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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Comments

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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Comments

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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Comments

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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Comments

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service came out with the mid-year cattle inventory report this past Friday.  Studying the numbers, one would think herd expansion in the U.S. is coming to a halt.  Over the past few months, it appeared there were fewer cows around the country.  It has been quite some time since I’ve seen available pasture leases this

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4-H Cat Trauma

The 4-H fair is this week and it brings back a flood of fond memories of my own 4-H years and those of my children.  Now, I have transitioned into the role of 4-H grandma and it is more fun and less work than the role of 4-H mom or 4-H exhibitor.  I get to show up, watch, visit with

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Doing Your Civic Duty.  Or Not.

Look out, rural America, Congress is headed your way during its annual month-long break in August and its members want to talk trade, trade and more trade.

They don’t, however, want to talk about America’s flagging 2019 agricultural exports or the still-in-place, retaliatory tariffs that are clipping U.S. exports.

No, rural America’s almost entirely Republican representatives and senators want to talk about

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Tofurky Mounts Free Speech Challenge Against Arkansas Meat Label Law

The American Civil Liberties Union, The Good Food Institute, Animal Legal Defense Fund, and ACLU of Arkansas filed a lawsuit challenging an Arkansas law that would impose fines of up to $1,000 for every plant-based and cell-based meat product, such as “veggie burgers” and “tofu dogs,” marketed or packaged with a “meat” label.  The labels would be subject to fines

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Finding Farm Loans 

A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm loans which best fit their operations.  USDA has launched the Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on farmers.gov, the Department’s self-service website built for farmers, by farmers.

“Access to credit is critical in the agriculture industry, especially for new farmers,” Bill

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Hoofin’ it for Hunger Race

It’s not too early to get out those running shoes and start training for the annual Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Hoofin’ it for Hunger trail run Saturday, October 12 in Miles City.

The course takes you through the beautiful farming and ranching grounds at Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Station.  Sign up for the one-mile walk,

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Thoughts from the Editor

I spent much of the past week out of the office at my family’s ranch helping prepare for our  centennial celebration.  It was truly an honor to celebrate 100 years on the same land with four generations of family present.  In front of countless friends and neighbors, my mom summed it up best when she said we owe our success

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Montana Stockgrowers Rescinds APR Membership

Recently, the American Prairie Reserve (APR) joined MSGA as an Allied Industry member.  APR utilized our online e-commerce system via the website to join.  MSGA’s e-commerce system is designed much like every other membership organization, that as you sign up and pay electronically, you are automatically a member.

As a result, the MSGA Executive committee took prompt action and sent APR

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Passionate Processing

By Mayzie Purviance

The old saying, “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” is a nice sentiment, but one many fail to embrace.  Some spend years paying off student loans for a degree they didn’t want to obtain a job they don’t enjoy and wake up each more dreading the day ahead.  Ken Charfauros, on

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Space is Limited for R-CALF 20th Anniversary Convention; Fox News Tomi Lahren to Deliver Keynote Address

R-CALF USA’s 20th Anniversary Convention is fast approaching, and trade show booths and hotel rooms will soon be in short supply.  The two-day event is slated for Aug.  15-16 at The Lodge in Deadwood, South Dakota, located at 100 Pine Crest Lane.

Participants can expect to gain tremendous amounts of knowledge on issues impacting their cattle businesses and Fox News host

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Preserving the Spirit of the West Through Collaboration

by Kayla Sargent

An emergency gather on the Triple B Herd Management Area in 2018.  BLM Nevada photo.

Displaying a spirit of compromise, groups typically staged at opposite ends of the spectrum came together to create a proposal for the BLM’s management of wild horses and burros.  “The Path Forward” plan, developed in April,  was signed by groups including the

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Leading-Edge Topics at American Simmental Association’s Fall Focus

Ranchers looking to secure better genetic outcomes should register this month for the 2019 event in Manhattan, KS.

“Focus on you.  Focus on success.  Focus on profit.” is a sentiment cattlemen attending the American Simmental Association’s upcoming Fall Focus event can expect to hear at the 2019 annual gathering, August 23-27 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Fall Focus is a must-see which includes ranch

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Agri-Kid

At one and half years old, Maverick Wells was out helping halter break calves to prepare for the busy summer show season that is firing up across the country.  It’s great to see young kids chute-side like this little guy on his ranch near Norfolk, Nebraska.

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New Opportunity Offers Southeastern Ranchers More Profit, Less Risk

The winds of opportunity are blowing through the Southeast, and at the heart of the whirlwind is a new partnership providing a win-win situation for beef producers.  Meat packer and feeder François Léger is building a conception-to-consumption supply chain of high-quality, Angus beef.  On the genetic side, he is teaming up with long-time cattlemen Virgil Lovell and Lee Leachman of

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REAL Montana announces Class IV

Twenty current and emerging leaders from Montana’s natural resource industries were selected to take part in Class IV of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership), a program funded through partnership with MSU Extension and private industry.

“REAL Montana continues to strengthen its mission of building a network of informed and engaged leaders to advance the natural resource industries in Montana. 

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When Flush Come to Flood

My summer is awash with grandkids, so we are suffering clogged toilets.  Sheryl Crow’s campaign to save the climate by limiting one’s toilet paper use to a single square is no match for my grandkids spinning the Charmin.  Every time the little poopers plug the toilet, they flush it repeatedly until the swirling sewer soup pauses at the crest of

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Department of Labor Announces Proposed H-2A Program Updates

Furthering the agenda to help America’s farmers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted an online Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to solicit public comment on proposed changes to improve the H-2A temporary agricultural labor certification program.  These proposed changes would modernize the Department’s H-2A regulations in a way that

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A Surprise in Store …the saga continues from last week

The pair chuckled and moved into place as they watched Rascal move into the tunnel’s dark depths.  He continued to follow the crumbs and the lingering strands of alluring smoke gave him hope there was more where these crumbs came from just beyond his paw’s reach.

“Go, go!” Marty said to Kat.  She crept slowly toward one side of the tunnel’s

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Public Lands Council Opens 2019 Annual Meeting

Online registration is open for the Public Lands Council (PLC) 2019 Annual Meeting in Great Falls, Montana scheduled September 25-28.

The PLC Annual Meeting features a robust schedule of legislative updates, educational seminars, a federal lands range tour and official organization business.  This meeting is the largest event in the nation focused exclusively on federal lands and western ranching.
“Everyone who comes

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Anthrax Infection Continues to Plague Texas

Since the Texas Animal Health Commission’s (TAHC) July 9 update, anthrax has been detected on three additional premises in southwest Sutton County and one location in south central Crockett County.

TAHC quarantined the premises after animals tested positive for the reportable disease.  To date, eight premises in three Texas counties have had animals confirmed with anthrax.  Animals include the following species:

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Beef Industry Military Appreciation Day July 23

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA), North Dakota Beef Commission and North Dakota CattleWomen will be joining forces again this year to salute servicemen and women and their families during the 15th annual Beef Industry Military Appreciation Day July 23 at the North Dakota State Fair in Minot.

The event will include a free roast beef picnic for active duty, reserve

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Can’t Catch a Break, Nebraska Towns Flooded

While many Nebraska producers are still trying to recoup from the spring’s historic flooding, another round of high waters hit last week following a downpour that dropped five to nine inches of rain overnight.  The storms hit Buffalo, Dawson, Frontier, Gosper, Kearney, and Phelps counties and caused rivers and creeks to spill out of their banks into communities along Highway

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A Surprise in Store

“He’s coming,” whispered Kat to Marty.  The mountain lions schemed an epic plan to rid the pesky masked bandit, Rascal, away from his new hideout home. With the help of Banjo, the ranch crew and the covert operatives of the Ranch Underground, they were ready and in place.

Rocky the racoon recruited some her finest resources who were waiting in the

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Minnesota Federal Court Consolidates Cattle Antitrust Cases

Appoints R-CALF’s counsel as interim lead counsel

July 10, 2019, the Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota ordered the consolidation of various class action claims against Tyson, JBS, Cargill and National Beef which have been filed on behalf of cattle producers and CME users.  R-CALF filed the first such complaint in April, with others subsequently filing similar suits.

By the

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Comments

We saw a nice rally in the fed cattle market last week.  Cash fed cattle sold for $115 to $116 in the north and mainly $112 to $114 in the south, up $3 to $5 respectively as compared to the week before.  Cattle futures enjoyed a nice upswing, especially on Tuesday.

Feeder calves at the auction markets around the country also

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“Mother Nature always bats last.” 

Call it what you will — coincidence, chance or just bad luck — but on the very day President Donald J. Trump defended his Administration’s almost indefensible environmental record, the Washington, D. C. metro area was deluged by rainfall not seen since Noah.

In fact, the abundance of rain fell so fast on the nation’s capital July 8 that cars attempting

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Montana SCI Donates Kubota RTV and $3,900 to No Person Left Behind

More Fishtail/Nye and Hardin Hunting Opportunities for Wounded Veterans

The Montana chapter of Safari Club International teamed up with Billings Kubota to donate an all-weather recreational terrain vehicle (RTV) and a check for $3,900 to No Person Left Behind Outdoors (NPLB).

NPLB is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing hunting and other recreational opportunities to U.S.  veterans awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

“We

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Hating the Only One Who Can Help

Last weekend, I shared campfire smoke with family at our Lake Creek Cow Camp on top of the Big Horns.  When we arrived, the ragged-looking crew and guests of Double Rafter Cattle Drives were unsaddling their horses.  They just finished trailing cattle into the Little Horn Parks and the daily frog-stranglers made it a tough week. Everyone somberly watched their

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Cool as a Cucumber

I absolutely love kitchen tips, and I try to pass them along without too much commentary, but sometimes I just can’t resist sharing comments about the actual practicality of these tips.  For example, Martha Stewart claims that if you have a headache, you should rub a cut lime on it.  That might work, but it is a bit messy when

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Soil Health Champions Network

by Kerry Hoffschneider

A group of more than 240 farmers, ranchers and woodland owners make up the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Soil Health Champions Network and share the goal of increasing the adoption of soil health systems by landowners nationwide.  Sims Cattle Company, a fifth-generation family owned and operated ranch in the Rock Creek Valley of southeast Wyoming, is

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A Split Industry Issues Comments on Passage of USMCA

by Mayzie Purviance

Within the wake President Trump’s 30-day notice for submission of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal to Congress for ratification, a handful of letters were sent to congressional leaders expressing by agricultural organizations stating their stance on the deal as it is written.  R-CALF USA, the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) each

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Agri-Kid

Four-year old Eli Elam is learning all about a long day’s work in the tractor at a young age on their farm near Orovada, Nevada.  Thanks, Lacey Elam for sharing this great example of Work Ethic 101!

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ASI Submits Idaho Wildlife Services EIS Comments 

Western Watersheds and others filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services seeking to disrupt the agency’s Predator Damage Management program in the state of Idaho on procedural grounds in May 2017.
This lawsuit claimed Wildlife Services’ reliance on an Environmental Assessment was insufficient for their predator management activities in Idaho and the agency

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Stand With Farm Families

by Kayla Sargent

A proposed revision to the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&SA) focusing on shielding producers from undue preference has several groups rallying support to advance the rule.  The rule is set to be published and opened for comment later this summer.

Section 202(b) of the P&SA prohibits meatpackers from giving undue preference or advantages to any person, or unreasonable disadvantage

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Beef.  It’s What’s For Dinner. on MasterChef

MasterChef Season 10 partnered with Beef Checkoff to bring viewers the beefiest Backyard BBQ challenge.  Tune in to Fox Thursday, July 18, 8/7c to see how chefs use various popular beef cuts in the challenge.

Featuring Beef.  It’s What’s For Dinner.  on MasterChef is a sure way to put beef on the forefront to millions of consumers throughout the country.  When consumers are able

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Geddes’ Portrayal of APR’s Wealth is Suspect

By Ron Poertner, Winifred, Montana

Poertner is a retired military member and an advocate of rural interests in central Montana.

The American Prairie Reserve’s (APR) External Relations guru, Pete Geddes, recently provided Lewistown News Argus readers with a progress report on APR’s renovation of the Power Mercantile (PM) building and the status of funding for that project.

The message Geddes conveyed seemed to

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The War on Wild Pigs

by Mayzie Purviance

An invasive species, as defined by the National Park Service, is a “non-native organism whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human, animal, or plant health.”  Feral swine could easily fit any of those descriptors.

Feral swine, often referred to as wild pigs or wild hogs, may not be a pressing

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Networking, Communication Top Goals for Montana Farm Bureau D.C. Fly-in

During the Montana Farm Bureau Fly-in June 10-13 in Washington, D.C. Montana Farm Bureau members had excellent opportunities to meet with lawmakers and agency personnel.  Fly-in participants, Susan Lake from Ronan, Don Steinbeisser, Jr. from Sidney and Kris Descheemaeker from Lewistown, were selected to attend based on their prior advocacy efforts in Montana.

The action-packed schedule included meetings with Senator Steve

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Field Editor Travels

By Will Bollum

I recently attended the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association 2019 Summer Tour.  The tour was sponsored by the West Central Cattlemen’s Association and headquartered in Morris, Minnesota.

This was my first Minnesota Cattlemen’s Tour, and I was blown away by the attendance.  There were FOURTEEN coach busses booked for the day, and if they were all full, would be about

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Including Beef in Healthy Diets is a Smart Approach to Healthy Lifestyles

Cattle Producers Weigh in on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, told members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in oral comments that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows healthy diets including red meat, like beef, support optimal health and well-being.

“Beef is a high-quality protein powerhouse providing a

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Thoughts from the Editor

“The EPA estimates around 25 percent of methane in the U.S. comes from cows.”

This is the fourth sentence in a recently published National Geographic article about “burping cows.”  NatGeo has always resonated as a credible source, the EPA would obviously have the facts, cows must be the problem here.  Or at least that’s the thought process many readers may have.

But

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Save the Cowboy.  STOP the American Prairie Reserve.

If you are like me, you have heard of the American Prairie Reserve (APR), but you really don’t know much about it other than the billboard slogan: “Save the Cowboy. STOP the American Prairie Reserve.”  Several readers have asked me to write a column about it, but I really did not know enough about it personally to give a just

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Tie-Down Ropers Withdraw from the ‘Daddy of ‘em All’

By Mayzie Purviance

Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) shook the rodeo world with their recent announcement of a change in format for the tie-down roping event.  Normally, contestants would rope two head of cattle either in the slack or rodeo performance with the hopes of coming back for the short round.  Before CFD would kick off each year, contestants knew

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Love of Country

I love this country and see opportunity everywhere.  My life began on a small ranch in eastern Montana.  We droughted out twice over our ten years on Blacktail Creek, and since this was the late ‘50s, we were unaware drought was caused by inadequate taxation and regulation.  We just thought it was dry.

We moved to the family homestead at the

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What’s In a Word

by Kayla Sargent

After the meat industry succeeded in prohibiting the words ‘meat’ or ‘beef’ on product labels of plant-based alternative proteins in several states, the “fake meat” industry is pushing back.

Mississippi was one of the first states to prohibit labels containing ‘meat’ or ‘meat product’ on any cell-cultured, plant-based, or insect-based proteins.  Passed in March,

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Thoughts from the Editor – July 11, 2019

People listen when ranchers speak.  This week, Susan Metcalf featured a guest writer in her column that packs a very powerful message.  Winifred, Montana rancher Jamie Wickens shared a firsthand account of the impacts the American Prairie Reserve (APR) is already having on their community.  Hearing it directly from a rancher places a relatable perspective on the issue for

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Lawsuit Filed to Grizzly Bear Recovery Area

Late last month, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit against the Secretary of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for failing to update the federal recovery plan for grizzly bears.

CBD carnivore conservation director Collette Adkins said the current recovery plan is more than 25 years old.  CBD is calling for an updated

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Purdue Puts Cart Before the Horse

by Gilles Stockton
Grass Range, MT

Most cattle producers have probably not paid enough attention to Sonny Perdue, U.S.  Secretary of Agriculture’s, recent announcement:  adult cattle in interstate commerce will be required to carry RFID tags — and it will cost you.  This includes all cattle vaccinated for brucellosis and is a step towards requiring that all cattle (including feeder

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RFID Tags: The Good, The Bad, The Costly

By Mayzie Purviance

Disease traceability is a pressing issue in the beef industry.  In order to rapidly track the source of diseases such as tuberculosis and brucellosis,  the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced that Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are the solution.  They have set the goal of complete, mandatory implementation by January 2023.

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Vesicular Stomatitis Found in Colorado Horses

Colorado has become the third state in the U.S. to have confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV). Previous positive cases of vesicular stomatitis in 2019 have been diagnosed in Kinney and Tom Green counties in Texas and in Sandoval County, New Mexico.

On July 3, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported positive test results on samples submitted from two horses in Weld

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Comments – July 11, 2019

The Fourth of July is behind us now, it’s hard to believe the year is more than half way over.  I think our Priest at church said it best this past Sunday, reminiscing on the nice weather, fun barbeque, and fireworks and reminding us that not long ago we were facing snow and bitter cold.  But then he went on

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Writers Write, Readers Read and, Often, Readers Write

Writers write and readers read and, always to this writer’s pleasant surprise, readers often write. Most letters and emails are either complimentary or inquisitive.  More than a few, however, come nowhere near complimentary and some, in fact, are quite, ah, declarative.

For example, 2019 was just three days old when the editor of an Indiana newspaper that carries the column received this

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A Sneak Attack From a Crush

Marty crossed the pasture in his natural camouflage with instinctive stealth moves so nothing could see him.  The mountain lion was exceptionally cautious around this corner of the ranch, since Rascal the pesky raccoon had tossed his idle threats into the wind the last time he saw him.  Even though there had been no evidence of Rascal’s threats to elude

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Fiber Arts, From Flock to Festival

By Marci Whitehurst

Knitting or felting conversations may trigger thoughts of our grandmas or the homesteading era; however, fiber arts have made a strong comeback as a way to connect with others, natural resources, and even our roots.

Kami Noyes, fifth generation rancher, has found her way into a niche market by spinning and creating with home-grown

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Growing Grass, Beef, and… Carbon

by Kayla Sargent

Discussions regarding climate change dominate every major news source – and agriculture has been front and center in the bulk of the conversations.  This new spotlight has now created the opportunity for agriculture to highlight careful management practices and capitalize on an emerging market.

Carbon farming, or carbon ranching as it pertains to the

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Freshman House Democrats Urge USMCA Changes

27 Freshman House Democrats voiced their concerns about the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) in a letter written to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.  These House members demanded a reopening of negotiations so changes could be made to existing trade issues.
The letter starts by reaffirming the groups interest in working with Lighthizer to improve upon what they call “NAFTA 2.0”,

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Texas Native Joins WAR Staff in Montana

It pleases me to introduce myself as Assistant Editor of the Western Ag Reporter.  I am excited for this new adventure and look forward to upholding the Western Ag Reporter’s stellar reputation of effectively informing readers on agricultural news.

As a native of Rosalie, Texas, I am no stranger to rural lifestyle.  Growing up on commercial Angus and Red Angus operations

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North Dakota Sees First Case of EHM This Season

The North Dakota State Board of Animal Health and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division are reminding horse owners to protect their horses from equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).  A horse has been confirmed positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), the neurologic manifestation of the virus, in McKenzie County.  The horse is receiving veterinary care while isolated and recovering

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Local Conservation Districts Efforts Support Agriculture and the Missouri River

Dick Iverson and Buzz Mattelin attended the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) plenary session May 21 – 23 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Iverson and Mattelin served as representatives of the Richland and Roosevelt Conservation Districts.  Both had previously served as stakeholder representatives on the committee, but were attending this meeting to represent the interests of irrigators and agriculture

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Cattlemen Call for Some Control

By Mayzie Purviance 

Agriculture continuously goes head to head with adversity.  Farmers are constantly in a close race against mother nature in attempts to get crops planted before rainfall.  Dairy farmers are in an uphill battle attempting to educate the public that their practices are humane and keep their market foothold in a space becoming overwhelmed by mislabeled milk alternatives.  Food

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U.S. Beef Leadership Team Meets Buyers and Explores Opportunities in Taiwan, Japan

U.S. beef producers and industry representatives were given a close look at U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) efforts to increase exports to two key Asian markets during the 2019 Beef Leadership Team’s recent visit to Japan and Taiwan.  With funding support from the Beef Checkoff Program, USMEF staff provided an in-depth analysis of each market, included the team in several

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Ag Has Bigger Problems Than Weather, Trade, Bailouts…

When you’ve been in the ag journalism game for almost 40 years, few things surprise you.  Floods, droughts, market crack-ups, political crockery, price fixing: none of it is shocking anymore.

And, yet, on June 21, the Washington Post published a farm-based story that made even this graybeard marvel at how tone-deaf and superior-sounding rural politics has become to much of the

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Comments

Between four weddings in five weekends, Stockgrower’s midyear meeting, and the Northern Livestock Video sale I have been travelling the state and visiting with many producers the last few weeks.  There are three main concerns that have surfaced in these conversations.

First of all, people are asking about the calf and yearling market.  I think these early video sales have been

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Congratulations Beef Improvement Federation Award Winners

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) recognized members at the 51st annual BIF Convention in Brookings, South Dakota, for their hard work and determination to produce quality beef.  Among these award winners were:  Jerry Wulf, Minnesota; Craig Bieber, South Dakota; Steve Munger, South Dakota; Hinkson Angus Ranch, Kansas; and Bruce and Tracey Mershon, South Dakota.  Western Ag Reporter (WAR) field editors

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Ways and Means Bill Prematurely Lowers Estate Tax Exemption

The House Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 3301 on June 20, which will extend expired tax incentive for biodiesel, renewable energy and short line railroads.  This bill is supported by many farmers and ranchers; however, this demographic is not pleased to support a bill that would prematurely end the $11 million per person estate tax exemption, dropping the tax

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A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

by Kayla Sargent

“I was raised in a time when ag was king and ag was revered.  I was raised to praise the farmers and ranchers who provided my food.”

Even growing up in California, Mindy Patterson, founder of the Cavalry Group, said her family always supported agriculture.  But times have changed and she is noticing a strong force against the industry

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Oregon Timber Industry Rally Win Creates Headlines Nationwide

by Katie Schrock

In an unprecedented move of grassroots advocacy, rural Oregonians joined together in record setting numbers to rally against House Bill 2020.  The emergency declaring carbon reduction bill relating to greenhouse gas emissions was introduced to establish a Climate Policy Office within the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.  This bill directs the office to adopt the Oregon Climate Action

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Is Herbicide Carryover a Concern in Wet Weather?

For many South Dakota farmers, wet conditions have forced the need to change planting plans.  In some cases, crops are being planted in areas that were not planned for that crop this year.  One factor in the moving of crops that should not be overlooked is carryover, explained Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

“With the cool damp spring, chemicals

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China Places Immediate Ban on Canadian Meat Imports

by Kayla Sargent

On June 25, China placed an immediate ban on meat imports from Canada after the discovery of a falsified export certificate.  A Chinese Embassy spokesperson said Chinese Customs authorities found residue from ractopamine, a feed additive intended to promote leanness, in a batch of Canadian pork products destined for the country.  The additive is banned in China.

The Chinese

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Nearly $40,000 Raised for Nebraska Flood Victims

With the generous support of donors, the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) and North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation (NDSF) generated nearly $40,000 to support cattle-ranching families in Nebraska who suffered catastrophic losses in the state’s historic floods earlier this year.  The NDSA and NDSF provided the cash gift to the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Disaster Relief Program, which, in turn, is providing financial

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A Greenhorn’s Auction Strategy

As I always say, the best part of writing a weekly column is going to the mailbox and finding a book or cookbook that was sent to me by a reader in hopes I will like it and review it in my column.  Such was the case today, when in my mailbox I found a book by Virginia Johnson entitled

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NDGGA Representatives Meet with Top Washington Policy Makers

A contingent of representatives from the North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDGGA) met with top USDA officials and members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation recently in Washington.  The group had a full slate of meetings that touched on a variety of topics including water management issues, prevented planting, market facilitation program payments, trade concerns and cover crop requirements.

The NDGGA met

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Bill Introduced To Create New Markets for State-Inspected Meat

The South Dakota Stockgrowers (SDSGA) applauded the recent introduction of the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act by Sens Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Angus King (I-ME).  This bill would allow meat and poultry that has been inspected by state agencies with equal to or more strict standards as USDA inspection processes to be sold across state lines.  Currently

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Agri-Kid

A group of kiddos from Saco, Montana are showing off their new Auggie (Corgi/mini Aussie) pups.  From left to right are Ridge Beil (3), Whit Ozark (4), and Rowdy James Beil (4).  Nothing cuter than ranch kids and ranch pups!

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BIF Selects New Board, Officers

2019-2020 Beef Improvement Federation Board of Directors: (seated, from left) Tommy Clark, Culpeper, VA, president; Lee Leachman, Fort Collins, CO, past president; Jane Parish, Mississippi State University, BIF executive director; Bob Weaber, Kansas State University, BIF central region secretary; Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky, BIF eastern region secretary; Mark Enns, Colorado State University, BIF western region secretary; Josh White,

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Happy 4th of July!

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Fireworks for Ranch Freedom

Gander dove from the sky and landed directly in front of Banjo.  The ranch crew had been plotting for a week, thanks to the intel their old friend Wallie the whistle pig shared with them on his recent visit.  There was a new pack of coyotes headed right for the ranch and Gander the Canadian Goose was the ranch’s air

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The Grizzly Bears Awake

by Katie Schrock

The last ten to fifteen years has seen an upswing trend for Montana’s big game predators of wolves, mountain lions and, especially, the grizzly bear.  Hunted to near extinction between 1850 and 1920, grizzlies were eliminated from 95 percent of their original range, which led to their listing as threatened on the Endangered Species Act in 1975.  Their

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Cattlemen Launch Campaign to Pass USMCA

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently launched a media campaign urging Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The campaign features personal stories from cattle and beef producers across the country who want Congress to ratify the USMCA as quickly as possible.

“The USMCA keeps the highly successful framework for U.S. beef trade in place and preserves access to two of

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Thoughts from the Editor

I don’t know whether it’s irony or just the nature of the beast that brought our front page together this week.  Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s the latter.  I attended the animal rights versus animal welfare presentation last Tuesday evening and had my eyes opened to some of the tactics animal rights groups use to attack our industry.  The following day,

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Fake Meat Headlines Worth Following for the Week

USDA Leader Taste Tests the Impossible Burger

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue travelled to Impossible Burger’s headquarter in California last week to give their protein patty a try.  According to a Bloomberg report, Perdue said the burger tasted “very good” and was a “good facsimile” of real beef.

In conversation with Impossible Food CEO Pat Brown, Perdue said “there is some anxiety

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Walt is Wrong

Contrary to the teachings of Walt Disney, animals are different than humans.  Critters interact with their kind by scent, noise and subtle behavior cues mostly invisible to others.  Interspecies communication is either predator/prey or indifference depending on the circumstances.  All other warm and fuzzy animal relationships are Disney fantasy.

This is not to diminish the human/animal bond, and over my years

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Happy Independence Day

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Zoetis Partners with Jorgensen Land & Cattle for Custom Genetic Evaluation

Zoetis recently announced a partnership with Jorgensen Land & Cattle (JLC), a South Dakota-based seedstock operation that markets over 3,500 bulls annually.  Under the partnership agreement, Zoetis has developed an evaluation for JLC that will power their proprietary Ideal Beef Genetic Evaluation for JLC, a custom genetic evaluation based on extensive production and pedigree records and DNA samples the ranch

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Agri-Kid

Charlie Belle Applegate is riding along with her dad, Mike Applegate, while they drag the arena at the Montana High School Rodeo recently held in Deer Lodge.  Charlie Belle’s big brother, Judd, was riding saddle bronc that day.  Rodeo is a family affair!

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Presidential Candidates Called Upon to Increase Fairness for Family Farmers

Thirty-five farm and food organizations called on elected officials and candidates running for office to address the disproportionate market power held by the giant agribusinesses that dominate livestock and poultry markets.  The list of priorities for creating fair and competitive markets for family farmers is endorsed by groups from across the country that represent producers raising livestock and poultry.

“Our food

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The Economics of Grandmacare

One of my summer jobs is watching my three grandsons while their parents are at work.  Of course, I love almost all aspects of that job (excluding vomit clean-up), but the one benefit of that job I do not receive is financial reward.  Daycare is very expensive, but Grandmacare is free – except to Grandma.  I have been recently researching

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Eastern vs. Western Wild Horse Management

A mare from the Assateague wild horse herd, Ms. Macky, recently gave birth to a bay pinto colt on June 21.  The National Parks Service is allowing the herd to grow from their current numbers of 76 to up to 100 based on the available space and forage. Photo courtesy NPS.

By Jamie Henneman

In the moist marsh grounds of

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Choosing Between Country and Company

ICON president, Jim Dinklage and guest speaker, Brian O’Shaughnessy.

by Kerry Hoffschneider

“We need to get out and help ourselves,” Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) President Jim Dinklage said during his opening comments at the groups 14th annual meeting in Broken Bow on June 21.

The opportunity to do just that was presented by guest speaker Brian O’Shaughnessy, chairman of Revere

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New Calculator Shows Individual Profit Potential for Calves

When profit-focused genetics combine with superior calf management, the producer has done the hard work.  Still, that leaves little guarantee on sale day.  The International Genetic Solutions (IGS) Feeder Profit Calculator™ seeks to minimize such risk.

Using the calculator, cattlemen are able to provide sire information, regardless of breed, as well as preconditioning, weaning and health data in exchange for a

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Committee Holds Hearing on Climate and Agriculture

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing dedicated to the issue of climate change and the agricultural sector.  In written testimony, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson thanked the committee for addressing the deleterious effects of climate change on the agricultural industry and emphasized the need for federal policies that assist farmers with the

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The Bum’s Rush, USDA Style

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue doesn’t need to hit the road this summer to find more than enough messy problems to keep him busy through harvest.

There’s the Chinese trade mess, the NAFTA 2.0 trade mess, the European Union trade mess, and the Japanese trade mess.

Also, there’s the mess Mother Nature made of the 2019 planting season.  And, too, the

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A Welcome Surprise Visitor

“Who do we have here?” asked Banjo as he watched the old Chevy truck bump down the washed-out pot-hole lane.

Tuff released a couple deep barks and safely raced toward the lane and the rickety truck to greet the newcomer.  Banjo walked slowly to the edge of the grass and waited for the truck’s sputtering, ticking engine to stop.  As soon

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Dog Trial Continues to Honor LaBree

The 4th Annual Sunday Creek Sheepdog Trial will be held June 29 – July 1 in honor of competitor and trial founder Rene LaBree, who passed away in March 2019.

by Lilly Platts

Rene LaBree started hosting the Sunday Creek Sheepdog trial near Miles City in 2016.  This year’s event will be missing its most important participant as LaBree lost

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Thoughts from the Editor

I’m happy to report that plant-based and petri dish-protein didn’t make any new, wildfire headlines this week.  In fact, Beyond Meat shares saw a slight decrease when Taco Bell announced they have no intention to add their product or Impossible Foods to their menu.

The fast food Mexican restaurant met with both companies before announcing their decision to veer away from

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Public Says Only 1 in 3 Farmers Care for the Environment

by Kayla Sargent

As discussions about the environment, particularly agriculture’s impact on it, intensify the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) asked consumers “do farmers protect the environment?”  The results are in and only 30 percent of respondents strongly believe producers take good care of the environment, about 60 percent are unsure.

“They’re just not sure farmers are doing enough,” CFI’s Terri Moore

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Comments

The Cattle On Feed report came out last Friday and contained no real surprises.  Cattle on feed June 1, totaled 11.7 million head, up 1.6 percent from last year, and once again this month was the highest since the series began in 1996.  Placements in May came in at 2.06 million head, down 3 percent as compared to last year.

The

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FSA Director Speaks on Disaster Relief During S.D. Farmers Union Young Producer Event

Whether you’re a crop or cattle producer, extreme weather and market instability make for a challenging 2019 growing season.  South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) offers young producers an opportunity to gain insight into disaster relief, cattle care and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the Missouri River during the July 19 and 20 Young Producer Event held at Cedar Shores Resort,

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Mexico Becomes First to Ratify USMCA

by Kayla Sargent

Mexico became the first country to ratify NAFTA’s replacement, the United States — Mexico — Canada Agreement (USMCA), last week with a landslide 114-4 vote.  In the meantime, President Trump hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau whom encouraged Congress to make USMCA a bipartisan priority.  Canada has introduced legislation in the parliament to ratify the new agreement.

Prime Minister

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Bits & Pieces

Proposals Sought for Ag in the Classroom Programs

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the North Dakota Agriculture in the Classroom Council are seeking proposals for developing and conducting educational programs and materials to help young people understand the importance of agriculture in North Dakota and in their own lives.

“Agriculture in the Classroom programs help young people learn where

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Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Recognizes 2019 Retail Value Steer Challenge Winners

The annual Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation (NCF) Retail Value Steer Challenge (RVSC) winners were honored at the NC Foundation lunch on June 5 during the Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) Midyear Meeting in Columbus.

The RVSC is the primary fundraiser for NC Foundation with money raised supporting youth and adult educational programs, scholarships, research and infrastructure projects, history preservation, and judging teams at colleges

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Technologies Highlighted at BIF

By Will Bollum, WAR Field Editor

I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Beef Improvement Research Symposium and Convention (BIF) in Brookings, South Dakota last week.  The event drew in over 450 attendees this year.  The attendees were largely comprised of purebred and commercial cattlemen, industry professionals, academia, as well as graduate and doctorate students from across the country.

It was

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Behind the Scenes

A decade ago, I viewed the Arlington Memorial depicting the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.  The size of the massive sculpture is inspiring by itself, but this monument so captures Americans putting love of country above self, viewing it at twilight is truly a numbing experience.  I felt so small compared to the sacrifice made by the thousands

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Adjusting for the Wet Planting Season

Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) saw firsthand the devastating conditions South Dakota producers are facing this year.  Photo courtesy of Representative Johnson office.

by Kayla Sargent

Mother Nature has thrown her share of curveballs at producers across the Midwest this year.  Record snowfall, extreme flooding, and excessive spring moisture has delayed and even entirely prevented some crop planting and created a

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Raymond Leroy ColyerSeptember 15, 1924 – June 10, 2019

Raymond Leroy Colyer, 94, of Bruneau, Idaho passed away peacefully from natural causes on Monday, June 10, 2019 at a Boise Nursing Facility.  Ray was born September 15, 1924 to Troy Guy and Lois Emery Colyer in Castleford, Idaho.  He was raised with four brothers and two sisters and attended school in Three Creek.

After graduating from 8th grade, he went

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Alltech South Dakota Donates Ireland Trip to Feeding South Dakota

Global animal health and nutrition company Alltech is proud to support Feeding South Dakota by donating a trip to Ireland that will be presented at the sixth annual South Dakota Prime Time Gala on June 22, 2019.

During the six-day Alltech International Beef Tour to Ireland, four people will have the opportunity to experience Irish beef production, as well as Alltech’s

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Agri-Kid

Shaylin O’Neil shared this photo of her son, Yukon, helping at the family ranch, Red Canyon Ranch, outside of Forsyth, Montana.  His great uncle, Lynn Ashley, is teaching him how to wrestle at a young age!

 

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Snapshot of U.S. Imports & Exports

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Reflecting on 100 Years and Preparing for Many More

Hitting their milestone centennial celebration, Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) highlighted a rich history, yet keyed in on critical technologies to continue on at their Summer Conference June 11-13 in Bozeman.  To sum up the vast array of workshops, committee meetings, and tours slated for the week, the conference theme was deemed “Harvesting History, Cultivating Our Future.”

To kick it off

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A Historical Rodeo

Spud Cremer.

The Big Timber Rodeo and all of the associated festivities will be held next weekend.  Few people who have not been involved in putting on a rodeo realize how much planning, preparation, and just plain hard work goes into putting on a rodeo.  The Big Timber Rodeo has a rich history which began with Leo J. Cremer

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Montana Judge Sides With U.S. Sheep Experiment Station

At the end of May, the United States District Court of Montana ruled in favor of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station on a motion for permanent injunction and summary judgement.

Beginning in 2012, the plaintiffs in this case – Cotton Environmental Law Center and others – filed a lawsuit against the sheep station and the Agricultural Research Service seeking a new

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Dealer Trust

When a livestock dealer’s check bounces, should the farmer or rancher who raised the cattle be able to get them back?

USDA wants to hear from the livestock industry regarding potential changes to priority in livestock dealer default situations.  The comment period is open through June 24.

While most people agree producers should be entitled to repossess livestock they sold and have

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Montana Stockgrowers Then and Now

by Kayla Sargent

In celebrating 135 years, the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) met where their organization first took root for the Mid Year Convention in Miles City, Montana.

“We are older than the state and we have much to be proud of,” MSGA First Vice President Jim Steinbiessar said.

Reflecting on the history of the organization and the industry it was formed around,

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Victims, Vikings, and Villains

A few weeks back, a caller to the Dave Ramsey Show declared, “You can be a victim or a Viking.”  After initially buying the lie he was a victim, the caller became a Viking and paid off his debt, shredded his credit cards, lived on less than he earned, and built wealth by saving and investing.  It is a success

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Rabies in Horses and Livestock

By Heather Smith Thomas

Rabies may be the last thing you suspect when a horse or cow gets sick, yet it’s important to keep rabies in the back of your mind because this is the most serious disease that humans can get from animals.  Rabies can affect all warm-blooded animals and is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. 

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It’s Not a John Wayne World Anymore

A Great Week for Gathering Cattle…Men and Women

From Bozeman to Miles City, Montana clear east to Washington D.C., farmers and ranchers took a break from the operation to gather with colleagues in their respective organizations, a move that is critical to move the industry forward MSGA keynote speaker Don Schiefelbein said.

 

by Kayla Sargent

The secret to eight brothers, their wives, 32

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USDA Announces Kansas City Region as New NIFA, ERS Site

By Kayla Sargent

Just under one year after introducing a plan to relocate the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) out of Washington, D.C., the USDA has selected the Kansas City region as the new home for the agencies.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the selected region region provides “affordability, easy commutes, and

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Producers Head to Capitol Hill to Talk Beef

Ranchers from across the nation made time for a trip to D.C. where they partook in firsthand conversations with the nation’s lawmakers.

By Lilly Platts

Beef producers from across the U.S. came together in Washington D.C. June 10 and 11 to discuss current issues with congressional leaders and representatives from various organizations.  The annual United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Washington,

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 DEADLINE to File Exempt Water Right Claims Approaching

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) would like to remind water right owners that the deadline for filing a claim on their exempt water rights is June 30, 2019.

The 2017 Montana Legislature created the opportunity for owners of exempt water rights to file claims when it passed HB 110. Since the filing period began on May 7,

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South Dakota Ranchers Raise More Than 33K for R-CALF USA

Fort Pierre Livestock Auction recently kicked off the summer with a successful fundraiser that generated more than $22,100 for R-CALF USA.  Fort Pierre Livestock Auction has been a leader for many years in generating memberships and contributions for the national organization.  The monies and memberships generated from calf sales are used to help R-CALF USA succeed in its mission to

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Clifford Oscar WolfeSeptember 28, 1919 – June 7, 2019

Clifford Oscar Wolfe passed away June 7, 2019 while residing at Cottonwood Care Home with his daughters, Linda and Ladell at his side.  Cliff was born September 28, 1919 in Westfork, Montana to Charles and Thresa Wolfe.  Cliff was one of seven children – Alfred, Charlie, Mary, Sylvia, Ruby, and Shirley, who all predeceased him.

Cliff graduated from Scobey High School

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‘Save the Cowboy’ Campaign Highlighted in British Newspaper

British newspaper, The Telegraph, recently published an article about the grassroots opposition putting up a fight against the American Prairie Reserve in Montana.  Here’s a few excerpts:

“The long-term vision includes establishing a population of 10,000 bison in the hope of restoring a fully functioning ecosystem on the prairies.  However, cowboys in the area say the plans are tantamount to wiping

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Comments

I was able to attend part of the midyear meetings of the Montana Stockgrowers Association last week in Miles City, Montana.  I had to leave early for my niece’s rehearsal dinner and wedding but was able to take in Thursday’s meetings and events.  Attendance at these meetings was down a little from normal, but I suspected this while driving to

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Don’t Waste a Minute Moping

Last week, Marty the mountain lion was trying to find the gumption to talk to the sweet feline he had his eyes on.  He and Banjo were also on a mission to get Rascal out of his new hideout and give him a dose of his own meddling medicine.  But when Marty was finally able vocalize his plan to his

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Thoughts from the Editor

After running the article last week about the carbon market, many discussions have led to the simple conclusion that “times have really changed.”  This carbon credit program is a foreign idea to most ranchers, and something that would have never even been thought about several generations back.

While a new concept can seem intimidating, the message of the project is the

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Farmers Need New Water Rule, Farm Bureau Tells Senate

The EPA’s latest proposal to define which waters can be regulated by the federal government and which by state and local authorities is a vast improvement over previous efforts, Wyoming Farm Bureau President Todd Fornstrom told the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Waters, and Wildlife.  Expensive professional services needed to comply with the Clean Water Act (CWA) too often make it

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Welcome to Paradise, er, Paradox

There’s an interesting paradox occurring in today’s commodity and financial markets.  Maybe you’ve noticed it; market watchers certainly have.  Here’s what they’ve seen:

Every time President Donald J. Trump takes to Twitter to threaten a nation with import tariffs – most recently, Mexico – the U.S. stock market shoots higher.

Paradoxically, however, every time U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue attempts to

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A Smitten Lion

Marty had never had such butterflies in his stomach.  He watched the golden tan of her fur wave softly in the summer breeze.

“Hm,” he said quietly to himself.  “She’s like the sunshine on a rainy day, the flower bursting from the dry ground, the sweet essence of a tomato on top of a salad… awww.”

The mountain lion was smitten.  Marty

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Just a button…

Note: This first appeared in the October 31, 1956, issue of Western Livestock Reporter

When I was just a button, my mother was cooking for the C Bar cattle outfit.  I was the only small boy in that country and the cowboys got a lot of fun out of teasing me and telling me big lies when I asked them questions. 

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Disaster Bill Helps Farmers and Ranchers Weather the Storm

After significant delay, Congress passed a disaster assistance bill on June 5.  The $19.1 billion package will provide assistance to individuals and communities across the country affected by extreme weather events in the past year and a half, including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, and snowstorms.

A significant portion – just over $3 billion – of that will

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Tariffs on Mexican Cattle Could Restore Opportunities for U.S. Cattle Producers

According to R-CALF USA, the proposed implementation of a five percent tariff on Mexican imports will benefit U.S. cattle producers.  Last year, the R-CALF USA board of directors unanimously called upon President Trump to impose new tariffs on cattle, beef, sheep, and lamb imported from countries that maintain substantial trade surpluses with the United States.

The group said underpriced imports were

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American Angus Association $Value Indexes Updated

By Kate Ryan, American Angus Association

The American Angus Association® Board of Directors approved changes to the $Value Indexes during the February board meeting.  Updated $Value Indexes are now available, and changes include revisions to Beef Value ($B); the construction of a new Maternal Weaned Calf Value ($M); updated economic models for Feedlot Value ($F), Grid Value ($G) and Cow Energy

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Mother Nature Fighting Agriculture

A cow that survived the cold and muddy conditions.

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Gene Dubas owns and operates Dubas Cattle Company and has marketed Silencer Chutes across the nation and world.  His team has sold equipment all over the country – Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Australia, Mexico, and Russia, just to name a few.

Because of his involvement in the cattle

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Livestock Producers Exempt from EPCRA Reporting Requirements

On June 4, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler finalized a rule exempting livestock producers from reporting air emissions from animal waste under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

“This final rule provides clarity and certainty to the regulated community that animal waste emissions from farms do not need to be reported under EPCRA,” Administrator Wheeler said.  “This

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MLRA to Host Beef Quality Assurance Workshop

By Trina Jo Bradley, MRLA Vice President

As beef prices continue to drop and the cost of producing that beef keeps climbing, ranchers have had to get creative and go the extra mile to get a premium for their calves in the fall.  Marias River Livestock Association (MRLA) has worked for several years to help its members not only survive the

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Sustainable Agriculture

“Our cash flow is not flowing,” I informed my bookkeeper, who just so happens to also be my wife.  “I have decided to use my brilliant business mind to raise some cash.  Take a letter would you?”

“Who should I address it to?” my secretary/wife asked.

“To anybody with an ecologically sound mind and way too much money.”

“Dear Sucker,” wrote my secretary

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Fond Father Memories

As Father’s Day approaches, I find it hard to believe that my father would have turned 100 this July.  He has been gone for 22 years, but he still lives large in my memory.  He was one of those people with the classic cowboy look, and that look landed him on the front of the Montana map tipping his hat

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Happy Father’s Day

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Coffee Consensus

How much coffee is too much?  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study showing more than six cups per day increases the risk of heart disease by 22 percent.  However, this week, UK data showed no deleterious effects until beyond the 25-cup mark.  Last Sunday, a personal mishap suggested that a single cup of coffee could damage

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Montana’s T. rex to the Nation’s T. rex

The T. Rex will be on display in the nation’s capital at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for 50 years.

By Hannah Johlman

Short of their wedding day and the days that their children were born, Tom and Kathy Wankel, who ranch near Angela, Montana, said one of the most exciting days of their life was the day

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Thoughts From the Editor

National companies are finally acknowledging the importance of intact grasslands and managed livestock grazing, AND Montana ranchers are being paid to offset the carbon footprints of these companies.  This is great news for our industry.  Even though this is a small-scale project right now, the concept is something that needs to be highlighted across the country.

I titled the front page

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Beef, Dairy Collaboration Launches HOLSim™ Program

The American Simmental Association (ASA) and Holstein Association USA (HAUSA) have announced the formation of the HOLSim™ branded program. The program identifies elite SimAngus™ bulls with specific production attributes as mating solutions for dairy producers who breed some of their herd to beef.

The program’s objective is threefold: to provide additional revenue to dairy producers through the production of value-added terminal

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National Beef, Iowa Premium Merger Complete

by Kayla Sargent

The acquisition of Iowa Premium (IP) by National Beef Packing Company, LLC was completed on June 10.  National Beef, majority owned by Brazilian-based Marfrig Global Foods, is a member of the “Big Four” beef processors in the U.S.  Iowa Premium was the nation’s twentieth largest beef packer prior to the merger.

The finalized acquisition will add over 850 employees

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A Win-Win for Montana Ranchers

Roger Indreland welcomed NativeEnergy representatives, potential carbon credit purchasers, soil scientists, ranch consultants, and Montana ranchers to their family ranch near Big Timber, Montana for an educational field day.

by Kayla Sargent

Montana ranchers have the opportunity to adjust their grazing practices in order to increase carrying capacity, and get paid to do it.  Acknowledging the critical role that livestock

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National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Boise and D.C.

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet July 9-11 in Boise, Idaho, and 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.

Both meetings will

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Comments

Last Friday, the U.S. Meat Export Federation released data detailing April 2019 export numbers.  I know trade talks have been on the forefront of everybody’s minds since China negotiations fell apart a couple of weeks ago.  This leaves many wondering what the status of U.S. exports has been throughout the turbulent trade environment.

After reading this release a couple of times

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Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Expands with Eight New Members

Just three months after its official launch, the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) announced that eight more private-sector companies and nonprofit organizations have joined the group.  The move demonstrates the groundswell support surging throughout all levels of the agricultural supply chain as it seeks to advance the development of a market-based approach to promoting land stewardship to build healthy soils,

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Hearing Highlights Implications of ERS, NIFA Relocation for Agricultural Research

During a hearing held on June 5 by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, key stakeholders expressed concerns about the current and potential ramifications of reorganizing and relocating two major agricultural research agencies.  In accordance with previous announcements, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is continuing with plans to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National

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Agri-Kid

Just as well start them young!  Harrison Irigoin, six-months-old, sure has those baby lambs curious.  This little one will be raised right on Michael and Mary Irigoin’s farm north of Lambert, Montana.

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USDA Designates 28 Colorado Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 28 Colorado counties as primary natural disaster areas.  Producers who suffered losses caused by recent drought may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

The Colorado counties with the primary natural disaster designation include Alamosa, Archuleta, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Dolores, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Jackson, La

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Hereford Breeders Strengthen Marketing Skills at ‘The Brand’ Marketing Summit

More than 200 Hereford enthusiasts traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, June 3-4, for two days jam-packed with sessions featuring some of the best marketers in the business.  With presentations from professionals representing all sectors of the cattle industry, attendees at “The Brand” Marketing Summit gleaned insight on using traditional and digital platforms to better market their programs and to be

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American Gelbvieh Association Relocates Headquarters Office to Lincoln, Nebraska

The American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) is pleased to announce the relocation of its headquarters office to Lincoln, Nebraska.  This relocation is taking place the first week in June.

After careful consideration and much planning by the AGA Board of Directors in 2018, the AGA began final preparations for the move earlier this year.  This new location places the office in a

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Mark McCully Named American Angus Association CEO

By Angus Communications

The American Angus Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce Mark McCully as the new chief executive officer of the American Angus Association, effective June 10, 2019.  McCully will serve as the chief executive officer for the American Angus Association and for each of the Association’s subsidiaries: Angus Media, Certified Angus Beef LLC, Angus Genetics Inc., and

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Mitigation Money Should Fuel the Market, Not the Trade War

The month of May left as it arrived: riding in a rowboat from flooded farm field to flooded farm field across the Midwest.  Worse, June is sloshing in with more rain, more mud, and more worry.

Complicating an already complicated spring, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a broad, new scheme that could pay U.S. farmers up to

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Thoughts from the Editor

I know I discuss this quite often, but the fake meat issue is one that can’t be ignored.  Each week, I hear news of new developments, more money, more supporters, new market introductions…  They tend to meld together as each one is similar, but each one is particularly concerning to me.

Last week, as the stock market fell, shares in Beyond

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Agri-Kid

Cheers, kids!

Nancy Okerman shared this photo of the kids enjoying a Root Beer break at their branding south of Miles City, Montana.  With it she wrote, “To me this photo personifies children born and raised in the country looking to entertain themselves without television or electronic devices.”

She’s right – what a great way to raise children!

From left to right on

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A Summer Romance and Rebellious Racoon

Banjo watched from afar.

“I wonder what he’s doing?” he said to himself.

The summer sun warmed against his fur.  Banjo ambled along the fence line to the tree where he saw his recently returned friend, Marty the mountain lion.

“What are you doing?” he asked as he walked up beside him.

The mountain lion was gnawing a weathered old deer bone.

Marty looked up. 

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Who’s Bluffing the Bison Bill?

by Kayla Sargent

Montana’s Governor Steve Bullock and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton are butting heads over Bullock’s veto of House Bill 132, further refining the definition of wild bison.  Governor Bullock vetoed the bill that was passed on a party line vote on April 29, four days after it was transmitted to his desk.  However, one month later, Stapleton sent

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All Breeds Cattle Tour Planned for Watford City/Williston Area

Each year, the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) coordinates an All Breeds Cattle Tour (ABCT) to showcase seedstock producers and their operations from different regions of the state.  This year, the 33rd annual tour moves to Watford City, Williston, and the surrounding areas.

Those interested in hosting a tour stop are invited to attend a preliminary planning meeting at 6:30 p.m.

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Comments

I mentioned last week that grilling season officially opened on Memorial Day weekend.  Up until that time most of the country had been seeing cold, wet weather conditions and many people mentioned to me it sure didn’t feel like grilling season.  Well, looks like that sure has changed around most areas of Reporter Country.  We have been seeing temperatures in

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The Only Explanation…

There are aliens and perhaps Sasquatches among us! I know this might be hard to believe coming from such a reliable source as myself, but I have conducted my own independent research on this topic and concluded, without a doubt, that we are not alone in this universe!

My observational study of this phenomenon began many years ago.  When I first

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Farm Service Agency County Committee Nominations Open June 14

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin accepting nominations for county committee members on Friday, June 14, 2019.  Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee.  Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate.

“I encourage America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards to nominate candidates to lead, serve, and

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Producer Traceability Council Encouraging Electronic ID Systems

In mid-May meetings, the Producer Traceability Council reached consensus on two major points to increase the number of cattle identified in the U.S.  The Council unanimously agreed the best option for the cattle industry moving forward is to work toward the adoption of an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio identification system and the timeline for adoption of the system mirror

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NFU Applauds Year-Round Use E15

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that will permit year-round sale of gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, also known as E15.  The rule’s finalization comes just in time to allow for summertime use of E15 this year, but does not extend to higher blends of ethanol, such as E30.

Because mid-level blends of ethanol both offer

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USDA Study Shows Significant Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Ethanol Compared with Gasoline

A new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds greenhouse gas emissions from corn-based ethanol are about 39 percent lower than gasoline. The study also states that when ethanol is refined at natural gas-powered refineries, the greenhouse gas emissions are even lower, around 43 percent below gasoline.

“These new findings provide further evidence that biofuels from America’s heartland

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New Round of Tariffs Could Reverse USMCA Progress

By Kayla Sargent

On May 30, President Trump made a Twitter announcement that the U.S. “will impose a five percent tariff on all goods coming into our country from Mexico until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico and into our country STOP.  The tariff will gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied at which time the tariffs

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Montana Stockgrowers MidYear in Miles City

The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is headed back to its roots – Miles City, Montana, for their MidYear Meeting on June 13-15, 2019.  The organization began in the 1880’s with a group of ranchers uniting on issues of open range grazing and cattle theft.  Today, MSGA works on behalf of new and different issues, but still for the Montana rancher.

The

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2020 NILE Merit Heifer Application Available

The opportunity for kids to get started in the cattle industry is knocking, and loudly.  Applications for the NILE Merit Heifer program are now available for the 2019-2020 year.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live, heifer calf.  The objective is to help youth get a start in the beef

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Michael RobertsonSeptember 5, 1936 – May 15, 2019

Michael McDonnell Robertson was born at home on the kitchen table in Two Dot, Montana on September 5, 1936, the son of John Marion (Buster) Robertson and Rose Ethel McDonnell.  Mike joined his older brothers Frank, Elmer, and John Marion who became his heroes.  Later, a little sister, Cathryn, was added to the family.

He attended grade school in Two Dot

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Learning by Careful Observation

President Trump is not a real Republican and here is why:

In the ‘90s, I purchased small groups of cow-calf pairs to restock my ranch.  I mustered the cattle at a local feedlot before trucking them to Wyoming.  A handful of city friends graciously offered to help me brand them and since we were only doing about 20 head at a

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Court Strikes 2015 Waters of the United States Rule

On May 28, a federal court invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ 2015 expansion of federal jurisdiction over small and isolated waters.  After years of litigation in suits filed by dozens of state governments and trade groups, this is the first court to reach a final decision on the lawfulness of the 2015 Waters of the

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Midwest Planting Significantly Behind

An aerial photo of South Dakota farm fields covered in water. Laura Edwards photo.

By Lilly Platts

Major crop producing states in the Midwest have been experiencing serious delays in planting this spring due to a string of unfavorable weather.  The delays have forced farmers to make difficult decisions and will have lasting effects through harvest. In addition to extreme

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The Key to Start the Operation – Creativity and Confidence

By Markie Hageman

Beginning farmers and ranchers have a lot on their plates.  From possible student loans, lack of resources, or a vast array of other obstacles, many experience barriers to entry in production agriculture.  It is common for those who don’t grow up with access to land, livestock, equipment, to become discouraged and overwhelmed with the dream of running their

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Wild Weather Didn’t Hinder WAR’s Sale Season

Western Ag Reporter Field Editors, John Goggins and Dwayne Dietz taking bids ringside at a spring performance sale. Montana Ag Photography photo.

by Kayla Sargent

As the last bull left the ring and the Western Ag Reporter (WAR) field editors caught a break from the road, they began tallying results from the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 sale seasons.  WAR

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Rascal Strikes a Nerve

“Will this do?” asked Banjo.  “I think it’s the safest place on the ranch for you.”

Marty the Mountain Lion nodded. “I think it’ll do,” he said as he looked around.  “Actually, I think it will be great!”

Banjo smiled.

Since Marty had been acquainted with Rocky the Raccoon and the Underground Crew, the newly found hollowed tree was a perfect place to call

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Soil Health is About Helping Others for Nelson

The Nelson family from left: Jayce (3), Coy (5), Amelia (10), Mel and Cody.

By Kerry Hoffschneider

 

Cody Nelson’s dream of farming and ranching is being paved by his passion for helping others. That journey began when he was growing up on a small cow/calf operation in Central Minnesota.

“We were not exactly in cow country when I was growing up surrounded

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Farm Bureau Applauds State Land Water Bill Becoming Montana Law

The Montana Farm Bureau was pleased to learn that HB 286, the state land water bill, has become law. This is good news for Montana’s farmers and ranchers who use water on state lands.  HB 286 clarifies that the state of Montana may only obtain an ownership interest in a water right or ground water development works (diverted from private land)

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Hammond Grazing Rights Caught Up In Litigation

By Katie Schrock

 

The Hammond family has never wanted the national attention that has been thrust upon them. A mainstay in their small community of Harney County in southeastern Oregon, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, were originally charged with burning more than 45,000 acres of federal land near their ranch, dating back to the 1980’s.  Ultimately, the two Hammond’s were

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William “Bill” McLean

September 28, 1941 – April 28, 2019

William “Bill” Larry McLean left us very suddenly on April 28, 2019.  Bill was born September 28, 1941 in Wenatchee, Washington to William “Harold” and Winifred McLean.  Bill attended Mold School from first through third grade.  When the school closed, he transferred to the Coulee City School District, where he graduated in 1959.

After graduation

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Bits & Pieces

Senator Tester Says Rural American Relies on Postal Service

U.S. Senator Jon Tester met with representatives from the Montana Rural Letter Carriers Association to discuss his support for the United States Postal Service (USPS) and issues that could affect the agency.

“Whether it’s paying bills, mailing packages, or simply keeping in touch, rural America depends on steady, dependable mail service to survive,”

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Big Ag’s Big 4 – Rural America Threatened by Mergers

By Kayla Sargent

America is experiencing ongoing consolidation and the number of small businesses continues to decline. Agriculture is no exception to the trend, in fact, it is one of the most heavily consolidated industries today.

“Our agriculture and food sector have reached alarming levels of corporate concentration — today a small number of giant companies control every link of our

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“Throwin’ It Out!”

June is the time when I decide to roll up my sleeves and clean out some junk.  However, my parents were children of the Great Depression, so I can still hear their voices ringing in my ears when I think about pitching stuff that could potentially have some use in the future – even though it has received no usage

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Quality Produce Abandoned Due To Labor Shortage

Despite raising wages and increasing benefits, California farmers are failing to find enough people to pick fruits and vegetables and harvest other crops, and they are offsetting this labor shortage by changing to less labor-intensive crops and adding automation.  Moreover, farmers are calling on Congress to enact agricultural workforce reform that would allow immigrants to work as guest workers legally

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Conditions Right For Anthrax In Livestock

North Dakota’s state veterinarian is reminding livestock producers to vaccinate their animals against anthrax.  Dr. Susan Keller said with the precipitation which has fallen in much of the state, conditions are right for the disease to occur.

An effective anthrax vaccine is readily available, but it takes about a week for immunity to be established, and it must be administered annually

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Talkin’ About My Generation; What About Yours?

It’s a truism in American agriculture that food-growing technology undergoes an industry-shaking metamorphosis every generation.

When Grandpa (both yours and mine) farmed, hybrid seed corn came in and oat-eating horsepower went out. His sons, our fathers, were early adopters of anhydrous ammonia, 2,4-D, and, whoa, combines.

Twenty-five years later, our generational farm-changing moment arrived with genetically modified seed. It revolutionized farming as chromosomes replaced

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DEADLINE to File Exempt Water Right Claims Approaching

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) would like to remind water right owners that the deadline for filing a claim on their exempt water rights is June 30, 2019.

The 2017 Montana Legislature created the opportunity for owners of exempt water rights to file claims when it passed HB 110. Since the filing period began on May 7,

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Where’s the Beef?

By Gilles Stockton, Grass Range, MT

 

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue probably expects his press release announcing more access to Japan’s market for U.S. Beef will have cattle ranchers dancing a jig.  But frankly, there is not enough of a musical beat in this trade agreement to cause anyone to even tap their toes.  All that Japan did was lift a

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The Big Comeback

My middle-school coaching years taught me not to worry about losing the lead early in a basketball game because then you have plenty of time to comeback.  If you are down 20 before the end of the first quarter, your opponent is in real trouble, or so I told my players.  Our record was less than stellar, and other than

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R-CALF USA Takes Consolidation Matters Into Their Own Hands

By Kayla Sargent

Prior to the reintroduction of the Merger Moratorium, in an effort to address unfair markets in the beef industry due to consolidation, R-CALF USA, along with four cattle feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming, filed suit on the “Big Four” meatpackers.  The suit alleges that the firms violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and

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Cool, Wet Weather Could Remain Through Summer

Spring weather is trying the patience of many South Dakota farmers as wet and cool conditions create planting delays across the state.

“For the last two weeks in May, there is high likelihood of some very wet systems moving across the state,” Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist, said.

Edwards referenced the June 2019 Climate Outlook released May 17 by the National

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UW Taps Food Science Expert as College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean

A food scientist, engineer, and attorney who is internationally recognized for her expertise in food safety, processing, and regulation has been selected to lead the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Barbara Rasco, director of the joint Washington State University/University of Idaho School of Food Science, will take the reins as dean of the UW college June 28. 

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Market Issues Start In Our Own Nation, SD Farmers Union Says

In a recent letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson urged USDA to ensure the farmer assistance package they were developing in response to an escalating trade war, would “provide fair and equitable relief to all family farmers impacted by disruptions in international markets.”

While South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President Doug Sombke

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USDA Announces Second Round of Trade Aid for Farmers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption.  President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals

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Trial Lawyers Are Once Again Coming For U.S. Farmers and Dairy Producers

By Laurie Fischer, CEO, The American Dairy Coalition

 

It isn’t often that U.S. farmers and dairy producers’ side with the EPA.  However, in the case of a growing number of suits targeted at farming practices, and one ingredient in particular, U.S. farmers and dairy producers are supporting the EPA and its science-based approval system as it links to glyphosate.  Glyphosate, or

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North Dakota Stockmen’s Feedlot Tour June 18

The 17th annual North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) Feedlot Tour will be June 18 at feedlots near Grace City, Glenfield, and Leeds, North Dakota.  Topp Angus, Spickler Ranch North, and Kenner Simmentals will host the tour.  Bus transportation will be provided to and from the stops.  The bus will depart from the Cobblestone Inn and Suites in Carrington at 8

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Agri-Kid

“A Kiss for Ewe!” Two-year-old Briggs Irigoin certainly loves lambing season and along with his two siblings, he is lucky enough to live on his grandparents’ farm north of Lambert, Montana.

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Thoughts form the Editor

Some of the statistics cited in the recently introduced Merger Moratorium were shocking to me.  Not only does the beef industry face “the Big Four” but so does America’s grain, pork, seed, and chemical industries. Essentially, the entire food chain, from farming crops to harvesting them, then to feeding the livestock and processing them is encapsulated by four majority firms

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R-CALF USA Asks Court to Declare Beef Checkoff Practices in 15 States Unconstitutional

R-CALF USA, through its attorneys, filed documents in the federal district court in Montana asking that its motion to declare the beef checkoff practices in 15 states unconstitutional be granted.  Those states are: Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

The documents contend that in each of the

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Big Sky Cheese Proposes Business in Madison Food Park 

By Lilly Platts

 

Big Sky Cheese, LLC, has submitted a proposal to Cascade County, Montana to build a processing plant on land owned by Madison Food Park, LLC.  Madison Food Park previously submitted a proposal in August 2017 to acquire a special use permit for a food processing facility on the 3,018 acres of farmland they acquired near Great Falls, Montana. 

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WSE Offers Soil Health Workshops with Soil Expert Nicole Masters

Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) is sponsoring three Soil Health Workshops with Soil Expert Nicole Masters over the next two months, entitled: ‘Voila! Discover the Magic of Living Soil.’

World-renowned agroecologist Nicole Masters of New Zealand-based Integrity Soils will lead three similar day-long workshops across Montana on soil biology and carbon levels, nutrient cycling, grazing management, and the economic benefits of soil

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Lifted Tariffs Expedite USMCA Implementation

By Kayla Sargent

 

In a multi-front trade war, many major moves were made last week, all of which have an affect on agricultural markets.  Last Friday, President Trump decided to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada, a move that could expedite ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement replacement, now known as the United

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ALB Makes Plans for First Lamb Summit

The first ever Lamb Summit, sponsored by the American Lamb Board and Premier 1 Supplies, will address critical strategies to improve the industry’s product competitiveness and profitability.  The two-day program is August 27-28, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

‘Meating the Needs of the New Lamb Consumer’ kicks off the event, with an in-depth discussion of what customers and consumers need and want

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Agri-Kid

Brekkyn Irigoin (4) loves helping out her grandparents Michael and Mary Irigoin on the Lambert, Montana farm – especially during lambing season.  Good work, kiddo!

 

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Cribbs Welcomed as New SD Hereford Association Manager

The South Dakota Hereford Association (SDHA) is pleased to announce Abbie Cribbs as the new manager of the organization.  Cribbs assumed the position on May 1.

Cribbs spent the better part of her childhood days on her family’s dairy farm in Andover, South Dakota. She was an active member of the South Dakota 4-H Program and served on the state 4-H

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Montana Farmers Union to Hold June Mid-Year Conference in Kalispell

Exploring agriculture in the Flathead Valley is the theme of the 2019 Montana Farmers Union (MFU) Mid-Year Conference, June 5-6 in Kalispell.  The first day of the conference will feature a variety of tours in Whitefish highlighting Montana Brewing Academy of Montana, a tour of Scot Hops Farm, the AACT Biorefinery, Sacred Water Brewery, and more.

The second day of the

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‘It Was Like Watching a Train Wreck Happen’

No one I know has ever witnessed a train wreck as it happened.  As such, when a friend or colleague says or writes that an event “was like watching a train wreck happen,” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like watching a train wreck happen.

Until Sunday, May 5, that is, when President Donald J. Twitter used his thumbs to announce he

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Japan Puts BSE in the Rearview Mirror

By Kayla Sargent

Amidst a turbulent trade environment, cattlemen earned a win with Japan late last week when the country agreed to remove the 30 month age restriction on U.S. beef imports.  This marks the first time since 2003 that beef from any age cattle can be shipped to Japan and could increase U.S. exports by up to $200

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Ellingson Wins State Communication Awards for Stockmen’s Association Projects

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson was among the winners in the North Dakota Professional Communicators’ (NDPC) 2019 Communications Contest.  NDPC members competed for awards in writing, editing, photography, public relations, and other communication categories.  The awards were presented at the NDPC Spring Conference in Bismarck recently.

Ellingson, who temporarily filled in as the North Dakota Stockman

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Fake Meat Fundraising Hits Record Highs With Impossible Foods

By Kayla Sargent

 

Hot on the heels of Beyond Meats’ beyond successful initial public offering (IPO), Impossible Foods recorded a record-high investment round for the plant-based protein industry. With famous names in the hat like Serena Williams, Jay-Z, and Katy Perry, the company raised $300 million in the most recent investment round, bringing their total funding to $750 million and

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A Covert Rescue

Last week the plot to end the brood of bandits had begun, and Banjo was stuck right in the middle of it as the plan thickened, literally once the concrete hardened.  But a friend from the ranch makes a surprise return visit and helps rid the ranch of the pesky possum.  What will they do next to keep the varmints

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Comments

There was an abundance of good news on the trade front this past week.  On May 17, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Japan had agreed to eliminate restrictions on beef imports from the United States. The U.S. now has full access as Japan eliminated the over-30-month age rule.  Think about this for just a moment; Japan is already the largest

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South Dakota State University Sends Eight to College National Finals Rodeo

Pictured from left to right: Paden Sexton, Hannah Sauve, Allison Pauley, Tori Jacobs, Coach Ron Skovly, Reed Arneson, and Madison Rau.

As the regular rodeo season is wrapped up, the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Rodeo Team is sending eight student-athletes to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) in Casper, Wyoming, on June 9-15, 2019.  The top

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A Look at Memorial Day

By Bailey McKay

 

“Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners.  Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic,” Union General John A. Logan said as he called for a nationwide day of

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Tariffs Hold China Beef Trade Hostage

By Kayla Sargent

 

Beef producers secured a market win in Japan last week, but have yet to see any progress with one of the world’s largest potential markets in the neighboring country of China.  As Chinese negotiations disintegrated in mid-May, not only did the beef industry express concern, but nearly all agriculture producers could now be affected by the

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Thoughts from the Editor

What a wild week for agriculture!  With trade talks that are wins one day and losses the next and with the explosive growth of competing markets, I find it helpful to reach out to professionals whom have witnessed agriculture’s trials and tribulations in decades’ prior. Whenever I have the opportunity to visit with industry leaders, whether it be in passing or

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If You Can Keep It

Whether I am becoming cranky because I am an old veterinarian, or a termed-out legislator matters not.  This week, it is straight to my point.  America is a constitutional republic and every time I hear a progressive candidate promising to “save our democracy,” my blood pressure pegs.  It is not that the candidate is misinformed, to the contrary, they know

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Cargill Commits More Cash to Competitors

By Kayla Sargent

 

“We’ve successfully produced the first pieces of beef steak grown from natural cells, without harming any animals,” Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia announced.  “These first cell-based meat cuts demonstrate our capability of achieving our vision of growing steaks.”

On the heels of this announcement, one of the world’s largest beef processors declared their intentions to jump

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Montana Farm Bureau Summer Conference Slated for Bozeman

Montana Farm Bureau (MFBF) will continue celebrating its centennial this year with its summer conference theme, “Harvesting Our History; Cultivating Our Future.”  The MFBF Summer Conference will be held June 11-13 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman.  This is a time when advisory committees meet to discuss current agricultural issues and concerns and surface ideas for policy development.

Keynote speakers are

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New Law Creates a Student Debt Assistance Program for Young Farmers and Ranchers

A program to offer student debt assistance to young farmers and ranchers in Montana was signed into law on Friday, May 10, and will encourage young people to pursue a career in agriculture, Montana’s leading industry.

Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 431, which will create a student loan debt assistance program to aid young farmers and ranchers in paying off up

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Beef Quality Assurance Program Develops Extensive National Manual

An official manual for the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that is both detailed and extensive is now being distributed nationwide throughout the cattle industry.  The manual and the BQA Program are both managed by the producer education team at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

The 124-page manual addresses topics such as food safety,

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Kindergarten Roundup

Every spring we host the kindergarten field trip to our ranch, and it is the most fun I have all year. As the kindergarteners explore farm animals, no trace camping, nature walking, and “dinosaur” digs, they always have a lot of entertaining comments that leave me in stitches.  For example, “I want to ride the polka dot horse!” (referring to my

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Bits & Pieces

Webinar Outlines 2019 Calf Market Expectations

How will the market respond after a prolonged winter created poor conditions for much of the cattle industry? An upcoming free CattleFax webinar will address that question as well as provide an outlook for the cow-calf and entire beef industry.

The CattleFax Trends+ Cow-Calf Webinar, which is free to attendees thanks to sponsor Elanco Animal Health,

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Wheaties Features Soil Health Champion Gabe Brown

Since 1956, when U.S. Olympic track and field star Bob Richards first graced its cover, Wheaties cereal boxes have featured athletic champions who have overcome challenges in pursuit of their personal best. General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, recently featured another type of champion on a specially prepared box cover: soil health champion Gabe Brown.

A pioneering, regenerative agriculture farmer from

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Tyson Sells Beyond Meat Shares, Creates Own Product

By Kayla Sargent

Tyson Foods recently sold their shares in the alternative protein startup company, Beyond Meat, just before the company’s successful initial public offering.  In December 2016, Tyson Foods made an initial investment in the company as their plant-based protein substitutes began hitting the market.  Tyson increased their shareholding one year later to roughly 6.5 percent — a

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American Lamb Board Highlights Internship Opportunities

The American Lamb Board believes education and understanding all sectors of the sheep industry is of the utmost importance for young producers and industry professionals, and that having passionate, hard-working, and progressive individuals across all facets is important for growth in the American sheep industry to provide the highest quality American lamb.

Such individuals might want to consider applying for upcoming

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United States and China Still Butting Heads…

I am sure by now all of you are aware the trade talks between the U.S. and China fell apart again last week.  When President Trump sent out his Tweet last week, just days ahead of the scheduled trade talks in Washington, announcing higher and additional tariffs the writing was on the wall that things were falling apart between the

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Governor’s Brucellosis Coordination Team Meets May 21 in Lander

The Governor’s Brucellosis Coordination Team will meet on May 21 at The Inn in Lander, Wyoming from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan will provide a brucellosis surveillance update. Current cattle and bison brucellosis cases in Montana and Idaho will be discussed.  A presentation from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department surveillance for 2018-19 for hunter-harvested and

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Fullerton Flooding

Lu and Kenny Rieken sat at the café counter recalling the abundant damages they witnessed in the kitchen a month prior.  Kerry Hoffschneider photo.

 

By Kerry Hoffschneider

 

Not far beneath a photo of the late Fritz and Janet Engel hanging at the Fullerton Livestock Market, is a faint line that starts four-and-a-half-foot high and runs along the wall around the

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International Wool Textile Organization Tackles Sustainability

Combining Italy’s rich wool heritage with the latest research and developments in wool applications, the 88th Congress of the International Wool Textile Organization concluded earlier this month in Venice, Italy.

More than 320 delegates representing all stages of the global wool textile pipeline attended the annual three-day event.  Of these, 25 delegates attended as part of IWTO’s Young Professionals Program, which

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Enough Is Never Enough

The folks in white lab coats and low shoes with letters after their names are up to their old tricks again in attempting to build the super cow of the future.  And please note I said “build”, not “breed”.  It seems the gestation length of the bovine is much too long, and scientists are much too impatient to wait on

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Fly Fishing Frenzy

In our ranch vacation business, we book a lot of people who have seen ‘A River Runs Through It’ and they automatically assume that everyone in Montana is a fly fishing guide.  This is hardly the case, but that does not seem to stop many of our guests from buying the perfect Cabela’s fly fishing outfit from the tips of

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Weathering the Storm in Agriculture

By Melissa Burke

“Stress is defined as a need or demand that people confront which is perceived as burdensome or threatening,” Adele Harty, South Dakota State University Extension Field Specialist, said. “Stress affects our bodies, our minds, and even our actions.”

By nature, agriculture is a stressful occupation.  Carrying too much stress can lead to reckless work habits and affect overall health. According to

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Farmers Patience Wears Thin in Escalating Trade War

On May 10, the U.S. Trade Representative moved forward with increasing the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.  Farmers across the country are extremely concerned by the actions taken by President Trump and his Administration.  The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), the American Soybean Association (ASA), and the National Corn Growers

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South Dakota Natural Resource Professionals Rangeland Workshop

Range professionals from SDSU Extension, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Natural Resources Conservation Service are hosting a three-day workshop June 4-6, 2019 at Lamphere Ranch Campground, east of Sturgis (13010 Lamphere Ranch Road, PO Box 445, Sturgis, SD 57785).  The workshop is developed for natural resource professionals who are interested in learning and refining skills and

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Agri-Kid

Bum calves need bedtime stories, too!  Four-year-old Madilyn Dolezal is reading to her calf, Shelia, while they both patiently wait for supper on the ranch near Belvidere, South Dakota.

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BLM Names State Director for Montana/Dakotas Office

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the appointment of a veteran land manager as the new Director for the Montana/Dakotas State Office.  John J. Mehlhoff, an executive with the Office of Natural Resource Revenue stationed in Denver, will assume the Billings-based post on May 12, 2019, Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs, said.

“We are delighted that

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The Stage is Set for Spring and Summer Runoff

After an erratic winter brought a little bit of everything weather-wise to the Treasure State, spring followed suit with another change-up.  In stark contrast to March, which yielded record low precipitation in some parts of the state, April precipitation was above average at many mountain and valley locations in western Montana, except along the southwest Idaho border.  An active storm

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Governor Bullock Vetos Two Buffalo Bills

By Kayla Sargent

Two bills further regulating wild bison management in Montana recently came to a halt at Governor Steve Bullock’s desk.  The Governor vetoed House Bill 132 that would have clarified the definition of wild bison, as well as House Bill 332 that would require county approval to relocate bison.

HB 132, introduced by Representative Kenneth Holmlund (R-Miles

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DEADLINE to File Exempt Water Right Claims Approaching

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) would like to remind water right owners that the deadline for filing a claim on their exempt water rights is June 30, 2019.

The 2017 Montana Legislature created the opportunity for owners of exempt water rights to file claims when it passed HB 110. Since the filing period began on May 7,

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Thoughts from the Editor

This week completes our series featuring the overwhelming tribulations Nebraska ranchers battle in the face of the floods produced by the Bomb Cyclone and Winter Storm Ulmer.  I encourage everyone reading this to remember our ranching neighbors and continue praying for our industry as a whole.

Mother Nature dealt a bitter blow last winter and this spring in many

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Stand Up or Step Aside

Sanford Bishop and Sonny Perdue go way back.

So far back that Bishop, now a 14-term, Democratic congressman from South Georgia, remembers when Perdue, now the Secretary of Agriculture under President Donald J. Trump, was a Democrat.

Their friendship was tested April 9 when Perdue appeared before the House Appropriations ag subcommittee to defend the President’s 2020 budget request for the U.S.

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North Dakota Grain Growers Withdraw from National Association

By Lilly Platts

 

The North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDGGA) recently announced its official withdrawal from the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG).  The NDGGA has been hiring independent lobbyists for several years and will now independently represent themselves in Washington D.C.

“Although we’ve enjoyed a beneficial partnership with NAWG since 1977, in recent years we’ve seen a decline in support for

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Understanding Parasite Control Through Active Ingredients

Using parasiticides in cattle without considering the active ingredients in those products presents dangers for an operation. Using different parasiticide active ingredients can extend the effectiveness of parasite control products and play a significant role in the management of healthier cattle.

Some common, yet misguided, management practices can lead to an operation unintentionally increasing resistance in parasites. One type of parasiticide

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Forest Service Wants To Change Grazing WITHOUT Rancher Input

By Arthur T. Hall

Range Management Specialist (Retired)

Madison Ranger District

For the past twenty-some years, ranchers that graze on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest have had Riparian Use Standards to adhere to: 1. Bank Disturbance; 2. Upland Use; 3. Stubble Height; 4. Willow Use.  These were developed to maintain or improve the function of streams and adjacent

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Hells-a-Roarin’ Horse Drive Supports National Cause

Jean Modesette photo.

By Lilly Platts

 

Across the country, people are gearing up to kick off summer with Memorial Day events.  In Gardiner, the Hells-a-Roarin’ Horse Drive will bring people from across the U.S. and overseas together to support the small town and raise money for veterans. Over the last five years, the event has raised approximately $100,000 for various causes.

The

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Caught in Their Tracks

When the first eggs pelted the possum from the sky, it gave Banjo enough time to roll to one side and get all three legs beneath him.  Even though the hit he’d taken knocked the wind out of him, he could rally.  Gander and her flock of geese had come to his rescue and rained eggs from the sky.  The

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Inmate-Trained Wild Horses Bring In $55,700

The high-selling horse, Artax, a 6-year-old palomino from the Triple B Herd Management Area, sold for $5,600.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries conducted a saddle-trained wild horse adoption event on March 30 at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) south of Carson City, Nevada. All 16 animals showcased at

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Auction Fever

Because mixed-animal veterinarians provide medical services at market prices, we must be frugal when equipping our hospitals.  Also, unlike our counterparts who only treat the hairless primate called humans, rural critter doctors need a variety of specialty tools unique to each species.  Horse doctors have little use for a Frick’s speculum or an Iowa hog holder, while pig practitioners only

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Congress’ Convoy of Trucking Bills

By Kayla Sargent

Flexibility for livestock haulers was at the forefront of priorities for ag in Congress last week. Two bills were reintroduced in the Senate and House aimed at a working solution for the restrictive Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and Hours-of-Service regulations put in place in December 2017.

New ELD and HOS regulations would require a ten-hour rest period after 11 hours

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All EHV-1 Quarantines and Restricted Travel Recommendations Lifted

As of May 1, the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has lifted all quarantines for Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1) in the state.  One positive case related to an aborted horse was confirmed in Humboldt County; no quarantine has been issued for this case because the incubation period has passed, and no horses have been moved to or

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Remembering Mother

Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I would like to wish all mothers a special day.  Those of us who have lost our mothers realize how time spent with our mothers is more valuable than any other gift we could give or be given.  I have never written a column that has been requested for reprint more than this column I

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Support for Permanent Tax Deduction Critical for Agriculture

Farm and ranch owners are urging their Congressional delegations to support S. 1149, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act, sponsored by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT). This important legislation will make permanent the Section 199A qualified business income deduction, which is currently set to expire after 2025.

“Many farm and ranch families and other self-employed business owners should be interested in this

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MDA Announces Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Recipients

The Montana Department of Agriculture and Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council has awarded over $1.79 million for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs across Montana.  The grants, which were awarded in March, assist counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers, and educators in efforts to combat noxious weeds in Montana.

Fifty-eight local cooperative projects were funded at a

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Chronic Oversupply, Depressed Prices Plague Dairy Industry

In response to sustained depressed milk prices, chronic oversupply, farm-level consolidation, and a wave of farm closures, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing on the state of the dairy economy. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted written testimony highlighting the considerable financial difficulties American dairy producers have withstood for the past several

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Paying Taxes Like a General – or Amazon

Decades ago, when discussing the complexity of U.S. tax code, an ag lobbyist friend noted that all he wanted in any tax reform “was to pay the same taxes the generals paid: General Mills, General Motors, General Dynamics…”

He’d still take that deal. In 2018, General Dynamics had an effective tax rate of 17.8 percent, more than three percent below the federal

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The Bell-Ringer WEEK for Fake Meat

by Kayla Sargent

“It has been a WEEK (yes, the all-caps kind) for the world of plant-based meat and dairy,” Good Food Institute Content Specialist Mary Allen wrote.  A culmination of “wins” for the “fake meat” industry stacked up last week, prompting this quote that would leave anti-agriculture activists feeling encouraged and agricultural producers feeling threatened.

One of the

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Wyoming 4-H Foundation awards $63,000 in scholarships

More than $63,000 in scholarships was awarded to 41 students by the Wyoming 4-H Foundation/State 4-H Office scholarship committee to 4-H’ers attending the University of Wyoming or a Wyoming community college this coming school year.

Approximately $37,000 was presented to first-time winners this year, said Steve Mack, 4-H Foundation director.

Past Ella Schloredt scholarship recipients, with a grade point average of at

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Agri-Kid

A blue-eyed beauty on a Montana bluebird day!  One-year-old Kamille Shackelford tagged along with her mom and dad to fix a water tank on their Montana ranch.

 

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And They’re Off!

By Lilly Platts

 

Every third week of May, people converge on Miles City, Montana for the famed Bucking Horse Sale (BHS) weekend. In addition to the excitement of watching broncs, horse racing is a vital part of the event.  Since the 1960’s, races have been held between the bucking horse draws, giving the crowd an additional fast-paced event that keeps the energy

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One Bad Brood of Bandits

A gentle spring breeze blew across his fur as Banjo looked upon the group of friends who had come to join their cause.  It wasn’t an emergency, but its need was eminent and if not taken care of now, it would turn into an emergency.  Gander the Goose had recently arrived back on the ranch and she alerted the ranch

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The Montana Farm Bureau Should Apologize For Opposing COOL

By Gilles Stockton

Grass Range, MT

Instead of apologizing to Montana’s beef consumers and cattle ranchers, the Montana Farm Bureau (MFB) in an OpEd, “State Mandated Placarding Is Not COOL”, chose instead to double down on the half-truths and innuendos used to kill Montana Country of Origin Labeling (Mt-COOL).  Senator Al Olszewski of Kalispell introduced SB 206 to reinstate COOL (Country of

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REAL Montana Seeks Applicants for Class IV

REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership) is currently seeking applicants for Class IV.  The deadline to apply is May 31 and the first seminar will be held in September.

REAL Montana builds a network of informed and engaged leaders to advance the natural resource industries in Montana.  The 18-month program features eight in-state seminars; a five-day national study tour in

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Comments

As many people around the world were celebrating Cinco de Mayo this past Sunday, Bloomberg reported that China was seriously considering cancelling the trip to Washington, D.C. for the previously planned trade negotiation talks.  This came after President Trump sent out a Tweet Sunday saying he’s not satisfied with the pace of the progress and that duties would increase Friday. 

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Thoughts from the Editor

Just as we sent last week’s issue to press, the fake meat headlines overflowed my email inbox— particularly fake meat in fast food restaurants.  I discovered that this new plant-based protein is really gaining steam across the globe.  Offering it in grocery stores for those who choose not to eat meat is one thing, but becoming a staple menu

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Protecting Your Horse Against Rabies Is in Your Hands

All core equine diseases pose grave dangers, but rabies presents the most serious threat for exposed horses and humans who encounter them.  Annual vaccination is the only way to protect your horse against rabies — which is 100 percent fatal to horses once clinical signs appear.

Only 1 out of 7 horses are vaccinated against rabies, a staggering number that puts

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Department of Livestock Welcomes Director for Veterinary Laboratory

The Montana Department of Livestock announced the hire of Gregory Juda, PhD, for the position of Laboratory Director.  In his new role, Dr. Juda will lead the state’s only full service veterinary diagnostic laboratory (VDL) in its continued effort to improve customer service to veterinarians and animal owners while maintaining high-quality diagnostic results.

Dr. Juda is joining the laboratory at a

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USDA Extends Deadline for Producers to Certify 2018 Production for MFP Payments

USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports.  USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) extended the deadline because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests

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Neighbor Is a Verb

By Emily Horton

Farmers, ranchers, and good Samaritans in Montana are paying it forward – bringing relief to their fellow producers in Nebraska and they could use more help.

“There is a quote, ‘They say neighbor is a verb,’ and there’s a lot of truth to that,” Michael Takeuchi, a Columbus, Montana resident ready to assist those recovering from devastating weather in

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Montana Cattlemen’s Disappointed in Defeat of COOL Law

The Montana Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) is very disappointed that the Montana Legislature refused to enact a Montana Country of Origin Labeling law (Mt-COOL).  Although the bill did receive limited bipartisan support, it was primarily the majority party that refused to vote for this commonsense proposition overwhelmingly supported by Montana’s consumers and livestock producers.

The proposed law was based on the Mt-COOL

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Walmart Joins the Beef Business

By Kayla Sargent

 

Mega food retailers are following a path of vertical integration.  Costco Wholesale Corporation began breaking ground on a Nebraska plant to produce their popular $5 rotisserie chickens from farm to finish late last fall.  Walmart Inc. established their Indiana milk processing facility last year to supply the Great Value brand dairy products.  The most recent announcement

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Infant Hemp Industry Struggles With New Production Hurdles

By Markie Hageman

Federally legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp production has created a buzz in the agricultural industry. Hemp, Plant Cannabis Sativa, is technically marijuana, with lower THC limits. Industrial hemp will be harvested for its fiber, CBD oil, and grain. While the crop has been federally legalized for research, legalization for production and further research is

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Burger King Boasts Beefless Burger Nationwide

By Kayla Sargent

Just one month after launching their pilot fake meat program, Burger King has decided to offer the “Impossible Whopper” nationwide.  The vegan version of the famous Whopper was offered in 59 St. Louis restaurants starting April 1 and a company spokesperson said the test “went exceedingly well.” In fact, “Impossible Whopper sales are complementing traditional Whopper purchases,”

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Costco Puts Nebraska on the Poultry Production Map

By Kayla Sargent

In a time when Nebraska farmers and ranchers are facing horrendous flood damages coupled with several years of marginal income, the financial strain is nearly unbearable for many producers.

“We are struggling,” Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen said.  “That’s one of the reasons people whom are in desperate situations will try anything to help themselves.”

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Common Ground Found in New Wild Horse Proposal

By Kayla Sargent

Following months of bantering amongst a diverse group of stakeholders, a proposal for the management of wild horses and burros finally emerged on April 22. Animal activists, livestock producers, local government, and rangeland management professionals hammered out a four pronged proposal designed to address most of the issues by all of the groups.

The four basic

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California Creates Cattle Council

By Kayla Sargent

California cattlemen recently voted to beef up their contributions toward research, education, and outreach on issues that pertain to the state’s live cattle industry.

Senate Bill 965, creating the California Cattle Council (CCC), will be funded by an additional mandatory one dollar per head fee to be collected at the point of live cattle sales. Following passage

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NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier Announces Plans for Retirement

After 34 years with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the past four as CEO, Kendal Frazier announced his plans for retirement on April 23. Kendal’s career began as a farm broadcaster in Kansas, where he also served as director of communications for Kansas Livestock Association, before moving to Denver, Colorado, to join the staff of the National Cattlemen’s Association

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Making Money Count In Montana

By Kayla Sargent

 

Montana cattlemen contribute nearly $1.8 million into the mandatory beef checkoff each year.  These checkoff funds are intended to promote beef, fund research and education, and other promotional campaigns. But pending litigation has a large portion of Montana’s contributions tied up in a frozen account until the case is settled.

Today more than ever, consumer dynamics

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Nebraska Feeder Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges

By Bailey McKay

 

In a warranted search of a Nebraska feedlot, investigators found more than 200 deceased cattle, including newborn calves and mature cows, one dead horse with a halter on, and more than 200 more cattle in poor to questionable health.  The search was conducted by the Nebraska Brand Committee (NBC), Filmore County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), and the Nebraska State

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Cheated Out of the American Dream

Layers of Concertina wire are added to existing barrier infrastructure along the U.S. – Mexico border near Nogales, AZ, February 4, 2019. Robert Bushell photo.

By Kayla Sargent

While Congress remains at an impasse over border control, illegals continue flooding into the U.S. across ranches too remote and rugged for traffic or border patrol monitoring.  The reality of what ranchers

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A National Crisis on the Mexico Border

From the picture window in his home, Ashurst can see the top of the Chiricahua Mountains. He said they are very rugged mountains. From his home at 4,600 hundred feet in elevation it is ten miles to the top of the 10,000 foot high peak.“Those Mexican mules (the name given those people whom carry the drugs) hauling dope

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The Reality of Ranching on the Mexico Border

By Kayla Sargent

 

A fresh rain during a dry summer spell, a new calf frolicking in the emerging sun – tough seasons end and small rewards can be found daily.  That’s why most ranchers keep ranching despite the difficult days.

It’s a lifestyle like none other.

Families work together each day with the ultimate goal of passing on not just a job and

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Here’s the Ugly Truth About Fake Meat

By Alan Newport

BeefProducer.com – January 2019

 

FAKE MEAT.  It’s not fake meat at all, nor any of the other names attached to it.  These miraculous “lab-grown meat products” that will someday conquer the meats market and save all the abused livestock actually are grown from the blood of cattle fetuses.

That’s right.  Look it up.  The base cell-culturing media for all fake

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