LMA meetings… P&S changes, dealer trusts, ADT, ELDs, and more…

By Linda Grosskopf

It was a busy three days in Billings, Montana, when hundreds of out-of-staters rolled into town to take part in the activities and festivities associated with not only the 70th annual Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) meeting but also the 54th annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) contest. The meetings took place in downtown Billings on June 15 and

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Heads up, MT landowners… New legislation offers chance for property owners to file claims on exempt water rights

As part of its work to implement House Bill 110 (HB110), which was passed by the 65th Legislature, the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) is notifying all property owners in the state of their opportunity to file a claim for their exempt water rights. Not all property owners who receive a notification letter will find it necessary

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Two Options: Win or Keep Fighting… Nebraska landowner among those in lawsuit against Keystone XL

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Jeanne Crumly said there are two outcomes when it comes to the future of the current lawsuit that she and

Crumly said the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would impact two quarters of ground, including the quarter of land their home is on and also an area about 400 yards north of their house by an irrigation well,

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Karen Budd-Falen potential BLM pick

By Leesa Zalesky

Cheyenne, Wyoming, attorney Karen Budd-Falen is a possible Trump administration nominee to run the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), according to multiple sources. A Wyoming native, Budd-Falen — who has an extensive record representing ranching, farming, and local-government interests on property rights, land use, and natural resources — has advocated for major changes in federal land policy for

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Brucellosis is expanding

The brucellosis eradication program that began in the 1930s was wildly successful. On the human front, it took a zoonotic disease that infected roughly 6,000 people annually in the 1940s down to roughly 160 cases annually today, with nearly all of those infections being contracted abroad. On the cattle front, all but three states – Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming –

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Brazil’s Culture of Corruption Part II

By Leesa Zalesky

Housekeeping Notes: JBS SA is listed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as the Foreign Parent Company for the JBS USA LLC political action committee (PAC) in the U.S. To avoid redundancy, we’re simply referring to it as JBS in this piece. There’s not enough space in the paper to run all the political contribution figures I’d like

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2018 farm bill… NYFC goes to DC to make the case for millennial farmer support

Fighting for the future of agriculture, young farmers flew 13,000 miles, held 44 legislative meetings, and debated

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) went to Washington D.C. on June 7 to urge legislators to support young farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill. L to R: NYFC Southwest organizer, Cassidy Tawse-Garcia; Senator Jon Tester (MT); and farmer Nate Powell Palm of

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Front Page Photo 6-15-17

Branding season! John L. Moore drags a heavy one in on his gelding, Simon, while Cooper Austin applies the Nord Fork. Watching with her own Nord Fork is Rylee Penrod while Tom Peila supervises. A Doug Hudson photo from the recent Lazy T L Ranch branding north of Miles City, Montana.

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Jerky recall causes review of state inspection program…

By Kayla Sargent

A recent recall on jerky products at Project Meats, a locally-owned and -operated plant near Shepherd, Montana, has caused careful review of all aspects of the state inspection program. Beyond the jerky issue, both parties have used this as an opportunity to research some of the underlying issues in the state inspection program.

Recall…
The recall was issued on all

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Brazil’s Culture of Corruption – Part I

By Leesa Zalesky

Jose Batista Sobrinho, father of Joesley and Wesley Batista and four other children, launched his family’s food empire in the early 1950s as a one-man show on his small farm in Brazil by slaughtering one or two oxen a day, boning the meat, and selling it to a local butcher. In 1956, when Brazil’s new capital, Brasilia, was

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Montana Ag Summit

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue & Northern Broadcasting System’s Taylor Brown.

By Lisa Schmidt

On June 1, for the first time, the Secretary of Agriculture and the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry stood together on a Montana stage, ready to discuss the future of agriculture. They came to Great Falls, Montana, to listen to ag

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President Trump’s first budget has two themes: Redistribution & innumeracy

President Trump’s first budget has two themes:
Redistribution & innumeracy

Let’s start with the redistribution. The budget calls for shifting many billions of dollars a year from the middle class and the poor to the very richest Americans. The very rich would receive this money through tax cuts. The rest of the country would lose out, thanks to cuts in government

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Trump budget lands with a THUD in Rural America…

Trump budget lands with a THUD in Rural America…

Editor’s Note: I think we all have some preconceived notions about certain programs that need some re-examination. We can’t depend on the crap that floats around social media and otherwise on the internet to form our opinions… but too many of us do. I know plenty of people on food stamps, WIC

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Producers speak out… Let’s hope somebody’s listening

Producers speak out…
Let’s hope somebody’s listening

By Kayla Sargent

One of the most important jobs ranchers have is making sure their voices are heard when it comes to proposed changes to their industry and their livelihood. The Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) Outreach Meeting in Billings, Montana, on May 24 was a perfect opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with government officials on

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Clear message: NO Mandatory ID of Feeder Calves

Clear message:
NO Mandatory ID of Feeder Calves

By Gilles Stockton

The message was VERY clear. NO ONE at the ADT Regional Outreach Meeting in Billings, Montana, on May 24 thought that adding feeder calves to the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) requirements was a good idea. This message was delivered by producers in the audience and echoed by panel presenters, who were chosen

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Dirty meat & dirty money plunge Brazil into political crisis

By Leesa Zalesky

Dirty meat thrust JBS S.A. onto the front pages of newspapers around the world in March, and now dirty money has the company right back in the spotlight. JBS is owned and controlled by siblings Joesley and Wesley Batista, who now appear to be at the center of two ongoing and massive corruption probes that merged and boiled

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A few more details…

From an article “Canada, Mexico, & U.S. meat industries unite on NAFTA talks” written by Aidan Fortune and published May 19 by globalmeatnews.com:

The Trump administration’s notification to “modernize” NAFTA has spurred the Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. beef industries to join forces. Following the notification by U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer to Congress that President Trump wants to renegotiate the trade

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MFBF: Stop water rights extortion!

Federal agencies managing Western lands are increasingly demanding that ranchers with grazing permits on federal lands surrender their water rights to the government or get off the range. The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) believes this is extortion and is not an acceptable practice of the “people’s government.” MFBF strongly supports what’s being called the Water Rights Protection Act, which

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Mexico preparing export push if NAFTA fails

The Mexican government has begun preparing for a “negative outcome,” should the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) crumble, according to Rabobank. Throughout his election campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump labeled NAFTA a “disaster” and threatened to “break it,” should renegotiation talks fail. Planning for the worst, Mexico — a NAFTA member along with the U.S. and Canada — is

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NFU: Trump's budget… An assault on agriculture

President Donald Trump issued a detailed fiscal year 2018 federal budget proposal on May 23, recommending drastic cuts to agricultural and rural related agencies and programs. The proposal would cut Farm Bill programs by nearly $230 billion and slash the USDA annual budget by 21%. In response to the proposal, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
“The

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NCBA joins Canadian & Mexican partners in Presidential letter: "Don't jeopardize our success under NAFTA"

On May 18, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined its cattle industry partners in Canada and Mexico in sending a joint letter to the leaders of those two nations and to President Trump, urging the three leaders to not “jeopardize the success we have all enjoyed as partners of the North American Free Trade Agreement.” The letter to President Trump,

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U.S. & China ink 10-step trade plan… U.S. beef imports to resume

By Leesa Zalesky

On May 11, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced during a media briefing in Washington D.C. that the U.S. and China have inked a trade arrangement that encompasses beef, poultry, the financial world, and energy… among other things. Ross said the two nations have agreed to take action by mid-July to increase access for U.S. financial firms and

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Satisfaction in beef checkoff slips…

Among the events scheduled during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention (held earlier this year) in Nashville, Tennessee, were meetings involving members of state beef councils and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), the group of beef producers and importers tasked with directing investment of beef checkoff dollars toward national programs for research, education, and promotion. The convention agenda included a meeting

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Exploring the "my" in "my beef checkoff"

By Vaughn Meyer

In 1984, U.S. cattle producers voted to establish the beef checkoff program as a means to promote their own product, U.S. beef. From the very beginning, the beef checkoff was touted as a producer self-help program financed by all producers through a dollar per head assessment on every animal sold. And from the very beginning, cattle producers began

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Deductive reasoning… Or is it inductive reason? Whichever it is, it IS a legitimate question…

On the “Brownfield: Ag For America” website, an article written May 9 by Julie Harker carried the title: “NCBA says R-CALF is wrong on COOL.” Following is the article in its entirety. Following the article is a question or two I have, followed by some well-placed comments by Leo McDonnell.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association dismisses the call from R-CALF USA

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Alarming GAO report: Part II USDA's FMD evaluations need improvement & transparency

 

By Leesa Zalesky

In an effort not to bore readers with too many details, let’s see if I can boil the evaluation process down…
APHIS conducts animal health system evaluations of foreign countries seeking to export beef to the U.S. The requesting country provides a detailed description of the export region for which it is seeking an FMD evaluation, along with a

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When you get too much precipitation…

By Lisa Schmidt

All wealth originally comes from natural resources, so restoring and enhancing those resources creates more wealth. The crew at the Montana Salinity Control Association (MSCA) works with private landowners to restore and enhance soil and groundwater that has collected so much salinity that vegetation will no longer grow.
MSCA recommendations improve both the environment and the economy. “Salinity problems

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Alarming GAO report: Part I USDA's FMD evaluations need improvement & transparency

By Leesa Zalesky

A new Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report, requested by several congressional members, serves up a stern warning that the USDA processes and protocols for reviewing and evaluating the animal health systems of foreign nations wanting to export beef products to the U.S. but having confirmed foot and mouth disease (FMD) infections are full of flaws. The GAO audit

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Water in the West… MT Senate Bill 248

By Kayla Sargent

After extensive discussions on a controversial topic, Montana Senate Bill 248 has passed the legislature. Should it become law, this bill will allow exempt wells to be developed on family land transfers. As with all controversial topics, there are pros and cons to this bill, and agriculturalists have varying opinions of it.
SB 248, introduced by Senator Mark Blasdel

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Is the Keystone XL Route in the public interest? NE PSC holds hearing to help answer that question

By Kerry Hoffschneider

The Nebraska Public Service Commission held the public hearing.

Since 2008, TransCanada, an Alberta-based company, has been attempting to build a 36-inch pipeline (the Keystone XL) that could ship up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the “tar sands” in Canada to the Gulf Coast. The nearly 1,200-mile project still needs final approval in Nebraska, which

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Heads up! Educate yourself about Powassan, a life-threatening virus carried by ticks NO vaccines and NO treatments!

Summer is nearly here, and it’s bringing fears of a rare tick-borne disease called Powassan. This potentially life-threatening virus is carried and transmitted by three types of ticks, including the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease. Over the past decade, 75 cases have been reported in the northeastern states and the Great Lakes region, according to the U.S. Centers for

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Community College Series: Part 11

Community College Series: Part 11College of Western Idaho

By Leesa Zalesky & Linda Grosskopf

Location: Nampa, Idaho; with a Boise campus, too, and satellite classrooms in various service area communities.Web Address: cwidaho.ccFounded: 2007Academic Programs: CWI offers 26 academic transfer programs of study, 33 career and technical education programs, 34 workforce development programs, and 6 basic skills programs. CWI offers 7 degrees fully

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Moving forward… Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Plan for Northern Cascades

Moving forward…Grizzly Bear Reintroduction Plan for Northern Cascades

By Leesa Zalesky

The public comment period on a controversial proposal by the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is set to close on April 28 after having been extended for an extra 45 days following numerous requests from public and local officials to expand the comment period.

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Community College Series: Part 10

Community College Series: Part 10
Minnesota State Community & Technical College

By Leesa Zalesky & Linda Grosskopf

Location: Fergus Falls, MN, with additional campuses in Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, and Wadena
Web Address: minnesota.edu
Founded: MSCTC was established in 2003 with the merger of Fergus Falls Community College and the three campuses of Northwest Technical College
Academic Programs: More than 70 career and liberal arts

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Supreme Court will hear WOTUS issue…

Supreme Court will hear WOTUS issue…

By Leesa Zalesky

On March 31, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) denied the Trump administration\’s request to pause its consideration of a specific issue in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, a lawsuit surrounding what\’s known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The Trump administration opposes the Environmental Protection Agency\’s (EPA)

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Timeline: The beef checkoff's legal troubles Part II

Timeline: The beef checkoff’s legal troubles
Part II

By Leesa Zalesky & Lisa Schmidt

January 31, 2014: OIG issues a corrected final report, some 36 months after the initiation of the audit. This corrected final report withdrew OIG\’s conclusions that NCBA had properly expended all beef checkoff funds and that the relationship between the Cattlemen\’s Beef Board (CBB) and NCBA complied with the

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Best attend one of these meetings! Do we really need animal disease traceability tags in feeder calves?

Best attend one of these meetings! Do we really need animal disease traceability tags in feeder calves?

By Gilles Stockton

Coming soon to a city near you will be a listening/workshop session convened by USDA-APHIS to make the case for identifying feeder calves in interstate commerce. The current Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) regulations require identification of cattle over 18 months of

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Big Data lawsuit settlement… A win for farmer/rancher privacy

Big Data lawsuit settlement…

A win for farmer/rancher privacy

By Leesa Zalesky

A federal judge has approved a settlement agreement between the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will help limit the amount of private information the agency can release regarding U.S. livestock and poultry producers in 36 states.

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Community College Series, Part 8

Community College Series, Part 8 Highland Community College  By Leesa Zalesky & Linda Grosskopf

Location: Highland, KSWeb Address: highlandcc.eduFounded: 1858Academic Programs: 63 degree fields & 18 certificate programs; with online possibilities, HCC offers over 80 programs of study.Mission: “HCC, the first college in Kansas, provides lifelong learning opportunities and contributes to economic development to enhance the quality of life in the

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