MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Troy Downing…

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

By Kayla Sargent

A newcomer to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nominations sought for the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Award

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

The award is presented by the Wyoming Stock

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

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

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

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

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NRCS Sets Program Funding Application Cutoff for June 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Montana Beef Promotion Continues

Despite ongoing lawsuit, beef promotion efforts continue in Montana.

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

Due to the ongoing

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

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

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

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

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Re: the effort to list feral horses as Endangered Species

Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based activist group, is challenging in court the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) rejection of its petition to list the feral horses inhabiting the Pryor Mountain Herd Management Area under the Endangered Species Act. The feral horses, located on the border between southeast Montana and north-central Wyoming, are subject to management by the Bureau of

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Plan ahead… Acquire right permits for stream-modification projects

With this year’s high potential for spring flooding, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is encouraging residents who live on or near a river or stream to familiarize themselves with the stream-permitting process, including the types of permits they may need before starting a stream project.

Form 275…

Stream-modification projects undertaken as an immediate response to flooding require an

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Let’s have the truth about fake meat…

What do you call soy, corn, and other vegetable components that have been heavily seasoned and processed into nearly inedible discs to be cooked later? It goes by many names—fake meat, plant-based meat, etc.—but consumers really ought to view it as the new mystery meat.

Plant-based burgers are supposed to be the biggest restaurant trend in 2018. One product, the Impossible

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Paying the price for the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture…

Editor’s note: This is an interesting article (shared with us by Dave Flint) from the August 9, 2017, issue of the Hillsdale College publication “Imprimis”. However, it’s filled with $64 words, and I know for a fact that nobody bothers to look up words they don’t know… they just skip over ‘em and hope for the best. So

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Livestock & grain traders navigate murkier market

A new way to trade ag futures in bulk is raising concerns that markets for the crops and livestock that feed the world are becoming less transparent. CME Group Inc., since January, has allowed hedge funds, grain companies and others to privately trade “blocks” of futures and options for corn, cattle, and other ag commodities. CME, the world’s largest exchange operator, says

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Consumers asking for cattle industry certification programs

How many of you know “The People Behind Beef” video that is part of the “Beef? It’s What’s For Dinner – Rethink the Ranch” campaign? The beef supply chain is made up of a lot of people… people that care for newborn calves, feed cattle, transport cattle, harvest the meat, and prepare that meat for someone’s meal. Each person along this supply

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Treasure Bull Test, Power, MT Big, growthy, masculine, “cowboy kind” of bulls…

By Kayla Sargent

We’ve all sat in the bleachers at the sale barn when the bull that we had starred and circled in our catalog comes into the ring. The auctioneer gets started and then says this is a “cowboy kind” of bull, and suddenly, the bull soars out of our price range… and we are forced to choose another

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Born to Serve

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Al Davis is a third-generation rancher and legislator, who grew up on a southwestern Cherry County, Nebraska, ranch just north of Hyannis. Al’s grandfather, A.T. Davis, homesteaded there in l888 and later married Essie Buchanan, an Ogallala milliner, who took over ranch management shortly after their marriage when A.T. died in l915.

Al’s parents, Jean Kennedy and

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What’s in your pasture? Identifying plant life is the first step towards making you a better grass manager

By Loretta Sorensen

There’s no need to become a botanist in order to gather information pasture forage provides. However, at least a basic understanding of the different types of plant groups common to grazing land can be helpful for identification.

Plant populations reveal important information, such as soil quality, past disturbances, and more.

South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and plant

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The Buffalo Guys Part Three: Improving the land with grazers

By Heather Smith Thomas

Beaver Creek Buffalo Ranch in Kansas has 500 acres of farm ground that they plant with cover crops that can be grazed during winter. “We let the animals—our cattle and bison—do the harvesting. We have found that this helps soil quality, integrating a lot of biological activity with all the litter and manure,” Ken Klemm

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Let children learn from risk…

By Evelyn Pyburn
Big Sky Business Journal

Some days one has to wonder what we are doing to our children.

At every turn, young people are stymied in pursuing anything which might help them understand the world in which they live, get to know themselves, or build a future. From local ordinances that keep kids out of public parks, to inane

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MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Russ Fagg…

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

By Kayla Sargent

 A fourth-generation Montanan,

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This spring’s average bull price…

The spring bull sale season is in full swing, and bull buyers haven’t been shy about bidding on the genetics they want to move their operations forward. Indeed, bull prices seem to be holding steady with expectations or even surpassing them.

BEEF did a quick survey of its Seedstock 100 members to get a read on how the spring bull market

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Mollycoddling lives on… Wild horses escape the chopping block in spending bill

Among the winners in a $1.3 trillion spending bill congressional leaders agreed to March 22: wild horses. Negotiators said NAY to a House proposal to allow the culling of tens of thousands of horses and burros that roam the West or are held in government-funded corrals and ranches. Proponents of the idea, including its sponsor, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), described “humane euthanization”

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Perpetual easements, term easements, etc.

Editor’s note: The following exchange of ideas and opinions about easements showed up in my inbox the other day. Because I, as a general rule, don’t like conservation easements, this exchange caught my eye. I thought you might be interested too. LG

 

From: Jim Fox, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board <jimfox000@gmail.com>
Date: March 9, 2018
Re: Easements

The new Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program

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The lost cause of controlling wild horses…

Four mares and a foal moved slowly as they browsed through Mustang Flats, with at least two ears up at all time. Joseph — a magnificent stallion of colonial Spanish descent — followed his mares, keeping a wary eye on the horizon. They were being pursued.

Bill Pickett, natural resources program manager for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, was trying to

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Due to cross-breeding, most grey wolves today are actually wolf-dog hybrids…

Crying wolf isn’t what it used to be — today, we’re more likely to cry “hybrid.” Hundreds of years of the two species living in close proximity have left quite a lot of “dog” in wild wolves’ genome, research shows. An international research effort has uncovered that around 60% of Eurasian grey wolf (Canis lupus lupus) genomes carry inklings of domestic

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The Buffalo Guys… Part Two: Grazing bison with cattle

By Heather Smith Thomas

As part of a natural ecosystem on his Beaver Creek Buffalo Ranch in Kansas, Ken Klemm grazes Spanish cattle with his bison. “Several types of cattle in North America trace back to Christopher Columbus’ second voyage (1493) when he brought the first cattle from Spain. Those cattle went native everywhere the Spaniards went because they

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MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Jon Tester…

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

 By Kayla Sargent

As a third-generation

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Where food comes from is increasingly important…

Red Lobster ran a 55-second commercial before the Super Bowl that was conspicuously lacking any of the Orlando-based chain’s trademark buttery, garlicky dishes. The TV spot featured fishermen pulling in crab cages and nets. The chain joins a growing number of food companies trying to convince customers that their food comes from safe and responsible sources.

Darden Restaurants, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and

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Advanced clean diesel feeds the world

As the U.S. recognizes National Ag Day on March 20, America’s farmers are buying more of the cleanest and most advanced equipment, including clean diesel technologies, making the U.S. ag sector one of the most productive in the world.

Under the hood of most of this equipment lives clean diesel technology, one of the most advanced engine technologies on the market

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  The case for a carbon tax on beef…

Editor’s note: When I run these sorts of articles, invariably someone accuses me of promoting the ideas contained. Nope. I should say not. What I AM trying to do is EDUCATE. In an us against them world, bear in mind there 98% of them and 2% of us so it seems to make sense to know what they

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Montana ranchers support USCA truthful beef labeling efforts… Write down these auction dates!

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) efforts on truthful beef labeling will be supported this month with multiple fundraising events being organized by producers across the state on Montana. Earlier this year, USCA filed a petition for rulemaking to the USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) to define the terms “beef” and “meat” as used by alternative protein sources.

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BLM buys Idaho ranch 

Last month the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acquired a 760-acre ranch northwest of Felt, Idaho. The Teton River Confluence Ranch, formerly owned by the Smith family, is a peninsula of pristine land bordered by the Teton River, Bitch Creek, and Badger Creek. The property has rolling meadows, aspen groves, and deep river canyons. It’s an important migration corridor for

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Section 199A…Opposing viewpoints

The two largest general farm organizations—the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union—have a different take on what should happen with the Section 199A tax provision. (In agreement with the American Farm Bureau) 77 separate businesses in 28 states have written a letter to Congress, calling on lawmakers to fix the problems created by the “grain glitch.” The letter

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Federal-lands ranching: A half-century of decline. How grazing fell from its Western pedestal & fueled Sagebrush Rebellion

One of the prime drivers of the 45-year-old Sagebrush Rebellion, the movement to take control of public lands from the federal government, is the sense that rural Western ranchers are bullied by forces beyond their control. That narrative remains compelling, in part because it’s true. Since the 1950s, the ranching industry has been battered by market consolidation, rising operational costs,

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Who owns water? U.S. landowners are putting barbed wire across rivers

As Scott Carpenter and a few friends paddled down the Pecos river in New Mexico last May, taking advantage of spring run-off, the lead boater yelled out and made a swirling hand motion over his head in the universal signal to pull over to shore. The paddlers eddied out in time to avoid running straight through three strings of barbed

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Fake meat is gathering steam…

Look out, cowboy. Climate change campaigners are coming for your burger business. So are mushroom growers, Silicon Valley investors, and the billionaire Bill Gates. All are collaborating with food companies, restaurants, and chefs to promote alternatives to pure-beef hamburgers. It is a whopper of a market. Americans eat an estimated 10 billion hamburgers a year.

But the cattle industry is not

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The Buffalo Guys… Part One: How it all began

By Heather Smith Thomas

In the northwest corner of Kansas, a herd of bison grazes on prairie grass in a setting not much different from when their ancestors grazed hundreds of years ago. At the Beaver Creek Buffalo Ranch near Goodland, Kansas, Ken Klemm and his ranch partner Peter Thieriot call themselves The Buffalo Guys, raising bison for a

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Visions of oil rigs and cowboys…

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has distributed an unusual new accessory for some of its employees to wear: a card with an image of an oil rig on one side and cattle ranching on the other. The cards, which feature artwork then-acting director Mike Nedd commissioned after President Trump took office, reflect the bureau’s renewed focus on energy and ag

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BLM issues land payments to MT & NM…

On February 27, the BLM announced the distribution of more than $326,000 to 10 counties in Montana and 3 in New Mexico. These payments were made possible through the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937, which allowed the federal government to purchase damaged rangelands in the aftermath of a series of ag sector crises in the 1920s. The BLM manages

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Uncle Sam is the largest landowner in the U.S.

A 2017 Congressional Research Service report indicated that, in 2015, the federal government owned approximately 640 million acres in the U.S. Given that there are approximately 2.3 billion acres of land in the U.S., the federal government owns or administers programs on nearly one-third of the country’s land, making it the largest landowner in the U.S. by a very wide margin.

Federal lands

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“Beef in the Classroom” takes on new meaning

by Kayla Sargent

Montana’s Crazy Peak Cattle Women (CPCW) are taking “beef in the classroom” to a new level by taking the classroom right to the processing plant. On February 22, the fourth-grade class at Big Timber Grade School took a field trip to Pioneer Meats where they observed the entire process of their own bratwurst recipes coming to

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Hats off! MSU Range Club teams scores big

For the first time in university history, a group of Montana State University ag students dedicated to plant identification and range management took home a traveling national trophy, two national team titles, and three first-place student awards in national exams. The MSU Range Club, a group of 11 students focused on rangeland ecosystems and management, attended the 2018 Society for Range

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Women of World War II: Conclusion 

By Leesa Zalesky

This series honors and celebrates the women of World War II, both in uniform or as civilians. Their contributions to the war effort, their courage, and their heroism were immeasurable.

 

Joan Karlen…

Born in 1922 in a camp wagon near Howard, South Dakota, Joan Karlen was a rancher’s daughter. Like every other member of the Greatest Generation, she and her

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Brazil’s Operation Weak Flesh… BRF SA Execs arrested in expanding probe

 

By Leesa Zalesky

On March 5, a Brazilian court authorized the arrests of Pedro Faria, BRF SA former chief executive, and Helio dos Santos Jr., who resigned last week as BRF’s Vice President of global operations, as well as a number of other BRF representatives, on charges that they knew the company, which is the world’s largest poultry exporter,

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Reuse, recycle, & save…

By Connie Vigil Platt

Everyone should be concerned about the environment. We all need to take responsibility for saving our planet. If everyone took a small step, no matter how small, it would be an advantage for all. There is talk about global warming, as well as shortage of water, to name two concerns, so we have to take

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Words and phrases remind us of the way we were…

Lost words from our childhood: Would you believe my spell checker did not recognize the word murgatroyd? Words have gone as fast as the buggy whip! The other day a not so elderly lady said something to her son about driving a jalopy, and he looked at her quizzically and said what the heck is a jalopy? So

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Do NOT forget this: BLM holds millions of useful land records

When settlers moved to the colonies, their lands were surveyed using a method called “metes and bounds,” which was used in England. That system combined distances and directions with physical features of the local area. Some examples are a stone wall, public roadway, a building, a large tree, or an iron stake. Distances were measured in units, such as rods

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The importance of young ag producers saving for retirement…

By Chris Nolt

 

Developing the habit of saving at an early age and learning how to invest your money wisely provide valuable options at retirement.

Investing early…

There are huge advantages to begin investing at a young age. To illustrate this, I give you the following example. A 25-year-old, who invests $5,000 per year until age 35 and then stops (10

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Politics divide Americans on food issues, too…

The ideal presidential candidate is not the only thing Americans have a hard time agreeing on. An ideological rift exists on certain food issues, too.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s “2016 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes Toward Food Safety, Nutrition, & Health” examines how consumers differ in their attitudes on food issues. The results show that conservatives and

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Live in North Dakota? Want to keep track of precipitation?

This is an opportunity for North Dakotans to become part of the state’s climatological history.

A nationwide citizen science network is looking for volunteers for rain and snow reporting in North Dakota. These observers will measure rainfall, snowfall, and snow depth as part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network. Some observers also measure the water equivalent of

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LMA weighs in… Suspected fraudulent buying activity

 

By Jara Settles, General Counsel
Livestock Marketing Association

 

On March 1, 2018, LMA received the first call from a market owner member regarding suspected fraudulent buying activity via an online bidder. On March 2 and again on March 5, LMA issued alerts to membership.

Over the course of the next week, the same buyer, using multiple aliases in several states across

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Science of Meat

By Barbara Quinn

 

Yes, meat science really is a college major. And it’s closely related to the science of nutrition, I was informed by Hannah Kesterson, a beautiful young lady, who will soon graduate from Colorado State University with a Master of Science degree in Animal Science, Meat Science, and Human Nutrition. Wow.

I was curious why she decided to

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To My Old Master…

Editor’s note: This most excellent piece was shared with me by my close friend and writing partner in crime, Leesa Zalesky. She knew I would love it. This man almost certainly had no formal education, but that didn’t affect his clear thinking. Given the grievous and unsettling summer of 2016 relative to what I shall call “race relations,”

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Drought is like malnutrition…

Some stretches of New Mexico have gone months without meaningful moisture, leaving farmers and ranchers to make difficult decisions as long-term forecasts call for drought to intensify across the already arid state. Experts with the National Weather Service talked of pitiful snowpack levels in the mountain ranges that feed the state’s rivers. All but a small sliver of southern New

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Patented vaccine technology offers options for cattle care…

A new divisional patent issued to researchers at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine could help lead cattle producers to a path of least resistance by providing a non-antibiotic treatment option for beef cattle liver infections. The latest work—by the university’s T.G. Nagaraja and M.M. Chengappa and former College of Veterinary Medicine researchers Sanjeev Narayanan and Amit Kumar, “Composition

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Montana Hi-Line boy sells livestock and buys books for sick kids

It started with a bottle calf.

Aiden Fouhy, who was a second-grader at the time, was preparing to sell his first bottle calf. He lives on a ranch in Peerless, Montana, with his parents. It was his mom who put the idea in his head. “I said, ‘You need to give some of the money to charity,’” Cindy Fouhy said.

Aiden’s done

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Investment advice from Warren Buffet

By Chris Nolt

Due to his track record of choosing successful stocks, Warren Buffet is widely considered to be one of the best investors in history. As such, we should listen to his investment advice. In his 2013 annual letter to shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffet said: “I have good news for the non-investment professionals: The typical

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Your ability to find your place is key…

By Kayla Sargent

“The biggest things are that you can’t give up and that you’ve got to find a purpose in life. I think that’s a very important part of life… your ability to find your place. I’m blessed that I know what I’m passionate about, and I get to be involved with all of those things so I’m

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The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic

By Kerry Hoffschneider

It takes a lot of class, commitment, and can-do to pull together the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, an annual show that successfully connects cattle breeds, cattle producers, and those interested in serving the cattle industry. Those three characteristics exemplify Ronette Bush-Heinrich, who has served as general manager for the Classic for more than two decades. She is

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WY ranchers fight for relief from deadly predation by grizzlies

Wyoming ranchers who know first-hand the deadly consequences of an ever-growing grizzly bear population have long been unable to protect their families, workers, livestock, or property because of the Endangered Species Act. Charles Price, a fourth-generation rancher in Daniel, has encountered grizzly bears in ever increasing number—he and fellow ranchers in the Upper Green River Valley lost 71 cattle to confirmed

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What role did climate change play in this winter’s U.S. freezes, heat, and drought?

There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that human-caused global warming is causing rapid changes in the Arctic, which in turn is altering the atmosphere, causing wavy patterns to form more frequently in the jet stream. On the West Coast, this can cause persistent high-pressure systems to form in the Pacific, exacerbating droughts by blocking storm systems. It can also allow

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USDA helps SW Montana ag producers… March 30 deadline

In conjunction with the Montana Headwaters National Drought Resiliency Project, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering a localized initiative addressing water conservation and drought resiliency in the Missouri Headwaters Basin of southwestern Montana. Ag producers in the eight targeted watersheds are urged to participate.

Through the initiative, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding will be available to farmers

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Big deal… Walmart will no longer sell toy guns

 

From the Walmart statement: “We are removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including non-lethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”

Here is one pundit’s take on the situation: Walmart doesn’t sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, and handguns — except in Alaska —

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President Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of Guns and Gold

By Mike Fuljenz

Heroic soldier. Intrepid outdoorsman. Pioneer rancher. Progressive crusader. Social reformer. Influential statesman. Prolific author. Dedicated family man.

Theodore Roosevelt was all of these and much more. As America’s 26th president, he also proved himself a dynamic, effective, and visionary chief executive. President Theodore Roosevelt projected an air of confidence that reassured and energized the populace he served.

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How much is too much?

An Angus bull recently sold for a record-setting $800,000, topping the record set just last year of $750,000. Many might think spending that much on a single bull to be a fool’s errand.

But is it? Maybe not.

The bull, SAV Elation 7899, was produced by Schaff Angus Valley of Saint Anthony, ND, and purchased by Square B Ranch and Cattle Company of

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Ranking the industry’s top processors…

The goal of MEAT+POULTRY’s annual Top 100 listing is to provide an overview of the meat and poultry processing industry’s leading companies doing business in North America based on annual sales and to include any changes among them resulting from mergers, acquisitions, or closures. The process takes countless hours of emailing, faxing, and phone calling, followed by many hours of

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2018 BQA Dairy: Kraft Family Dairies

Simply put: they care for their cows. Ask any of the dairy workers in Colorado about Kraft Family Dairies, and that’s the response you’ll get.

Since beginning their operation in 1985, Mary and Chris Kraft have made cow handling and safety a priority in every line of their production. Whether it be lowering stress levels when moving to and from the

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Attending a ranch horse sale? Top six tips

Are you properly prepared to head down the road to buy that amazing ranch or performance horse you always dreamed of? In order to gather up some solid suggestions, I called up Rick and Missy Weber, Weber Quarter Horses, LLC, out of Valentine, NE. Here’s their Top 6 Tips:

You need to know what you’re looking for… the level of training and caliber

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Research on heifer development

By Heather Smith Thomas

Beef cattle producers with cow-calf herds want efficient cows that last a long time in the herd without coming up open or requiring a lot of expensive feed, but it’s not always easy to select heifers that will grow up to be the best cows. Some heifers are more feed efficient than others. Some are

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Forest Service turns to volunteers for trail repair

The U.S. Forest Service hopes to double the workload of its volunteer helpers as it attacks a backlog of trail maintenance, largely in Montana. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex’ 3,200 miles of trail arrived No. 1 on a Forest Service priority list for trail work on February 16. So did the Continental Divide Scenic Trail; its largest segment passes through

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The lawman and the outlaw: How cattle rustling and drugs are roiling rural America

Editor’s note: After reading what he called “excellent reporting by Leesa Zalesky on the opioid addiction problem in the U.S.,” Margaret Smith, one of our readers from Buffalo, Wyoming, sent me the following article, saying she thought it would “be of particular interest” to me. She was right, and I think it will of particular interest to you as

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Wildfire by-products… Montana’s Alice Creek Fire: 796,297,944 TONS of CO2 released

 

By Darryl L. Flowers

 

In Fairfield, Montana, the air outside is clear now, and many people have forgotten the hazy, obstructed views and the irritated respiratory systems from just a few months ago. During the peak of the fires burning to our west, it was not unusual to see someone driving in Great Falls with a gas mask.

As the

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BLM issues land payments to MT & NM…

On February 27, the BLM announced the distribution of more than $326,000 to 10 counties in Montana and 3 in New Mexico. These payments were made possible through the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937, which allowed the federal government to purchase damaged rangelands in the aftermath of a series of ag sector crises in the 1920s. The BLM manages

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Montana’s Valley County tackles wolf problem head on…

The Valley County Conservation District (VCCD) supervisors unanimously passed the following resolution at their November 2017 meeting.

RESOLUTION TO DECLARE WOLVES
A PREDATOR IN VALLEY COUNTY
10/02/17

WHEREAS, the Valley County Conservation District is a legal subdivision of the State of Montana; and

WHEREAS, the declared policy of the Montana Conservation District Law includes, “…to preserve wildlife, protect the tax base,

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Wilderness bill… Verdict split

More than 130 people packed into a Fergus County Courtroom in Lewistown, Montana, February 21 to give opinions on a bill that would remove five wilderness study areas (WSA) totaling 449,550 acres in Montana from future wilderness consideration, with the meeting showing a deep divide over how to best manage these public lands. Passionate pleas were offered for and against the

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What a GREAT idea… Beef fuels competitors during Fitness Challenge

Seven competitors—six men and one woman—showcased their physical abilities on February 21 during the Nebraska Beef Council’s “Beef Strong” event at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic. Each

Mitch Rippe of the Nebraska Beef Council, on far left, and the seven BEEF STRONG competitors, L to R: Mike Jeffrey, John Widdowson, Leslee Montey, Armondo Chavez, Colton Rolls, Jose Walsh, & Steve Walmsley.

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MSU named regional host of national sustainable ag program

Montana State University (MSU) has been selected as the next Western region host institution of the Sustainable Ag Research & Education (SARE) organization—the country’s foremost, producer-led, research and education grant program for sustainable agriculture.

Western SARE is one of four regions organized under the national SARE, a USDA program. Its mission is to advance American ag sustainability through innovations that improve

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Conservation easements & public access… MT Land Board delay raises questions

Finding a place to hunt on the two-thirds of Montana that is privately owned can be a tricky proposition. Whether they are a result of changing demographics, financial reasons, or convenience, stories of once-accessible private property being shut off recur each year. While a landowner’s right to control access remains fundamental, hunters have increasingly cited the need for access as

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Environmentalists try to block hazing & quarantine of Yellowstone bison

An environmental law firm has sued to block the capture and hazing of bison on the north side of Yellowstone National Park, arguing that the animals need to be allowed to travel north toward the Paradise Valley. The Cottonwood Environmental Law Center is asking a federal judge to prevent the various Montana state and federal agencies that manage bison from

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Sodium: How low can we go?

By Barbara Quinn

As with much of this science of nutrition, experts don’t always agree on what’s best for us. Not that they don’t have good information. Sometimes we have lots of valid data. But Mr. Jones’ response to a dietary change may be entirely different from Mrs. Smith’s.

Case in point: several respected organizations have come up with different

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Mileage tax… Not so attractive in wide-open Montana…

The White House on February 21 praised an experimental program in Oregon that charges a mileage tax to volunteer drivers, adding to signals that President Donald Trump is open to finding new revenue sources to pay for his proposed infrastructure program. Many of Trump’s fellow Republicans, however, dislike the idea of a transportation tax as it would go against the grain

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E. coli… Research shows water troughs spread it

A major study—published February 7 in the journal PLOS ONE and led by Cornell researchers—reveals for the first time that water troughs on farms are a conduit for the spread of toxic E. coli in cattle, which can then spread the pathogen to people through bacteria in feces. “Water troughs appeared in our mathematical model as a place where water can get

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2018 Midland Bull Test results…

In our 56th year of performance testing bulls, we at Midland Bull Test are excited to introduce “The Final Sort” Bull Sale to be held April 5 and 6. The Final Sort is exactly that… as we sort through the bulls again and again. Here lies the process that embodies the very purpose of Midland. Consignors send their top cut

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Eastern Montana ranch investigated in massive animal neglect case…

A former Billings, Montana lawmaker’s ranch near Ingomar is the subject of a large-scale animal abuse and neglect investigation that began in January, according to the Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Allen Fulton was notified in January that cattle on the L7 Ranch, owned by former state Republican Rep. Don Roberts, were allegedly being deprived of food and water.

He estimated

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The Bison Advantage

By Melissa Burke

“The bison industry still deals with many misconceptions,” began Jim Matheson, Assistant Director of the National Bison Association, located in Westminster, Colorado. “Opinions continue to abound that bison are wild and dangerous, their meat is gamey, they get out all the time, and they need fencing rivaling that around Fort Knox,” he went on to address

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Yellowstone bison escape… again… after corrals sabotaged…

For the second time this year, someone has tried to set bison free from corrals at the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park. Park officials said in a news release February 22 that fences at the Stephens Creek Capture Facility were “intentionally compromised” sometime between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, allowing 73 of 96 captured bison to escape.

Park

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Antibiotic resistance… A new superbug requires urgent attention

When typhoid fever broke out in Pakistan in late 2016, doctors noticed that many patients were not responding to an antibiotic, ceftriaxone, that had worked before. Now we know why. Scientists reported February 20 that the organism that caused the illness, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, had become extensively resistant to antibiotics. This development should be another warning that the global threat

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French farms don’t like wolves crammed down their throats either

The French government announced February 19 that it will allow the wolf population to grow 40% over the next five years, resisting pressure from farmers concerned about their flocks. A new strategy unveiled by the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron will enable the number of wolves to grow to 500 by 2023 compared with an estimated 360 now.

Hunting wiped out

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Short Order Lingo…

Some cooks and wait staff converse in a quick, slap-it-on-the-griddle-and-go language all their own.

 

Make it cry… add onions

Make it moo… add milk to coffee

Cluck & grunt… eggs & bacon

Hockey puck… well-done hamburger

Hold the grass… no lettuce

Give it shoes… Make it a takeout order

Cowboy with spurs… western omelet with French fries

Sinkers & suds… Doughnuts & coffee

Hold the hail… no ice

Put a

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Tribute to a Pioneer Ranch Woman

By Buckley Peterson

Mary Ellen “Ella” Hauck Stoner was the wife of Bert Stoner. In the early 1900s, they left Fort Wayne, Indiana, and homesteaded in the Dunoir Valley west of Dubois, Wyoming. But one homestead was not enough to make a living. They acquired a second one in the valley with Bert living on one and Ella on

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Census sabotage?

“It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a successful decennial census for municipalities across our nation,” reads the first sentence of a letter sent to the Trump administration February 8 by a bipartisan group of 161 mayors.

The census is a more important part of national life than many people realize. It determines how many congressional representatives each state gets,

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When the pendulum swings…

When it comes to cooking fresh lobster, the Swiss are now saying: We feel your pain. A law takes effect March 1 that bans the common cooking method of tossing a live lobster into a pot of boiling water, quickly killing the tasty crustacean. That practice is being outlawed because the Swiss say that it’s cruel and that lobsters can sense pain. The first such

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Manure management

by Meryl Rygg McKenna

 

Fifty years ago, in diversified farming areas where cattle and grain crops co-existed on a relatively small scale, it was common to see a tractor pulling a manure spreader, fertilizing fields. Now, it is more common to see dry granular commercial fertilizers being applied by large trucks or tractor-drawn spreaders.

Given the large number of livestock

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Bill introduced to alleviate air emissions reporting mandate on animal ag…

Nebraska Cattlemen applauds Senator Deb Fischer for introducing Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM). IF PASSED, this bill would waive new federal reporting requirements for air emissions generated from animal waste. The law in question—the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), more commonly known as Superfund— provides for the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous waste.  Superfund sites require

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Life insurance for the ag family

By Chris Nolt

 

Life insurance can serve a number of purposes for the ag family. Besides providing for the continuation of income in the event of a breadwinner’s death, life insurance can:

Provide cash for the payment of debts, funeral expenses, probate fees, medical expenses, estate taxes, etc. Having cash to pay these expenses may prevent heirs from being forced

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Lone Tree Foods…

By Kerry Hoffschneider 

Know your rancher and farmer.

It’s a phrase making its way across the nation.

There’s the phrase, and then there’s actually making it happen. Justin Jones is doing just that as General Manager for Lone Tree Foods (LTF) and owner/ operator of his own 20-acre farm where he runs his business, Jones Produce, and raises pastured-raised pigs.

Justin

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Silage Pits ~ Tips to decrease the chances of an accident

Here are several guidelines that can decrease the chances of having a serious accident caused by a silage avalanche:

* Bunker silos and drive-over piles should not be filled higher than the unloading equipment can reach safely. Typically, an unloader can reach a height of 12 to 14 feet.

* Use proper unloading techniques, which include shaving silage down the feedout face.

*

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