Relief

by Kayla Sargent

As the trade war with China rages on, American agriculture producers breathed a small sigh of relief and were quick to praise the Administration for progress on a pro-ag trade deal with Japan.  While at the G-7 summit in France on Sunday, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that a deal is “done in principle.” 

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Happy Labor Day

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Suiting Up For Defense

by Kayla Sargent

Colorado beef producers suited up and took to the line of defense this week after Governor Polis suggested the new Colorado Department of Agriculture lab shift their research to “fake meat” and even had 250 Impossible Whoppers from Burger King delivered to the lab staff.

Governor Polis told Colorado Politics, while munching on an Impossible Whopper, that “everything that’s

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Emergency Loans for Montana Producers in Tornado’s Path

Montana agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) physical loss loans.  The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these low-interest loans to agricultural producers in Carter County, the primary damaged area, who incurred losses due to a tornado that occurred on July 19, 2019.  Approval is limited to applicants

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Comments

The news of a nearly finished trade deal with Japan was certainly welcome this week.  The deal is not signed, but the nuts and bolts of it are in place.  At least some deals are making progress, but a few big ones are still not done.

The United States Mexico Canada Agreement continues to sit in the House having yet to

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Agri-Kid

Dreaming BIG!  Lincoln and Collins Grant, with their toy tractors and balers in tow, watch as their Grandpa makes real hay with a much larger John Deere.  At 3 ½ and 1 ½ the boys already seem to have big plans of farming with the family north of Monticello, Iowa.

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Monte G.  Thomas July 16, 1941 – August 21, 2019

Monte G.  Thomas of Milton-Freewater, Oregon passed away on August 21, 2019 at the age of 78.

Monte was born July 16, 1941 in Walla Walla, Washington to Ralph “Zeke” Thomas and Virginia (Tarwater) Thomas.  Raised in a ranching family, Monte was a member of 4-H and FFA.  He graduated from Wa-Hi and attended Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo.

After college, Monte returned

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Bits & Pieces

Tyson and White Castle Discuss Future of Alternative Proteins

Representatives of Tyson Foods, White Castle restaurants and MotivBase ethnography research firm will join The Center for Food Integrity (CFI), Friday September 13, from 1 to 2 p.m. CDT, for CFI Live “The Protein Play: Emerging Trends and Consumer Appetites for Protein Alternatives.

The free webcam event will address the rapid evolution of

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Much-Needed Modernization

by Mayzie Purviance

As years pass by and times change, rules and regulations are expected to evolve as well.  Just like school dress codes and traffics laws, society must recognize a need for change and act upon it.  After a long campaign and support from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC), the White House made a decision

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Comments

When we went to press with last week’s issue, there had yet to be official news on the severity of the fire in the Tyson plant in Kansas.  I noted in my Comments that the pictures made it appear to be a devastating fire, which I assumed consumed a large portion of the plant.  Now that more information has come

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Summer Fun with August Numbers

Ag Twitter had a big sandbox to play in after the USDA clobbered the agricultural futures markets August 12 with its number-filled Crop Report and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).  The updated numbers – planted acreage, estimated production, and projected usage – hit the market like a hailstorm.  Corn futures snapped under the deluge of unforeseen acres and,

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Drying Up Dirt, Daylight, and Dollars

Six-hundred-fifty feet into the tunnel, workers came across the first pile of dirt and debris from the smaller of the two sinkholes.  Goshen Irrigation District photo.

by Kayla Sargent

Since July 17, hay, corn, sugar beets, and dry beans across 107,000 acres have been without water in Goshen County, Wyoming and Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.  An irrigation tunnel collapse leading

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Burning Up the Market

by Kayla Sargent

When a cattleman hears barn burner, it’s generally regarded as great market news.  But in a literal sense, as in the case of the Tyson plant fire where an estimated six percent of the nation’s fed cattle packing capacity came to a halt, the effects on the market can be devastating.  On the evening of August 9, Tyson

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Learning Animal Rights Activists’ Strategy

The Animal Agriculture Alliance released a report detailing observations from the Animal Rights National Conference, held July 25 through July 28 in Alexandria, Virginia.  The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups.

“Animal rights extremists are

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You May Be A Dude If…

In the sorting alley it’s easy to separate the dudes from the real cowboys. You may be a dude if…

There are sheets on your bed in the bunkhouse.

The camp cookie is a three star Michelin chef.

When you set out for the day’s work you are provided a sack lunch and a wine cooler.

The ratio of riders to cows exceeds two

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Farm Bureau Foundation Grant Money Available For Rural Communities

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation turns 100 this year, and to celebrate its centennial, the Montana Farm Bureau Foundation is offering grant funding for the betterment of communities around the state.  With these grants the Foundation looks to increase rural prosperity and stimulate economic development by strengthening its roots and bettering small towns across Montana.

“The application deadline of December 31,

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A Familiar Foe

“What’s in the burlap sack?” Tuff asked.  Banjo looked at in curiously.

“I think it’s something that may belong to our new friend, Wynonna,” Banjo said.  Like a flash, Wynonna presented herself in front of the two dogs.  Tuff looked back and forth with amazement at her speed from where she shot into the open from out of nowhere to be

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NCBA Applauds Introduction of the Define WOTUS Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Colin Woodall released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Define Water of the United States (WOTUS) Act by U.S. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana and Joni Ernst of Iowa:
“America’s cattle producers welcome the introduction of the Define WOTUS Act.  The Trump Administration is working hard to

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Agri-Kid

There’s a minimum age to show 4-H steers, but it’s never too early to start helping out!  Two-year-old Ty Wickum, Chester, Montana, is getting hands-on experience with the friendly, red steer.

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Farmers Affected by Tunnel Collapse Hope for Insurance

The Nebraska and Wyoming Farm Bureaus are urging USDA to ensure crop insurance will cover crop losses experienced by farmers impacted by the July 17 irrigation tunnel collapse that has prevented irrigators on the Goshen Irrigation District in Wyoming and the Gering-Ft Laramie Irrigation District in Nebraska from receiving irrigation water during a critical time in the growing season.

In an

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Ethanol Waivers Erode Demand for Corn

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement to grant ethanol production waivers to 31 oil refining companies is another nail in the coffin of family farmers, according to North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne.

“This administration has said they support renewable fuel production and have shown some support by adding E15 year-round,” Watne said.  “But the problem is the waivers they

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Thoughts from the Editor

Over the past few weeks, several people have mentioned an article titled, “This is the Beginning of the End of the Beef Industry” written by Rowan Jacobsen and published by Outside magazine in late July.  In short, the five page article explains that cattle’s environmental impact and the poor quality of fast food burgers mean “alt meat isn’t going to

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Real Beef Matters OR Where’s the beef?

Imagine driving up to a fast food drive-up speaker and saying, “I would like Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors 2 percent or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Modified Food Starch, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin,

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Montana Range Tour Scheduled in Harlowton

This year’s Montana Range Tour will highlight innovation and excellence in natural resource management on ranches in Musselshell County.

Stacey Barta, Rangeland Resources Program Coordinator with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), said the two-day event will include topics such as cover crops, control of invasive grasses, invisible fencing and accessing real-time climate data.

“The tour is a great

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Record Acreage Went Unplanted Across Midwest in 2019

Agricultural producers reported they were not able to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres in 2019, according to a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) began releasing the report in 2007, and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this

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Montana Farmers and Ranchers Host CFTC Leaders

Officials from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently visited four Farm Bureau members in Montana to discuss the futures markets.  Commissioner Brian Quintenz and Chief of Staff Kevin Webb met with Sky Anderson and Monica Switzer from Wilsall and Ken and Cyndi Johnson from Conrad to discuss the functionality of the futures markets, which the Commission helps oversee. 

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I Interact With Anti-Ag Activists So You Don’t Have To

I’m going to confess something I don’t typically broadcast… I am a member of various animal rights and vegan Facebook groups.  Dad, if you’re reading this, please do not disown me.  I promise I did this for a good reason.

For the past two years I have been a silent member of these groups, observing every shared article, “like,” comment and

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Second “Saddle of Honor” Awarded to Montana Artist

On Friday, September 6, in Great Falls, the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and the C.M. Russell Museum will celebrate the second “Saddle of Honor” to be awarded to a famous Montana cowboy.  This year’s recipient will be “Montana’s Storyteller in Bronze,” Jay Joseph Contway.

Contway, of Great Falls, Montana, has spent a lifetime creating western sculptures.  His knowledge and respect

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Rural Montana Landowners Riled by Matelich Ad

by Ron Poertner   Winifred, Montana

If you happened to have perused the ad taken out by George and Susan Matelich in the Big Timber Pioneer (July 25, 2019), you got a first-hand tutorial on the scurrilous nature of the American Prairie Reserve (APR) and learned why mega-millionaire donors like the Matelich couple aspire to turn millions of Montana acres into a

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A Mysterious New Friend

“Where is it?” Banjo muttered.  He rummaged through an overflowing bucket in the tack room.  He tossed out a curry comb, a mis-matched set of gloves, a screwdriver, a wad of baling twine and various other items.

When he couldn’t find it at the bottom of the bucket, Banjo dumped it over to ensure every last remnant of goods had fallen

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Vesicular Stomatitis Running Rampant in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Agriculture confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in Adams, Alamosa, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Conejos, Delta, Douglas, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Ouray, Pueblo and Weld counties (all in Colorado).  Currently, 254 locations are quarantined statewide and 177 released quarantines.

VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses and cattle but can

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Clover Clover

by Markie Hageman

From Idaho to the Dakotas, sprawling over rolling hills and stretching across the flat lands, creeping through timber and dispersed amongst cropland, a sea of lemon yellow laps at the horizons. Since mid-June, the prevalence of sweet clover has been the subject of old timers and youngsters, ranchers and townspeople. Conversations range from questioning haying quality to myths

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Once again, last Friday I really thought cattle futures would open higher on Monday morning with the news of up to $116 fed cattle.  But again, cattle futures were limit down in both live cattle and feeders, they opened limit down and stayed there.  The plunge was attributed to the Tyson processing plant burning down in Kansas on Friday night. 

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Down The Primrose Path

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the yellow roses along the primrose path are dazzling distractions from what, in a matter of days, has already been a long month for farmers and ranchers.  Worse, a long harvest and bitter winter also loom as President Donald J. Trump threatens even tougher trade sanctions on key U.S. food buyers

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Thoughts from the Editor

This past week we saw yet another major meatpacker announce their own venture into the “fake meat” market.  Marfrig Global Foods is partnering with Archer Daniels Midland Co. to produce alternative protein products in Brazil.  Marfrig Global Foods CEO Eduardo Miron said the “100 percent vegetable protein-based burgers” will have the “same taste and texture of beef.”

Now before you write

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Crop Yields are set to Decline

The latest AccuWeather 2019 crop production analysis predicts a significant decline from last year’s corn and soybean yield, as well as a noticeable variation from the July U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates.

AccuWeather analysts predict the 2019 corn yield will be 13.07 billion bushels, a decline of a 9.3 percent from 2018 and 5.8 percent lower than the latest USDA figures.

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Idaho Young Cattle Producer’s Conference Recap

The third annual Idaho Young Cattle Producer’s Conference (YCC) was recently held in Lewiston and the surrounding area.  Nineteen emerging beef leaders under the age of 40 successfully completed the intensive 3-day program presented by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association. 

The conference kicked off with an overview of the beef industry in Idaho.  The opening session titled

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Grounded

One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never got my pilot’s license. I often wonder what kind of career I’d have had if I took the money I spent on getting a college degree and spent it instead on auction school and flying lessons.

I’ve always been mesmerized by small aircraft and I come by it honestly. I

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Agri-Kid

Levi Carter brought home two goat kids that a nanny wouldn’t accept for his wife Tabi to help care for – their daughter Nova couldn’t wait to get her hands on them.

“There’s no denying that we have ourselves a little farm girl,” Levi wrote.

The family raises goats and cattle near Burlington Junction, Missouri.

 

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Bucks for Burke

South Dakota CattleWomen (SDCW) are accepting “Bucks for Burke” in efforts to assist with severe damage by a tornado earlier this week for the community of Burke, South Dakota.

All donated funds will be given to the Rosebud Rancherettes CattleWomen Club to be donated as they see fit to the Burke community.

“The Rosebud Rancherettes have a long tradition of not just

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A Humorous Take on Math

School is about to start, which means teachers are having back to school dreams, kids are buying supplies and clothes, and parents are celebrating the fact that they made it through summer vacation.  My thoughts turn to the book I plan to write about education.

As a former English teacher, I absolutely love the manual, “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” by British

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Sommers Recognized for Conservation

Pinedale, Wyoming native Albert Sommers said his father instilled within him the principle, “if you take care of the land, it will take care of you.” This saying stuck with Sommers in all his endevours, making him the perfect recipient of the 2019 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award.

Sommers is set to receive the Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award for his exceptional support

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Non-logic and the NCBA

By Gilles Stockton, Grass Range, MT

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is currently making a media and lobbying push to have the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) – better known as NAFTA 2.0 – ratified by Congress.  In their press info NCBA states: “USMCA maintains science-based trade standards while rejecting failed policies of the past, like mandatory country-of-origin labeling.” 

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Grass for a Group

By Mayzie Purviance

In an effort to support young producers and encourage their return to Montana farms and ranches, Montana Farmer’s Union (MFU) is researching the establishment of a grass bank and grazing district, or a “Chapter 15 Shared-Services Co-Op”.  With mass consolidation continuing in the industry each day, competition for access to grass can be tough for a young producer

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Christopher “Chris” Cameron October 22, 1933 – August 9, 2019

On the afternoon of August 9, 2019, at the age of 85, Chris passed away as a result of a pickup accident while checking cows, his favorite pastime.

Chris was born October 22, 1933 in Miles City to John and Jessie Cameron.  He attended school at Dick Creek school until 1944 when his family moved to Miles City.  He graduated from

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Anthrax Outbreak in North Dakota

“Anthrax has been confirmed in a group of cows in a pasture in east Billings County,” Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, said.

North Dakota’s state veterinarian said the state’s first reported case of anthrax this year is a reminder to livestock producers to take action to protect their animals from the disease, especially in areas with a past history of

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NCBA and PLC Launch Campaign Focused on Grazing

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) recently launched a four-week digital campaign focused on the value of grazing with key elements benefiting the environment, rural communities and local U.S.  economies.

The campaign kicked off with a video and blog post featuring California ranch and 2017 Thomas Fire survivor, Rich Atmore.  With the use of livestock

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Honoring a Montana Rodeo Legend

by Hannah Gill

Although it had been over thirty years since the bareback rider stepped aboard a bucking horse, Montana rodeo legend Larry Peabody said an all too familiar feeling returned when he stepped on stage on August 3.  Peabody was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs where he offered an acceptance speech.

“It was about like getting

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Thoughts From the Editor

This part of summer has always been deemed family vacation time, but in our industry it is county fair season, as you will note in this week’s issue. For the last few weeks in July and the first part of August the ranchers in our area all mark out a week to take “time off” from haying or moving cows

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Avoid Heat Stress When Moving Cattle

Bailey McKay Photo

By Heather Smith Thomas

On hot summer days cattle can overheat quickly if they exert.  Moving cattle is always safer during the cooler parts of the day, starting early in the morning if possible.  Farrier and horse trainer, Billy Greenough, rides/cowboys for several large ranches south of Billings, Montana. Greenough was raised on a ranch on the

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Ink to Seal the Deal

by Kayla Sargent

“Just sign on the dotted line,” is a phrase that brings with it a sense of finality.  Much like a child in a custody battle, the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) has been pulled back and forth between state and federal management.  On July 30, the battle was finalized when the grizzly bear was again

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NCBA Launches New Podcast

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association launched a new podcast today during the 2019 Summer Business Meeting to focus on the stories and producers that make the beef industry great.

The podcast, Cattlemen’s Call, will feature a new episode each month to share the stories and ideas from cattlemen and women across the nation.  The first episode focuses on young producers entering

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Farewell

With regret and relief, I am closing this chapter of my life.  I published my first column on March 1, 2006 and since then I have penned over 675 op-eds plus published three books.  Were the spirit to grab me, I have enough material to publish volumes IV and V, but those works may remain my unfinished symphony.  After great

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2019 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting Wraps Up in Colorado

The 2019 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting wrapped up with a meeting of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Board of Directors.  The meeting kicked off on Monday at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center just outside Denver.

“I want to thank the hundreds of producers, state affiliates, and partners who took valuable time out of their busy schedules to

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A Small Market Presents Big News

by Kayla Sargent

While it may be a relatively small market, President Trump’s announcement last week regarding U.S. beef sales to the European Union (EU) was considered big news.  According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. duty-free beef exports, from Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) only, to the EU will nearly triple over the next seven years.

The announcement

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Bits and Pieces

Freeze Brands Now Proof of Cattle Ownership in North Dakota

Effective August 1 freeze brands are considered legal proof of ownership on cattle in North Dakota, just as they already are on horses and mules.  The passage of HB 1166 makes North Dakota’s brand laws consistent with most other brand states and provinces in North America and gives livestock owners another

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Colorado Farm Recognized as a Historic Angus Herd

Amber Wahlgren, Angus Communications

Lazy JB Angus was established in 1969 in Louisville, Colorado, after Richard Biella received his first Angus heifer, “Black Diamond,” as a Christmas gift from his parents Frank and Elizabeth.  She became the foundation of the commercial operation that would eventually become a registered Angus operation.

In the beginning, many of their Angus females were purchased from Ken

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Montanans Meet Over Grizzly Bear Management

by Kayla Sargent

Only four days before the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) grizzly bear was etched back on the list of threatened species in the federal register, Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced his appointments to the newly established Grizzly Bear Advisory Council.  Given the ongoing battle over state and federal management of grizzly bears and a continuing population expansion, guidance from

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Situation at NCBA Summer Business Meeting 

Herd expansion, export markets, corn crop expectations and swine fever ramifications are among the factors that will have an impact on the upcoming U.S.  cattle market, Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, told more than 700 attendees of the 2019 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting.

Blach was keynote speaker at the Opening General Session of the meeting, a gathering for leaders of

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The Fed Cattle Exchange Changes Ownership

The Fed Cattle Exchange, an online live cattle trading platform previously owned by Superior Livestock Auction, has been sold to 5150 Production Company, an affiliate of Arcadia Asset Management.  With the sale of this platform the goal of the Fed Cattle Exchange remains the same, to provide the industry with more transactions to consider when determining the average cash price

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‘My SeedMix’ App Offers Easy-to-Use Cover Crop Tool to Producers

Producers now have an easy-to-use tool to help create custom cover crop mixes, thanks to the Millborn Seeds My SeedMix Web App.

“As more landowners move towards integrating cover crops into their forage management and crop rotations, the demand for highly diverse and customized seed mixes increases,” Matt Metzger, a cattle producer and Forage Specialist with Millborn Seeds, said.  “Some customers

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The U.S.-China Trade War dominated the news this past Monday.  President Trump announced he was going to put an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion dollars of Chinese goods if a deal was not in place by early September.

China retaliated by manipulating the yuan lower and allowed it to go past 7 to the dollar.  Many wondered how the

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CBB Discusses Results of ROI Study

The combined benefit of all Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) programs is 11.91 times more valuable than their costs.  That is one major finding from a recent third-party, return-on-investment (ROI) study commissioned by the national Beef Checkoff program and conducted by Dr. Harry M. Kaiser of Cornell University.
Completed June 2019, the study is based upon an econometric model which quantifies the

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South Dakota Angus Tour

The South Dakota Angus Association is hosting the Black Hills Angus Tour in Rapid City, South Dakota, September 24 and 25, 2019.  The tour is headquartered at the Holiday Inn Express, I-90, Rapid City with a bus leaving at 7:00 a.m. each day to begin tour activities.

Participants can expect views such as hundreds of top Angus cattle pastured on the

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            Hoover Dam Legacy

On July 22, 2019, at 11 ½ years of age, after more than 10 years of residence at ORIgen, the ownership of Hoover Dam made the decision to bring this legendary sire’s life to a dignified conclusion.

Born on January 25, 2008 as the third calf from a Pathfinder Hoover Angus female, this top-selling bull of the 2009 Hoover Angus sale

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Agri-Kid

Kerry Bouchard of Augusta, Montana sent this photo of her two-year-old granddaughter, Breeze, catching up on the latest from the Western Ag Reporter.  Kerry said Breeze enjoys “reading” WAR with her grandpa, but since he wasn’t home when she saw the latest issue, Breeze crawled into his recliner and dug in herself.  We certainly agree with Kerry’s statement, “Gotta teach

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Exploring Beef Quality Assurance

Traditionally, producers participated in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) for one simple reason: it’s the right thing to do.  There is sound research that indicates BQA certified producers can benefit financially as well.  According to a recent study by the Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program and conducted by Colorado State University (CSU), results show a significant premium for calves and feeder cattle

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The Lamey Bull

Note: This first appeared in the August 22, 1956, issue of the Western Livestock Reporter.

I remember one time in the early days when a big red bull came walking right down the middle of Montana Avenue in Billings, Montana. Every once in a while, he saw something that he didn’t like and would stop, lash his tail, paw dirt, and

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Dog Paddle vs. Cat Strokes

“Come on” called Banjo from the center of the pond.  “It feels great out here!”

Marty shook his head.  “Uh-uh, no way” he called.  “Remember, cats don’t like water and I’m still a member of the feline family!”

Tuff raced from the pasture and directly into the pond, splashing his way to the center and dog paddling toward the wooden pallet island

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Dog Days Mean Letting It Lie

On the farms of our youths, the dog days of August featured actual dogs and not a whole lot of anything else.  Given the unsettled state of today’s growing season, commodity markets, and politics, maybe the best way to get through this August is to slide back to that era and just not say or do much else.

For example, let’s

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Register for the Upcoming R-CALF Convention

The largest national producer-only cattle trade association, R-CALF USA, will hold its 20th Anniversary Convention, August 15-16 at The Lodge at Deadwood, South Dakota located at 100 Pine Crest Lane.  All members wanting to attend should contact the R-CALF office or register online at www.RCALFConvention.com as early as possible.

“This convention holds promise to mark significant and beneficial changes to the course of

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Ranking Montana Legislators on Property Rights Positions

The United Property Owners of Montana (UPOM) recently released its 2019 Legislative Scorecard.  The analysis includes a summary of the legislative efforts impacting property rights throughout the session and recognizes those elected officials who went above and beyond in working to protect private property rights in Montana.

“Overall it was a positive session for property owners,” UPOM Policy Director Chuck Denowh

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U.S. Dollar Realignment Could Restore Fairness to Trade Markets

With little relief in sight for persistently low commodity prices, U.S. family farmers and ranchers are facing a bleak economic future, National Farmers Union (NFU) said.  But a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) would help restore prosperity to rural America by correcting an imbalance in U.S. monetary policy.

The Competitive Dollar for Jobs and

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Western Ag Reporter Sweeps at Ag Media Summit

by Mayzie Purviance

“The King of Ag News,” a mantra once based off of publisher Patrick King Goggins’ successful publication, also describes our continued dedication to providing unbiased and a timely news to our readership.  As someone who has only worked here for a month, I believe we live up to this self-created standard.  But you don’t have to take

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Northrop Completes Term as ILIA President

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) Chief Brand Inspector Blaine Northrop complete his year of service as International Livestock identification Association (ILIA) President. In addition to his work with NDSA, Northrop previously served as the chief brand inspector, agricultural enforcement supervisor and, for a time, co-administrator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

The ILIA is an international trade organization dedicated to the

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Clothespins And Saddlebags

As a leatherworker I do a lot of restorations. I regularly repair leather-bound boxes to hold antique $40,00 carriage clocks, make knife sheaths for eBay sellers and repair bridles and other tack for cowboy friends. The restorations I dread the most are bringing old saddles back to life. I’ve done dozens, including a couple for a museum and one that

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R-CALF USA Requests Rejection of USDA Argument in Checkoff Suit

R-CALF USA recently requested the federal district court in Montana to reject the USDA’s argument that it has “complete discretion to ‘chip away’ at the First Amendment,” according to a press release by the organization.

The request is part of the pleadings associated with R-CALF USA’s motion for summary judgment filed on May 20 asking the court to declare the beef

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One Little Dog Causes Multi-Mule Mess

One of the unsung heroes of the horse world is the horse packer.  He has to understand horse anatomy and mule psychology, spend long days in the saddle, have nerves of steel, a strong back, and it helps if he ends up in one piece at the other end of the trail.  Jerry Yoder was the packer for the K

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NCBA Takes the Fight to Fake Meat at Summer Business Meeting

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) leaders today redoubled their efforts to push back against deceptive and erroneous marketing and nutritional claims by plant-based and lab-created alternatives to real beef.
In the opening General Session of NCBA’s annual Summer Business Meeting, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Colin Woodall and Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Research Alisa Harrison highlighted how NCBA is

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Can Sheep Grazing Benefit Vegetable Farming?

Researchers in Montana State University’s (MSU) College of Agriculture are searching for the solution to the age-old problem of ways to limit tillage and chemical herbicides on farmland.

In 2023, MSU will host the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.  This program will assist MSU; research assistant in MSU’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Devon Ragen; and research assistant,

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Recovered Gray Wolf Should be Taken off Endangered Species List

Having met recovery standards for well over a decade, removal of the gray wolf from the endangered and threatened species list is long overdue, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) recently told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Emphasizing that all states in the continental U.S. with wolf populations have met delisting requirements, AFBF told FWS its proposal to delist the

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Bipartisan Bill to Protect America’s Agricultural Industries Introduced

U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation to address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect our food supply and agricultural industries at the border.  Agricultural inspectors work to prevent the intentional or unintentional entry of harmful plants, food, animals and goods into the United States.  The Protecting America’s

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Making Quality Pay

by Kayla Sargent

It was a Friday afternoon in early August and live cattle traded from $113.00 to $114.00 according to USDA reports on Monday, August 6, 2018.  Montana rancher and cattle feeder Shane Eaton was encouraged seeing cattle short and bidding active.  But then that Monday he was perplexed when an unusually large number of live cattle were traded

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Agri-Kid

Grandpa Troy and Grandma Joanne Tescher from Beach, North Dakota kept their six-year-old granddaughter Isla Duray busy during her weeklong trip to the ranch from Billings, Montana.  They said she enjoys her time there and is always asking, “where is Grandpa?”.

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Brett Spader Named President of Angus Media

by Clint Mefford, Angus Communications

An experienced business professional and Angus breeder, Brett Spader will enter the role of Angus Media president August 12.  Spader brings with him many years of experience in livestock marketing, sales, and business and team development.  Spader will lead the team at Angus Media, a beef industry-leading media company and entity of the American Angus Association®

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Hook, Line, and Sinked ‘Em

“Mangy, mangy dog,” muttered Rascal.

He sat with his paws dangling over the bridge as he watched the slow creek moving beneath with his wavy reflection looking back at him.

“He did that and now all those winged rats are living in the tunnel,” he stammered.  “Hmpf…”

He heard the cracking of brush coming down the path to the creek.  He leapt up

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Causation, Coincidence and Climate Change

For the past two weeks, we hosted a guest from Florida.  During JJ’s visit, she and Chelsie camped on the top of the Big Horns, took a speed trip through Yellowstone and Glacier plus caught the rodeo in Cody.  Flatlanders visiting Big Sky Country are always entertaining.

For the second night in a row, an electrical storm struck western Yellowstone County. 

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Considering Cover Crops

Whitney Klasna Photo

by Lilly Platts

Farmers throughout the country faced one of the most difficult planting seasons in recent memory and many were forced to abandon their original crop plan due to excess moisture, closed roads, missed insurance deadlines, and other complications.  In response, some have turned to cover crops, adding to the already growing uptrend in the overall

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Cargill Launches BeefUp Sustainability Program To Reduce Emissions

Global demand for protein is rising rapidly, challenging farmers, ranchers and agribusiness to feed a growing population while protecting the planet.  Across the food and agriculture industry, there is a pressing need to do more with less impact.  To help address this need, Cargill is launching BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative committed to achieving a 30 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity

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Thoughts from the Editor

While I continually use this space to talk about the emergence of “fake meat” into the national market space, it all became a bit more “real” last week for myself and fellow ranch family and friends when the issue came up in my hometown.  It is easy for us to read the headlines and simply think, ‘well, I’m not in

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Market Facilitation Program Set in Motion to Assist Producers

By Mayzie Purviance

Upon the announcement of the Market Facilitation Program – Round Two (MFP) details, farm groups expressed appreciation for the support but were quick to add that a more permanent solution is needed.  The MFP was developed by the USDA to assist farmers who suffer from damages due to unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations.

“While we are grateful for

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Applications Available for 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy

Applications are open for the 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy.  Now in its second year, the academy offers a one-year, comprehensive online certificate program to beef industry professionals through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

“Our inaugural class is wrapping up their learning experience and student feedback so far has been tremendous,” Reinaldo Cooke, program coordinator and associate professor at Texas A&M

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Bridging The Idaho Foodbank Milk Gap

Dairy West — a regional dairy promotion organization which represents dairy farmers, processors, and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah — recently donated a new refrigerator truck to the Idaho Foodbank which will safely store milk and other perishable food products and deliver to food pantries throughout Idaho.
Adorned with a vehicle wrap that proclaims, “Feeding Families — Building Healthy

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Marshmallow Marriage

Our son is getting married in October and we are incredibly excited for the upcoming wedding.   The only problem with the wedding planning: Bret is very frugal, and his frugality is threatening to put a damper on the wedding planning.  His eye for the bottom line started long ago — probably when he chose cattle ranching as a profession.  Once

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You Know It’s Going To Be A Long, Hot Summer If…

You know it’s going to be a long, hot summer if, on the day before you assume the political leadership of the United Kingdom – as Boris Johnson did on July 23 – one of the world’s most authoritative newspapers, the New York Times, prints a column that begins with the phrase, “Boris Johnson, to whom lying comes as easily

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I am back on the trail this week.  I left Sunday morning and will not be home again until next weekend.  Upon landing in Billings on Wednesday, after spending three days at the Ag Media Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I drove right from the airport to Great Falls for the Montana State Fair where I will spend the remainder of

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MSU Purchases Livestock to Feed Students

Buyers for Montana State University’s (MSU) Culinary Services will begin fanning out across the state this week to purchase pigs at 4-H auctions which will end up on the plates of college students.

Last year, MSU purchased 42 pigs from 4-H’ers at eight county fairs held across the state from Plentywood to Hamilton.  These animals accounted for 5,000 pounds of pork

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MSU College of Agriculture Seeks Nominations for Outstanding Leaders

Montana State University’s College of Agriculture is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Agricultural Leader award, which will be presented during the annual Celebrate Agriculture weekend November 1-2, 2019 at MSU.

The award recognizes individuals or families who have gone above and beyond for the Montana agricultural industry in the realms of public service, advocacy, production, or business.  To be considered for

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Jim Martin Salmond December 31, 1941 – June 27, 2019

Fourth-generation Montana rancher James “Jim/Luke” Martin Salmond, 77, a ruggedly independent cowboy all his life, died June 27, 2019, at Benefis Teton Medical Center in Choteau after a brief illness.

Jim was born in Great Falls on December 31, 1941, to third-generation ranchers, John C.  “JC” and Alice (Johnson) Salmond.  Jim was the younger of their two sons by just 11

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BLM Appoints Pendley as New Deputy Director, Policy and Programs

William Perry Pendley was appointed to the position of Deputy Director, Policy and Programs of the Bureau of Land Management.  Pendley, an attorney, has decades of experience in federal land management policy.

Pendley was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming and earned his B.A. and M.A. in Economics and Political Science from George Washing University in Washington, D.C. and was a

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Back to the Drawing Board

by Kayla Sargent

After discussions came to a quiet halt about a year ago, the comment period on the draft grizzly bear recovery plan for North Cascades National Park has reopened.  The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 90-day extension to the public comment window closing October 24.

The drafted plan suggested four alternative routes all with

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Cattlemen’s Beef Board Launches Redesigned Website

The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) launched a newly redesigned and updated website which will make it easier for cattle producers to quickly find information about the national Beef Checkoff program.

“One of our primary goals is to better communicate with producers so they know exactly how their checkoff dollars are being spent,” Greg Hanes, CEO of CBB, said. 

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Home on the Range

by Kayla Sargent

After several years of lobbying efforts beginning with the Obama Administration, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced BLM headquarters will be moving to Grand Junction, Colorado.

Senator Gardner confidently called it a “historic day for our nation’s public lands, western states, and the people of Colorado” after receiving notice of the details in a letter from the Department of Interior

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NIFA, ERS Relocation Detrimental to Family Farmers, NFU Says

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) relocation of two major research agencies is “misguided” and “detrimental to family farmers and ranchers and rural communities,” according to the nation’s oldest general farm organization.

National Farmers Union (NFU), whose 200,000 members support increased funding for public agricultural research, has been a vocal opponent of efforts to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and

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