Livestock Predators, Beef Checkoff, Land Banking Interim Policy Set at MSGA MidYear Convention

by Kayla Sargent

In a series of committee meetings on Thursday, MSGA moved forward with four new interim policies.

Predators were widely addressed in the Land Use and Environment Committee meeting.  Two interim policies introduced in the committee centered around wolves and grizzly bears.

The Southeast Montana Livestock Association introduced policy to declare wolves in Montana Regions 6 & 7 a predator.  Ty

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Brucellosis a Key Discussion at MSGA MidYear Possible Changes to DSA on Horizon

By Kayla Sargent

Hosted in Beaverhead County, part of the Brucellosis designated survelliance area (DSA), the MSGA MidYear Convention devoted much discussion to the disease and its effects on Montana’s ranchers.  Dr. Langston D. Hull, DVM, PhD, USDA APHIS Director – Cattle Health Center flew to the state to specifically address the issue with stakeholders.

“Brucellosis is the real reason I came

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Senate Farm Bill Heads to Floor A Timely Passage Still Possible

By Kayla Sargent

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 by a 20-1 vote.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-KS) voted against the bill because he hoped to see a program payment limitation amendment but failed to get it considered in the Committee due to “procedural problems”.  He plans to offer the amendment on the Senate floor.

Commonly referred to as

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Trade, ELD and Grizzlies on the Docket MT Farm Bureau Summer Conference Covers Array of Issues

Whether agricultural concerns revolve around livestock health issues, the farm bill, noxious weeds or taxes, members of the Montana Farm Bureau (MFB) advisory committees had plenty to visit about during the organization’s summer conference, June 12-14 at Fairmont Hot Springs. More than 170 members met to discuss issues and develop Farm Bureau policy for 2019.

Mountain State Legal Foundation President William

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Beef Industry Showcase, Start to Finish 2018 YCC Offers Nationwide Tour

Young Cattlemen’s Conference class of 2018 consisted of 61 individuals from across the U.S. Participants toured various faucets of the beef industry from Denver to D.C.

By Bailey McKay

The 2018 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) gave 61 individuals from across the U.S. the chance to spend 10 days touring a showcase of various faucets of the beef industry. The YCC graduates

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2019 NILE Merit Heifer Application Available

The Legacy Carries on with the 2019 NILE Merit Heifer Program

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 2018-2019 year.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live, female cow. The objective

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Sage-Grouse Habitat Project Will Remove More Than Half a Million Acres of Encroaching Juniper

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management signed the Record of Decision for the Bruneau-Owyhee Sage-Grouse Habitat Project. This Decision authorizes the removal of encroaching western juniper on 617,000 acres in a 1.67 million-acre area of sagebrush-steppe habitat in Owyhee County. The project was developed in collaboration with the Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation, Idaho Department of

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A Regenerative Farming Family Father Makes Big Changes on Farm to Remain Independent

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Colleen Fulton’s speech, entitled “Regenerative Ag”, won a Gold Medal in the Public Speaking Competition at both the Nebraska District FFA and State FFA Convention competitions this year.  However long before Colleen achieved these awards, her father, Kevin Fulton, went on an agricultural journey that led him to convert to a re

Colleen Fulton, Kevin’s daughter, was a

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NCBA Pleased with Introduction of the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Kevin Kester issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act in the U.S. Senate:

“The NCBA and the producers we represent are glad to see another bipartisan effort designed to provide much-needed relief for livestock haulers. The Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act requires the Secretary of the Department of

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Farm Bureau Files Brief Supporting Water Rule Opponents

The American Farm Bureau Federation, together with a broad coalition of other farm and business groups, has filed a brief in support of 13 states—including Montana— challenging the EPA’s 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule before a federal district court in North Dakota.

“We don’t mind rules as long as we know what they are and they don’t keep changing

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“The Running of the Bulls”, Rancher Style

By Lindsey Habets

This day happens once a year. I’m thankful that it’s not more than that. I gotta say, this is probably my least favorite task. Bringing the bulls home from their winter slumber to sort and turn out with cows – kicking off breeding season.

It’s always a struggle when dealing with pecking orders and old cranky bulls. They’re always

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Last Chance to Complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire is June 15, 2018. Farmers and ranchers who have not responded by June 15, still have until the end of July

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Retaliatory Tariffs Target American Agricultural Goods

Last Thursday, the Trump Administration announced its intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

The tariffs went into effect that night at midnight.

The tariffs were originally announced in March, and particularly aimed at China, a country that has engaged in unfair trade practices, including

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On Tuesday, June 5, the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington granted summary judgment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a lawsuit filed by R-CALF USA and the Cattle Producers of Washington (CPoW).  The lawsuit alleged that the USDA was unlawfully allowing imported beef to be both sold to consumers without a country of origin label and

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Petition Filed Prohibit Foreign Meat From Being Labeled “Product of U.S.A.”

The American Grassfed Association (AGA) and the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed a petition with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) demanding FSIS policy be changed to ensure only U.S. domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of U.S.A.”

The current policy allows foreign meat to be imported into the United States and

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Farm Groups Call for Disqualification of Ohio Beef Council from Checkoff Program

A federally-recognized state agency has been utilizing farmers’ tax dollars to influence policy and elections, in violation of both state and federal law. June 1, farm groups joined together to call for the disqualification of that agency, Ohio Beef Council (OBC), from collecting and spending the federally-mandated tax assessments. The assessments, paid by farmers every time they sell a head

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U.S., Canadian Farm Groups Support Strong Trading Partnership

The leaders of the U.S. National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) in a joint statement today urged Canadian and U.S. officials to preserve the strong, longstanding trade relationship between the two countries.

CFA President Ron Bonnett and NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“American and Canadian farmers and ranchers have long enjoyed a positive and

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Breeding Season: Stretch It Out Then Cut It Short

By John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

A few years ago, I wrote an article about shortening the breeding season titled “Utilize the K.I.S.S. Method!” The acronym used in the title of that article referred to my preference for the appropriate length of the beef cattle calving season and imminent breeding season, “Keep It Short and Sweet!” In this article,

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13 Year Old Kelsey Vandeberghe Earns Junior Bronze and Silver Awards

Kelsey Vandeberghe

Kelsey Vandeberghe, Cleveland, ND, has earned the National Junior Angus Association’s (NJAA) Bronze and Silver awards, according to Jaclyn Upperman, education and events director of the American Angus Association in Saint Joseph, MO.

The 13-year-old daughter of Paul and Lori Vandeberghe – owner and operators at Vandeberghe’s Flying V Angus – is a member of the NJAA and the

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Scarce Water Resources Pose Worldwide Threat: Speaker at Sandhills Cattle Association Says ‘Water is the New Oil’

John Winkler, General Manager of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District speaks to SCA convention attendees following his presentation.


By Kerry Hoffschneider


The 79th Annual Sandhills Cattle Association (SCA) Convention took place recently at the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine, Neb.  The topic that rose to the top – water is the new oil.

The SCA was organized in the late 1930s

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MT Sportsmen Group Offers Aid to Ranchers

Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (MTSFW) has announced a $20,000 donation to the USDA Wildlife Services to help the agency with their efforts to reduce wolf and grizzly bear damage to livestock.

“We are pleased to assist Wildlife Services by augmenting their fiscal resources as they struggle with the additional operational demands from more grizzly bear conflicts. This funding to Wildlife

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Wild Horse and Burro ‘Online Corral’ Connects Americans with Adoptable Animals

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the launch of the Wild Horse and Burro “Online Corral”—a new website focused on connecting the American public with wild horses and burros available for adoption or purchase.

This announcement is part of the BLM’s effort to confront a growing overpopulation of wild horses and burros on public rangelands and in taxpayer-funded off-range facilities.

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USDA Providing $8.89 Million for Risk Management Education Applications Now Being Accepted

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced the availability of $8.89 million for risk management education and training programs. The funding will allow organizations such as universities, county cooperative extension offices, and nonprofit organizations to develop training and educational tools to help farmers and ranchers learn how to effectively manage long-term risks and challenges.

Interested organizations may

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Sandhills Cattle Association Convention Highlights Nebraska Ag State Certified Beef on the Horizon

Matt Habrock, Assistant Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Mat Habrock, Assistant Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture said Nebraska is currently in the development stages of a Certified Beef from Nebraska program.  This is being designed as a Process Verified Program (PVP) that will certify cattle are born and raised in Nebraska.

The goal is full traceability to

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Farmer Groups Express Concern with Potential Trade War

Family Farmers Likely the First Casualty if Trump Administration Provokes Global Trade War

In a move that has already provoked retaliatory measures, the Trump administration announced its intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.

National Farmers Union (NFU) has long advocated fair and transparent trade

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Richard Fordyce to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). In his role, Fordyce will provide leadership for FSA and its mission to support agricultural production across America, through a network of over 2,100 county and 50 state offices.

“As a fourth-generation farmer,

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R-CALF USA Urges Administration to Stay at NAFTA Table Don’t Accept Skinny NAFTA

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement regarding reports that President Trump’s trade negotiators may accept a “Skinny NAFTA.”

“We urge President Trump to stay at the NAFTA negotiating table until all the deficiencies in that agreement are corrected. If those deficiencies that allow Canada and Mexico to maintain persistent and substantial price depressing trade surpluses cannot be corrected,

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When It Rains, It Pours

The long winter and plentiful spring rains are making for some interesting flooding scenes.  Be sure to share your best shots with us.

While the moisture is a blessing for many, our thoughts are with those in the way of damaging floods.

Here is a photo from the Schroder Ranch at Harlem, MT.

“Here is an April picture from the Milk River

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Stealing (Federalizing) Montana and Other State Waters…

By Elaine D. Willman, MPA

There is an enormous threat to the farm and cattle community coming to Western States. I recently identified ten major legal flaws of a proposed Tribal Water Compact and identified them as the principle beliefs of Montana Senator Jon Tester. I would also include that these beliefs are supported by Montana Governor Steven Bullock, Attorney General

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Former Top Official Deserves Rebuffing by Supreme Court in Wyoming Land Grab Case

Rural Wyoming farmers freed from an illegal EPA decree by a federal appeals court ruling urge the U.S. Supreme Court to reject petitions filed by powerful Washington, D.C. law firms.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation urged the Supreme Court of the United States to deny a petition filed by a former top official of the Obama administration, now with one of

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Public Lands Council Calls for Project Proposals to Strengthen Federal Lands Ranching 

The Public Lands Council (PLC) launched a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects designed to strengthen the long-term viability of the public lands ranching industry. Funded by the PLC Endowment Trust, the RFP calls for submissions that address key issues facing federal lands ranchers. Desired project themes include:

Generating current, relevant data on the public perception and misconceptions amongst suburban/urban

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No Farms, No Food, No Future

AFT Releases New Report on the Loss of Farmland

American Farmland Trust (AFT) released the most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranchland. “Farms Under Threat: The State of America’s Farmland” sounds a stark warning.  The loss of farmland is serious and will accelerate unless we take action.

“Farmland is critical infrastructure, akin to roads and bridges,”

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Comment Period Closes for USCA’s Truthful Labeling Petition

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to every producer, consumer, and organization who raised their voice in support of Petition 18-01 submitted to the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) earlier this year.  The comment period closed on Thursday, May 17th.

“USCA is confident that USDA FSIS will consider the petition and all

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China Drops Investigations, Top Market of Sorghum Reopens

The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China announced it has terminated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into U.S. sorghum.  The temporary anti-dumping deposit collected will be returned in full, stating these measures do not serve public interest.

“National Sorghum Producers (NSP) is gratified by this announcement and this quick result, which is a win for China and a

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Fiscal Year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Approved by Committee

The House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations bill on a vote of 31-20.

The bill funds important agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development and farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs.

Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $23.27 billion, which is

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Montana Senate Race Series One Last Thought: CSKT Water Compact

by Kayla Sargent


As the primary elections loom ahead, the four Republican Senate candidates vying for the seat to take on Senator Jon Tester gave us one last bit of insight critical to Montanans, their thoughts on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Water Compact.


The CSKT Water Compact has been one of the more controversial water battles in the state

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Fox News’ Tomi Lahren Gains Nationwide Attention for AG ‘Final Thoughts’ on COOL Viewed Nearly 1 Million Times

Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren calls on President Donald Trump to reinstate mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef in her popular segment, “Tomi Lahren’s Final Thoughts” aired on Fox News Insider.

In calling upon Trump to reinstate COOL for beef, Lahren said, “Made in the USA used to mean something and under this America First president, it can mean

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Pete Peterson’s Lifelong Love of Horses Part Five: Draft Horses

Mary With Dexter on her lap and Pete with the reins.

By Heather Smith Thomas


When Pete Peterson decided to get draft horses, at age 70, and build his own covered wagon, he bought a team of Percheron mares.

“We called them his brunettes,” his wife Mary said. “Donna and Dora were the first two. Dolly is a younger mare that took

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Western Ag Reporter Adds McKay to Team

Marysville, Kansas native Bailey McKay recently joined the Western Ag Reporter production team.

McKay grew up in Kansas and Nebraska on her families Hereford operation, GLM Herefords, as well as long time Angus breeder, TC Ranch. She has managed the website, social media, and marketing for GLM Herefords since high school. Upon graduation of Valley Heights High School, she continued her

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Secretaries Perdue & Zinke Join to Combat 2018 Wildfire Season

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke hosted a fire briefing for Members of Congress at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to hear the forecast for this year’s wildfire season.

Following the meeting, the secretaries sent a memorandum to wildland fire leadership highlighting the importance of inter-departmental collaboration to increase firefighter, public, and community safety

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Pete Peterson’s lifelong love of horses Part Four: Never too old

By Heather Smith Thomas

About 2002, Pete took on a new hobby: draft horses.

“Horses were in my blood. Even when I was working other jobs, I had horses,” Pete said. He was in the Quarter Horse business for quite some time, raising some good horses.

“My goal for when I retired was to have a small place and draft horses

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Western Ag Reporter Adds Bollum to Team as Field Editor

Will Bollum has accepted the position of Field Editor for Western Ag Reporter.  Bollum will cover North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Will Bollum, Western Ag Reporter Field Editor – North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota

Bollum grew up on a Limousin-based cow-calf operation in Northfield, Minnesota.   After graduation from Northfield High School, Bollum continued his education at North Dakota State University

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Where’s the Beef? NAFTA Negotiators Have the Opportunity to Answer

The Administration stated this week that they are working toward a deal with Canada and Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to be released by the end of the month.

“In 2017, I testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C. to discuss the unique trade challenges the U.S. livestock industry has faced over

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Cattle operation losses from wildfires exceed $26 million

Estimated cattle operation losses from the April wildfires that raged across parts of western Oklahoma exceed $26 million, based on available information.

“More than 348,000 acres burned causing a wide variety of losses to livestock, pastures, hay, fences and facilities,” Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist, said.

Estimated cattle industry losses in Oklahoma include:

$16.4 million for fence replacement

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Bill Introduced to Allow Local Meat Products to be Sold Across State Lines

Bill would open up new markets for small producers and processers

U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act. The bipartisan bill would allow meat and poultry products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines.

“The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat

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One Man’s Love for Livestock Spurs Numerous Careers

By Kerry Hoffschneider

There is a portrait drawn of the late Louis Dubas hanging on the wall of the Dubas Cattle Company office.  Behind that wall, Louis and Florence’s son, Gene Dubas,is answering phone calls about cattle and cattle chutes.

In front of the office is Dubas’ cousin, Derek Dubas.  He too, is on the phone, managing delivery

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Plant ID? There’s an app for that.

Montanans can now turn to their phones for help in identifying weeds, insects, and crop diseases.

Schutter Diagnostic Lab Director and MSU Extension Plant PathologistMary Burrowssaid the new phone app provides an additional tool to Montanans who might otherwise text, email or send samples through the mail to the Schutter Diagnostic Lab at Montana State (MSU).

Find the app by searching for “Plant

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Farmer Groups Praise Year-Round E15 Sales

Upon convening the final scheduled meeting on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the future of the biofuel industry, farmer groups weighed in on the discussions.

The meeting concluded with an agreement to allow year-round use of E15 gasoline, impose a limit on RFS ‘hardship waivers’ being handed out to refiners, and the possibility that RIN credits – the ‘currency’ of

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ASI Requests Additional Data on Lamb in Cold Storage 

The American Sheep Industry Association submitted a letter this week to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) requesting more information on the supply of lamb in cold storage in the United States.

“The monthly frozen stocks data reported for lamb is vital information for the lamb industry,” ASI President Mike Corn stated in the letter. “As the

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American Hereford Association to Release “Maternal Advantage” Program Benefitting Commercial Cattlemen

The American Hereford Association (AHA) is proud to introduce the Maternal Advantage program – a genetically verified program that will be used to identify premium replacement females.

This new, female-focused program is designed to take advantage of hybrid vigor by capitalizing on Hereford genetics. It has been documented that Hereford genetics maximize the value of a herd by leveraging its fertility,

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Know a Rancher Deserving Recognition?

Nominations Open For Environmental Stewardship Program

The Montana Environmental Stewardship committee has opened nominations for their 2019 award. Ranchers can be nominated for the award before June 1 at  Any Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) member who is working to leave the land better for the next generation would be an ideal candidate.  The ESAP is an opportunity to honor Montana

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Wait! Wait! Is Your Pasture Ready to Graze?

By Bethany Johnston
Nebraska Extension Educator, Beef Systems

The last year has been difficult to manage for pasture health and production. First, some rangelands are recovering from poor precipitation received during last year’s growing season. Now, cool weather this spring lowered the average soil temperature.

While cool-season grasses break winter dormancy when the soil temperature is a few degrees above freezing,

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Farmer’s Share of Retail Food Dollar Hits New Low

To demonstrate the decline in net farm income over the past five years, NFU produced an infographic comparing NFU Farmer’s Share figures in April 2014 to those in April 2018. The comparisons show the Farmer’s Share declining by up to 50 percent for five popular food items.

For every dollar consumers spend on food, the farmer receives just 14.8 cents, according to

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Pete Peterson’s lifelong love of horses ~ Part Three: Hard knocks & blessings

By Heather Smith Thomas

Pete Peterson has had some hard knocks during his life. Besides many personal accidents and injuries, he suffered great losses with his family.

Pete and Nadine married in October, 1950 and had two little boys, Jim and Ed. On July 15, 1958, Jim and Ed – ages 5 and 7 – climbed up into the barn loft and

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USDA Designates 2 Counties in Colorado as Primary Natural Disaster Areas  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Mesa and Otero counties in Colorado as  primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought.

Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are:

Bent, Delta, Gunnison, Las Animas, Pitkinm, Crowley, Garfield, Kiowa, Montrose, Pueblo

Farmers and ranchers in

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Secretary Perdue To Allow Modified FMD Virus Onto U.S. Mainland Under Specific Conditions for Vaccine Development

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has authorized the movement of a modified, non-infectious version of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to the U.S. mainland for the purposes of continued vaccine development and study.  While modified FMD virus is unable to cause disease and presents no risk of transmitting the disease, it

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Nearly 200 Feral Horses Perish in Arizona

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez traveled to Tuba City, AZ on May 2 to address a situation where approximately 191 feral horses were found dead in a stock pond in Gray Mountain due to drought and famine.

“This tragic incident exemplifies the problem the Navajo Nation faces in an overpopulation of feral horses,” President Begaye said.

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Dillon, MT to host Stockgrowers’ MidYear Meeting

The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s (MSGA) Midyear Meeting will be held in Dillon, Mont. June 14-15. MidYear is one of two major meetings MSGA holds annually where members gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the year.

“Please join us for an unforgettable summer convention in Dillon.  It’s time to show southwest Montana

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Learn about eastern Montana agriculture during YF&R Ag Tour in Sidney

Ever wander around a sugar beet factory? Want to learn about the controversy surrounding the Lower Yellowstone Intake Diversion Dam?

Plan to take part in the Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Regional Ag Tour June 1-2 in Sidney, MT.

The tour kicks off mid-Friday afternoon and includes tours of the Sidney Sugar Beet Factory, Meadowlark Brewing, Safflower Technologies, Eastern Ag

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BLM Extending Comment Period on APR Bison Proposal

Approximately 400 people attended the scoping meetings about the American Prairie Reserve’s (APR) grazing permit change proposal. The four meetings were held by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The strong attendance clearly indicated the level of interest in the proposal APR submitted to BLM asking to modify grazing permits.

“The BLM thanks the public for taking part in the scoping meetings.

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Cattlemen Invite President Trump and Vice President Pence to Survey Wildfire Damage in Oklahoma

“We lost some cows and calves that didn’t make it through the fence in time to get away from the fire. It was an extremely fast moving fire,” Dallas Henderson of Elmore City, OK said.

On April 25, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) invited President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to

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Coalition Responds to Delivery of Wild Horse and Burro Report to Congress

On April 27, the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition (NHBRMC) released the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) submission of “Management Options for a Sustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program” to Congress:

“We are pleased that the DOI has submitted their report to Congress regarding the dire overpopulation of wild horses and burros on

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MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Matt Rosendale

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

Montana’s current State

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Pete Peterson’s lifelong love of horses ~ Part Two: Early Jobs & Hunting Camps

By Heather Smith Thomas

Pete Peterson left home at the young age of 11 and stayed with several different ranch families on the Judith and Missouri Rivers in central Montana while he worked for them.

“In later years, I often wondered why I left because I didn’t have any problems at home. I attended many little country schools in the

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Fifth-generation Rancher Chosen to Attend National Conference

The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation (MSF) has selected Katelyn Dynneson, Sidney, MT, to represent the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) at the Young Cattlemen’s Conference this year.

The Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), held May 30 – June 7, is an opportunity for cattlemen and cattlewomen, between the ages of 25 and 50, to visit segments of the beef industry in other regions of the nation

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World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, June 9 Special Highlight Show to Air on RFD-TV, June 25

Bloomington Livestock Exchange, Bloomington, WI, will host the 2018 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) on Saturday, June 9. The 55th annual WLAC will take place in conjunction with the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) Annual Convention in Dubuque, Iowa.

For the WLAC title, 31 semi-finalist auctioneers will compete in auctioneering and interview contests. The auctioneering contest will take place during a live

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LMA discussed need for Dealer Statutory Trust, transportation concerns at D.C. Fly In

Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) members and staff traveled to Washington D.C. for the 13th Annual LMA D.C. Fly In.  Approximately 35 people met with leaders in D.C. on issues that matter to the livestock marketing industry.

Discussion centered on the need to pass H.R. 4058, the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act – creating a Dealer Statutory Trust to protect unpaid

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EHM confirmed in Bowman County horse

Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM) has been confirmed in a well-known Bowman County barrel-racing horse. The horse became notably ill on Thursday, April 19. The disease rapidly progressed, and the horse was euthanized that same day.

Horses exposed to the positive horse within 72 hours prior to the onset of clinical illness have been quarantined. Owners of other horses that may have

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Nominations Sought for Idaho Young Cattle Producer Conference

University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association are excited to announce that participant nominations for the 2ndAnnual Young Cattle Producer Conference are open.

The Idaho Young Cattle Producer Conference (YCC) is being held to provide young cattle producers an opportunity to receive in-depth education on the cattle industry in Idaho. Participating in this conference will provide valuable tools that

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America’s farmers just want the government to give them a fighting chance


“We’ll make it up to them. The farmers will be better off than they ever were. … It could be very quick, actually.”

 That’s how President Trumpresponded, on April 9, to media questions about how he will protect farmers and ranchers from backlash against his aggressive trade policies — and in

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China Imposes Preliminary Anti-Dumping Tariff on U.S. Sorghum

The U.S. sorghum industry faced very difficult news on April, 17, when China announced a preliminary anti-dumping ruling against U.S. sorghum, imposing a 178.6 percent tariff that went into effect Wednesday, April, 18.

This is part of China’s ongoing investigations into anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, which were announced February 4, 2018. No ruling has been made yet on

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Marfrig acquisition of National Beef… Ag Committee Senators call for National Security Review

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, joined Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the proposed purchase of National Beef Packing Co. by a Brazilian meat company.

On April 9, Brazil’s Marfrig Global

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Jay Bodner Named Interim Executive Vice President of MSGA

Montana Stockgrowers Association Director of Natural Resources Jay Bodner has been named the interim Executive Vice President upon the resignation of Errol Rice. Jay Bodner has served in his current capacity for the past sixteen years.

For twelve years, Rice tirelessly led the organization.  His leadership and vision will be missed. Rice has accepted a position with a Montana based firm that

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Pete Peterson’s lifelong love of horses – Part One: The early years

By Heather Smith Thomas

Born in 1932 in Stanford, Montana, Pete Peterson grew up around horses. “That’s all we had during the Great Depression for transportation and farm work. I’ve spent most of my life in central and northern Montana and a little bit of time in eastern Montana. I’ve lived mainly in the area from Lewistown to Great

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BeefTalk: Grass Calving: Which Cattle Producer Are You? Opportunities make the grass-born calf a very real option.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service

Reflection is a good thing.

Reflection helps put our decisions in perspective relative to our lives, our work, our community, and our world.

This spring’s weather has caused many to reflect on when to calve. The many forays of winter into spring this year have moved the sincerity of the question

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NAMA Honors NCBA’s Kendal Frazier with 2018 Ag Association Leader of the Year Award

The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) has named Kendal Frazier, Chief Executive Officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), as the inaugural Ag Association Leader of the Year.

This award recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence among senior executives who have made significant contributions to the agriculture industry in their roles with association or commodity organizations. Frazier will be honored during the

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MT Senate candidate interviews: A visit with Dr. Al Olszewski…

Since Montana’s Senate seat is up for reelection this year, we contacted each candidate and provided them with a forum to present their opinions on some of the hottest topics in our industry.  Over the next few weeks, we will introduce each Republican candidate in preparation for the primary election on June 5, 2018.

by Kayla Sargent

Dr. Al

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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,, 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 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 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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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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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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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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