Feds halts Wyoming wild horse roundup amid dispute

The U.S. government has agreed to halt a Wyoming wild horse roundup amid a legal dispute over whether it should count foals toward the roundup quota. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and roundup opponents agreed in a court filing October 10 that the roundup would stop at 1,560 horses of all ages, a number the BLM was set

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When is a lamb a lamb?

By Zack Goggins

 

Although this news doesn’t particularly affect our U.S. sheep market, it comes with a good message for the industry in general as it seems global sheep markets are outgrowing their current models.

Little to my knowledge, countries around the globe have different industry standard definitions of what qualifies a sheep as being a lamb. If you follow news in

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MT FSA: low interest emergency physical loss loans available for two counties…

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steven Peterson announced that physical loss loans are available for two counties in Montana. Farm operators who have suffered major physical losses caused by multiple wildfires that occurred on July 15, 2017, and continuing, may be eligible for emergency loans. This Administrator’s Physical Loss Notification has been issued for Mineral and Missoula Counties

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Yahoo! You sent in $51,000! Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Relief Fund

Yahoo! You sent in $51,000!
Out of the bad comes the good…
Garfield County Fire Relief Fund

Thanks to all you generous folks who sent their money to me to add to the Stockman Bank fund to help ranchers rebuild after the awful Lodgepole Complex fires earlier this summer – at press time, I have received 112 checks totaling an even $51,000 from

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Keystone Hereford champions named

JTH SC Playmaker 22C ET was named Supreme Champion bull at the 2017 Keystone International Livestock Exposition National Hereford Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. SULL Diana 6993D ET, earned the Champion Hereford female honor. Daniel Fawcett, Ree Heights, SD, judged the 107-head Hereford show on October 6.

The Champion bull, JTH SC Playmaker 22C ET, was exhibited by Lowderman Cattle Company, Macomb,

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2017 YALC

By Anne Indreland

 

Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s 2017 Young Ag Leadership Conference (YALC) kicked off on Friday, October 16 in Helena, Montana. Attendees were treated to some fun area ag tours with stops at Tizer Meats and Lewis & Clark Brewery. The tours wrapped up with a visit with Montana Department of Livestock Executive Director Mike Honeycutt at the Capitol Building.

As attendees continued

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Idaho’s Beckstead Jersey Farm

 

By Heather Smith Thomas

 

Dee Beckstead and his three brothers — Robert, Layne, and James — and their father Marcel have been dairying with Jersey cows near Clifton, Idaho, on the Utah border since 1976. “We moved here from the Salt Lake valley area where my father had a dairy. He grew up there on his father’s dairy and has been

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USFRA offers high school curriculum

Teachers and high school students can get a first-hand look at farming — thanks to a new curriculum introduced by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA). The Discovering Farmland curriculum uses the award-winning documentary, “Farmland,” a film by James Moll, as a foundation. It presents high school students a first-hand glimpse into agriculture through the eyes of six young farmers

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Nitrate toxicity in beef cattle

Elevated nitrate concentrations can be found in forages that have been grown under stress, such as severe drought conditions. Nitrate toxicity is caused by animals consuming feeds and water that have elevated levels of nitrate or nitrite. Care should be taken when feeding cattle cereal grains/ hay, corn stalks, orchardgrass, and other feeds known to contain high nitrate levels.

Nitrate is not toxic

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Horse syndications are coming back

By John Alan Cohan

Attorney at Law

The Tax Court has recognized that horse racing or breeding is a highly speculative venture, but that “an opportunity to earn a substantial ultimate profit in a highly speculative venture is ordinarily sufficient to indicate that the activity is engaged in for-profit even though losses or only occasional small profits are

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Jerry Effertz selected as NDSA’s Top Hand

Velva, North Dakota, cattleman Jerry Effertz received the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s (NDSA) highest honor, the Top Hand Award, at the annual convention in Fargo, ND, last month. He joined an exclusive class of 20 cattle ranchers who have received this elite award over the organization’s 88-year history. “The Top Hand Award recognizes those individuals who have given unselfishly of

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Neighbors helping neighbors…

SweetPro and Agri-Best Feeds teamed up to offer ranchers in drought areas of Montana an $80/ton discount on SweetPro between July 15 and September 1. Ranchers across the region took advantage of the drought relief discount, and Agri-Best Feeds delivered over 1,060 tons of SweetPro directly to ranches suffering from D2 or higher drought, which brought the total drought contribution

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Journalism: An activist’s tool

By John L. Moore

 

At 17 years of age, the summer before my senior year in high school, the local paper, the Miles City Star, called and offered me a position as a cub reporter. I helped my family finish cattle work and then went to work in a newsroom of professionals. The city editor, Gordie Spear, was a five-time Montana

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Reasons to eat beans…

By Barbara Quinn

Besides the fact that this is bean harvest season, it’s a good time to think about incorporating this highly-nutritious and health-promoting food into our meal plans.

Beans are legumes — plants with seeds split into two halves. (Peanuts are legumes as well.) I was surprised to learn that dry beans — like pinto, black, and great northern beans —

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Ag employees… Hiring and firing do’s and don’ts

The laws surrounding hiring and firing farm employees are complex, which leads to a great deal of misunderstanding among employers about what they can and should do when in these situations. What type of investigation should an employer conduct into a potential hire? What forms should a new employee complete? When can an employer fire an employee? How does an

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Hire the attitude, and teach the skills…

By Kayla Sargent

In our rapidly changing world, how can young people prepare themselves for a career in agriculture? There are many different answers to this question, but the assets they have to have seem to always remain the same: an open-minded attitude, a decent education, a good work ethic, and solid experience are important factors in earning a

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Wildfires…

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there were 23 active, large wildfires burning over 1 million acres in the West as of the end of last week (September 29). Wildfires thus far in 2017 have scorched 8,446,055 acres. Firefighters in the West have had some help from recent cooler temperatures, snow, and rain, which has slowed or stopped the

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Moving Cows

By Bob Budd

 

For the life of me, I can’t see where this romantic notion of cattle drives and moving cows came from. In the movies there is camaraderie, romance, floods, poisoned water holes, gorings, gunfights, and Comancheros. In real life, there is only misery and strife.

Consider the components needed to take a platoon of cattle on maneuvers. First,

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund

 

Thanks to all you generous folks who sent their money to me to add to the Stockman Bank fund to help ranchers rebuild after the awful Lodgepole Complex fires earlier this summer – at press time, I have received 109 checks totaling $49,515 from generous folks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana,

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God was too busy…

Editor’s note: This is one of those cyberspace things that’s not necessarily true but suits us anyway. LG

A United States Marine was taking some college courses between assignments. He had completed eight missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU. One day the

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Some puns… Just for grins…

 

The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was

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REAL Montana announces Class III

Twenty current and emerging leaders from Montana’s natural resource industries have been selected to take part in Class III of REAL Montana (Resource Education & Agriculture Leadership). Class III will begin their leadership journey on September 7 at their first seminar in Bozeman. “REAL Montana continues to strengthen its mission of building a network of informed and engaged leaders to

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Ray, the Soils Guy

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Nebraska Farmer Don Gasper called Sherry Asche, Resource Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and told her they needed to have an event for farmers and ranchers featuring Ray Archuleta.

Don Gasper, a local farmer in the Boone County area, is the reason Ray came to speak recently.

Archuleta — known as “Ray, the Soils

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Rancher says trusting the process benefits riparian areas and livestock

By John Grassy

MT DNRC Public Information Officer

 

On the Endecott Ranch near Ennis, Montana, cows are number one. From calving through weaning and throughout the long, harsh winters in the Madison Valley, Janet Endecott’s Red Angus and Herefords receive the best of everything. “We’re very particular about how we work our cows,” says Janet. “They come before

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Rangeland Internship Program – Recruiting for Summer 2018

Rangeland Internship Program – Recruiting for Summer 2018 

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD), and the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are taking applications for the Rangeland Internship Program for the summer of 2018. Starting in 2013, this joint internship program was designed to offer students majoring in Rangeland Management

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Grizzly Kills Ten Head of Cattle near Dupuyer

Grizzly Kills Ten Head of Cattle near Dupuyer

A ranch about five miles west of Dupuyer, Montana lost ten calves earlier this week to grizzly bears.

The cattle were located in a creek bottom with thick willow cover. Specialists from USDA Wildlife Services, working in coordination with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ (FWP) bear specialist, confirmed a grizzly was the cause of

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The Power and Purpose of Property Rights

Bill and Susan Dunavan standing on a portion of their property that would be impacted by the Keystone XL. The couple said TransCanada earned their distrust and that is why they have been fighting the foreign company for nine years with fellow impacted landowners and others

The Power and Purpose of Property Rights

Dunavans fight Keystone XL from rural McCool Junction,

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Columbia Grain eyes Plentywood pea and lentil market for major investment

Columbia Grain eyes Plentywood pea and lentil market for major investment

Convinced that Montana peas and lentils are here to stay, Columbia Grain says it will build a large pulse crop processing plant near Plentywood.  The Oregon-based company said last week it will be able to double the amount of peas and lentils it currently takes from 150 area farmers.

Montana has

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Livestock producers reminded of anthrax danger

Livestock producers reminded of anthrax danger

North Dakota’s state veterinarian said that the state’s first reported case of anthrax this year is a reminder to livestock producers to take action to protect their animals from the disease, especially in areas with a past history of the disease. The case, in Sioux County, was confirmed on the morning of September 21, 2017

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Pima Medical Institute’s First Veterinary Technician Graduating Class Passes Licensing Exam

Pima Medical Institute is proud to announce its first cohort of veterinary technician associate degree graduates has passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).

“It went really well. All of our students passed,” said Veterinary Technician Program Director Jan Winderl, DMV. “Passing this exam is important. It will help them get hired, and only certified technicians can do certain tasks, such

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Montanans testify at final state hearing on radioactive oil waste rules

Montanans testify at final state hearing on radioactive oil waste rules

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held the final of two public hearings on draft rules to oversee the disposal of radioactive oil waste in Montana on September 20, 2017. Many proponents called for strengthening the rules, and no one testified in opposition to them.

Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC) members, some

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HOW TO HANDLE DONATED HAY

HOW TO HANDLE DONATED HAY

Written by Tim Fine, Extension Agent

 

Growing up, I heard the expression “you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” on more than one occasion and I try to abide by those words of wisdom.

For those of you not familiar with the term, in a round-about way, it means that if someone is willing to give

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Emergency Nutrition

Emergency Nutrition

By Barbara Quinn

I have vivid memories of helping friends who experienced heartbreaking floods in our community several years ago. One especially exhausting day of trying to salvage what we could from water-soaked lives was interrupted with the precious sight of Red Cross volunteers driving through the neighborhood offering sandwiches and beverages. It was a meal I will never forget.

Unexpected

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The Honest Horse Trader

The Honest Horse Trader
(Editor’s note: Now there’s an oxymoron if there ever was one!)

By Floyd Lewis, Jr.

My father, Floyd Sr., liked draft horses. He farmed with them, trained them, and occasionally bought and sold them. This story took place about 1938 when he had acquired a big, beautiful red roan gelding that he worked alternately with one of the horses

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Public Comment Invited on Proposal to Benefit Landowners, Grassland Birds and Greater Sage-Grouse in Montana

Public Comment Invited on Proposal to Benefit Landowners, Grassland Birds and Greater Sage-Grouse in Montana

A new, voluntary wildlife conservation opportunity designed with Montana ranchers in mind is now open for public comment, and the benefits to five species of birds in need could be remarkable.

Interested landowners will receive regulatory certainty for the next 20 years through a Programmatic Candidate Conservation

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Fascinating uses for sheep’s blood…

By Zack Goggins

It’s been some time since I’ve written something about the sheep industry, but some recent conversations I’ve had have inspired me to do so! Recently a college med student was speaking with me about his experience using sheep blood in a genetic research lab, using what is referred to as a “blood agar,” which is essentially

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Water in the West… Idaho’s Bear River landowners NOT happy with the threat of imminent domain and higher flood plains…

Editor’s note: Carl Wheeler from Grace, Idaho, called last week and asked that WAR give some ink to a water fight brewing in their country involving Rocky Mountain Power and the Bear River landowners. In an attempt to get us up to speed, Carl suggested we read an article in the local paper as well as an article

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No wonder your papers are late!

An investigation showing that U.S. postal workers deliberately slowed delivery of millions of mail items has Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester calling for those responsible to be fired. Tester wrote the U.S. Postmaster General on September 18 after the Office of Inspector General revealed that more than 2 billion mailed items were delayed nationwide over a year’s time. Investigators also

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Seed-certifying agencies offer assistance following Western wildfires…

Wildfires across several Western states have scorched well over 1 million acres of public and privately-owned land. (Editor’s note: In Montana alone, better than 1 million acres have burned… and the snow has not fallen yet.) In some areas, fires are still burning, and it may be several weeks before the full extent of the damage is known. Land owners

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund

Thanks to all you generous folks who sent their money to me to add to the Stockman Bank fund to help ranchers rebuild after the awful Lodgepole Complex fires earlier this summer – at press time, I have received 103 checks totaling $47,915 from generous folks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana,

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Water in the West…

Mormon pioneers believed they’d found a promised land when they arrived at the Great Salt Lake here 170 years ago and began building their community. Since then, that body of water has shrunk to a depth of about 14 feet — nearly half its former average. Under a controversial engineering plan, the lake would recede even further.

State engineers want to siphon off some

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From a Bear River landowner’s perspective…

Editor’s note: This is one well-written piece, obviously written by someone whose family has had a vested interest in the land for a long, long time. LG

By Ruth Mussler

The farms and ranches along the Bear River that are threatened by Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed changes to its operation are primarily family endeavors. They are not just

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The Top 10 terms we translate differently in the country

 

Bermuda is a grass, not a destination.
Being polled has everything to do with genetics and nothing to do with politics.
RAM is either a male sheep or a pickup.
Lodging problems have nothing to do with the inability to find a motel room.
Big Data? Sounds like it’s probably Lil’ Data’s older brother.
If somebody gets tagged, it means they had their hand in

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NNU members ‘Fly-In’ to Washington DC

On September 11, 320 members gathered in the nation’s capital for National Farmers Union’s (NFU) Fall Legislative Fly-In. The annual event allows NFU members from across the country to meet directly with lawmakers, USDA leaders, and other administration officials to discuss issues important to family farmers and ranchers. “Times are tough right now for American family farmers and ranchers,” said

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Montana Running Ranchers complete 190-mile relay…

190 miles. 29 hours, 46 minutes. 12 runners. 2 vans. 1 long night.

Those were the makings of a fun, even if exhausting, weekend for the Montana Running Ranchers. The group, consisting of ranching community members from Montana and surrounding states, recently competed at the Ragnar Relay-Colorado and finished competitively among teams from across the region.

The Running Ranchers take part in

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Family Farm Action: Unite Against Concentration

 

By Kerry Hoffschneider

 

Joe Maxwell, former Missouri Lt. Governor and fourth-generation family farmer, said that the facts are the facts and that farmers and the public need to be paying attention and unify. That’s why he is leading Family Farm Action, an organization that plans to get political and fight corporate concentration and failed governmental policies. “All farmers, all

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MT dogs being sickened by unidentified disease

A severe canine respiratory disease that hasn’t yet been identified is sickening dogs around Montana, and the state is encouraging dog owners to take precautions to protect their pets. Dr. Tahnee Szymanski, with the Department of Livestock, said the first reported case was in early July, though some veterinarians around the state saw ill dogs earlier. She estimates about 250

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Montana Eggs opens new $9 million facility

On September 12, Montana Eggs LLC announced the grand opening of its new $9 million, 58,000-square-foot egg grading facility. The new operation, located in Great Falls, MT, will process more than 280 million eggs annually from a supply of 1.2 million chickens. This will be the company’s second site in the region.

The Great Falls Montana Development Authority recognized Montana Eggs’

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AG Act, Dreamers, & DACA

By Leesa Zalesky

 

The day after President Donald Trump announced his rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) wrote a guest editorial about his plans to introduce the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act) to overhaul the guest worker program for farm laborers.

 

AG Act…

While it’s unclear at this point how

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How to count sheep

“A sheep hates to be alone,” says Paul Rodgers from the sixth generation in his family to raise sheep on the same 600 acres in the West Virginia hills. The animals cluster together when grazing, which makes them exceptionally hard to tally, especially when little lambs are underfoot. Shepherds in states like Idaho and Montana will spend whole summers in

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Montanans speak at hearing on radioactive oil waste disposal rules Comment deadline: 10/18

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on September 7 held a public hearing on draft rules to oversee the disposal of radioactive oil waste in Montana. Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC) members — some of whom are farmers, ranchers, and landowners whose water could be affected by an existing Dawson County disposal facility — have urged Montana to develop protective

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It’s not about the Pulitzer Prize… It’s about the water!

By Kerry Hoffschneider

In Art Cullen’s Storm Lake Times’ March 3, 2016, editorial, “Buena Vista is losing the public,” he wrote: “The public would appear to have made up its mind about the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against Buena Vista, Calhoun, and Sac Counties over nitrate pollution of the Raccoon River. The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll reported

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Big surprise… People cause most U.S. wildfires

 

People have triggered five out of six wildfires in the U.S. over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season and making it start earlier in the East and last longer in the West, a new study finds. Even as climate change worsens the nation’s fire season — making it longer and easier to burn more acres

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Donated hay being divided among Northern Plains ranchers

North Dakota state ag officials in the Northern Plains on September 1 were starting the process of distributing tons of hay donated from around the country to help drought-plagued ranchers in the region. It might be the last best chance for some ranchers in the Dakotas and Montana to obtain hay for the winter, with the nation’s focus turning to

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2017 Montana Fair Results

Judges:

Roger Miller, Fort Scott, KS

            All Other Breeds & Open Angus Show

Bill Disberger, Manhattan, KS

            Junior Angus & Open Jackpot Steer Show

Grand Angus Bull: Champion Angus Bull was Greens Legacy, a February 26, 2016, son of EXAR Blue Chip, shown by Green Angus, Hardin, MT.

Grand Bred and Owned

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Donald Trump… Six months into his presidency

 

By David Leonhardt

New York Times, 7/20

Today is the six-month mark of Donald Trump’s presidency, and I think it’s still correct to say that his presidency is off to the least successful start in modern times. That’s not a judgment based on his policies (although regular readers surely know I’m no fan of their content). It’s instead

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Federal court orders restoration of 23,000 acres for wild horses

 

A federal appeals court has delivered a victory to wild horse enthusiasts, ordering the U.S. Forest Service to restore 23,000 acres of critical land as protected horse country in California — and showed judges taking an increasingly dim view of agencies’ decision-making.

The government had said the land was added by “administrative error” in the 1980s and tried to erase it

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Live in Billings, MT, area? Care to lend a hand to firefighters?

 

There is a large need for such things as non-perishable food items, bottled water, socks, eye drops, hand wipes, and fuel cards. You can drop your donations off at a trailer provided by Tracey from Cleaner Q, which will be parked in the K-Mart parking lot on South 24th Street in Billings – call 406-697-4783 for details. Limited time!

 

 

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Flock Starters

L to R: Brian Hart (Hart Sheep Company), Faith Gasvoda (winner), Maclay Harris (winner), Jeannie Blackman (Blackman Columbias), Conner Klick, Luanne Wallewein (Timber Coulee Columbias), Gene Langhus (Langhus Columbias), Jordan Leach (winner), Doug Hitch, and Pat and Bev Gibbs. The Montana Columbia Sheep Breeders Association has nine members and five junior members. This small group of people put together

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund Details

 

It was decided to wait two weeks minimum to choose a leadership team to work on developing applications, identification of needs, etc., for distribution of the generous donations flowing into the Fire Relief Fund. Meanwhile, NO individual or business is authorized to encumber even one dollar of that fund. When the Fire Relief Fund team is in place, they will

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Looking for a crystal ball?

A crystal ball to see into the future may be every ag producers’ dream, and two Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are integrating a tool to give cattle producers a 90-day glimpse. The online tool being piloted by rangeland ecologists — Dr. Bill Fox and Dr. Jay Angerer at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, along with collaborators

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NDFU invests half a million in soybean processing plant

North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) announced recently that it has invested $500,000 in a soybean crushing facility and refinery to be located near Spiritwood, ND. The facility, a ND Soybean Processors’ (NDSP) project, will utilize 125,000 bushels of soybeans per day once completed. “Having a commodity processing facility like this in North Dakota is essential to helping farmers and ranchers,” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “We’ll

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Montana… Half a million acres burned, but cattle losses limited

 

In Montana, almost a half million acres have burned this summer, with more than half of the acreage coming from one wildfire. Fortunately, cattle losses have been limited, according to officials with the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA).

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that 29 wildfires are currently active in Montana with the bulk of them occurring in the western region of the

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Big surprise… Government has no clue how much land it bought with $815 million

 

Interior Department officials have no idea how much land they bought for $815 million, nor if the properties are being used for their intended purpose, a government watchdog reported August 2. The department’s officials couldn’t provide its inspector general with data about land purchase programs, the watchdog’s report said. The inspector general consequently surveyed 108 programs and found that 16 of

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Eclipses and Sweet Corn

By Barbara Quinn

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “eclipse” as “a partial or complete obscuring… of one celestial body by another.” Eclipse also means “to surpass or outshine,” as in “the total solar eclipse on August 21 eclipsed all my expectations.

Of course, the visitors and guests we welcomed to the Nebraska Sandhills made this event

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund Details

 

It was decided to wait two weeks minimum to choose a leadership team to work on developing applications, identification of needs, etc., for distribution of the generous donations flowing into the Fire Relief Fund. Meanwhile, NO individual or business is authorized to encumber even one dollar of that fund. When the Fire Relief Fund team is in place, they will

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72-year-old U.S. Navy mystery solved USS Indianapolis found

 

By Leesa Zalesky

In July 1945, the USS Indianapolis, a U.S. Navy Portland-class heavy cruiser serving as the flagship for Admiral Raymond Spruance of the Fifth Fleet in the Central Pacific during World War II and a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was dispatched on a high-speed, top secret mission to the island Tinian to deliver components

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1.2 million Texas cattle affected by Hurricane Harvey…

The 54 Texas counties declared a disaster area due to Hurricane Harvey contain over 1.2 million beef cows, according to a USDA inventory report.

“That’s 27% of the state’s cowherd,” said Dr. David Anderson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist in College Station. “That’s a conservative estimate of beef cow numbers because 14 of those counties only have cattle inventory

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It’s time to make farm supports a safety net (again)…

The Agriculture Act of 2014 is set to expire next year, which means congressional deliberations on the next farm bill are just around the corner. In a new study, R Street Policy Analyst Caroline Kitchens debunks myths promulgated by the farm lobby that a stronger “safety net” is needed for the ag industry. “By protecting farms against all manner of

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Congrats to the 2017 Montana Fair 4H Winners

Grand Champion Steer – Garrett Bromenshank – Thompson Cattle Company

Reserve Champion Steer – Edward Shay – Raw Machinery

Reserve Champion Lamb – Kolby Dietz – Family and Friends of Kolby and Lexi Dietz

Grand Champion Goat – Lexy Dietz – Maverick Show Goats and Sexy Dietz

Reserve Champion Goat – Carson Huntington – The Truck Shop, Maverick Show

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Bill Hammerich… 2017 Livestock Leader Award Honoree

 

Join the Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences for the Livestock Leader Reception to celebrate the 2017 Livestock Leader, William Hammerich. The reception will be held on Friday, September 8 from 3-5 p.m. at the Colorado State University Animal Sciences Building in Fort Collins, CO.

Bill Hammerich has served as the CEO of the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) since 2002.

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund Details

It was decided to wait two weeks minimum to choose a leadership team to work on developing applications, identification of needs, etc., for distribution of the generous donations flowing into the Fire Relief Fund. Meanwhile, NO individual or business is authorized to encumber even one dollar of that fund. When the Fire Relief Fund team is in place, they will

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Yellowstone Grizzly officially off Endangered Species list…

The Yellowstone grizzly bear is officially off the federal endangered species list as of July 31, with management reverting to state and local authorities.

The Northern Cheyenne are preparing to sue, having filed a 60-day notice of impending legal action on June 30. The Northern Cheyenne joined with several environmental groups to announce they would file suit in the wake of

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Big Weeds, Small Ironies

Big weeds and small ironies… This photo was very recently taken on the road to Malta, Montana, by a crop adjuster. Nothing thrives in a drought more than stinking weeds, as is obvious by the size of this fine specimen. There’s nothing particularly funny or new about that. But what did amuse both the photographer and the WAR editor

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ND drought relief…

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation have teamed up to support the state’s cattle ranchers, who are suffering through one of the worst droughts in North Dakota history. The non-profit organizations have launched the “Hope for the Heartland” Drought Relief Fund to help North Dakota cattlemen and cattlewomen offset the additional feed, hay, transportation, and

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The Paynes’ Pioneer Spirit

By Kerry Hoffschneider

When Chris Payne was 10 years old, her dad, Adolph Oborny, gave her a bred heifer. This was the foundation of Payne’s college tuition and so much more. “It was a registered Angus cow. She had a calf, and we went from there,” said Chris, who may be the hardest working Nebraska woman this writer has

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Want to buy some ag land? Here’s where prices are rising and falling

 

Ready to quit the city, buy a farm, and live out your rural fantasy? Bargains can be found in South Dakota, but you better move quickly in California, which is getting pricey. Average farmland values nationwide have risen 2.3% to $3,080 an acre so far in 2017, according to an annual report released August 3 by the USDA. That gain,

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Lodgepole Complex fire… Want to help?

Lodgepole Complex fire…
Want to help?

Hay, Trucking & Feedlot Coordination: Jana Hance, Redwater Valley Bank, 406-485-4782; 406-974-2555; jana@redwatervalleybank.com

Fencing Donations: Lori Murnion, 406-977-2334 – please call ahead to coordinate drop-off and unloading; Lammer Brothers in Jordan – drop-off location only

Cash Donations:
– Petroleum County Stockgrowers Relief Fund, PO Box 147, Winnett, MT 59087
– MSGA Fire Relief Fund, 420 North California Street, Helena, MT

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What will wildlife eat when cattle graze CMR?

Editor’s note: Following the hellacious wildfire(s) in Montana, the possibility of grazing the untouched hundreds of thousands of acres (just shy of 1 million) of the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana has been floated as a way to feed thousands of displaced cattle whose fall, winter, and spring groceries burnt to a crisp. The following piece was printed

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State of Montana ponders 24,000-acre ranch purchase…

State of Montana ponders 24,000-acre ranch purchase…

The 24,000-acre Angela Ranch in Rosebud County, MT, may be purchased by the state of Montana with funds from Montana’s Land Banking Fund. The Angela Ranch, located about 30 miles north of Miles City, is on the market for nearly $16 million and “supports antelope, deer, waterfowl, upland game bird hunting opportunities, as well as

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Pangea Nursery Bringing the innate connection humans have to plants back to agricultural consciousness

Pangea Nursery
Bringing the innate connection humans have to plants back to agricultural consciousness

By Kerry Hoffschneider

Andy Waltke, visionary behind Pangea Nursery, is building his own modern-day, pioneer dream with the deed he holds to a small plot of land in a

Andy Waltke kneeling down in his new “farm plot” where the idea of Pangea Nursery is taking shape. He is

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Out of the bad comes the good… Garfield County Fire Foundation Fire Relief Fund Details

 

At (a recent) meeting, it was decided to wait two weeks minimum to choose a leadership team to work on developing applications, identification of needs, etc., for distribution

Looking for something to eat… Cow/calf pairs move through the inedible leavings of the Lodgepole Complex Fire. Mary Brown photo.

of the generous donations flowing into the Fire Relief Fund.

Meanwhile, NO individual or

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An exceptional drought…

July was one of the hottest and driest on record for Billings and elsewhere in eastern Montana, intensifying extreme drought conditions that have gripped much of the region this summer. In July, Miles City recorded only trace amounts of precipitation throughout the entire month, tying with 1988 as the driest July on record. In Glasgow, year-to-date precipitation is less than

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Confusion over food labels abounds in U.S. households

A majority of American consumers are having issues decoding the various date labels on their food products, sparking potential problems that can affect food safety and food waste, according to a new poll led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).

The poll found that 60% of 1,000 American consumers surveyed have had discussions in their homes about the exact meaning of such terms

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Show Honors at 2017 Junior National Hereford Expo

Lillie Skiles, Dalhart, TX, and her heifer NCC 743 Breckyn C1857 ET won the polled owned female show, and Rebecca Moore, Madill, OK, won the horned owned female show with BK Cool Kid 5052C at the 2017 Junior National Hereford Expo in Louisville, KY, July 21.

The reserve grand champion owned polled heifer banner went to Brooke and Ben Jensen, Courtland,

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Wildfires cost MT $1.5M a day

 

Montana has nearly depleted its $63 million firefighting reserve fund after budget cuts swept away nearly half the money and the state spending as much on wildfire suppression efforts last month as it did in the 12 months before that, state officials said August 1. It’s costing the state $1.5 million a day to fight fires, meaning the approximately $12

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Take the Local Food Challenge this August

Northern Plains Resource Council is hosting the second annual Montana Local Food Challenge. During all of August, participants statewide will try to eat something local every day, plus participate in weekly challenges related to eating local.

Eating local brings myriad benefits:

* Providing fresher, more nutritious, and better tasting foods;

* Building communities and local economies;

* Supporting family farms and ranches; and

*  Protecting

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Plains Drought is expanding

By Leesa Zalesky

Webster defines drought as a period of dryness, especially when prolonged, that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth. It’s so much more than that, as farmers and ranchers in North and South Dakota know firsthand.

At the end of July, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map showed 82% of North Dakota in some stage

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Lodgepole Complex fire… Want to help?

 

Hay, Trucking & Feedlot Coordination: Jana Hance, Redwater Valley Bank, 406-485-4782; 406-974-2555; jana@redwatervalleybank.com

Fencing Donations: Lori Murnion, 406-977-2334 – please call ahead to coordinate drop-off and unloading; Lammer Brothers in Jordan – drop-off location only

Cash Donations:

– Petroleum County Stockgrowers Relief Fund, PO Box 147, Winnett, MT 59087

– MSGA Fire Relief Fund, 420 North California Street, Helena, MT 59601

– Garfield County Fire

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Out of the bad comes the good… Farmers Unions donate to Jordan Co-Op to help producers in wake of Lodgepole Complex Fire

 

 

To help the farmers and ranchers in Garfield County, MT, and surrounding areas, Montana Farmers Union (MFU) — along with the four other Farmers Union Enterprise (FUE) states, which include Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota — made a $25,000 donation to the Farmers Union Oil Co-Op in Jordan, MT. The donation

Garfield County, MT, rancher and MFU Board

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HYFA Foundation 1 Club started

The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) and Tim and Kara Coleman, Sierra Ranches, Modesto, California, are teaming up to launch the HYFA Foundation 1 Club at the Western Treasures Sale on October 9. The Foundation 1 Club is a group of breeders that donates 1% of their sale gross to HYFA to benefit leadership, scholarship, and educational experiences for

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More than one way to skin a cat… or show a steer…

By Kayla Sargent

A young man and his show steer touched the hearts of everyone at the recent National Junior Angus Association Show, and the pair are now spreading inspiration across the country after Kent Jaecke posted a photo to Facebook that quickly went viral, being shared over 35,000 times.

Sharing a show ring moment… Pearl’s Pics Photography.

But this

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Do NOT get burnt by bogus wildfire relief scams!

Do NOT get burnt by bogus wildfire relief scams!

As the nation’s largest wildfires rip through parts of Montana, the Better Business Bureau warns of bogus relief efforts. Consumers looking to aid the families affected by the fires are being asked to research charities first before making a donation. “Our hearts go out to those who have been displaced and are

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Out of the bad comes the good… Stockman Bank announces match for Lodgepole complex fire relief fund

Out of the bad comes the good…
Stockman Bank announces match for Lodgepole complex fire relief fund

Stockman Bank has set up a fire relief fund to assist those affected by the massive Lodgepole Complex fire in Montana. Stockman will match all contributions made to the fund up to a total of $10,000. The fund will be used to provide the needed assistance to

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USDA offers help to fire-affected farmers & ranchers

USDA offers help to fire-affected farmers & ranchers

The USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Acting State Executive Director in Montana, Amy Webbink, reminds farmers and ranchers affected by the recent wildfires that disaster assistance programs are available to support their recovery efforts. The FSA can assist farmers and ranchers who lost livestock, grazing land, fences, or eligible trees, bushes, and vines

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NRCS offers wildfire recovery assistance to MT’s ag producers… Deadline: August 15

NRCS offers wildfire recovery assistance to MT’s ag producers…
Deadline: August 15

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering technical and financial assistance to ag landowners impacted by 2017 wildfires across Montana. NRCS is accepting applications for its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to assist with livestock grazing deferment, damaged fence and post removal, livestock fencing, water facility development, critical

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The trouble is far from over…

The trouble is far from over…

In Sand Springs, Montana, the fires may be dying, but the trouble is far from over. What was, until earlier last week, the nation’s largest wildfire is now under control. As ranchers receive donations of hay and other supplies from around the country, they’re surveying the land, seeing how and if the livestock survived. They

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Wildfire

Wildfire

By Walker R. Hadley
12 Years Old
Baker, MT

The embers blew
As the sparks flew.
Ashes fell to the ground
As the fire spread all around.
Red, orange, yellow has a glow.
The fire rages
Without any cages.
Acre by acre,
Land hits the baker.
Crack goes the trees
In a warm summer breeze,
As it sizzles and pops.
While rain drizzles but merely stops,
The wildfire goes on
Across God’s great lawn.

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Out of the bad comes the good… 14- and 16- year old kids on the back of trucks

Out of the bad comes the good…
14- and 16- year old kids on the back of trucks

Mary Brown, of LO Cattle Company just south of Highway 200 between Mosby and Sand Springs, Montana, is in the thick of the fire. They have 400-plus cattle that are either lost or dead. They are still fighting fire at the north end of

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Alcohol does NOT always mix with Diabetes

Alcohol does NOT always mix with Diabetes

By Barbara Quinn

We were 10,000 feet above sea level at the recent Keystone, Colorado, diabetes conference… a true Rocky Mountain high. And to avoid the dreaded effects of altitude sickness, we were warned to stay away from caffeine, marijuana (legal in Colorado, you know), and alcohol.
Later in the sessions, we learned that alcohol is

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