Montanans Not Backing Down

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

By Mayzie Purviance

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

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Sheep Industry Leader Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee

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

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

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Options Sought For Producers Enduring Wet Weather

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

“We recognize the challenges our

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The Case of the Sneaky Scarecrow

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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Cattlemen Participate in White House Event Spotlighting Federal Overreach

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

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Deal or No Deal

by Kayla Sargent

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

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

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Investigating the Meat Packing Giant JBS

cutting meat slaughterhouse workers in a meat factory

by Kayla Sargent

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

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Student Leaders Preparing for 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo

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

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

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Raising Voices Event Prepares Youth for Agricultural Advocacy

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

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

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Feeding Quality Forum Speakers Encourage New Thinking

By Miranda Reiman

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

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

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

The retail food expert talked of

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Slow Cooker Recipes and Sticker-Priced Bovine

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

We

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Don’t Be These People

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

#10- The

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Bits & Pieces

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt Headlines PLC Annual Banquet

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

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Raised in a Barn

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

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Ag’s Coming Heart Transplant

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

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

The American Farmland Trust (AFT), a

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

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

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

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A Modern Day Boston Tea Party

by Kayla Sargent

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

After publishing a briefing paper

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Comments

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

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

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American Sheep Industry Files H-2A Comments

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

H-2A workers are critical to the

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Hille Selected as North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Brand Recorder

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

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

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California Law Could Dictate Production Practices Nationwide

by Kayla Sargent

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

By 2022,

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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“The Wannabe”

By John Purviance and Chad Edwards

 

There’s a species on this earth

That no man can deny.

 

He’s found in towns throughout the West,

And easy to identify.

 

He’s not a special critter,

No he’s not a real exotic.

 

He does not hail from Kathmandu

Nor an island in the tropics.

 

No one seems to know

How or where he originated.

 

His purpose on this earth

Is a subject that’s debated.

 

But in

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The Reality of the Beef Checkoff

by Cattlemen’s Beef Board CEO Greg Hanes

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

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Minnesota Congressmen Introduce Wolf Legislation

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

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

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

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

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

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Montana Could See Fourteen Livestock Markets Auctions

By Sheila Hildebrand

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

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

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

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

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The Great American Cow Dog

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

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

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

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A Peanut Butter Puzzle

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

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

With that, Banjo lifted his head.

“Why?’ he asked.

But his question was answered

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Robert Smith February 19, 1931 – October 3, 2019

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

Robert served in the Navy during the Korean War and was

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There’s Always Kansas City

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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We Ought Not Squander the Opportunity

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

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

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Taking the Bull by the Horns

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

By Jamie Henneman

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

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Study Shows Red Meat Isn’t Bad for the Body

by Mayzie Purviance

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

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

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Trump Signs “Historic” Trade with Japan Lowering Beef Tariffs

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

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

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

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Focus and Unity Must Prevail

by Joe Goggins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NILE to Bring Together Ag Community in Billings

By Lilly Platts

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

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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The Lucky Ones

by Kayla Sargent

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

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The Pack Rat War of 2014

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

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Comments

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

Last week a new report came out that may prove to be some of

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New Officers Elected to Lead Montana Beef Council

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

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

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

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

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Seeking Competition and Transparency

by Kayla Sargent

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

When the cattle market plunged following the Tyson

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Vesicular Stomatitis Cases Confirmed in 35 Colorado Counties

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

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A Successful Campaign Creates Conversation

By Mayzie Purviance

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

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

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Public Lands Council Concludes 51st Annual Meeting

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

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

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

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

He was preceded in death

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Partisanship, Piffle and Prattle

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

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

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Breakfast with Beck: Beef, There’s No Alternative

by Mayzie Purviance

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

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Calorie Burn and Climate Change

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

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

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“In 1492…”

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

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He’ll Get What He Deserves

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

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Keep the Mice at Bay as the Weather Cools

by Heather Smith Thomas

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

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Black Hills Angus Tour

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

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

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

The campaign successfully started some meaningful

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Olive Branch or Trojan Horse?

by Kayla Sargent

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

The APR submitted a Livestock

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Who Does NCBA Support?

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

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

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Smear Campaigns

by NCBA CEO Colin Woodall

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

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

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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Captive Supply Reform

By Gilles Stockton, Grass Range, MT

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

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The Deal Down with Japan Boosts Producer Attitude

by Kayla Sargent

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

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100% USDA Grade A Bull – Part III

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

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

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Comments

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

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USCA Urges President Trump to Reinstate COOL

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

In the letter, USCA Preisdent Kenny Graner states:

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

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

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

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

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NCBA Names New CEO, PLC Seeks New Executive Director

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

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ASI Announces Staff Changes, Additions

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

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Campaign Launch Successful

By Mayzie Purviance

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

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Be Neat, Eat MORE Meat, Ag Advocates Urge

By Markie Hageman

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

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Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

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

By Kayla Sargent

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

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Students Dine on North Dakota Foods in School Lunch

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

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

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USDA Must End NRCS Abuses, Farm Bureau Says

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

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The Rising Rattler

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

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

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Staying Alive with Canine Heart Sounds

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

I was a poor,

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Dude Horse Heroes

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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Ranchers Raise $17,000 for DMD Research

The Heaton family in front of BLS after the sale.

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

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

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100% USDA Grade A Bull – Part II

Ingredients for burgers.

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

Last week,

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Big Four Catching Heat

by Kayla Sargent

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

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MSU Seeks Steer Donations for 2019-2020 School Year

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

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Register Now for North Dakota Shearing, Classing Schools

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

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

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It Takes a Carpenter

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

There were no carpenters on the southern

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Comments

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

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Tyson Plant Expected to Resume Full Operation By Early 2020

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

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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NCBA Grants Itself $27 Million of Your Beef Checkoff Funds

By Joe Maxwell, Organization for Competitive Markets

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

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Proposed Rule Would Make Millions Vulnerable to Food Insecurity

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

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Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductions

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

“The Hall of Fame exists to

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2020 Checkoff Budget Splits $40.9 million Between Seven Contractors

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

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

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MSU Purchase Local 4-H Pigs for Dining Hall

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

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

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

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

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Final Nail in the WOTUS Coffin

By Kayla Sargent

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

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AccuWeather Predicts Poor 2019 Corn and Soybean Yield

By John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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100% USDA Grade A Bull — Part I

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

Fake meat is a current hot button issue among the food

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On the Offense

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

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

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

By Abbie Burnett

Producer Communications,Certified Angus Beef LLC

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

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

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Comments

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

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Tweets

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

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

Still fired up from

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The Plan is No Plan

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

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Strength in Numbers

By Jamie Henneman

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

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Have You Struck Your Colors?

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

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Wool Growers, UW Extension Create Producer Group

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

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Regenerative Agriculture Counters Fake Meat

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

by Kerry Hoffschneider

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

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Bits & Pieces

Nevada Centennial Awards Apps Due October 20

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

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Western Ag Reporter Launches #FairCattleMarkets Campaign

By Kayla Sargent

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

“We are dispersing cowherds and seeing farmers wanting to

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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Tweet President Trump, We Need Help

By Joe Goggins

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

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

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

By Karla H. Wilke

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

UNL Cow/Calf Systems and Stocker Management

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

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Wyoming Producers Warned of Palmer Amaranth Weed

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

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

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Camp Cook Necessities

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

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Comments

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

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

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Those Bloody Activists are at it Again

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

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Trump Administration Rolls Back Key Protections from Methane Pollution

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

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Two Points for the Price of One

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

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Montana Congressmen Urge Swift Investigation into Beef Pricing Margins

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

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

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Front to Back or Back to Front?

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

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

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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ARS Efforts Should Help Ensure Our Wheat Supply

By Dennis O’Brien

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

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

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University of Wyoming Student Awarded Beach Scholarship

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

Hyche graduated from Wheatland High School

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Farmers Share Demonstrated with 25 Cent Lunch

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

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

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Lyndell Petersen to be Inducted into SD Hall of Fame  

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

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

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

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

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

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Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust Announces New Executive Director

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

Agriculture and natural resources management, specifically rangeland

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

By Mayzie Purviance

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

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

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The Cougar An excerpt from “Sod and Nelda”

By Nelda M. Williams

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

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Take One Threat At A Time

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

“Sure is refreshing,” Tuff said.

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

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2020 NILE Merit Heifer Recipients

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

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Whipping the soy-boys is no way to win customers

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

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

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Trade War Tied to Fires in Brazil, NFU Says

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

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

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

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

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

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Farmers Union Board Calls on Administration to Strengthen Agricultural Markets

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

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Montana Producers Send Message to China

by Kayla Sargent

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

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

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

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“Food Deserts,” a Rural Montana Issue

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

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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Thoughts From the Editor

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

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Saving the Ranch and Some Horses

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

by Kayla Sargent

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

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My Fake News Checkoff

Vaughn Meyer, Reva, SD

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

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American Lamb Board Hosts First Lamb Summit

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

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Martin SwandalOctober 28, 1935 – August 23, 2019

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

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

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Registration Open for 2019 Young Ag Leadership Conference

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

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Bits & Pieces

Palmer amaranth found in Grant County

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

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

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Washington State Open to Public Comments on Wolf Management

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

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

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North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Convention and Trade Show

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

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

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APR Completes 29th Land Acquisition

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

The Blue Ridge property is nestled in the

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Wild N’ Wooly Youth Rodeo For A Cause

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

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

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Gone But Not Forgotten

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

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

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The Fire’s Silver Lining

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

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Animal Wellness Applauds Gianforte for Helping Protect Horses

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

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

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Empty Nester Syndrome

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

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Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture Conference

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

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

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Comments

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

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The Enemy of My Enemy Remains an Enemy

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

What most have forgotten about

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Montana Groups Join Coalition Tackling Rural Broadband Gap

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

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Unprecedented Market Disruption Spurs Investigation

by Kayla Sargent

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

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A Letter To Governor Polis

by Bill McKee, Colorado

To Governor Jared Polis,

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

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The Farmer’s Almanac Predicts a Brutal Winter

By Mayzie Purviance

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

“It is a

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Catching Flies with Honey

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

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

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Digging Up My Talent

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

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

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North Dakota Stockmen’s Seeks Certainty in Uncertain Time

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

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Calves to Cure DMD

by Lilly Platts

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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Comfort Food for the Empty Nest

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

All parents

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Federal Court Sends Illegal Water Rule Back to EPA

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

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Before Silage Season, the Hand-me-down Season

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

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Court Rules in Favor of Pork Council in HSUS Lawsuit

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

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Spinning a Web of Lies

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

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

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Fire on the Mountain, Lightning in the Air

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

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A Sigh of Relief

by Kayla Sargent

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

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Happy Labor Day

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Suiting Up For Defense

by Kayla Sargent

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

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

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Emergency Loans for Montana Producers in Tornado’s Path

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

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Comments

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

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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

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

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

After college, Monte returned

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Bits & Pieces

Tyson and White Castle Discuss Future of Alternative Proteins

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

The free webcam event will address the rapid evolution of

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Much-Needed Modernization

by Mayzie Purviance

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

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Comments

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

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Summer Fun with August Numbers

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

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Drying Up Dirt, Daylight, and Dollars

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

by Kayla Sargent

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

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Burning Up the Market

by Kayla Sargent

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

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Learning Animal Rights Activists’ Strategy

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

“Animal rights extremists are

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You May Be A Dude If…

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

There are sheets on your bed in the bunkhouse.

The camp cookie is a three star Michelin chef.

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

The ratio of riders to cows exceeds two

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Farm Bureau Foundation Grant Money Available For Rural Communities

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

“The application deadline of December 31,

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A Familiar Foe

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

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

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NCBA Applauds Introduction of the Define WOTUS Act

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

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Agri-Kid

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

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Farmers Affected by Tunnel Collapse Hope for Insurance

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

In an

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Ethanol Waivers Erode Demand for Corn

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

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

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Thoughts from the Editor

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

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Real Beef Matters OR Where’s the beef?

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

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Montana Range Tour Scheduled in Harlowton

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

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

“The tour is a great

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Record Acreage Went Unplanted Across Midwest in 2019

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

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Montana Farmers and Ranchers Host CFTC Leaders

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

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

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

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

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Second “Saddle of Honor” Awarded to Montana Artist

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

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

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Rural Montana Landowners Riled by Matelich Ad

by Ron Poertner   Winifred, Montana

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

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A Mysterious New Friend

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

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

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Vesicular Stomatitis Running Rampant in Colorado

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

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

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Clover Clover

by Markie Hageman

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

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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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