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Guest Column U.S. Senator Steve Daines weighs in on labeling| 3

YCC Andy and Ariel give a full recap of the Tour| 4

Living with Griz Wayne Slaght shares tips for cohabitation with bears| 9

STOCKGROWERSUpdate Looking at the year ahead

JULY 2016

Errol Rice Executive Vice President


SGA is eagerly anticipating what the second half of 2016 will bring in terms of political, economic and regulatory conditions for all things cattle, beef and Montana’s ranching sector. We’ll be watching the the 2016 national and state elections closely. Generally speaking, the Presidential is an unpredictable proposition for our industry and there will likely be down ticket carnage that puts current majorities into play. State-side we’ll be watching a high profile Governor and Supreme Court race and I anticipate that we’ll be entering a fiscally challenged legislature in 2017 that will examine the budgetary progress of the Department of Livestock. MSGA has worked with the Department of Livestock to resolve issues raised last session and we are concerned about any attempt by the legislature to merge our agency with the Department of Agriculture. This is something that MSGA adamantly opposes. There will likely be an attempt to revoke the CSKT water compact that MSGA supported in 2015. A repeal of this agreement will expand litigation on each of the CSKT’s 10,000 water claims across Montana. Ranchers would need to be prepared to hire costly legal counsel to defend their water rights if the legislature changes course. Our primary election PAC contributions invested in candidates who regardless of their background, would mitigate our risk exposure to government regulation while also working in harmony with our strategic positions. PAC efforts are a part

The Montana delegation at NCBA’s Summer Conference of the election process and can create some disagreement but MSGA’s leadership and our lobbying team look forward to working with all policy makers to achieve important outcomes. Economically, the loss of equity in the cattle markets has prompted a number of initiatives at the national level where MSGA has had the opportunity to provide input. Specifically, looking at actions to address algorithmic and high frequency trading in order to ensure that the CME Group futures products operate in a realistic manner, free and clear of market manipulation. We also supported policies that direct NCBA to implement resources to seek appropriate improvements and to determine if automated, high frequency trading of live and feeder cattle futures markets has resulted in any negative arbitrage. Moving forward in 2016, MSGA will be focusing on how Montana’s cow/calf sector can align sustainability indicator metrics with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef so

that we can better meet growing supply chain pressure to provide transparency on animal health, efficiency, yield , water resources, land resources, air quality and employee safety. The board of directors will be meeting on August 25th to focus on our strategic plan and lay the groundwork for a busy Fall run of tours and meetings. The board will also be working to grow the MSGA Foundation through the fundraising efforts of the T-Bone Classic. The volunteer and staff leadership of the Montana Public Lands Council will be in Boise, ID on September 7th - 9th for the National Public Lands Council meeting and stay tuned for more details about the 2016 annual convention December 7th - 9th in Billings. We are moving back to the West end Holiday Inn which is under renovation as the new Radisson Hotel and Convention Center.

Environmental Stewardship Ranch Tour


SGA’s Environmental Stewardship Program (ESAP) hosted its first Ranch Tour on July 11th and 12th at the American Fork Ranch. The American Fork Ranch was the 2015 winner of the Environmental Stewardship Award. Jed and Annie Evjene hosted members of the media and chefs on the ranch to promote the ESAP program. The Tour included three stops discussing range land management, riparian areas and water. Attendees heard from experts on how ranchers are stewards of the land, preserving the landscape for future generations to come. The tour was well received by media and several stories have already been published including features in the Billings Gazette and three stories on Yellowstone Public Radio. These stories can be found on MSGA’s website and social media. A big thank you to all of the sponsors that made the Tour possible: The Montana Beef Council, World Wildlife Fund, Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers, Wheatland County Stockgrowers, Trout Unlimited, and Cargill. A full recap of the Tour will be on the MSGA website next week.!

Dates to Remember August 25-26 T Bone Classic; Big Sky

September 7-8 MT Range Tour; Big Timber 7-9 National Public Lands Council meeting; Boise, ID 17 CattleWomen Ranch Run; Lennup 20-22 Montana Angus Tour; Lewistown 2 

STOCKGROWERSUpdate July 2016

Guest Column: U.S. Senator Steve Daines One of the greatest privileges I have in the U.S. Senate is standing up every day on behalf of Montana’s farmers and ranchers. There are more than 25,000 farms and ranches across Montana which are the foundation of our economy, and make up our number one industry: agriculture. But agriculture is more than just an economic driver of our state, it’s a way of life for thousands of Montana families and supports tens of thousands of jobs throughout our state. In Montana, we have about two-and-ahalf times as many cattle as we do people – that’s over two and a half million cattle – which helps to provide a safe, reliable and affordable food supply not only for our nation but for the world. Over the past several weeks and months, I’ve heard directly from farmers and ranchers about your strong concerns with a Vermont-style food labeling law that would have wide-ranging impacts on jobs in Montana, agriculture research, and the price we all pay to feed our families. I’m outraged by defenders of this fringe law who have embraced a radical ideology and ignore the very real hardships that it will inflict on agricultural jobs and family incomes, and have been outspoken in the Senate on this issue. Make no mistake, the Vermont-style law is an attack on the heart of Montana’s way of life. It’s an attack on Montana farm and ranch operations, and I won’t stand for it.

That’s why I supported a bipartisan compromise in the U.S. Senate to head off this disastrous law and provide a nationwide standard that will protect Montana jobs, prevent baseless discrimination against Montana agriculture goods and avoid higher prices in the grocery line. The nationwide standard includes an important provision to exempt meat, poultry and egg products from labeling regulations if the animal may have consumed bioengineered feed. Montana’s universities have top-tier agriculture research programs that have used technology and bioscience to help farmers across our state increase crop yield, minimize waste and help keep Montana livestock disease-free – all necessary to helping our farmers and ranchers meet growing global food demand. I will continue supporting agriculture research and bioscience programs and encourage federal government agencies to stick to the science, not marketing campaigns, when mandating regulations on food labeling. Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have both publically admitted to me that there are no material, scientific differences between foods grown using biotechnology and that there is no scientific evidence that mandatory labeling is necessary or beneficial. Our government should make decisions on food safety based only on sound science, not on marketing efforts that have no bearing on health, food safety or nutrition. I will stand up for Montana and continue to fight to ensure that Montana’s agricultural products are not unfairly and arbitrarily discriminated against. I’m honored, as always, to stand with Montana’s farmers, ranchers and agricultural industry.


Board of Directors Update Bryan Mussard First Vice President

Good day Everyone, My number came up this month, so here’s my pitch. The market has gone south for a bit, but the industry is still moving forward with the input and demands of our society. We are part of that dialog and have to be. Challenging issues don’t sleep during down markets. With that said, Stockgrowers is busy on many fronts forming new alliances with some formerly, not so friendly groups to the ranching community, like Trout Unlimited and the World Wildlife Fund and others. These alliances are forming, much as a result of the continuing conversation of global sustainability. These groups and many others are serious about defining sustainability and developing plans to achieve it. These groups are finding out on their own, the incredible importance of ranching and how it has sustained itself, the environment and the economic well-being of society. We have leverage in these conversations and need to help shape the future of ranching within it. If we don’t, our future will be decided for us. That is never a good choice

and it is often overwhelming to change the outcome of decisions that were made for you/us. Case and point, we learned today at the NCBA summer convention that FDA is working on a mandatory national feeder animal ID program in the next couple of years. We started work today to come up with an industry led ID program. We are also petitioning the FDA to separate polyether Ionofores, used for increased feed efficiency from the feed medication list, as they do not propose any risk to cattle or human health. However without them, the US feeding industry is at a severe disadvantage to the EU, Australia and other countries with different feed label regulations that allow them to feed Ionofores. These are just a few things we are working on at MSGA for our membership. Enjoy what you have today. Look around in a spirit of gratitude and then ask yourself what you can do to engage in your industry, whether it be from the ranch, at the local, state or national levels. It may be uncomfortable, but it will be rewarding and educating simultaneously. I take my hat off to all of you who are involved in this industry behind the scenes doing your part to make a better tomorrow for the Montana ranching industry and the overall beef industry. Have a Gorgeous summer! July 2016



Young Cattlemen’s Conference Andy Kellom

First off, I would like to thank the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation for selecting me to participate in the 2016 YCC trip. It is a big commitment from the foundation and I appreciate it very much. This trip is a huge commitment all the way around. Ten days in June is a long time to be away from work and family. However, it was truly an invaluable experience for me and well worth the effort. I couldn’t begin to describe all of the experiences that I encountered, but here is a little summary of the high points. For those of you that are unfamiliar, YCC brings young cattle producers (about 60 total participants) from across the US to receive leadership training and get an in depth look into the beef industry from farm to fork. I was one of three Montanans on the trip, accompanied by Ariel Overstreet (also sponsored by the Foundation), and Lane Nordlund (media representative). We got an up close look at the NCBA headquarters in Denver and learned about their efforts both on the regulatory side and also on the beef promotion (checkoff) side. We also heard from executives from the CME, CattleFax, Cargill, and Safeway/Albertsons about their perspectives on the beef industry while at NCBA headquarters. One common theme that seemed to show up with many of the beef end users as well as the checkoff folks was how we market beef to the millennial generation (ages 18 – 35). Millennials are now the largest consumer group in the U.S. and they are very driven by information (not always good information), especially social media and the internet. Millennials are becoming somewhat notorious for saying one


STOCKGROWERSUpdate July 2016

thing and doing another when it comes to purchasing beef. One thing is for certain that the millennials cannot be ignored. In Colorado, we visited the JBS processing plant in Greeley and the Kuner feedlot. We were then able to meet with the management team at JBS headquarters following the tours for a very candid and up front question and answer session. Questions ranging from the diminishing cash fed cattle market to environmental regulations were discussed openly and at length. The second leg of the trip was to Chicago where we got a tour of a hamburger patty plant run by OSI Industries. This plant is one of several globally that produces hundreds of thousands of hamburger patties every single day for McDonalds. We had the opportunity to meet with the plant managers following the tour for another candid question and answer session. These folks were truly impressive and very in tune with the beef business. One of the main concerns that they brought to us (cattle producers) is the presence of buckshot in beef that arrives at their plant. Before packaging and shipping, the patties are scanned with metal detectors to ensure that the product headed to the consumer is free of any kind of metal. They told us that at least once a week those metal detectors are going off and the culprit is buckshot. This is extremely difficult to find or remove any other way. As a cattle producer, this gets me fired up and it should get you fired up. We simply cannot afford these kinds of completely preventable issues to show up down the chain and cause beef demand issues. It also tells me that we still have work to do on the BQA front to spread this message to more producers. Following the plant tour, we stopped at the McDonalds corporate headquarters (Hamburger University) for a presentation and another very good

question and answer session with a group of McDonald’s corporate executives. After the short stop in Chicago, it was on to Washington DC. DC was described to us as “60 square miles surrounded by reality” which I think about anyone from the west would find to be true. We spent an entire day hearing from Colin Woodall and NCBA’s DC staff about the various issues that they are working on. It was very interesting to see all of the different issues they are working on, as I had no idea there were so many. I was truly impressed with the depth of knowledge of the issues shown by the DC staff members. This was not something that I was expecting and was very pleased to see that these people are on the ground in Washington every day fighting for cattlemen. The highlight for me of the entire trip was the day we spent on Capitol Hill. After very good briefings from both MSGA and NCBA, we spent a day meeting with Montana Senators Tester and Daines as well as Congressman Zinke. We discussed and shared facts with them on several issues of importance to Montana’s beef producers including WOTUS, Endangered Species Act reform (Grizzly Bear, Sage Grouse most specifically), removal of Brucella Abortus from the select agent list, and passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership. I would like to extend an extra thank you to Congressman Zinke for taking us on a quick walking tour of the capitol on his way to the house floor to vote. Ariel and I were able to see what I later heard is the “best view in Washington”. If you are wondering what this is, it is the view of the mall and Washington Monument from the balcony outside the office of the speaker of the house. After a couple of very busy days in DC, the trip was topped off with a visit to Whitestone Farms for a tour of a registered Angus Continued on next page

YCCcontinued from page 4 operation in Virginia. I was amazed at the productivity of the land there. 50-60 inches of rain annually is a hard number to get your head around when you grew up in SE Idaho (8-10 inches) and now live in central Montana (15-18 inches).

I returned from the 2016 YCC tour energized to be a part of the beef business. I am proud to be part of the beef production chain that produces the safest and most wholesome beef in the world. We produce a product in the US that is truly second to none in the world. A couple of take home messages that I brought home are to stay involved and to stay vocal. We as beef producers need to continue to tell the story of our business. Less than 2% of the population of the US is involved in production agriculture. Many are now becoming 3rd generation removed so they don’t even get to hear stories about the farm or ranch from grandpa. There are many well-funded groups that would do our industry harm with skewed facts and false information about cattle and beef production. Secondly, we operate in a global marketplace today. 96% of the population of the world lives outside the borders of the US. Many of these people would like a taste of US beef. It is more important now than ever before to gain fair access to more of these markets. Again, I would like to thank REEF for providing me this excellent opportunity to participate in YCC 2016. I would encourage anyone that is interested to apply in 2017. It is a big commitment, but you will not regret it. From Ariel Overstreet-Adkins: “The YCC trip was truly an eye-opening experience. This trip gave me an important perspective of the beef industry from the cow-calf side to the feeders and packers, all the way to retailers and consumers. We learned about many of the efforts by NCBA and the Beef Checkoff to conduct important research and influence consumers, the media, regulators, and lawmakers. Meeting with our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. was the highlight for me. Senators Tester and Daines, and Congressman Zinke all met with us personally and listened to our concerns. I am grateful to MSGA and to the MSGA Foundation for investing in this incredible educational opportunity.”

Checking in on the Checkoff Chaley Harney Executive Director

Your Montana Beef Council has a busy summer of promoting beef as we come into the home-stretch of the fiscal year, ending September 30. And with a new fiscal year approaching, we will again be seeking funding requests from contractors to help carry out the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef. In this fiscal year, we have worked with over 20 different organizations to build more demand for your product right here in Montana. Additionally, there are four representatives that also voice your interest on the national and international level for planning and demand-building initiatives. Through the Federation of State Beef Councils, Kristin Larson, Kiley Martinell, Kathy Creighton-Smith and Linda Swanz serve on various national Beef Checkoff Committees, in addition to the three Cattlemen’s Beef Board representatives Montana also has with Leo McDonnell, Lyle Peterson and Ross Racine. Further, Kristin Larson is serving her second year on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. That is a lot of dedicated volunteer Montana representation for you! Montana’s planning and contracting process is very similar to the national process and I encourage you to reach out to any of these individuals or our office if you are curious to know more. And of course you can stay up-to-date by signing up to receive My Beef Checkoff News at When you fire up the grill this summer, enjoy that steak (try a new recipe) and know that we are out working for you! Upcoming Events: August 1: Montana Beef Council Project Funding Request Deadline August 4: Movie Night at the Winery, Billings August 18: Montana BQA Low Stress Handling Clinic, Bozeman August 19: ZooFari- Burgers, Brews & Bands, Billings September 29-30: Montana Beef Council Board Meeting, Billings

Want to keep up to date on what the Montana Beef Council is up to? Head to and sign up for their Newsletter!

MSGA meets with FWP Officials

On June 29th, President Gene Curry, Director Wayne Slaght and Jay Bodner, met with FWP Director Jeff Hagener and other FWP leadership to discuss grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front. MSGA had an opportunity to relay some of the practices and programs in other areas of the state that have been successful in reducing some of the conflicts faced by ranchers, along with those programs that had poor results. One of the programs that have had significant success in the Blackfoot valley has been the carcass removal program, which MSGA encouraged FWP to consider implementing. FWP discussed some of the methods they are applying and developing to better inform the communities of bear activities, such as Facebook, calling trees and signage. Both FWP and MSGA recognized the importance of better communication to the communities to reduce grizzly bear conflicts. MSGA is also working on additional information regarding potential programs that are available for ranchers to utilize to help address these conflicts. For further information, please contact the MSGA office. July 2016



MSGA Board of Directors Update Kim Peterson North Central District

Greetings, from Northern Hill County, we have received a lot of rain this spring and are still receiving frequent showers, consequently, the grass and crops look great. The haying process is now in full swing in my area in spite of the moist conditions. I wish all areas of the State were as fortunate. Looks like we will be tightening our belts this year as we see calf and cattle prices remain unimpressive, but we have lots of company since the Ag industry in general is facing the same challenges. MSGA had a successful Mid-Year meeting in June, in Great Falls, discussing the following industry issues: Yellowstone Grizzly Bear de-listing as well as finding better ways to deal with bear intrusion into ranches and other rural areas. Setbacks on Well regulations for Feedlots.

Bison Management. New Department of Labor overtime rule change. There were many interesting Speakers and presentations Including Carrie Mess, a dairy farmer from Wisconsin who is also a social media AG Advocate. One of my favorite presentations was a panel including Emily Murry, General Manager of McDonald’s beef at Cargill, Bob Lowe, Alberta Beef Producer Chairman, and Nancy Labbe, senior officer of World Wildlife Fund’s Sustainable Ranching Program. These folks helped develop a pilot project in Canada committed to advancing sustainable practices, promoting beef and educating the consumer about how beef is raised. These topics greatly interest me because I believe one of the greatest challenges our industry faces is the public’s perception of the quality of our products and our stewardship of the land. We toured Ryan Dam and were treated to a Social at Western Ranch Supply, followed by a tour and dinner at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. It was a fun and informational Mid-Year event and I would encourage any member to join us next year, learning and socializing with other producers. Hope you all have a fun and productive summer.

MSGA members receive Regional award


SGA is thrilled to announce that our 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award Winners, Lon and Vicki Reukauf of Cherry Creek Ranch were awarded the NCBA Region V Environmental Stewardship Award. The commercial cow-calf operation, located in eastern Montana, is one of the few remaining original homesteads, a fact that instills pride in Lon and Vicki Reukauf, the third generation to operate the ranch. That legacy also drives the management philosophy for the Reukauf ’s, who place a strong emphasis on rotational grazing as a way to manage pastures and maintain soil health. Regional award recipients will now compete for the national Environmental Stewardship Award. The winner of the national award will be announced during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in February, 2017.

Leadership Series selects mentors Heather Fryer MSGA Leadership Series


he Inaugural Leadership Series class has past the halfway mark and our assignments are becoming more challenging. Rightfully so, if we want to improve ourselves our assignments should be increasingly difficult. This series has helped us identify our strengths and define our short-term/long-term goals. We also continue to practice our communication, outreach, and time-management skills. Anyone in the class can tell you how beneficial it’s been to attend, and yet, everyone occasionally gets stuck and needs a little help. Hence, our July homework assignment is to identify five mentors and work on growing those relationships. We must also explain why we chose these individuals for this important


STOCKGROWERSUpdate July 2016

role and submit a summary about the new things we’ve learned. Mentors can often be someone you work with or for, advisors, and/ or successful individuals in our industry. A mentor can pass along valuable information to help improve practices, continue traditions or develop ideas. These relationships are often similar to friendships by growing over time. Everyone can benefit from a good mentor, just as Alexander the Great benefited from Aristotle. Recently, I heard a lecturer say, “When you’re at the crossroads, the one less traveled is the one where you might need some help.” A mentor can help you channel your energy and continue on your path to success. Our next meeting for the Leadership Series will be in August at the T-Bone Classic. We’ll be discussing Succession Planning with guests from the Yellowstone Boys & Girls Ranch Foundation. Perhaps a few of the leadership group will see you at Tee-Time on Friday!

Young Stockgrowers Update Tyrel Obrecht Young Stockgrowers Vice-Chair

Greetings from central Montana! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day and this July finds everyone on schedule with haying, and well into their summer work load. Between work and MSGA events, I have been able to travel to several parts of the state the last few months. I’m amazed at some of the contrasts inmoisture in different areas. Hopefully this last storm system that came over MT dropped some moisture on each of your operations, making those crops and summer pastures a little stronger. In the past month, I attended the Mid-year meeting in Great Falls. The Leadership Series worked with Daren Williams from the NCBA to learn about the beef check-off and handling the media. I feel both of these are important to our industry and found the workshop beneficial. As the American consumer becomes more disconnected with our product, it is helpful to know the nutritional facts, so a rancher can easily promote the healthy product he or she works so hard every day to produce. Also, with so much pressure on social media and from outside organizations on the agriculture industry, it is important that

all producers are able to conduct themselves professionally in front of a camera. By being trained to answer rapid fire questions from media personnel, I feel the producer will come off as professional, level headed, and educated, which only benefits the image of our industry more. Enrollment for the Young Stockgrowers Leadership Series opens in September, and I would greatly encourage anyone who wants to participate to apply on the MSGA website. Please keep in mind the T-Bone Classic Fundraiser is in August at Big Sky. Later this fall, YALC will be the first weekend in October in Great Falls, and the Cattle Crawl will be October 9th in Billings. If anyone has any questions or ideas regarding the Leadership Series or Young Stockgrowers, please feel free to contact me and share! I hope to see you all soon, and thank you for the continued support of MSGA!


Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting


n July 13th, MSGA attended the Fish and Wildlife Commission regular scheduled meeting. One of the first agenda items focused on the wolf hunting seasons, quotas and SB 200 Quota. The Commission approved maintaining the current season and quotas for the wolf harvest. They also approved the current quota for SB 200 wolf removals. Senate Bill 200 allows landowners to take wolves that are a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs. The Commission annually approves a quota for SB 200 take, which

last year was up to 100 in separate commission-approved intervals of 25. FWP proposed no change to the SB 200 quotas. The Commission also finalized the Memorandum of Agreement and hunting regulation structure for grizzly bears, as proposed delisting moves forward. Also on the agenda was an update on the shoulder season performance criteria, as an informational item. The next meeting is scheduled for August 11th in Helena. July 2016



Living with Grizzly Bears Wayne Slaght MSGA Board of Directors Western District

Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide have continued to be in the headlines, due mostly to the numerous conflicts with both humans and livestock. With an estimated population of over 1000 bears in this area and along the Rocky Mountain Front, these animals continue to expand their range and encounters with landowners. As a director on the MSGA board and ranch manager in the heart of grizzly bear territory, I wanted to share with the membership some of my experiences and some of the practices we have implemented to help reduce conflicts with grizzly bears and livestock depredations. Our ranch is located near Ovando, which is about 50 miles east of Missoula. The first grizzly bears showed up on our ranch about 15 years ago. Our first experiences dealt with livestock depredations and significant conflicts in the spring during calving. Our concerns focused on the safety of our family and livestock and the uncertainty of how to deal with this large carnivore. The first steps our ranch took were to electric fence our calving lots. We received financial help from U.S. Fish and Wildlife services, Montana Fish and Wildlife, NRCS and various other concerned groups. We have installed electric fence around our calving lots and around some of the fields where the pairs are turned into and since doing this, we have had no bear problems in these areas. After proof of this, other ranchers in this valley have now installed electric fences in the same way and the area now has over 12 miles of electric fencing around calving lots. Dead animals and dead animal sights are a great attractant to grizzly bears and this leads to problem bears. We needed to find a means of disposing the carcasses without tempting the bears in close to our cattle

and our homes. A carcass pick up program was started in our valley with the financial help of a local group, The Blackfoot Challenge. We were fortunate enough to have the donation of a truck and soon found a driver to pick up and the carcasses and deliver them to a compost site. The Montana Department of Transportation was fundamental in helping us set up this compost site. We began by cleaning up the dead animal pits of ranchers willing to cooperate with the project. The truck runs from the middle of February until the end of May stopping by each ranch twice a week to pick up any animals lost during the calving season. In the beginning, it wasn’t easy to get all ranchers on board but now, basically all the ranchers in this area believe in the project and are using it. This tool continues to be used and has definitely helped to keep the bears at bay We have also had problems with bears getting into sheds that contain grain and mineral. Last year we purchased 2 ocean containers with the help of Montana Fish and Game and another agency. We ended up paying for one half of the cost and the containers have proved to work well.There was a time and not so long ago that we didn’t have the Grizzly Bear problems that we have now, in fact, it was a very rare thing to see one roaming this valley. But now, they are here and we have to find ways to deal with them. I realize it can be awkward and a hassle, time consuming and costly but I feel it’s incredibly important to implement tools to help and then to use the available tools to keep livestock depredation down and our families safe. There are programs, grants and other means of assistance out there to help financially and I would like to suggest that you take advantage of them. Since we have implemented these tools and have put them to use, we have had no livestock depredation to the Grizzly bear in 12 years, yet, we seem them on a daily basis. If you check with the staff at the MSGA office or me, we would be glad to help you in any way. It’s our desire to help alleviate problems with the bears.

Montana State Fund application available online The Montana State Fund (MSF) and the Agricultural Group Associations have entered into an agreement to provide a group program to qualifying Agricultural group members. To participate in the program, a group member must complete and sign the Enrollment Application. Acceptance into the Agricultural Group Montana Workers’ Compensation Group program is subject to approval based on the eligibility criteria for the program. The criteria define the classes of business that qualify and eligible loss ratio and/or experience modification factors. The effective date of the policy must be within the contract year. This enrollment application must be received within 90 days of the effective date of the policy to be considered for participation in the group program. By enrolling in the Montana State Fund, participants are eligible to receive two annual dividends. Other benefits include individual help with your worker’s comp issues, ranch visits conducted at your request and staying up to date on the latest court cases involving worker’s compensation issues, and law and rule changes involving employees


STOCKGROWERSUpdate July 2016

and/or contract workers. For more information on the program and to fill out an application visit our website at To schedule an ag safety workshop in your area contact Les Graham (406) 388-9330 or Gene Surber (406) 581-3162

CattleWomen Update

Lynda Grande Montana CattleWomen President

Summer in Montana goes by way too fast! In June, the Montana CattleWomen met for their Mid Year meeting in Bozeman hosted by the Gallatin CattleWomen. There was a great lineup of speakers at the meeting. Nina Baucus from the Board of Livestock gave an update on current issues and financial reforms taking place on the board.

Abby Nelson, the Livingston area wolf specialist for the Montana FWP, described her job monitoring wolf activity and working with Wildlife Services to remove problem packs as needed. Due to the “robust recovery” of wolves in Montana, if there is a serious problem the entire pack is removed if at all possible rather than just one or two wolves. Hertha Lund, Lund Law, addressed water issues in Montana and the current status of the CSKT compact. The business meeting included updates from our Montana Beef Council representative, Linda Swanz and Ranch Run chair Kari Berg Marks as well as directors and reports from local presidents. The CattleWomen’s 2nd Annual Ranch Run will be held September 17, 2016 in Lennup, MT. It is designed as a 5 person relay trail run. This year we will also include a walk for those who would like to enjoy the course and the scenery but at a slower pace. Registration for the walk will be onsite for a fee of $10. We encourage each of our locals to put together a team or sponsor a team from your community. Please consider being a local sponsor for the run or asking businesses in your area to donate. Contributions can be sent to the MCW office; funds raised from the run will be used for youth education. If you are interested in helping out on race day with things such as registration, water stations or just joining us for a delicious beef lunch after the race while listening to an update from the Environmental Stewardship Award winners please contact Kari at ckmarks@ Registration for the run can be found online at The Crazy Peak CattleWomen are holding a Beef and Brew Fest Saturday August 20th in Big Timber in conjunction with the Ranch Rodeo. This is a great way to promote beef and educate a diverse crowd as well as having a fun time. The Masters of Beef Advocacy 2.0 is available online and I strongly encourage everyone to do this program. There is great information on all aspects of the beef industry and upon completion graduates are added to the MBA Facebook site which covers current topics and how to address them. More exciting yet, in the next two weeks they will be releasing a mobile app call the “MBA mobile conversation guide” so if someone stumps you with a tricky question you will have easy access to the information you need. The ANCW Region V meeting in 2017 will be held in Gillette, Wyoming in April and if you really like to plan ahead, the regional meeting in 2018 will be in Hawaii! Have a great summer! July 2016



Montana stream access law is settled

MSGA has policy from 1986 stating that background information on judicial candidates is helpful to the Association members; the policy asks MSGA to compile “background information on judicial candidates and distribute it to the membership”.(ME 007) Below is an article from Supreme Court Candidate Kristen Gustafson Juras to help inform members of her background and stance on issues.

Kristen Gustafson Juras Supreme Court Candidate Like other Montanans, I enjoy recreating on streams and public lands with my family. The abundance of recreational, hunting, and outdoor opportunities is part of what makes Montana the last best place. As a candidate for the Montana Supreme Court, I am frequently asked about my position on access to Montana’s waterways. In my opinion – the law is settled. Current law in Montana safeguards the public’s right to use surface waters for recreational purposes while protecting the rights of riparian landowners. And only the legislature (not the courts) can change the current laws. Under early Montana law, the public’s ability to use surface waters varied depending upon whether a waterway was “navigable” (capable, in its ordinary condition, for use as a “highway for commerce”) or “non-navigable.” Early law protected the public’s right to navigate, fish, and hunt on navigable waterways, but did not recognize a public right to use the streambeds or banks of non-navigable waters without landowner permission. In 1972, Montanans adopted a new constitution declaring that all waters within Montana are the “property of the state for the use of its people.” Relying on this constitutional provision, the Montana Supreme Court in 1984 abandoned the long-standing distinction between navigable and non-navigable streams and ruled that the public has the right to recreate, hunt, and fish between the high water marks on all waters in Montana that are capable of recreational use – regardless of navigability. At the same time, the Court emphasized that its ruling did not grant to the public a right or easement to cross private property to get into the streams. Shortly after that decision, the 1985 legislature adopted the Montana Recreational Use of Streams Act, codifying the right of the public to recreate on rivers and streams. The Act expressly does not grant any easement or right to the public to enter onto or cross private property in order to use those waters.


STOCKGROWERSUpdate July 2016

Recreationists must remain between the high-water marks of a stream and must access the water via recognized public land or existing easements. The Act specifically allows landowners to construct fences across streams to manage property or livestock. If an artificial barrier exists, the public may portage around the barrier and enter private property above the high-water mark “in the least intrusive manner possible.” There have been some important developments after the 1985 Act. • A 1987 court ruling clarified that the public’s use of streambeds and banks is not unlimited; such use must be of minimal impact and must respect the property rights of riparian owners. For example, overnight camping or big-game hunting between the high water marks of a stream passing through private property is not allowed without landowner permission. • 2009 legislation confirmed that public bridges may be used to access surface waters. This legislation also recognizes the right of landowners to fence up to a bridge to manage livestock and property, as long as a gate, stile, or other adequate passage is provided for public access to the water. The cost of materials, installation, and maintenance of these public passages is borne by the state. In summary, current Montana law clearly recognizes the right of the public to use natural waterways that are capable of recreation. To protect landowners, the law requires the public to remain within the high-water marks of the waterway, unless an artificial barrier requires a portage above the high-water mark. If a portage is necessary, it must be made with minimal impact. The law is a good balance between landowners’ ability to protect their property

and the public’s right to use the waters by requiring recreationists to access a stream through public access sites, which include public bridge rights-of-way. Private landowners statewide work in concert with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to lease public access sites at locations that are both convenient to the public and best suited to meet the public’s needs. Under Montana trespass law, a trespass is not criminal unless the landowner has posted no-trespassing signs or has marked the property with fluorescent orange paint. To be able to seek the help of law enforcement authorities in preventing trespasses, a landowner should comply with these notice requirements. But even if a property is not posted, a landowner who finds a trespasser on his or her private property has the right to demand that the trespasser leave. It is the responsibility of the judicial system to fairly, consistently, and impartially apply these settled laws to specific cases involving individualized facts. The courts will likely be called upon in the future to determine whether a particular bridge is public or private and the width of bridge right-of-ways, to locate the high-water marks on a stream, and to address whether there is a right of portage around natural barriers (the Act only addresses portages around artificial barriers). The courts do not have the authority to make any significant changes to existing law – that authority is reserved to the legislature under the Montana constitution. So don’t be fooled by those who are yelling wolf that the public’s right to use waterways for recreation is somehow in jeopardy -- that’s a distraction from the real issues surrounding the upcoming elections for the Montana Supreme Court. Kristen Gustafson Juras, a candidate for the Montana Supreme Court, is a fourth generation Montanan raised on her family’s ranch near Conrad. She has practiced law for 34 years and has taught for 16 years at the University of Montana School of Law, including stream access, property law, and agricultural law.

Summer Pneumonia in Spring-Born Beef Calves Rachel Endecott MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

The hot days and cool nights of mid-summer may bring summer pneumonia along with them. Summer pneumonia in nursing beef calves is not uncommon, but occurs somewhat randomly and with low frequency. A wide variety of risk factors for summer pneumonia exist. These include relative success of colostral antibody transfer, commingling of groups, weather changes, nutrition changes or deficiencies, pathogen exposure, handling stress, and even operation-specific risk factors like lack of labor. Adequate and immediate intake of colostrum after a calf is born is of critical importance. Briefly, the immunity a calf receives through colostrum is called passive immunity, and is the major source of immune function in the newborn. If calves receive only limited amounts of colostrum, this is termed failure of passive immunity. Calves who experience failure of passive immunity are twice as likely to get sick before weaning, and 5 times more likely to die before weaning than calves that have adequate passive immunity. This means that incidence of summer pneumonia could be influenced by management at calving, by breeding decisions the previous summer that may have resulted in calving difficulty (limiting the calf ’s ability to get up and nurse quickly after birth), or by poor nutrition management or other stresses on the cow during gestation. Commingling is a major and well-known risk factor for the development of bovine respiratory disease in calves after weaning. While mixing of sets of cattle is not normally a chief risk for nursing calves, commingling of groups from the same operation during the grazing season should not be ignored in regard to summer pneumonia risk. Moving pairs long distances to new pasture may also play a role.

Water rights continued from back page

issue remarks identify an element of the claim and state a reason why the element looks problematic to DNRC. Although there are hundreds of potential issue remarks, a few common issue remarks state, for example: TETON COUNTY WATER RESOURCES SURVEY (1962) APPEARS TO INDICATE 0.00 ACRES IRRIGATED. FLOW RATE MAY REQUIRE MODIFICATION BASED ON RESOLUTION OF MAXIMUM ACRES IRRIGATED. Since 2008, when there was a change in the law, the Water Court is required to resolve all issue remarks on claims during the adjudication. So, water users should make sure to pay attention to whether claims have any issue remarks. If your claims have issue remarks, you will likely be involved in proceedings in front of the Water Court. In order to resolve the issue remark, you may also be required to present extra information and evidence about your claim. After all of the claims within a basin are

Meanwhile, the weather can be a risk factor both early in the year and during the peak summer pneumonia season. Certainly, inclement weather can play a role in the success of passive transfer of antibodies from dam to calf. Heat stress, cold stress, and unexpected preweaning precipitation events like snow or freezing rain can all cause weather stress than can contribute to summer pneumonia. Nutrition stress on cows during gestation can negatively impact calf health throughout the life of the offspring. Both energy and protein have been found to have impacts on fetal growth and development in utero and post-birth. Furthermore, poor nutrition can negatively impact colostrum quantity and quality. Nutritional impacts of a change in diet can also impact nursing calves directly. Examples might include change to a lush pasture, change to pasture quality during drought, or creep feeding. Certainly, trace mineral deficiency, especially copper, selenium, and zinc, can negatively affect the immune system, which may result in increased susceptibility to summer pneumonia. In addition, toxicity from minerals, such as high-sulfate water, may impact calf health as well. Exposure to pathogens such as IBR (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis), BVDV (bovine viral diarrhea virus), BRSV (bovine respiratory syncytial virus), BRCV (bovine respiratory coronaviruses), and Mycoplasma bovis, either within-herd or from other populations is also a risk factor in summer pneumonia. Fortunately, summer pneumonia responds well to treatment if caught early. A variety of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs have been used with success. Additionally, a well-managed herd health program including vaccination of cows and calves can greatly assist in herd immunity. Contact your veterinarian for summer pneumonia treatment advice and vaccination program recommendations.

re-examined by the DNRC, the Water Court will issue a second decree for that particular basin, just like what has occurred with Basin 76GJ, Flint Creek. Like the first decrees that were issued, once the second decrees are issued, there will be an objection period, counterobjection period and a final deadline for filing notices of intent to appear. So, water users will face potential objections and litigation in front of the Water Court. And, as previously mentioned, if there are any issue remarks on claims, those issue remarks must be resolve through proceedings set by the Water Court. If you own water rights in Montana, you may be receiving information concerning your water rights relating to a second decree in your area and a re-examination. It may be tempting to disregard that information or set it aside under the assumption that your claims were already through the adjudication process. But, water users should pay attention to any mailings from the DNRC or the Water Court because they may provide important information regarding upcoming proceedings

in second decrees. You can review a list of basins that will be subject to second decrees and a list of basins being re-examined by the DNRC, at http:// Water continues to be a hot topic and a source of litigation and, hopefully swift resolution, in the State of Montana. For more information concerning the re-examination of claims and second decrees, you can contact your regional DNRC office, the Water Court or your water rights attorney. Bina R. Peters is an attorney in Bozeman focusing on water rights and property. Bina grew up in Great Falls and Billings, Montana. Prior to joining Pepper Law Firm, PLLC, Bina served as a Water Master at the Montana Water Court. Bina can be reached at (406) 451-3418 or For more information about Pepper Law Firm, PLLC, visit www.

July 2016



Re-examination of historical water rights and second decrees in Montana Bina R. Peters


ost savvy water users in the State of Montana are familiar with the adjudication of historical, pre-1973 water rights in front of the Montana Water Court. This adjudication process began in the 1980s and has been continuing ever since. In fact, most water users who own pre-1973 water rights have had their rights decreed in a Temporary Preliminary Decree or Preliminary Decree and have gone through adjudication in the Water Court. Although most water users may be generally familiar with the adjudication, water users may not be aware that there will be a second decree for many basins across the state. In fact,

the Water Court just decreed the first “second decree” in Basin 76GJ, Flint Creek. Why are second decrees being issued? In the early years of the adjudication, two decrees were planned for every basin. However, in 1997, the legislature changed that requirement and decided only single decrees should be issued for basins issued after 1997. As a result, second decrees will still be issued for basins not impacted by the 1997 law. In preparation for these second decrees, there is a continuing role for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). The DNRC is performing a limited re-examination of water right claims that will appear in second decrees. Water users

July Newsletter At a Glance EVP’s Update- front page Guest Column - U.S. Senator Steve Daines - 3 Check in on the Checkoff - 5 Hear all about the Young Cattlemen’s College - 4 & 5 MSGA member receive stewardship award - 6 Living with Grizzly Bears- page 8 State Fund Application Available online - 8 Stream Access is settled - 10 Summer pneumonia in spring calves- 11 Do you have something you want in next month’s newsletter? Email

may be receiving letters and information from the DNRC about their water right claims and the re-examination of those claims. As part of DNRC’s re-examination, certain elements of water rights may be standardized by the DNRC so that they appear more uniform across the state. For example, ditch names or source names, among other elements, may be standardized. Additionally, the DNRC may add “issue remarks.” Water users whose claims were adjudicated prior to 2008, may not be familiar with the issue remark resolution process. What are issue remarks? Issue remarks are remarks added to the abstracts of water right claims to denote potential problems discovered by DNRC during the examination. Generally, Continued on page 11

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MSGA July Newsletter  
MSGA July Newsletter