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4-H- Learning Through The Challenges

local parks are still in the picture as families work together. Virtual programming has become the wave of the future as members work on their 4-H Montana 4-H members are experiencing projects at home while continuing to share a different perspective of their 4-H involve- learning experiences with each other from ment this spring. Typical style 4-H events their computers or phones. Platforms such as look different right now but that doesn’t seem Zoom and Webex have become common terms to dampen the spirits of active 4-H members. as a communication tool. Tampico Boys 4-H As a result of the Montana State 4-H Cen- Club met remotely to connect and discuss club ter’s statement that all face-to-face instruction business and create a plan for the near future. was to be canceled, parents and leaders let their President Trevor Klind led the meeting from FUHDWLYHMXLFHVÀRZDVWKH\VFUDPEOHGWRPDLQ- the cab of a tractor. The Hinsdale 4-H Aftertain learning experiences. Project work is go- school program meets Tuesdays and ThursLQJIXOOVWHDPDKHDGDQG\RXWK¿QGWKHPVHOYHV days via Zoom to continue their hands-on with time to complete experiential learning learning and public speaking skills. Members through hands-on activities. For members recently presented their demonstrations from with livestock projects it means more time their homes for others to watch. Camp Counselor training for the District IV in contact with them from feeding to training to grooming. For those with indoor projects, 4-H Camp was also accomplished using Weits time in the kitchen making family meals, bex and some creative teaching skills. Teens doodling on a pad for expression through art IURP¿YHFRXQWLHVZHUHDEOHWRJHWWRNQRZ RU ¿QLVKLQJ D ZRRGZRUNLQJ RU OHDWKHUFUDIW each other through ice breakers, choose a camp project. 4-H Afterschool and Lucky Clover theme, meals and snacks and cabin activities. 4-H families worked together, yet apart, to Their enthusiasm was inspiring as they made create cards to send to locals who may need these plans while understanding that a tradia uplifting message. Other families learned tional camp may not be an option this year. Valley County 4-H Agent Roubie Younkin sewing skills by making masks to help meet community needs. Community service proj- states that “the creativity of people is impresects such as highway cleanup and maintaining sive and may be a building block for future activities” The Valley County MT4H Facebook page keeps the community informed regarding current activities and accomplishments There are also activities posted to keep kids learning from home. (Search for and like the page to stay informed). Younkin learned that Ohio 4-H is now offering 18 projects that members can do from home by downloadLQJD¿OH7KHSURMects include sewing, leisure arts, creative writing, genealogy, cooking and baking, natural resources and more. There is even a laundry project! These activities are available for every family, not just 4-H members, and can be accessed at https://ohio4h.org/ stayathomeprojects. AMBER KIRKLAND / FOR FARM & RANCH Weston Kirkland poses with a newborn calf on his family's ranch in northeast 4-H at Home also provides learning Montana.

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ROUBIE YOUNKIN MSU EXTENSION AGENT VALLEY COUNTY FOR FARM & RANCH

Prez Orders Meat Processors to Stay Open - Page 2 BRITTANY ALLESTAD / FOR FARM & RANCH

Tenley Allested leads her Heifer on the family ranch in Valley County. experiences and can be accessed here https://4h.org/about/4-h-at-home/. At the county level Agent Roubie Younkin remains guardedly optimistic about summer 4-H programming. Some events may still be an option with limited numbers and social distancing constraints while others may be accomplished remotely. Many livestock project members have their project animals and have faith that they will have the opportunity to exhibit their learning experiences. The poultry project may go on as in the past depending upon interest. The “fair as we know it” may look dif-

ferent this summer but there will be options for them. In the meantime it is business as usual for our 4-H families. Our communities provide tremendous support of 4-H and positive youth development. We will all come together and do whatever possible to ensure that our members and families have learning experiences in the midst of these unsettling times. All youth are welcome to become a part of the 4-H experience. Interested families PD\FDOOWKHLUORFDO068([WHQVLRQ2I¿FHIRU more information and to enroll in this positive youth development experience.

COURTESY PHOTO / FOR FARM & RANCH

Pictured are Caden (l), Trace (r) and Ellie (f) Laumeyer holding up letters they wrote to people in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Serving N.E. Montana Livestock Producers Since 1946 PO Box 1170 • Glasgow, MT • 406-228-9306 gsi@nemont.net • www.glasgowstockyards.com Iva Murch 406-263-7529

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1946 - 2020

Jake Newton, Auctioneer 406-390-5109

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May • June • July • 2020 Schedule THURSDAY

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May 2020

Koenig Red Angus Bull and Female Production Auction, Cow Calf Pair Special & All Class Cattle Auction

14

All Class Cattle Auction

21

Spring Horse Auction & All Class Cattle Auction

28

All Class Cattle Auction

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June 2020

Cow/Calf Pair Special & All Class Cattle Auction All Class Cattle Auction

June 2020 (cont.)

18

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25

Big Pre 4th Dry Cow Auction & All Class Cattle Auction

THURSDAY

The Miner/Haaland Farm Equipment Auction originally scheduled for May 16 has been cancelled.

THURSDAY

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July 2020

2

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9

Dry Cow Special & All Class Cattle Auction

16

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23

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30

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Meat Processing Plants Ordered to Stay Open

President Trump Signs Executive Order Under Defense Production Act GWENDOLYNE HONRUD FOR FARM & RANCH On April 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring meat and poultry processing plants critical infrastructure and ordering the businesses to remain open or reopen in order to maintain the nation’s food supply chain. The move comes at time during the COVID-19 pandemic when economic experts have warned that the food supply chain could be drastically impaired as cities with processing plants are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and as stockgrowers and lawmakers are calling for investigation into beef pricing margins. The nation’s economy and food supply chains have seen dramatic shifts in the past few months as restaurants and other industries with food services, such as cruise lines, have shuttered their doors temporarily and ceased purchases of commercial food. At the same time, laid off and furloughed workers have increasingly turned to food banks to combat food insecurity across the country. The food industry has not yet adjusted to the shift in demands resulting in food being discarded and animals euthanized. News reports have shown lines of vehicles outside of food banks followed by photos of piles of food thrown out or plowed under. Other reports point to pig farmers who have been forced to put down their animals, which were been due to be shipped to plants, as new animals are being born and limited space does not allow for safe conditions for the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated it is looking to purchase excess food in an effort to divert to food banks, which have traditionally relied on retail donations for supplies. Yet, bureaucracy has delayed the process as unsold food continues to rot. Small processing businesses are often not licensed for public resale and will be unable to step in WRÂżOODQ\ORFDOYRLG The executive order issued by the President drew praise from Secretary Perdue, who issued a press release that evening. “I thank President Trump for signing this executive order and recognizing the importance of keeping our food supply chain safe, secure, and plentiful. Our nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain,â€? said Secretary Perdue. “Maintaining the health and safety of these heroic employees in order to ensure that these critical facilities can continue operating is paramount. I also want to thank the com-

panies who are doing their best to keep their workforce safe as well as keeping our food supply sustained. USDA will continue to work with its partners across the federal government to ensure employee safety to maintain this essential industry.â€? Prior to the executive order, on April 27, Montana Governor Steve Bullock released a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking that USDA authorize some local processing in order to avoid food waste and to get local meat to food banks in areas most impacted by the coronavirus. Bullock wrote, “Our proposed protocols would enforce the intent of our food safety regulations and ensure that food is not wasted at a time when many Montanans need access to food during this crisis.â€? Bullock’s letter said the “temporary and measured stepsâ€? would prevent food from going to waste while ensuring Montana residents received necessary relief. While this request is temporary, the governor also requested that USDA encourage new ideas to reduce barriers for meat processing in Montana and improve markets for rural producers over the long term. Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was secretary under President Obama, appeared on MSNBC on April 28, agreeing with the necessity of keeping the plants open to guarantee the continuation of the food supply chain. He also stressed the need to protect the health of the workers at those plants. Data on the coronavirus spread and concentration across the country point to several areas with meat and poultry processing plants as having the most recent and dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, often with direct links to processing plants. Cases in plants located in Nebraska and South Dakota have drawn national media attention despite being far removed from coastal news headquarters. South Dakota in particular has drawn attention as Governor Kristi Noem refused to issue a statewide stay at home order even as cases surged DWWKH6PLWKÂżHOG)RRGVSODQWLQ6LRX[)DOOV While cases increase in areas with meat processing plants, cattlemen are facing another challenge on their end of the supply chain. Cattlemen’s associations and lawmakers have voiced concerns regarding potential fraudulent business practices with the meatpacking industry. The calls come in response to a packing SODQWÂżUHODVW\HDUDQGWKH&29,'RXWEUHDN this year, both of which resulted in lower prices for ranchers’ product while the processing SODQWV VDZ LQFUHDVHV DQG XQVHDVRQDO SURÂżWability, calling into question the plants’ ethical business conduct. The Montana Stockgrowers Association joined 22 other state cattlemen’s associations in calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the beef pricing margins. See MEAT PROCESSING Page 3

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Glasgow Stockyards April Market Reports of an OCC Lucy Dam for $7,250. Layne Murnion, of Jordan, purchased lot 60: Big Dry FounThe market report for the dation G71 sired by S FoundaGlasgow Stockyards as of April tion 514 for $7,250. 2 showed 319 cattle sold with The market report for the cows $5 to $10 lower and bulls Glasgow Stockyards as of April $3 to $5 lower. There was no 23 showed 361 cattle sold with test on feeders or bred cattle. cows and bulls steady. No test At the Bowles J5 Reds 15th on feeders or bred cattle. Utility Annual Bull and Female Proand commercial cows brought in duction Auction, Jim and Julie, $57 to $64.50; canner and cutter Brady and Tracy Bowles, of cows brought in $45 to $57 while Chinook, Mont., sold 46 Red bulls brought in $88 to $100. Angus Bulls with an average A big thank you to Sam Wacost of $3,748. The top bull sold ters and the First Community for $8,500 and the top 10 bulls Bank folks. FCB purchased a averaged $5,650. 24 heifers bull at Glasgow Stockyards that averaged $1,213 with the top was consigned by a Hinsdale heifer selling for $1,550. Volrancher and processed by Treaume buyers for bulls included sure Trail Processing. ApproxiBrandon Reddig, of Lustre, mately 1,000 pounds of locally with nine; Ken Solberg, of raised all-natural hamburger Larslan, with four; Dave Friedwill be donated to the local food rich, of Antelope, with four and bank. Engstrom Ranch, of Glasgow The 32nd Annual North with four. Volume buyers for Country Angus Bull Producheifers included Brookman tion Auction was held. Humbert Ranch, of Molt, with 10 and Angus, Lee Humbert, saw 24 Gibbs Red Angus, of Jordan, bulls sold with an average of with six. $3,479 and the top bull brought The top selling Red Angus in $5,750. North Bench Angus, Bull of 2020 sold to Spear Doug and Jody Mason, saw 27 J. Red Angus, of Jordan, for bulls sold with an average of $8,500. Lot 25, J5 Legendary $3,491 with the top bull selling 9080 sired by Bowles 75 LegA.J. ETHERINGTON / FOR FARM & RANCH for $5,250. end. Extra long, extra thick, A Nelson Red Bull named 18 Karat waits for auction at the Glasgow Stockyards on April 29. 2020 top selling bull was lot 7 extra deep. 81# birthweight; sold to the Voss Ranch, of Circle, 771 WW; 122 WW Ratio; 118 buyers included Bill Webb, of Malta, with Dry JDM Bravado G45 sired by Coleman Bravo for $5,750. H Resource 9607 sired by RA ReYW Ratio. EPDS: HB 199; GM 47; CED 12; seven; Keith Beil, of Hinsdale, with six; Bar- and out of a Vermilion Lass Dam, a leader in in- source 784 and out of Connealy Capitalist on the BW -1.5; WW 60; YW 90; Milk 29; Stay 20. nard Ranch, of Hinsdale, and Daley Ranch, of dividual performance for weaning, yearling and dam side. Heifer bull. Birth weight 67#. 724# Lot 28 sold to Buzzard Glory Ranch, of 1DVKXDZLWKÂżYHHDFK scrotal. Length and muscle in an eye-appealing WW. Ratios: 104 WW; 115 Gain; 109 Yearling. Wolf Point, for $6,500. J5 C147 Thrill Ride All four of the top selling bulls in the 2020 package. 777 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 118; YW EPDS: WW +69; Milk +18; Yearly +123. 9168 sired by J5 0226 Thriller. 77# birthproduction auction were sired by BHA General 116. EPDS: WW +59; YW +112; Milk +25. Lot 934 was sold to Tyler Traeger, of Bainweight; 108 WW Ratio, 109 YW Ratio. EPDS: 149. Lot 214 sold to Scott Fossum, of Glasgow, This herd sire prospect sold to Pluhar Ranch ville, for $5,250. North Bench Hickok 934 sired HB 208; GM 49; CED 15; BW -2.6; WW 57; for $5,250. Lot 109 sold to Bill Webb, of Malta, Company, of Cohagen, Mont., for $13,500. by Mill Bar Hickok and out of an S Chisum YW 94; Milk 27; Stay 20. for $5,250. Lot 1008, sold to Barnard Ranch, of Another herd sire prospect Lot 25, Big Dry Dam. Birth weight 79#. Ratios: WW 110; YW Lot 26 sold to Michael Hammond, of Hinsdale, for $5,000. Lot 9104 sold to Leland Prototopye G31 sired by Woodhill Bluepring 103. EPDS: WW +65, Milk +25; YW +112. Whitewater, for $6,000. J5 C147 Thriller 9024. Ranch, of Ismay, for $5,000. and going back to Connealy Capitalist on the 14.5 Adj. Ribeye. Another Thriller- sired bull. 111 WW Ratio; The market report for the Glasgow Stock- dam side. 724 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 112; Lot 944 sold to Daryl Waarvik, of Glasgow, 112 YW Ratio. EPDS: HB 210; GM 49; WW yards as of April 16 showed 906 cattle sold with YW 113. EPDS: WW +73; YW +132; Milk for $5,000. North Bench Denver 944. Sired by 61; YW 102; Milk 26; Stay 21. cows and bulls higher. Utility and commercial +37. Lot 25 sold to Whistling Winds Angus, of Basin Denver D907. A real heifer bull. BirthThree bulls left the ring at $5,250. Lot 29 cows brought in between $55 to $63.50 with Hingham, Mont. weight 69#. Ratios: WW 114; YW 112. EPDS: and Lot 40 sold to Ken Solberg, of Larslan the top price of $67.50. Canner and cutter cows Lot 32 sold to 9 Peaks Ranch, Rebecca Birth -1.1; Weaning +61; Milk +25; Yearling while Lot 63 sold to Powell Ranch, of Chibrought in $43 to $55; bulls $88 to $103.50; Borror of Fort Rock, Ore., for $8,500. Big Dry +104. nook. and Bangs-vaccinated replacement heifers Precipitation G38 sired by SAV Rainfall and Anderson Charolas, Tom and Shane AnderThe market report for the Glasgow Stock$975-$1035/hd. Vermilion Franklin on the dam side. 713 Adj. son, saw 37 bulls sold with an average of $3,669 yards as of April 9 showed 331 cattle sold with Big Dry Angus Ranch held their 32nd An- WW. Ratios: WW 109; YW 104. EPDS: WW with the top bull selling for $5,250. cows and bulls lower. Utility and commercial nual Production Auction with 74 bulls selling +56; YW +109; Milk +21. Lot 937 was the highest selling bull of 2020, cows brought in $50 to $58, while canner and with an average cost of $4,753. The top bull Lot 7 sold to Vermilion Ranch of Billings for an A.I. son of Blue Grass, a bull with muscle, cutter cows brought in $40 to $50 and bulls sold for $13,500 and the top 10 averaged $7,750. Big Dry Blueprint G7 sired by Woodhill depth and structural completeness.Adj. 365 brought in $78 to $91.50. $7,825. Volume buyers included Ross Ranch, Blueprint. 703 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 107; YW Ratio 116; WDA Ratio 116; ADG Test 4.12. Eayrs Angus Ranch held their 18th Producof Jordan, with eight; Blue Ridge Ranch, of 105. EPDS: WW +70; YW +21; Milk +37. 41 CM Scrotal. Selling to long time customer tion Auction selling 44 bulls with an average Jordan, with seven; and Newell Hoverson, of Brown Angus Ranch of Wolf Point pur- Linn Ranch, of Saco, for $5,250. cost of $3,869 and the top bull sold for $5,250. Jordan, with six. chased Lot 35: Big Dry JDM Vindicator G41 Lot 911 sold to Roland Young, of Malta, The top 10 bulls averaged $4,825. Volume Lot 39 was the top selling bull of 2020. Big sired by BDAR JDM Conception E40 and out for $4,500, sired by A.I. son of Blue Grass. FOR FARM & RANCH


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The Problem With Farmers And Ranchers and this does not change after they “retireâ€? (if that’s actually a thing for them). 4. They love to BS and gossip - If you want I’ve come to the realization that farmers WRNQRZVRPHWKLQJÂżQGDSODFHZKHUHIDUPHUV DQGUDQFKHUVKDYHVRPHĂ€DZVDQG,WKRXJKW and ranchers congregate for coffee! They have WKHLUHDUVWRWKHJURXQGDQGWKHLUÂżQJHURQWKH maybe I should address them here. 1. They work themselves into the ground pulse of their Ag community to rival any local - their bodies may be revolting, but they will news media. Seriously! They are an untapped still get in that tractor or on that horse long resource for information as it happens. 7KH\PXVWEHWKHÂżUVWLQWKHÂżHOG7KHUH after their concerned family is comfortable. They design lifts to get themselves into their is a competitive streak in them, that they may tractor and teach their horses to lie down for try to deny. Do not believe them! You just easier mounting. Nothing will keep them from watch. As it gets closer and closer to seeding farming and ranching. A doctor’s appointment or harvest, equipment gets more and more might be necessary, but should that date come visible! Cause if they can’t actually get in the at a time when they think they’ve got more ÂżHOGWKHQDWOHDVWWKH\IHHOWKHQHHGWRVKRZ important farming or ranching things to do, WKDWWKH\DUHUHDG\WREHLQWKHÂżHOG7KLVLV that appointment goes right out the window. also discussed and touted at the local coffee place as well. Sorry Doc. 6. They are single minded - when it’s “go2. They don’t show much emotion - They have seen life lived and life ended. They may timeâ€? nothing stands in the way of that. “Oh be rough and hardened by the losses they’ve honey, you’re going into labor?! How quickly endured, but they will still work hard to save do you think you can pop that baby out?â€? “Dineven one. When life can’t be saved, that ani- ner is ready? I’ll be in when I’m done!â€? Figure mal may be taken to the bone pile or a far off on waiting for them frequently. 7. They make a ton of laundry - It is as if coulee, but that loss is felt in more than the pocket book! Don’t let them fool you. They’re they must test the limits of their wife’s stain ÂżJKWLQJSURZHVVDQGWKHHQGXUDQFHRIWRGD\ÂśV big softies under a rough exterior! 3. They appear to not value sleep - They live most capable washing machines. Want to know by, “I can sleep when I’m deadâ€? during seed- the best washing machine on the market or the ing, harvest, calving and haying. When it’s “go best detergent for certain qualities of water? time,â€? their internal clock is more dependable Just ask a farmer’s or rancher’s wife. 8. The problem with farmers and ranchers than that of a rooster! You might even be able to set your clocks by them should you have a is that they are no problem at all! They face SRZHURXWDJH/DWHQLJKWVLQWKHÂżHOGGRQÂśW a lot of challenges and sometimes they can earn them more time to sleep in in the morning. be hard to live with. But, truly they are no ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD / FOR FARM & RANCH They’re up early to go again the next morning problem at all. Seeding is upon us! Our farm girls seem to think that when equipment is being filled or worked on, then it is free to be used as a jungle gym. ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM & RANCH

The Month in Weather: Dry April Increases Fire Danger trace of reported precipitation, and one day saw a tenth of an inch of accumulated SUHFLSLWDWLRQRUPRUHZKLFKFODVVL¿HVDVD April started with a wintery bang for wetting precipitation event. As for winds, QRUWKHDVW0RQWDQDDQGWKHQVSULQJ¿QDOO\ 17 days saw sustained winds greater than arrived and conditions quickly dried up 25 mph, and 24 days with winds greater across the region. This drying has led to than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind HDUO\LQFUHDVHG¿UHGDQJHUDFURVVQRUWKHDVW was reported at 44 mph and occurred on Montana this month as grasses have yet to April 27, and the highest wind gust was also start the green-up process. This dry weather recorded on April 27 at 54 mph. Also as of press date, per the National has also started to really push the region towards re-introduction of drought conditions. Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest Looking ahead towards May, the con- observed temperature for the month was ¿GHQFHLQERWKWKHSUHFLSLWDWLRQDQGWHP- 76 degrees on April 21, and the lowest was perature forecasts is minimal. With respect 0 degrees on April 2. The total liquid preto the precipitation forecast, the forecast cipitation reported at Glasgow for the month calls for equal chances of above, near and was 0.28�, which was approximately 0.50� below-normal conditions across the Trea- below normal. Over a 24-hour period, the sure State for May. The story is the same greatest precipitation total was 0.13�, which for temperatures, with equal chances of occurred on April 1. The overall mean temabove, near and below-normal conditions perature for the month was approximately 40 degrees, which was approximately 4.5 for Montana this coming month. Now looking back at April, as of press degrees below normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was date, 12 days in the month saw at least a MICHELLE BIGELBACH FARM & RANCH

released on April 21. As of press date, there was a total of 9.5 percent of Montana reporting at least abnormally dry conditions, spread out throughout different parts of Montana, from the northwest corner, to south-central areas, and extending out to the eastern edge of the state. As for the northeast, some abnormally dry conditions have spread across portions of Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt and Richland counties, which have received much less precipitation than other parts of the region over the past month. The state drought advisory committee is looking for feedback from folks involved ZLWK WKH DJULFXOWXUH LQGXVWU\ 6SHFLÂżFDOO\ these folks are looking to hear from those directly involved in operations how drought affects them, and to know what conditions are like currently across the region. This is being conducted through a survey that goes to the Montana Drought Monitor Reporter. The link for the survey is at: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/6c96 79697b104ccdbde2d52f64f8adb2.

MSU Climate Study CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 ers play a crucial role in supporting overarching food systems and national food security, it is important that we support their mental health by providing psychological support and by also offering resources on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.� Alison Harmon, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, called climate change a “complex multifactorial global issue, the implications of which cross numerous disciplinary boundaries at MSU.� “This study demonstrates how researchers can collaborate across departments and colleges to address impacts on Montana producers. Global change will certainly impact our mental health, and I am glad to see this recognized here,� Harmon said. “This is critically important research for the state of Montana and appropriate to Montana’s land-grant university,� said Nic Rae, dean of the College of Letters and Science. “Kudos to all the faculty involved.� The study is available online at psycnet.apa. org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Frmh0000131.

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MSU Study: Climate Change Generating Anxiety For Montana Farmers, Ranchers ANNE CANTRELL MSU NEWS SERVICE FOR FARM & RANCH

Researchers have known for years that the current and projected impacts of climate change present challenges for agricultural productivity, with potentially serious consequences for farm and ranch livelihoods. But what hasn’t been clear is what this means for farmers’ and ranchers’ mental health. Now, a new study of 125 Montana farmers and ranchers shows that more than 70 percent of those farmers and ranchers agree that climate change is having an impact on their agricultural business. Moreover, nearly three quarters of the respondents say they are experiencing moderate to high levels of anxiety when thinking about climate change and its effects on agricultural business. The study was conducted by research-

Meat Processing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 All three members of Montana’s congressional delegation have joined the cattlemen in calling for an investigation. Representative Greg Gianforte called on Secretary Perdue and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate the beef industry and market, in light of calls from state cattlemen associaWLRQV,QDOHWWHUWRIHGHUDORIÂżFLDOV*LDQIRUWH wrote, “I urge you to work together to ensure WKDWDQ\DQWLFRPSHWLWLYHEHKDYLRULVLGHQWLÂżHG and punished.â€? Gianforte further called on the House Committee on Agriculture to investigate. In his letter to chairman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) and leader Michael Conaway (R-Texas) he wrote, “I am extremely concerned with the state of America’s cattle ranchers. Live cattle prices are at 10-year lows and have dropped 30 percent this year. This comes on the heels of the disruption caused by last summer’s Holcomb ÂżUHDQGPD\QRWUHSUHVHQWWKHIXOOLPSDFWRI COVID-19 disruption. While I appreciated the announcement by Secretary Perdue in early April that USDA was investigating market practices, I urge the House Committee on Agriculture to hold hearings on the state of the beef industry as soon as possible.â€? Senator Jon Tester also called on AG Barr and the DOJ to investigate the situation as 0RQWDQDUDQFKHUVVDZWKHLUSURÂżWVGHFOLQHDW the most drastic rate in 40 years, saying price irregularities have been made worse by the coronavirus outbreak. The Senator said, “EviGHQFHRISULFHÂż[LQJLVQRZHYHQFOHDUHUDV the nation reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet again, as the demand for beef increases nationwide, live cattle futures are sinking. We are hearing from ranchers that it is not feasible to sell their cattle at such low futures and still hope to break even. In a time when Americans are consuming more beef than ever before, it is confounding that ranchers are struggling, ZKLOHPHDWSDFNHUVWDNHKRPHUHFRUGSURÂżWVÂŤ

ers in Montana State University’s Department of Health and Human Development and Department of Political Science. It was published online Feb. 20 in the Journal of Rural Mental Health. “This study demonstrates that climate change is generating anxiety and distress for farmers and ranchers,â€? wrote Meredith Howard, the study’s lead author who graduated from MSU in 2018 with a master’s degree in community health. “To maximize public health preparedness efforts, interventions are warranted to provide climate adaptation education and therapeutic outreach VSHFLÂżFWRDJULFXOWXUDOZRUNHUVH[SHULHQFLQJHFRnomic struggle in the context of climate change.â€? Howard’s coauthors include Selena Ahmed, associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Development in the College of Education, Health and Human Development; Paul Lachapelle, professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Letters

and Science; and Mark Schure, assistant pro- RQ DJULFXOWXUDO EXVLQHVV DQG WKDW SURÂżWDELOLW\ fessor in the Department of Health and Human ZDVIRXQGWREHLGHQWLÂżHGDVWKHPDLQFDXVHRI Development. distress,â€? Lachapelle said. To conduct the study, the researchers created a 7KHÂżQGLQJVSURYLGHLPSRUWDQWXQGHUVWDQGLQJ survey to assess perceptions of climate effects on of some of the stresses that farmers and ranchers anxiety levels by combining an adapted version face, according to the researchers. of a survey for measuring climate change percep“Given the stress that producers are already tions with a survey assessing anxiety symptoms. under, this added stress is important to underThey administered the surveys to farmers stand and address, particularly given the aging and ranchers at two different agricultural confer- demographics of this population in Montana,â€? ences in Montana. They also emailed an online Lachapelle said. version to farmers and ranchers on the lists of In their published study, the authors note three different Montana agricultural organiza- a number of challenges that could contribute tions. Open-ended survey questions explored to agricultural productivity challenges. Those VSHFLÂżFDOO\ KRZ FOLPDWH FKDQJH LV LPSDFWLQJ include evidence that temperatures in Montana mental well-being. are increasing at a rate that is approximately two The researchers found that approximately times greater than the average global temperature three-quarters of the 125 Montana ranchers and shift associated with climate change. In addition, farmers who completed the survey believe that scientists have found that increasing temperaclimate change is negatively impacting their tures, coupled with a decrease in precipitation, production operations and that it was causing can challenge irrigation capacity, limit full crop them to experience higher levels of anxiety. development and increase the amount of crop The nation’s food supply chain is an issue of They also found that higher risk perceptions of pests in Montana. Increasing temperatures also national security.â€? climate change impact is associated with higher induce substantial heat stress for livestock, re6HQDWRU 6WHYH 'DLQHVÂś RIÂżFH KDG QR UH- reported anxiety. duce forage quantity on livestock rangeland, and cent comments on potential price issues, but “I think all of us had a sense there were LQFUHDVHWKHULVNRIZLOGÂżUHV reiterated the Senator had called for the DOJ impacts to producers, but none of us expected “I don’t know if a lot of people think about LQ 0DUFK WR LQYHVWLJDWH DOOHJHG SULFHÂż[LQJ that the numbers would be so high – that the the link between climate change and mental issues. The calls for investigations coincide overwhelming majority of respondents would health,â€? Howard said. “Since agricultural workwith new statistics, as reported by AgWeb agree that climate change is having an impact See MSU CLIMATE STUDY Page 10 Farm Journal, that the cattle industry will face losses totaling $13.6 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will alleviate some losses for producers, but industry leaders are already calling for changes, including removing payment caps. As the nation faces a potential meat shortage, the pork industry is predicted to be hit Call 406-228-9301 to reach thousands of potential customers! first with poultry quickly following. The beef industry is not likely to be far behind as decisions will need to be made by producers whether to sell their cattle or winter them, increasing their expenses while taking a hit on income. Reporting in the Montana Free Press, Jonathan Hettinger highlighted that beef producers in Montana will not be exempt from the looming food crisis. There are no major processing plants in Montana and only four major companies have the market cornered, slaughtering roughly 80 percent of all U.S. cattle. AgWeb reports that economists predict that beef losses could increase in upcoming years, meaning the impact of the virus will be felt long after this outbreak might be contained. Relief payments may offset those losses, but payments will depend on the ability of Washington to come to agreements on which industries are most critical and in need of federal assistance as politicians strive to keep the economy from spiraling into a depression. Under the CARES Act, USDA will provide $9.5 billion in direct support to family farmers and ranchers with an additional $6.5 billion also available from the Community Credit Corporation. Farmers and ranchers will be eligible for up to $125,000 per commodity with an overall payment limit of $250,000 per person or entity.

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Ag producers facing increased stress and uncertainty amid tariffs and the pandemic Patrick Johnston pjohnston@havredailynews.com Economists and producers seem to agree that the past few years have been rough on the agriculture industry in Montana and the U.S., and the arrival of a global pandemic has amplified and complicated the existing troubles. “It’s been a strange few years in agriculture,” said Montana State University Professor of Agriculture Economics Eric Belasco. Producers and economists have said agriculture can be a stressful business in the best of times, but the past few years have seen a buildup of stress and uncertainty surrounding the U.S.’s ongoing disputes with China and the tariffs that have come as a result of that conflict as well as tariffs from other countries like India. Belasco said China’s agriculture tariffs, which were instituted in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products, have an adverse effect on American ag producers by lowering demand in the Chinese market. “They all have negative impacts on ag,” he said. Belasco also said that because Montana is not a big exporter of soybeans the trade dispute with China has not had as dramatic an effect on local markets as it does on the market at large. Belasco said tariffs in India have a more immediate impact on local ag producers because there is a much greater market there for peas and lentils, which are big exports in Montana.

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Rows of winter wheat show signs of growth April 26 evening outside of Havre.

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Labor and agriculture The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the agricultural industry by creating a potential labor shortage. MSU Agribusiness Development Professor Diane Charlton said that, according to the National Modern day economics Agricultural Workers of ag Survey in 2016, only 26 per Belasco said the state of cent of the crop workers the ag industry for the last were born in the U.S. few years has been someCharlton said that what unprecedented from because so much of the the perspective of most United States’ ag labor is economists. foreign born, and the pan “I don’t think we’ve ever demic makes travel observed something like between countries more this and to really have it difficult and in some cases for three straight years,” he downright unsafe, a labor said. shortage has been born. Belasco said the situaCharlton said that, much tion with India’s tariffs in like the U.S.-China trade particular is probably dispute, this shortage has counterproductive not just not impacted Montana as for U.S. businesses, but for dramatically as other parts India as well. of the country’s ag econo “There’s a push in India my for two reasons. with (Prime Minister First, because the crops Diane Charlton Narendra) Modi to try to that tend to be grown in the MSU agribusiness development protect their domestic state are not as labor-intenprofessor industries, and one of the sive, and, second, because ways they feel they can do most of the U.S.’s ag that is importing less goods from the U.S.,” workers are from Mexico and Montana is so he said, “It’s sort of this old argument. Like, far north that they are not relied upon near‘How do we save jobs in India? Oh, do it by ly as heavily. importing less stuff from other countries.’ I mean we’ve kind of made that argument in the U.S., too. Economist don’t tend to buy it.” Belasco said the U.S. has tried similar things in the past especially during the Great Depression when tariffs were used to try to decrease unemployment, but he said historically that method has proved ineffective. “I’m not aware of a time where a country said, ‘Yeah, let’s raise tariffs,’ and unemployment has dropped,” he said. Belasco said one of the fundamental principles of economics is that there are gains to be had through trade between nations, not by everyone, but in general. He said even when a country loses certain industries the rise in trade generally makes up for it from a nationwide economics standpoint. “Economist would say you are probably creating more jobs by importing; one because you’re paying less so consumers are paying less for those products, and second the country that’s importing to you is buying stuff from you, too,” he said. tions in price that have come about for much of the ag industry, which Belasco said he’s concerned about. “I think farmers are used to price movements, but probably not price movements of this magnitude,” he said.

This is also an industry that has historically, and does routinely, adjust to shocks and adverse situations. In some ways it is an extremely resilient sector. Hopefully, it will continue to be resilient through this shock.

Charlton said there is one element of the foreign-born labor market that is a bigger problem for Montana: H2A temporary agriculture workers, who represented 10 percent of the workforce in crop agriculture in 2019. She said these workers come to the U.S. legally on temporary work visas that require them to leave the U.S. for some time, usually three months, after their subone-year visas expire, after which they can be renewed. She said there are now exceptions to that requirement being made for some workers. The exceptions were made in an effort to address the labor shortage. Charlton said even though this labor shortage is less dramatic in Montana, it is still a potential problem. “Montana still depends on foreign born labor. In 2019 Montana had 984 H2A certified p o s i t i o n s, m u c h s m a l l e r t h a n eve n Washington state … but, as you might imagine, those workers are still a vital part of the operations where they work,” she said. She also said ag workers in general are vulnerable to the pandemic more directly because of the nature of their work.

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“Farm workers typically work very long days, 10 hours usually, they also tend to still show up to work when they’re sick, so in some ways it’s a much more vulnerable population,” Charlton said. She said the long-term effects of COVID19 on the labor market are not currently known, but for now it looks like livestock, hay and alfalfa are going to be some of the segments of the industry that will be affected the most. She said COVID-19 has introduced new challenges to every aspect of the economy and government. “We’re kind of in new territory and learning as we go,” said Charlton. However, she said, despite the uncertainty and troubles the industry faces, there is cause for hope, and it’s likely that the ag industry is uniquely positioned to quickly adapt. “This is also an industry that has historically, and does routinely, adjust to shocks and adverse situations,” she said, “In some ways it is an extremely resilient sector. Hopefully, it will continue to be resilient through this shock.”


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Uncertain: McCormick: Six miles of social distancing is as easy as six feet n Continued from page 7 demic, which he says have been fairly minor for his business, but he does have concerns for what would happen if there was a significant second wave. He said if transportation started being affected by the pandemic it could devastate the industry, especially if ports started getting slowed down or even shut down. Mattson said such a scenario could affect or even sever ag producers’ ability to get their products overseas, and more general transportation delays could affect their ability to bring in the materials they need to keep their business going, like fertilizer. McCormick said, for now, his business is operating more or less as normal on the local level, even though it has thrown the larger industry into uncertainty. “For us it’s a non-factor for how we’re doing business locally. As for commodity markets, well, thats a whole another topic,” he said. McCormick said social distancing is an easy task for most ag producers, especially in the crop market. He said it’s not hard to maintain six miles of distance between individuals much less six feet. McCormick said one of the more interesting effects the pandemic has had on the market is how it has divided crop commodities — which would see their prices rise and fall in — in a way that is practically unheard of, especially between wheat and corn. This is in addition to the general fluctua-

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He said India’s tariffs in particular are prohibitively high and have been causing serious problems for Montana’s ag industry. Montana Grain Gowers Association President Vince Mattson said the tariff situation has been a source of distress in the industry and for local ag producers like himself. “By and large it’s just a lot of uncertainty, people not knowing what’s coming,” Mattson said, “… When the markets don’t know or are worried about stuff, it’s never a good situation.” Mattson is the owner and general manager of Paragon Grain Inc. in Chester where he grows primarily winter wheat. He said tariffs are a matter of concern not just to him but to many of his fellow producers whom he’s spoken with in his capacity as president of MGGA. “Oh, everyone has concerns about the tariffs,” he said. Another producer who expressed concern about the tariffs is Kremlin-area farmer Ryan McCormick, who grows wheat, chickpeas, lentils and other crops. “The tariffs have negatively impacted prices in the short-term, I mean there is no arguing that. … Long-term I don’t know,” McCormick said. He said he doesn’t discount the possibility that the current trade conflict with China may be a necessity in the long-term, but he said at this point he can’t know that and

n Uncertain Continued on page 7 Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Cows stand in a pasture below Saddle Butte Sunday evening outside of Havre.

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Farm equipment sits on the horizon April 26 evening outside of Havre.


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Uncertain: COVID-19 adding to stress already felt from trade tariff disputes n Continued from page 5 wonders how it will be perceived in the future. “China wasn’t following any rules so maybe someone did have to call their bluff,” he said. “… It will be interesting 10 years from now whether we look back on it as positive or negative.” McCormick said the effects the tariffs have on crop prices can have significant ripple effects that can add to an already difficult job. “When margins are slimmer it makes decisions tougher on your inputs and fertility. You know fertilizer prices and stuff like that comes into play and you’re seeing some stress in areas of agriculture that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” he said. McCormick said there is a certain lack of control that ag producers feel as part of their profession, and a lot of what they do is just roll with the punches and adapt. “We have no control over markets, effectively, in the end,” he said. COVID-19 and uncertainty In the ag industry the word of the day, for the last few years and the last few months especially, has been uncertainty. Belasco said while much of the uncertainty can be attributed to the trade tariff situation, the arrival of COVID-19 has amplified it for many along with many of the problems the tariffs can potentially cause. “They definitely compound each other,” he said. The uncertainty, especially, is something Mattson is concerned about. “It’s just another layer of uncertainty. … Are we gonna wake up one day and not be able to get fertilizer, or certain chemicals?” he said. “I mean that’s how fast things are changing with this pandemic.” Mattson and McCormick both said they think this new uncertainty is a potential problem that the industry will have to endure, but McCormick said this is the kind of thing ag producers have had to deal with for as long as they have been in business. “Ag is an evolving business, and there’s always, like with weather, like with markets, there’s always these things that are out of our control,” he said. “I think by and large you just do the best you can and hope it turns out positively in the end for you. … That’s been our jobs for all our lifetimes, learning to roll with those punches, and that adversity makes us change our businesses, or maybe our business plans.” Mattson expressed similar sentiments but said suspending the trade dispute would probably not be a bad idea while the pandemic is ongoing. He said suspending the conflict would help move product and take pressure off the ag producers in Montana and the U.S. at large. “Any time you get product moving it’ll help everything,” he said. “The tariffs have definitely, I think, been added pressure to what we’re trying to do here, so it’s been tough, no doubt about it. … It wouldn’t hurt that’s for sure.” He also said this is an opinion that is likely shared by his peers in the industry. “I think most farmers would agree with me, that we’re pretty sick of the trade tariffs, as well. All we want is a fair market to deliver our product to and compete on the world stage,” Mattson said. Belasco went a step further saying that the tariffs should have been suspended even if the pandemic wasn’t happening. “Not taking COVID into account I still think it (suspending tariffs) is a good idea,” he said. McCormick was more lukewarm toward the idea of suspending the tariff, saying he wasn’t sure how much of an affect it would have, given how much the industry in general was in flux due to the pandemic. Despite his frustrations with the tariffs, Mattson said he’s not worried about the immediate affects of the COVID-19 pan-

n Uncertain Continued on page 8 Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Winter wheat is seen with Saddle Butte in the background April 26 evening outside of Havre.

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Uncertain: COVID-19 adding to stress already felt from trade tariff disputes n Continued from page 5 wonders how it will be perceived in the future. “China wasn’t following any rules so maybe someone did have to call their bluff,” he said. “… It will be interesting 10 years from now whether we look back on it as positive or negative.” McCormick said the effects the tariffs have on crop prices can have significant ripple effects that can add to an already difficult job. “When margins are slimmer it makes decisions tougher on your inputs and fertility. You know fertilizer prices and stuff like that comes into play and you’re seeing some stress in areas of agriculture that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” he said. McCormick said there is a certain lack of control that ag producers feel as part of their profession, and a lot of what they do is just roll with the punches and adapt. “We have no control over markets, effectively, in the end,” he said. COVID-19 and uncertainty In the ag industry the word of the day, for the last few years and the last few months especially, has been uncertainty. Belasco said while much of the uncertainty can be attributed to the trade tariff situation, the arrival of COVID-19 has amplified it for many along with many of the problems the tariffs can potentially cause. “They definitely compound each other,” he said. The uncertainty, especially, is something Mattson is concerned about. “It’s just another layer of uncertainty. … Are we gonna wake up one day and not be able to get fertilizer, or certain chemicals?” he said. “I mean that’s how fast things are changing with this pandemic.” Mattson and McCormick both said they think this new uncertainty is a potential problem that the industry will have to endure, but McCormick said this is the kind of thing ag producers have had to deal with for as long as they have been in business. “Ag is an evolving business, and there’s always, like with weather, like with markets, there’s always these things that are out of our control,” he said. “I think by and large you just do the best you can and hope it turns out positively in the end for you. … That’s been our jobs for all our lifetimes, learning to roll with those punches, and that adversity makes us change our businesses, or maybe our business plans.” Mattson expressed similar sentiments but said suspending the trade dispute would probably not be a bad idea while the pandemic is ongoing. He said suspending the conflict would help move product and take pressure off the ag producers in Montana and the U.S. at large. “Any time you get product moving it’ll help everything,” he said. “The tariffs have definitely, I think, been added pressure to what we’re trying to do here, so it’s been tough, no doubt about it. … It wouldn’t hurt that’s for sure.” He also said this is an opinion that is likely shared by his peers in the industry. “I think most farmers would agree with me, that we’re pretty sick of the trade tariffs, as well. All we want is a fair market to deliver our product to and compete on the world stage,” Mattson said. Belasco went a step further saying that the tariffs should have been suspended even if the pandemic wasn’t happening. “Not taking COVID into account I still think it (suspending tariffs) is a good idea,” he said. McCormick was more lukewarm toward the idea of suspending the tariff, saying he wasn’t sure how much of an affect it would have, given how much the industry in general was in flux due to the pandemic. Despite his frustrations with the tariffs, Mattson said he’s not worried about the immediate affects of the COVID-19 pan-

n Uncertain Continued on page 8 Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Winter wheat is seen with Saddle Butte in the background April 26 evening outside of Havre.

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Uncertain: McCormick: Six miles of social distancing is as easy as six feet n Continued from page 7 demic, which he says have been fairly minor for his business, but he does have concerns for what would happen if there was a significant second wave. He said if transportation started being affected by the pandemic it could devastate the industry, especially if ports started getting slowed down or even shut down. Mattson said such a scenario could affect or even sever ag producers’ ability to get their products overseas, and more general transportation delays could affect their ability to bring in the materials they need to keep their business going, like fertilizer. McCormick said, for now, his business is operating more or less as normal on the local level, even though it has thrown the larger industry into uncertainty. “For us it’s a non-factor for how we’re doing business locally. As for commodity markets, well, thats a whole another topic,” he said. McCormick said social distancing is an easy task for most ag producers, especially in the crop market. He said it’s not hard to maintain six miles of distance between individuals much less six feet. McCormick said one of the more interesting effects the pandemic has had on the market is how it has divided crop commodities — which would see their prices rise and fall in — in a way that is practically unheard of, especially between wheat and corn. This is in addition to the general fluctua-

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He said India’s tariffs in particular are prohibitively high and have been causing serious problems for Montana’s ag industry. Montana Grain Gowers Association President Vince Mattson said the tariff situation has been a source of distress in the industry and for local ag producers like himself. “By and large it’s just a lot of uncertainty, people not knowing what’s coming,” Mattson said, “… When the markets don’t know or are worried about stuff, it’s never a good situation.” Mattson is the owner and general manager of Paragon Grain Inc. in Chester where he grows primarily winter wheat. He said tariffs are a matter of concern not just to him but to many of his fellow producers whom he’s spoken with in his capacity as president of MGGA. “Oh, everyone has concerns about the tariffs,” he said. Another producer who expressed concern about the tariffs is Kremlin-area farmer Ryan McCormick, who grows wheat, chickpeas, lentils and other crops. “The tariffs have negatively impacted prices in the short-term, I mean there is no arguing that. … Long-term I don’t know,” McCormick said. He said he doesn’t discount the possibility that the current trade conflict with China may be a necessity in the long-term, but he said at this point he can’t know that and

n Uncertain Continued on page 7 Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Cows stand in a pasture below Saddle Butte Sunday evening outside of Havre.

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Farm equipment sits on the horizon April 26 evening outside of Havre.


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Ag producers facing increased stress and uncertainty amid tariffs and the pandemic Patrick Johnston pjohnston@havredailynews.com Economists and producers seem to agree that the past few years have been rough on the agriculture industry in Montana and the U.S., and the arrival of a global pandemic has amplified and complicated the existing troubles. “It’s been a strange few years in agriculture,” said Montana State University Professor of Agriculture Economics Eric Belasco. Producers and economists have said agriculture can be a stressful business in the best of times, but the past few years have seen a buildup of stress and uncertainty surrounding the U.S.’s ongoing disputes with China and the tariffs that have come as a result of that conflict as well as tariffs from other countries like India. Belasco said China’s agriculture tariffs, which were instituted in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products, have an adverse effect on American ag producers by lowering demand in the Chinese market. “They all have negative impacts on ag,” he said. Belasco also said that because Montana is not a big exporter of soybeans the trade dispute with China has not had as dramatic an effect on local markets as it does on the market at large. Belasco said tariffs in India have a more immediate impact on local ag producers because there is a much greater market there for peas and lentils, which are big exports in Montana.

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert Rows of winter wheat show signs of growth April 26 evening outside of Havre.

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Labor and agriculture The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the agricultural industry by creating a potential labor shortage. MSU Agribusiness Development Professor Diane Charlton said that, according to the National Modern day economics Agricultural Workers of ag Survey in 2016, only 26 per Belasco said the state of cent of the crop workers the ag industry for the last were born in the U.S. few years has been someCharlton said that what unprecedented from because so much of the the perspective of most United States’ ag labor is economists. foreign born, and the pan “I don’t think we’ve ever demic makes travel observed something like between countries more this and to really have it difficult and in some cases for three straight years,” he downright unsafe, a labor said. shortage has been born. Belasco said the situaCharlton said that, much tion with India’s tariffs in like the U.S.-China trade particular is probably dispute, this shortage has counterproductive not just not impacted Montana as for U.S. businesses, but for dramatically as other parts India as well. of the country’s ag econo “There’s a push in India my for two reasons. with (Prime Minister First, because the crops Diane Charlton Narendra) Modi to try to that tend to be grown in the MSU agribusiness development protect their domestic state are not as labor-intenprofessor industries, and one of the sive, and, second, because ways they feel they can do most of the U.S.’s ag that is importing less goods from the U.S.,” workers are from Mexico and Montana is so he said, “It’s sort of this old argument. Like, far north that they are not relied upon near‘How do we save jobs in India? Oh, do it by ly as heavily. importing less stuff from other countries.’ I mean we’ve kind of made that argument in the U.S., too. Economist don’t tend to buy it.” Belasco said the U.S. has tried similar things in the past especially during the Great Depression when tariffs were used to try to decrease unemployment, but he said historically that method has proved ineffective. “I’m not aware of a time where a country said, ‘Yeah, let’s raise tariffs,’ and unemployment has dropped,” he said. Belasco said one of the fundamental principles of economics is that there are gains to be had through trade between nations, not by everyone, but in general. He said even when a country loses certain industries the rise in trade generally makes up for it from a nationwide economics standpoint. “Economist would say you are probably creating more jobs by importing; one because you’re paying less so consumers are paying less for those products, and second the country that’s importing to you is buying stuff from you, too,” he said. tions in price that have come about for much of the ag industry, which Belasco said he’s concerned about. “I think farmers are used to price movements, but probably not price movements of this magnitude,” he said.

This is also an industry that has historically, and does routinely, adjust to shocks and adverse situations. In some ways it is an extremely resilient sector. Hopefully, it will continue to be resilient through this shock.

Charlton said there is one element of the foreign-born labor market that is a bigger problem for Montana: H2A temporary agriculture workers, who represented 10 percent of the workforce in crop agriculture in 2019. She said these workers come to the U.S. legally on temporary work visas that require them to leave the U.S. for some time, usually three months, after their subone-year visas expire, after which they can be renewed. She said there are now exceptions to that requirement being made for some workers. The exceptions were made in an effort to address the labor shortage. Charlton said even though this labor shortage is less dramatic in Montana, it is still a potential problem. “Montana still depends on foreign born labor. In 2019 Montana had 984 H2A certified p o s i t i o n s, m u c h s m a l l e r t h a n eve n Washington state … but, as you might imagine, those workers are still a vital part of the operations where they work,” she said. She also said ag workers in general are vulnerable to the pandemic more directly because of the nature of their work.

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“Farm workers typically work very long days, 10 hours usually, they also tend to still show up to work when they’re sick, so in some ways it’s a much more vulnerable population,” Charlton said. She said the long-term effects of COVID19 on the labor market are not currently known, but for now it looks like livestock, hay and alfalfa are going to be some of the segments of the industry that will be affected the most. She said COVID-19 has introduced new challenges to every aspect of the economy and government. “We’re kind of in new territory and learning as we go,” said Charlton. However, she said, despite the uncertainty and troubles the industry faces, there is cause for hope, and it’s likely that the ag industry is uniquely positioned to quickly adapt. “This is also an industry that has historically, and does routinely, adjust to shocks and adverse situations,” she said, “In some ways it is an extremely resilient sector. Hopefully, it will continue to be resilient through this shock.”


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The Problem With Farmers And Ranchers and this does not change after they “retireâ€? (if that’s actually a thing for them). 4. They love to BS and gossip - If you want I’ve come to the realization that farmers WRNQRZVRPHWKLQJÂżQGDSODFHZKHUHIDUPHUV DQGUDQFKHUVKDYHVRPHĂ€DZVDQG,WKRXJKW and ranchers congregate for coffee! They have WKHLUHDUVWRWKHJURXQGDQGWKHLUÂżQJHURQWKH maybe I should address them here. 1. They work themselves into the ground pulse of their Ag community to rival any local - their bodies may be revolting, but they will news media. Seriously! They are an untapped still get in that tractor or on that horse long resource for information as it happens. 7KH\PXVWEHWKHÂżUVWLQWKHÂżHOG7KHUH after their concerned family is comfortable. They design lifts to get themselves into their is a competitive streak in them, that they may tractor and teach their horses to lie down for try to deny. Do not believe them! You just easier mounting. Nothing will keep them from watch. As it gets closer and closer to seeding farming and ranching. A doctor’s appointment or harvest, equipment gets more and more might be necessary, but should that date come visible! Cause if they can’t actually get in the at a time when they think they’ve got more ÂżHOGWKHQDWOHDVWWKH\IHHOWKHQHHGWRVKRZ important farming or ranching things to do, WKDWWKH\DUHUHDG\WREHLQWKHÂżHOG7KLVLV that appointment goes right out the window. also discussed and touted at the local coffee place as well. Sorry Doc. 6. They are single minded - when it’s “go2. They don’t show much emotion - They have seen life lived and life ended. They may timeâ€? nothing stands in the way of that. “Oh be rough and hardened by the losses they’ve honey, you’re going into labor?! How quickly endured, but they will still work hard to save do you think you can pop that baby out?â€? “Dineven one. When life can’t be saved, that ani- ner is ready? I’ll be in when I’m done!â€? Figure mal may be taken to the bone pile or a far off on waiting for them frequently. 7. They make a ton of laundry - It is as if coulee, but that loss is felt in more than the pocket book! Don’t let them fool you. They’re they must test the limits of their wife’s stain ÂżJKWLQJSURZHVVDQGWKHHQGXUDQFHRIWRGD\ÂśV big softies under a rough exterior! 3. They appear to not value sleep - They live most capable washing machines. Want to know by, “I can sleep when I’m deadâ€? during seed- the best washing machine on the market or the ing, harvest, calving and haying. When it’s “go best detergent for certain qualities of water? time,â€? their internal clock is more dependable Just ask a farmer’s or rancher’s wife. 8. The problem with farmers and ranchers than that of a rooster! You might even be able to set your clocks by them should you have a is that they are no problem at all! They face SRZHURXWDJH/DWHQLJKWVLQWKHÂżHOGGRQÂśW a lot of challenges and sometimes they can earn them more time to sleep in in the morning. be hard to live with. But, truly they are no ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD / FOR FARM & RANCH They’re up early to go again the next morning problem at all. Seeding is upon us! Our farm girls seem to think that when equipment is being filled or worked on, then it is free to be used as a jungle gym. ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM & RANCH

The Month in Weather: Dry April Increases Fire Danger trace of reported precipitation, and one day saw a tenth of an inch of accumulated SUHFLSLWDWLRQRUPRUHZKLFKFODVVL¿HVDVD April started with a wintery bang for wetting precipitation event. As for winds, QRUWKHDVW0RQWDQDDQGWKHQVSULQJ¿QDOO\ 17 days saw sustained winds greater than arrived and conditions quickly dried up 25 mph, and 24 days with winds greater across the region. This drying has led to than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind HDUO\LQFUHDVHG¿UHGDQJHUDFURVVQRUWKHDVW was reported at 44 mph and occurred on Montana this month as grasses have yet to April 27, and the highest wind gust was also start the green-up process. This dry weather recorded on April 27 at 54 mph. Also as of press date, per the National has also started to really push the region towards re-introduction of drought conditions. Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest Looking ahead towards May, the con- observed temperature for the month was ¿GHQFHLQERWKWKHSUHFLSLWDWLRQDQGWHP- 76 degrees on April 21, and the lowest was perature forecasts is minimal. With respect 0 degrees on April 2. The total liquid preto the precipitation forecast, the forecast cipitation reported at Glasgow for the month calls for equal chances of above, near and was 0.28�, which was approximately 0.50� below-normal conditions across the Trea- below normal. Over a 24-hour period, the sure State for May. The story is the same greatest precipitation total was 0.13�, which for temperatures, with equal chances of occurred on April 1. The overall mean temabove, near and below-normal conditions perature for the month was approximately 40 degrees, which was approximately 4.5 for Montana this coming month. Now looking back at April, as of press degrees below normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was date, 12 days in the month saw at least a MICHELLE BIGELBACH FARM & RANCH

released on April 21. As of press date, there was a total of 9.5 percent of Montana reporting at least abnormally dry conditions, spread out throughout different parts of Montana, from the northwest corner, to south-central areas, and extending out to the eastern edge of the state. As for the northeast, some abnormally dry conditions have spread across portions of Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt and Richland counties, which have received much less precipitation than other parts of the region over the past month. The state drought advisory committee is looking for feedback from folks involved ZLWK WKH DJULFXOWXUH LQGXVWU\ 6SHFLÂżFDOO\ these folks are looking to hear from those directly involved in operations how drought affects them, and to know what conditions are like currently across the region. This is being conducted through a survey that goes to the Montana Drought Monitor Reporter. The link for the survey is at: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/6c96 79697b104ccdbde2d52f64f8adb2.

MSU Climate Study CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 ers play a crucial role in supporting overarching food systems and national food security, it is important that we support their mental health by providing psychological support and by also offering resources on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.� Alison Harmon, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, called climate change a “complex multifactorial global issue, the implications of which cross numerous disciplinary boundaries at MSU.� “This study demonstrates how researchers can collaborate across departments and colleges to address impacts on Montana producers. Global change will certainly impact our mental health, and I am glad to see this recognized here,� Harmon said. “This is critically important research for the state of Montana and appropriate to Montana’s land-grant university,� said Nic Rae, dean of the College of Letters and Science. “Kudos to all the faculty involved.� The study is available online at psycnet.apa. org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Frmh0000131.

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MSU Study: Climate Change Generating Anxiety For Montana Farmers, Ranchers ANNE CANTRELL MSU NEWS SERVICE FOR FARM & RANCH

Researchers have known for years that the current and projected impacts of climate change present challenges for agricultural productivity, with potentially serious consequences for farm and ranch livelihoods. But what hasn’t been clear is what this means for farmers’ and ranchers’ mental health. Now, a new study of 125 Montana farmers and ranchers shows that more than 70 percent of those farmers and ranchers agree that climate change is having an impact on their agricultural business. Moreover, nearly three quarters of the respondents say they are experiencing moderate to high levels of anxiety when thinking about climate change and its effects on agricultural business. The study was conducted by research-

Meat Processing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 All three members of Montana’s congressional delegation have joined the cattlemen in calling for an investigation. Representative Greg Gianforte called on Secretary Perdue and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate the beef industry and market, in light of calls from state cattlemen associaWLRQV,QDOHWWHUWRIHGHUDORIÂżFLDOV*LDQIRUWH wrote, “I urge you to work together to ensure WKDWDQ\DQWLFRPSHWLWLYHEHKDYLRULVLGHQWLÂżHG and punished.â€? Gianforte further called on the House Committee on Agriculture to investigate. In his letter to chairman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) and leader Michael Conaway (R-Texas) he wrote, “I am extremely concerned with the state of America’s cattle ranchers. Live cattle prices are at 10-year lows and have dropped 30 percent this year. This comes on the heels of the disruption caused by last summer’s Holcomb ÂżUHDQGPD\QRWUHSUHVHQWWKHIXOOLPSDFWRI COVID-19 disruption. While I appreciated the announcement by Secretary Perdue in early April that USDA was investigating market practices, I urge the House Committee on Agriculture to hold hearings on the state of the beef industry as soon as possible.â€? Senator Jon Tester also called on AG Barr and the DOJ to investigate the situation as 0RQWDQDUDQFKHUVVDZWKHLUSURÂżWVGHFOLQHDW the most drastic rate in 40 years, saying price irregularities have been made worse by the coronavirus outbreak. The Senator said, “EviGHQFHRISULFHÂż[LQJLVQRZHYHQFOHDUHUDV the nation reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet again, as the demand for beef increases nationwide, live cattle futures are sinking. We are hearing from ranchers that it is not feasible to sell their cattle at such low futures and still hope to break even. In a time when Americans are consuming more beef than ever before, it is confounding that ranchers are struggling, ZKLOHPHDWSDFNHUVWDNHKRPHUHFRUGSURÂżWVÂŤ

ers in Montana State University’s Department of Health and Human Development and Department of Political Science. It was published online Feb. 20 in the Journal of Rural Mental Health. “This study demonstrates that climate change is generating anxiety and distress for farmers and ranchers,â€? wrote Meredith Howard, the study’s lead author who graduated from MSU in 2018 with a master’s degree in community health. “To maximize public health preparedness efforts, interventions are warranted to provide climate adaptation education and therapeutic outreach VSHFLÂżFWRDJULFXOWXUDOZRUNHUVH[SHULHQFLQJHFRnomic struggle in the context of climate change.â€? Howard’s coauthors include Selena Ahmed, associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Development in the College of Education, Health and Human Development; Paul Lachapelle, professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Letters

and Science; and Mark Schure, assistant pro- RQ DJULFXOWXUDO EXVLQHVV DQG WKDW SURÂżWDELOLW\ fessor in the Department of Health and Human ZDVIRXQGWREHLGHQWLÂżHGDVWKHPDLQFDXVHRI Development. distress,â€? Lachapelle said. To conduct the study, the researchers created a 7KHÂżQGLQJVSURYLGHLPSRUWDQWXQGHUVWDQGLQJ survey to assess perceptions of climate effects on of some of the stresses that farmers and ranchers anxiety levels by combining an adapted version face, according to the researchers. of a survey for measuring climate change percep“Given the stress that producers are already tions with a survey assessing anxiety symptoms. under, this added stress is important to underThey administered the surveys to farmers stand and address, particularly given the aging and ranchers at two different agricultural confer- demographics of this population in Montana,â€? ences in Montana. They also emailed an online Lachapelle said. version to farmers and ranchers on the lists of In their published study, the authors note three different Montana agricultural organiza- a number of challenges that could contribute tions. Open-ended survey questions explored to agricultural productivity challenges. Those VSHFLÂżFDOO\ KRZ FOLPDWH FKDQJH LV LPSDFWLQJ include evidence that temperatures in Montana mental well-being. are increasing at a rate that is approximately two The researchers found that approximately times greater than the average global temperature three-quarters of the 125 Montana ranchers and shift associated with climate change. In addition, farmers who completed the survey believe that scientists have found that increasing temperaclimate change is negatively impacting their tures, coupled with a decrease in precipitation, production operations and that it was causing can challenge irrigation capacity, limit full crop them to experience higher levels of anxiety. development and increase the amount of crop The nation’s food supply chain is an issue of They also found that higher risk perceptions of pests in Montana. Increasing temperatures also national security.â€? climate change impact is associated with higher induce substantial heat stress for livestock, re6HQDWRU 6WHYH 'DLQHVÂś RIÂżFH KDG QR UH- reported anxiety. duce forage quantity on livestock rangeland, and cent comments on potential price issues, but “I think all of us had a sense there were LQFUHDVHWKHULVNRIZLOGÂżUHV reiterated the Senator had called for the DOJ impacts to producers, but none of us expected “I don’t know if a lot of people think about LQ 0DUFK WR LQYHVWLJDWH DOOHJHG SULFHÂż[LQJ that the numbers would be so high – that the the link between climate change and mental issues. The calls for investigations coincide overwhelming majority of respondents would health,â€? Howard said. “Since agricultural workwith new statistics, as reported by AgWeb agree that climate change is having an impact See MSU CLIMATE STUDY Page 10 Farm Journal, that the cattle industry will face losses totaling $13.6 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will alleviate some losses for producers, but industry leaders are already calling for changes, including removing payment caps. As the nation faces a potential meat shortage, the pork industry is predicted to be hit Call 406-228-9301 to reach thousands of potential customers! first with poultry quickly following. The beef industry is not likely to be far behind as decisions will need to be made by producers whether to sell their cattle or winter them, increasing their expenses while taking a hit on income. Reporting in the Montana Free Press, Jonathan Hettinger highlighted that beef producers in Montana will not be exempt from the looming food crisis. There are no major processing plants in Montana and only four major companies have the market cornered, slaughtering roughly 80 percent of all U.S. cattle. AgWeb reports that economists predict that beef losses could increase in upcoming years, meaning the impact of the virus will be felt long after this outbreak might be contained. Relief payments may offset those losses, but payments will depend on the ability of Washington to come to agreements on which industries are most critical and in need of federal assistance as politicians strive to keep the economy from spiraling into a depression. Under the CARES Act, USDA will provide $9.5 billion in direct support to family farmers and ranchers with an additional $6.5 billion also available from the Community Credit Corporation. Farmers and ranchers will be eligible for up to $125,000 per commodity with an overall payment limit of $250,000 per person or entity.

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May • June • July • 2020 Schedule THURSDAY

7

May 2020

Koenig Red Angus Bull and Female Production Auction, Cow Calf Pair Special & All Class Cattle Auction

14

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21

Spring Horse Auction & All Class Cattle Auction

28

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June 2020

Cow/Calf Pair Special & All Class Cattle Auction All Class Cattle Auction

June 2020 (cont.)

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Big Pre 4th Dry Cow Auction & All Class Cattle Auction

THURSDAY

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THURSDAY

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2

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9

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16

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23

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Meat Processing Plants Ordered to Stay Open

President Trump Signs Executive Order Under Defense Production Act GWENDOLYNE HONRUD FOR FARM & RANCH On April 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring meat and poultry processing plants critical infrastructure and ordering the businesses to remain open or reopen in order to maintain the nation’s food supply chain. The move comes at time during the COVID-19 pandemic when economic experts have warned that the food supply chain could be drastically impaired as cities with processing plants are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases and as stockgrowers and lawmakers are calling for investigation into beef pricing margins. The nation’s economy and food supply chains have seen dramatic shifts in the past few months as restaurants and other industries with food services, such as cruise lines, have shuttered their doors temporarily and ceased purchases of commercial food. At the same time, laid off and furloughed workers have increasingly turned to food banks to combat food insecurity across the country. The food industry has not yet adjusted to the shift in demands resulting in food being discarded and animals euthanized. News reports have shown lines of vehicles outside of food banks followed by photos of piles of food thrown out or plowed under. Other reports point to pig farmers who have been forced to put down their animals, which were been due to be shipped to plants, as new animals are being born and limited space does not allow for safe conditions for the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated it is looking to purchase excess food in an effort to divert to food banks, which have traditionally relied on retail donations for supplies. Yet, bureaucracy has delayed the process as unsold food continues to rot. Small processing businesses are often not licensed for public resale and will be unable to step in WRÂżOODQ\ORFDOYRLG The executive order issued by the President drew praise from Secretary Perdue, who issued a press release that evening. “I thank President Trump for signing this executive order and recognizing the importance of keeping our food supply chain safe, secure, and plentiful. Our nation’s meat and poultry processing facilities play an integral role in the continuity of our food supply chain,â€? said Secretary Perdue. “Maintaining the health and safety of these heroic employees in order to ensure that these critical facilities can continue operating is paramount. I also want to thank the com-

panies who are doing their best to keep their workforce safe as well as keeping our food supply sustained. USDA will continue to work with its partners across the federal government to ensure employee safety to maintain this essential industry.â€? Prior to the executive order, on April 27, Montana Governor Steve Bullock released a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking that USDA authorize some local processing in order to avoid food waste and to get local meat to food banks in areas most impacted by the coronavirus. Bullock wrote, “Our proposed protocols would enforce the intent of our food safety regulations and ensure that food is not wasted at a time when many Montanans need access to food during this crisis.â€? Bullock’s letter said the “temporary and measured stepsâ€? would prevent food from going to waste while ensuring Montana residents received necessary relief. While this request is temporary, the governor also requested that USDA encourage new ideas to reduce barriers for meat processing in Montana and improve markets for rural producers over the long term. Former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was secretary under President Obama, appeared on MSNBC on April 28, agreeing with the necessity of keeping the plants open to guarantee the continuation of the food supply chain. He also stressed the need to protect the health of the workers at those plants. Data on the coronavirus spread and concentration across the country point to several areas with meat and poultry processing plants as having the most recent and dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases, often with direct links to processing plants. Cases in plants located in Nebraska and South Dakota have drawn national media attention despite being far removed from coastal news headquarters. South Dakota in particular has drawn attention as Governor Kristi Noem refused to issue a statewide stay at home order even as cases surged DWWKH6PLWKÂżHOG)RRGVSODQWLQ6LRX[)DOOV While cases increase in areas with meat processing plants, cattlemen are facing another challenge on their end of the supply chain. Cattlemen’s associations and lawmakers have voiced concerns regarding potential fraudulent business practices with the meatpacking industry. The calls come in response to a packing SODQWÂżUHODVW\HDUDQGWKH&29,'RXWEUHDN this year, both of which resulted in lower prices for ranchers’ product while the processing SODQWV VDZ LQFUHDVHV DQG XQVHDVRQDO SURÂżWability, calling into question the plants’ ethical business conduct. The Montana Stockgrowers Association joined 22 other state cattlemen’s associations in calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the beef pricing margins. See MEAT PROCESSING Page 3

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Glasgow Stockyards April Market Reports of an OCC Lucy Dam for $7,250. Layne Murnion, of Jordan, purchased lot 60: Big Dry FounThe market report for the dation G71 sired by S FoundaGlasgow Stockyards as of April tion 514 for $7,250. 2 showed 319 cattle sold with The market report for the cows $5 to $10 lower and bulls Glasgow Stockyards as of April $3 to $5 lower. There was no 23 showed 361 cattle sold with test on feeders or bred cattle. cows and bulls steady. No test At the Bowles J5 Reds 15th on feeders or bred cattle. Utility Annual Bull and Female Proand commercial cows brought in duction Auction, Jim and Julie, $57 to $64.50; canner and cutter Brady and Tracy Bowles, of cows brought in $45 to $57 while Chinook, Mont., sold 46 Red bulls brought in $88 to $100. Angus Bulls with an average A big thank you to Sam Wacost of $3,748. The top bull sold ters and the First Community for $8,500 and the top 10 bulls Bank folks. FCB purchased a averaged $5,650. 24 heifers bull at Glasgow Stockyards that averaged $1,213 with the top was consigned by a Hinsdale heifer selling for $1,550. Volrancher and processed by Treaume buyers for bulls included sure Trail Processing. ApproxiBrandon Reddig, of Lustre, mately 1,000 pounds of locally with nine; Ken Solberg, of raised all-natural hamburger Larslan, with four; Dave Friedwill be donated to the local food rich, of Antelope, with four and bank. Engstrom Ranch, of Glasgow The 32nd Annual North with four. Volume buyers for Country Angus Bull Producheifers included Brookman tion Auction was held. Humbert Ranch, of Molt, with 10 and Angus, Lee Humbert, saw 24 Gibbs Red Angus, of Jordan, bulls sold with an average of with six. $3,479 and the top bull brought The top selling Red Angus in $5,750. North Bench Angus, Bull of 2020 sold to Spear Doug and Jody Mason, saw 27 J. Red Angus, of Jordan, for bulls sold with an average of $8,500. Lot 25, J5 Legendary $3,491 with the top bull selling 9080 sired by Bowles 75 LegA.J. ETHERINGTON / FOR FARM & RANCH for $5,250. end. Extra long, extra thick, A Nelson Red Bull named 18 Karat waits for auction at the Glasgow Stockyards on April 29. 2020 top selling bull was lot 7 extra deep. 81# birthweight; sold to the Voss Ranch, of Circle, 771 WW; 122 WW Ratio; 118 buyers included Bill Webb, of Malta, with Dry JDM Bravado G45 sired by Coleman Bravo for $5,750. H Resource 9607 sired by RA ReYW Ratio. EPDS: HB 199; GM 47; CED 12; seven; Keith Beil, of Hinsdale, with six; Bar- and out of a Vermilion Lass Dam, a leader in in- source 784 and out of Connealy Capitalist on the BW -1.5; WW 60; YW 90; Milk 29; Stay 20. nard Ranch, of Hinsdale, and Daley Ranch, of dividual performance for weaning, yearling and dam side. Heifer bull. Birth weight 67#. 724# Lot 28 sold to Buzzard Glory Ranch, of 1DVKXDZLWKÂżYHHDFK scrotal. Length and muscle in an eye-appealing WW. Ratios: 104 WW; 115 Gain; 109 Yearling. Wolf Point, for $6,500. J5 C147 Thrill Ride All four of the top selling bulls in the 2020 package. 777 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 118; YW EPDS: WW +69; Milk +18; Yearly +123. 9168 sired by J5 0226 Thriller. 77# birthproduction auction were sired by BHA General 116. EPDS: WW +59; YW +112; Milk +25. Lot 934 was sold to Tyler Traeger, of Bainweight; 108 WW Ratio, 109 YW Ratio. EPDS: 149. Lot 214 sold to Scott Fossum, of Glasgow, This herd sire prospect sold to Pluhar Ranch ville, for $5,250. North Bench Hickok 934 sired HB 208; GM 49; CED 15; BW -2.6; WW 57; for $5,250. Lot 109 sold to Bill Webb, of Malta, Company, of Cohagen, Mont., for $13,500. by Mill Bar Hickok and out of an S Chisum YW 94; Milk 27; Stay 20. for $5,250. Lot 1008, sold to Barnard Ranch, of Another herd sire prospect Lot 25, Big Dry Dam. Birth weight 79#. Ratios: WW 110; YW Lot 26 sold to Michael Hammond, of Hinsdale, for $5,000. Lot 9104 sold to Leland Prototopye G31 sired by Woodhill Bluepring 103. EPDS: WW +65, Milk +25; YW +112. Whitewater, for $6,000. J5 C147 Thriller 9024. Ranch, of Ismay, for $5,000. and going back to Connealy Capitalist on the 14.5 Adj. Ribeye. Another Thriller- sired bull. 111 WW Ratio; The market report for the Glasgow Stock- dam side. 724 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 112; Lot 944 sold to Daryl Waarvik, of Glasgow, 112 YW Ratio. EPDS: HB 210; GM 49; WW yards as of April 16 showed 906 cattle sold with YW 113. EPDS: WW +73; YW +132; Milk for $5,000. North Bench Denver 944. Sired by 61; YW 102; Milk 26; Stay 21. cows and bulls higher. Utility and commercial +37. Lot 25 sold to Whistling Winds Angus, of Basin Denver D907. A real heifer bull. BirthThree bulls left the ring at $5,250. Lot 29 cows brought in between $55 to $63.50 with Hingham, Mont. weight 69#. Ratios: WW 114; YW 112. EPDS: and Lot 40 sold to Ken Solberg, of Larslan the top price of $67.50. Canner and cutter cows Lot 32 sold to 9 Peaks Ranch, Rebecca Birth -1.1; Weaning +61; Milk +25; Yearling while Lot 63 sold to Powell Ranch, of Chibrought in $43 to $55; bulls $88 to $103.50; Borror of Fort Rock, Ore., for $8,500. Big Dry +104. nook. and Bangs-vaccinated replacement heifers Precipitation G38 sired by SAV Rainfall and Anderson Charolas, Tom and Shane AnderThe market report for the Glasgow Stock$975-$1035/hd. Vermilion Franklin on the dam side. 713 Adj. son, saw 37 bulls sold with an average of $3,669 yards as of April 9 showed 331 cattle sold with Big Dry Angus Ranch held their 32nd An- WW. Ratios: WW 109; YW 104. EPDS: WW with the top bull selling for $5,250. cows and bulls lower. Utility and commercial nual Production Auction with 74 bulls selling +56; YW +109; Milk +21. Lot 937 was the highest selling bull of 2020, cows brought in $50 to $58, while canner and with an average cost of $4,753. The top bull Lot 7 sold to Vermilion Ranch of Billings for an A.I. son of Blue Grass, a bull with muscle, cutter cows brought in $40 to $50 and bulls sold for $13,500 and the top 10 averaged $7,750. Big Dry Blueprint G7 sired by Woodhill depth and structural completeness.Adj. 365 brought in $78 to $91.50. $7,825. Volume buyers included Ross Ranch, Blueprint. 703 Adj. WW. Ratios: WW 107; YW Ratio 116; WDA Ratio 116; ADG Test 4.12. Eayrs Angus Ranch held their 18th Producof Jordan, with eight; Blue Ridge Ranch, of 105. EPDS: WW +70; YW +21; Milk +37. 41 CM Scrotal. Selling to long time customer tion Auction selling 44 bulls with an average Jordan, with seven; and Newell Hoverson, of Brown Angus Ranch of Wolf Point pur- Linn Ranch, of Saco, for $5,250. cost of $3,869 and the top bull sold for $5,250. Jordan, with six. chased Lot 35: Big Dry JDM Vindicator G41 Lot 911 sold to Roland Young, of Malta, The top 10 bulls averaged $4,825. Volume Lot 39 was the top selling bull of 2020. Big sired by BDAR JDM Conception E40 and out for $4,500, sired by A.I. son of Blue Grass. FOR FARM & RANCH


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4-H- Learning Through The Challenges

local parks are still in the picture as families work together. Virtual programming has become the wave of the future as members work on their 4-H Montana 4-H members are experiencing projects at home while continuing to share a different perspective of their 4-H involve- learning experiences with each other from ment this spring. Typical style 4-H events their computers or phones. Platforms such as look different right now but that doesn’t seem Zoom and Webex have become common terms to dampen the spirits of active 4-H members. as a communication tool. Tampico Boys 4-H As a result of the Montana State 4-H Cen- Club met remotely to connect and discuss club ter’s statement that all face-to-face instruction business and create a plan for the near future. was to be canceled, parents and leaders let their President Trevor Klind led the meeting from FUHDWLYHMXLFHVÀRZDVWKH\VFUDPEOHGWRPDLQ- the cab of a tractor. The Hinsdale 4-H Aftertain learning experiences. Project work is go- school program meets Tuesdays and ThursLQJIXOOVWHDPDKHDGDQG\RXWK¿QGWKHPVHOYHV days via Zoom to continue their hands-on with time to complete experiential learning learning and public speaking skills. Members through hands-on activities. For members recently presented their demonstrations from with livestock projects it means more time their homes for others to watch. Camp Counselor training for the District IV in contact with them from feeding to training to grooming. For those with indoor projects, 4-H Camp was also accomplished using Weits time in the kitchen making family meals, bex and some creative teaching skills. Teens doodling on a pad for expression through art IURP¿YHFRXQWLHVZHUHDEOHWRJHWWRNQRZ RU ¿QLVKLQJ D ZRRGZRUNLQJ RU OHDWKHUFUDIW each other through ice breakers, choose a camp project. 4-H Afterschool and Lucky Clover theme, meals and snacks and cabin activities. 4-H families worked together, yet apart, to Their enthusiasm was inspiring as they made create cards to send to locals who may need these plans while understanding that a tradia uplifting message. Other families learned tional camp may not be an option this year. Valley County 4-H Agent Roubie Younkin sewing skills by making masks to help meet community needs. Community service proj- states that “the creativity of people is impresects such as highway cleanup and maintaining sive and may be a building block for future activities” The Valley County MT4H Facebook page keeps the community informed regarding current activities and accomplishments There are also activities posted to keep kids learning from home. (Search for and like the page to stay informed). Younkin learned that Ohio 4-H is now offering 18 projects that members can do from home by downloadLQJD¿OH7KHSURMects include sewing, leisure arts, creative writing, genealogy, cooking and baking, natural resources and more. There is even a laundry project! These activities are available for every family, not just 4-H members, and can be accessed at https://ohio4h.org/ stayathomeprojects. AMBER KIRKLAND / FOR FARM & RANCH Weston Kirkland poses with a newborn calf on his family's ranch in northeast 4-H at Home also provides learning Montana.

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ROUBIE YOUNKIN MSU EXTENSION AGENT VALLEY COUNTY FOR FARM & RANCH

Prez Orders Meat Processors to Stay Open - Page 2 BRITTANY ALLESTAD / FOR FARM & RANCH

Tenley Allested leads her Heifer on the family ranch in Valley County. experiences and can be accessed here https://4h.org/about/4-h-at-home/. At the county level Agent Roubie Younkin remains guardedly optimistic about summer 4-H programming. Some events may still be an option with limited numbers and social distancing constraints while others may be accomplished remotely. Many livestock project members have their project animals and have faith that they will have the opportunity to exhibit their learning experiences. The poultry project may go on as in the past depending upon interest. The “fair as we know it” may look dif-

ferent this summer but there will be options for them. In the meantime it is business as usual for our 4-H families. Our communities provide tremendous support of 4-H and positive youth development. We will all come together and do whatever possible to ensure that our members and families have learning experiences in the midst of these unsettling times. All youth are welcome to become a part of the 4-H experience. Interested families PD\FDOOWKHLUORFDO068([WHQVLRQ2I¿FHIRU more information and to enroll in this positive youth development experience.

COURTESY PHOTO / FOR FARM & RANCH

Pictured are Caden (l), Trace (r) and Ellie (f) Laumeyer holding up letters they wrote to people in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hi-Line Farm & Ranch May 2020  

Hi-Line Farm & Ranch May 2020  

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