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MSGA Policy Find out what Interim Policy Passed at MidYear| 6

Media Tour Montana Beef Council hosts media from Japan | 7

VFD How it could affect you and your operation| 9

STOCKGROWERSUpdate Electric City hosts MidYear Meeting


he 2016 Mid-Year Meeting, held in Great Falls on June 9 - 10, drew ranchers and members of the cattle industry from across the state for policy meetings, a leadershiptraining workshop, and a Tour of Ryan Dam. Ranchers in attendance kicked off the event by taking part in a workshop with Carrie Mess. Mess is a dairy farmer, blogger and ag-vocate from Wisconsin. Ranchers of all ages participated in the engaging workshop, learning how to interact with their customers and effectively communicate their story. A welcome reception was held to benefit the Stockgrowers’ Foundation. The reception included a live auction and recognition of Foundation programs, including scholarship recipients, Young Cattlemen’s Conference Attendees, and an introduction of the inaugural Leadership Series class. A few of the topics discussed during interim-policy meetings included the proposed Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting, bison management, feedlot well setbacks, and the new Department of Labor overtime rule that will go into effect this December. Presenters in policy meetings included: Mike Honeycutt, Department of Livestock Executive Officer, Steve Becker, NRCS, Leslie Doely Department

MSGA Leadership Series w/ Darren Williams - Photo Courtesy of Heather Fryer

of Livestock Brands Administrator, Dr. Marty Zaluski, DVM State Veterinarian, Ken McDonald, FWP Wildlife Division Administrator; Quentin Kujula, FWP Wildlife Section Chief; Chad Hoover Wildlife Services Assistant District Supervisor; Hertha Lund, Lund Law; Tim Davis, DNRC; Jesse Anderson (on behalf of U.S. Senator Jon Tester); Alison Vergeront (on behalf of U.S. Senator Steve Daines); and Christy Hagler (on behalf of U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke).

Upcoming Events ESAP Ranch Tour

O n Ju l y 1 1 - 1 2 , t h e Environmental Stewardship Program Task Force in conunction with the Montana Beef Council, will host a Stewardship Tour at the American Fork Ranch. This tour will provde regional influencers with a dynamic,

hands-on experience on a working Montana Cattle Ranch. It will present a unified voice with the state’s trusted conservation entities on how we can all work better together to protect Montana’s landscape and resources. To learn more about the Tour please email

Opening General Session featured a panel on beef sustainability. The panel included Emily Murray, General Manager of McDonald’s Beef at Cargill; Bob Lowe, the Alberta Beef Producers Chair; and Nancy Labbe, Senior officer of World Wildlife Fund’s sustainable ranching program. The three panel members were instrumental in creating a pilot project in Canada aimed at establishing an independent sustainable verification process in partnership Continued on next page

T-Bone Classic

The T-Bone Classic Gala Dinner & Golf Tournament will be held on August 25-26. The T-Bone Classic provides an opportunity to foster new partnerships between Montana’s ranching community and other businesses/industries essential to

Montana’s economy. Proceeds from the tournament benefit MSGA’s Foundation. Teams are filling up fast! If you would like to hear more about the T-Bone or to reserve your team’s spot please contact the office or email

MidYear continued from page 1

with multiple stakeholders. As one of the world’s largest purchasers of beef, McDonald’s has identified beef sustainability as a key business priority and is committed to being more progressive in partnering with industry to advance sustainable practices to better the lives of cattle, ranchers and consumers. Friday afternoon, attendees traveled to Ryan Dam for a tour of the six-unit hydroelectric plant on the Missouri River. After touring the dam, they traveled to Western Ranch Supply for a social followed by a tour and dinner at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. It was another successful MidYear Meeting, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Annual Convention. It will be held December 7-9 at the Radisson Hotel in Billings.

MSGA would like to thank all of the sponsors of MidYear, without the support of our sponsors MidYear would not be possible!

Leadership Series at MidYear Justin Iverson MSGA Leadership Series


he June session of the Stockgrowers Leadership Series was held in Great Falls just prior to the MSGA Mid-Year Meeting. Participants completed a course in beef advocacy, toured the Northern Ag Research Center, visited the IX Ranch in Big Sandy, and attended the REEF Reception. Daren Williams, Senior Executive Director, Communications, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, worked with the series members on Wednesday to complete the Masters in Beef Advocacy program. Students practiced communication skills and learned to prepare for media interviews in front of a live camera. Beef is nutritious! Thursday began with a drive to Havre for a day of Best Management Practices. The first tour was at the Northern Ag Research Center to learn about both crop and livestock research being conducted there. Superintendent Darrin Boss and Research Associate Julia Dafoe, also a participant in the Leadership Series, presented studies utilizing cover crops as a fallow rotation for winter wheat. One facet of the studies include grazing the cover crop versus harvesting as hay. Cory Parsons, Livestock Operations Manager, joined the group for a tour of the livestock handling facility. Students walked through the squeeze chute building where data is collected on each animal at the Center.



Technological advances in Electronic ID tags were demonstrated as well as single-point operation of the chute and sorting gates. Studies in cattle reproduction and feed efficiency are conducted at this facility and were discussed. After a return to Big Sandy for lunch and general discussion, Leadership Series participants visited the IX Ranch headquarters. Company Vice President Rich Roth talked about their operations, staff concerns, accounting practices, and college intern program. A short drive to the Whitcraft portion of the IX led to a conversation with Ranch Manager Todd Amsbaugh. Best practices for cattle and crop management were included in the dialog. Class participants wrapped up the June meeting at the Foundation sponsored Welcome Reception where they were recognized during the program. Thank you to the Foundation and MSGA members for your support of the inaugural Leadership Series class! You can learn more about class members in guest columns in the MSGA monthly newsletters.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Fryer

MSGA Foundation Welcomes Dates to New Trustee The Montana Stockgrowers Foundation is happy to an- Remember nounce the appointment of a new Foundation Trustee will be Joe Dooling of Helena, MT. They would like to thank Tom Lowry, outgoing Trustee for his years of service and dedication to the foundation.

Raised on a ranch in Dillon, Joe Dooling now ranches in the NE corner of the Helena Valley, where he, his wife, and son run a commercial Black Angus operation, grow Malt Barley and Alfalfa Hay. His newest venture is leasing the cow-calf operation on the RV Ranch just west of Helena. He is also employed at KLJ Engineering, as a Project Manager and Business Development. Joe is actively involved with Lewis & Clark County Fair Board and L&C County 4-H Foundation. Be sure to welcome Joe to the Foundation Board when you see him!

July 11-12 ESAP Ranch Tour; American Fork Ranch 13-16 NCBA Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting August 25-26 T Bone Classic; Big Sky

MSU Collegiate Stockgrowers attend MidYear Amanda Williams MSU CSG President


ur members have been busy since school got out. They have gone back home to work on ranches, summer jobs, or internships for school. It is definitely nice for our CSG members to get a break from their studies and bookwork and get back to doing other things they enjoy. A few of our members went to the MSGA Midyear convention June 9th and 10th. This was not only a great chance for us to network with other producers, but it also gave us a chance to talk to some different members of the business world that are actively doing what we have been learning about in our studies at college. There were also many great speakers, committee meetings, and tours that were both fun and educational. The Cattlemen’s College gave us the opportunity to listen to Dairy Carrie. She not

only talked about basic agvocacy, but also how to tactfully challenge complaints and concerns about what we do, ranching and raising cattle. As collegiate members it was also helpful to learn about how we can help spread the good work of agriculture and beef production by simply posting something positive in social media about how the ranch is run or just by thanking someone who purchases beef. The tours that we were able to go on were also great. We started out at Ryan Dam where we were able to learn about hydroelectric power. By using the height of the falls and the height of the dam, they are able to generate a lot of energy for Great Falls and the surrounding areas. Then we stopped at Western Ranch Supply to do some shopping and thank a great sponsor that helped make the tours a success. Finally, we stopped at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Here we saw an old weapons demonstration and learned about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

All in all it was a great trip for our CSG members. The tours and meetings were fun and showed us some about the beef industry, but by far the best experience was being able to network with the producers and other members of MSGA.

President Amanda Williams and Historian Darcy Anderson enjoying the view at Ryan Dam

Montana Cattlewomen award scholarship


llie Nelson, a student at Montana State University – Bozeman has been selected as the 2016 Montana Cattlewomen’s scholarship recipient. This $1000 Memorial Scholarship is made possible through donations given in memory of friends and loved ones of Montana Cattlewomen. Allie is majoring in agriculture relations with a leadership option. Allie’s accomplishments include serving as a Montana Beef Ambassador, Montana State FFA officer, and mentoring

younger 4-H members; advocating for agriculture every step along the way. Allie plans to work for a non-profit organization after graduating from MSU. Allie is from Great Falls, MT; her parents are Ron and Becky Nelson. “We are honored to have had many applicants, and Allie’s selection was a testament to her achievements, community involvement, and future endeavors,” noted Montana Cattlewomen President Lynda Grande. The Cattlewomen are thrilled to support an up and coming leader of Montana Agriculture and look forward to seeing what Allie accomplishes in the future. For more information on the Montana Cattlewomen please visit or call 406.442.3420. June 2016



Update from the President Gene Curry MSGA President


he grass is high and the prices are down and the fortunate, or unfortunate, thing in our lives is that we can’t do a lot about either one. The tall green grass makes the market a lot easier to tolerate and we all have a much better outlook on life if the cattle have good feed. Last week was another successful summer conference. We always hope for a better turnout, but when you have a state as big and diverse as ours it is hard to find the “perfect time”. Part of the state is cutting hay while some of us are still feeding it and others are branding while some are pulling bulls. I think that the people who were able to attend thought their time was well spent. We developed interim policy on bison, grizzly bears, and feedlot well setbacks and also discussed a job description change posted at DRNC. The interim policies will come up for discussion in December and if passed will then become permanent MSGA policy. As usual the committee meetings agendas were full and used up the time allotted and in the case of Land Use were right to the deadline for our business meeting. At our opening general session we had a very interesting panel discussion on a pilot project that was recently completed in Alberta. The discussion was on “Sustainability” and what that word means, how it fits into livestock agriculture, who is driving the issue, and most of all, how will it affect each of us in our own operations. The three participants did an excellent job explaining those questions and answering questions from the audience. We ran out of time with numerous hands in the air, so we will need to visit this topic more in the future. McDonalds Canada funded the project and is using some form of the word sustainable in their advertising and felt they could see an increase in sales attributable to that phrase. NCBA has a working group on “sustainability” that will meet in Denver this summer and some of your officers and staff will attend that meeting and keep you informed about where this conversation is going.

We finished the convention with an informative tour of Ryan Dam on the Missouri, a very nice reception at Western Ranch, and a wonderful prime rib dinner at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive center. On Saturday morning your board met and had a mid-year review, discussed the interim policy passed and had an update from our NCBA region 5 vice-president T. Wright Dickens. The Department of Livestock is in the news again and I will attend their board meeting next week and get firsthand information on what the ramifications are to this audit report and what the plan is to resolve the problem. They did not intentionally mishandle funds and I’m sure they can find a way to satisfy the audit committee. They will discuss the next biennium budget and I want to be there so we can be on top of getting a workable budget through the next legislative session. We all depend on the services that the DOL furnishes Montana ranchers and to me this is a very important part of what MSGA does for its members. Any of you golfers or “wanna be “ golfers get your teams registered for the “T-Bone Classic” August 25th and 26th at Big Sky. A great event in a beautiful setting! Also we will have the “Top Hand” club again this year so get your neighbor signed up. Next year is a legislative year and that is a great selling point when you are selling the value of MSGA to a prospective member, plus the chance to win a new Ford Truck. Have a SAFE summer, Gene

MSGA Board of Directors Update Wayne Slaght Western District


ere it is, the first day of summer and we woke up this morning to a frost covered ground in our valley, proving once again that the weather can be very unpredictable! Our area had a mild and open winter, a fairly dry spring and then, we were thankful for a few good rains that greened our

fields and pastures right up. The Stockgrowers mid-year convention was just held in Great Falls. As always, it’s great to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones from across Montana. I felt that we had some great discussions on some different issues that face us on a day to day basis. Each area


STOCKGROWERSUpdate June 2016

of the state seems to come with its own set of problems but the one common issue that seems to come up is the management of wildlife. This year Grizzly Bears were one of the hottest topics. The concern comes from the increasing number of Grizzly bears and Grizzly Bear depredations. There was also concern about human and Grizzly Bear interaction. More meetings will be held on this issue to discuss what we can do about the problem. There were a number of good resolutions discussed and passed at the Mid –year convention and we also had the privilege of touring Ryan Dam and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Both proved to be enjoyable and interesting. Once again, it was good to catch up and discuss issues concerning the stockgrowers of the state of Montana. Hoping your summer is a good one with a bountiful hay crop and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that cattle prices will improve.

Young Stockgrowers Update Lacey Ehlke Young Stockgrowers Chair


ith another fantastic MidYear Meeting under our belts, I think everyone is ready to start the summer right this year! The Leadership Series met a day before the MSGA MidYear began and had a media training seminar with Daren Williams, a Masters of Beef Advocacy Administrator with NCBA in Denver. Media training and interviews can be intimidating and challenging, but all the class members did a wonderful job and I heard great feedback from all the participants about Daren’s presentation. The next day the Leadership Series went on a tour of the Northern Ag Research Center in Havre and the IX Ranch in Big Sandy. In between the meetings that the Leadership Series participants have, they have webinars as a group, as well as some “homework” assignments to work on their own individual leadership brands and projects in their own communities to develop their own leadership skills. I encourage anyone that is interested in what the Leadership Series has been doing to talk to any of the participants and learn more about the program.

The Young Stockgrowers hosted a Cattleman’s College at MidYear this year, and brought Carrie Mess from Wisconsin in to do a workshop on how to effectively communicate your story and to become a better Agvocate (advocate for agriculture). She was fantastic, and I appreciate everyone that came into town a little early to hear her presentation. The REEF Board was also kind enough to allow the Young Stockgrowers to do a little extra fundraising at the REEF Welcome Reception on the Thursday evening of the MidYear meeting this year, where we sold some donated items at the tables as well as in the auction, so thank you to the Foundation Board for that opportunity. The Cattle Crawl, YSG big fundraiser for the year will be October 9th in Billings, more details will be released closer to the event date. Have a great summer!!


Montana Rangelands Partnership


ith the critical importance of rangelands in Montana, MSGA has continued to focus on programs that assist landowners in good rangeland management. One program that MSGA has been a collaborator on is the Montana Rangelands Partnership. This program is a collaborative public-private partnership among numerous agricultural and conservation organizations to work with ranchers to help develop and refine their grazing management plans and rangeland monitoring practices. Two full-time range technicians have been hired, one will be focused

in Central Montana (greater Lewistown area) and the other focused in Eastern Montana (greater Miles City area). The Partnership is led by the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Montana (SWCDM), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Montana State University Extension, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). To learn more about the program, contact the MSGA office or Stacey Barta, Rangeland Resources Program Coordinator at the Department of Natural Resource & Conservation 406-444-6619. June 2016



Interim Policy passed at MidYear 2016 Endangered Species Committee Grizzly Bear Conflict Response WHEREAS grizzly bear presence in human settlements is increasing, WHEREAS FWP has insufficient staffing for bear management and a history of insufficient response time; and WHEREAS local Law enforcement is tasked with human safety and are frequently the closest responder, must know how to respond appropriately, and yet keep themselves safe; and WHEREAS emergency responders going to a bear attack on humans need to know how to stay safe with the possibility of bears in the area; and THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED Montana Fish and Wildlife must manage bears to where human safety is priority, utilizing all tools and methods of aversive conditioning as directed in the NCDE Grizzly Conservation Strategy (April 2013) and the Western Montana Grizzly Bear Management Plan; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED MSGA coordinates with Montana Fish and Wildlife to provide training for law enforcement and emergency responders for responding to bears in human settlements and wildlife human conflicts. This training should be provided on an ongoing basis, reoccurring a minimum of every two years. Affected counties would have the option whether to send deputies and emergency responders to the trainings. Landowner/Recreation and Wildlife Committee Bison Ownership and Management WHEREAS wildlife is not owned but held in trust for the public; and THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED MSGA supports legislation that prevents the .change of status of private, NGO or tribal owned livestock to wildlife status; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED MSGA supports legislation requiring an Environmental Assessment be done any time bison are moved between private, tribal and public managed lands.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED MSGA supports legislation requesting the DOI conduct an EA including a management plan prior to bison entering into Glacier NP.

Helle Livestock Update

MASGD Annual Meeting


n June 14th, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris released his decision in Gallatin Wildlife Association v. U.S. Forest Service, Helle Livestock and Rebish/Konen Livestock case. This lawsuit was against the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prohibit domestic sheep grazing on two allotments in the Gravelly Mountains. In Judge Morris’s decision, he denied the injunction to remove sheep grazing from the allotment, which will allow the Helle and Rebish/Konen families to graze sheep this summer. In the order the Judge did require the Forest Service to: 1. Conduct a supplemental EIS for the 2009 Revised Forest Plan that evaluates the potential environmental consequences of the 2000 MOU and the 2008 MOU. 2. Conduct a review of the five issues raised by Gallatin, and any other pertinent new information, to determine whether any, or all, of this new information warrants supplementation of the original EIS prepared for the Allotment Management Plans The Forest Service now has 30 day to provide to the Court with a schedule for the completion of this review. MSGA, along with MASGD and PLC will continue to follow these court ordered requirements and update the members as further information becomes available.


STOCKGROWERSUpdate June 2016

Cattle Feeders Committee Water Well Setbacks WHEREAS MCA 75-5-605, prohibits siting and constructing a sewage lagoon less than 500 feet from an existing water well; WHEREAS this statue also includes well setback regulations from agricultural waste storage ponds; and WHEREAS a statutory setback impedes the ability to apply professional engineering judgement to site ponds and minimize construction costs; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED MSGA works with DEQ, NRCS and other stakeholders to review and revise the statue that would allow DEQ the authority to issue variances to decrease the setback if environmental conditions allow. Cattle Health, Brand and Theft Committee DOL Authority Over Diseased Bison WHEREAS wild bison from a herd that is infected with a dangerous disease is allowed to enter into the state of Montana on public or private land; and WHEREAS the disease has the potential to spread to persons or livestock wherever the presence of wild bison occur; and THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED MSGA, based on MCA 81-2120, supports the Department of Livestock as the lead agency to protect against brucellosis, or other infectious disease that may jeopardize Montana’s compliance with other state-administered or federally administered livestock disease control programs


he Montana Association of State Grazing Districts held their annual meeting on June 15th in Malta, MT. The meeting started with a joint board of director meeting with the MASGD and the PLC, followed by a grazing district secretary appreciate lunch. During the lunch, the board recognized the secretaries for their valuable service to the districts. For the general business meeting, there were over fifty members in attendance, to hear presentations from Floyd Thompson from the Bureau of Land Management, Ethan Lane from National Public Lands Council, Brandon Ewen discussing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle use in agriculture, Lesley Robinson Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Stacey Barta from DNRC Rangeland Division, Richard Stuker from FWP Commission and Errol Rice for MSGA. The meeting also included the following elections: Nick Schultz (Grass Range) as President, Warren Lybeck (Chinook) as Vice President and Kevin Elias (Chinook) as a new Board of Director.

Board of Directors Update Jim Steinbeisser Northeast District


hat a spring we’ve had in eastern Montana and throughout most of the state! After our dry and moderate winter, we started to get rain just when we were really needing it. Hopefully, by the time this newsletter comes out, the drier areas will have seen some relief. It was good to see many of you in Great Falls at

the summer convention. I would like to share with you what the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) task force has been up to. We have a ranch tour scheduled for the evening of July 11th and day of July 12th at the American Fork Ranch which was a past regional ESAP award winner. Jed and Annie Evejene have graciously agreed to host the tour this first year. Our guests will be regional “foodies,” influencers or folks in the food world such as chefs, bloggers and magazine writers. This tour aims to expose them to an accurate and complete view of beef ’s role in sustainability and environmental stewardship so we can ultimately reach our consumers with the true story of Montana’s ranchers and feeders. This essentially expands the original goal of ESAP from encouraging good ranch stewardship to also include telling our story to consumers. We are excited and hopeful about this project and its possibilities. I also want to share with you the current battle we have in eastern Montana’s Yellowstone valley over saving our irrigation weir. The US Corps of Engineers has just finished their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing the pallid sturgeon, a fish on the endangered species list, and its ability to more easily go upstream past the irrigation weir. Their preferred plan includes a new weir very similar to the original constructed in 1906 but would include a fish bypass to make it easier for all fish including the pallid sturgeon to go upstream. There are some groups that are proposing to eliminate the weir entirely and to pump the water instead. This, of course, will increase the cost of water substantially among other issues. The irrigation project involves 58,000 acres of farmland with much of it producing hay and grain for livestock. Incidentally, the Defenders of Wildlife who support eliminating the weir have publicly stated that they will also work to eliminate five other diversion weirs upstream. This is a lot of irrigated acres being threatened! The EIS hearings are scheduled for Sidney on Tuesday, June 28th; Glendive on Wednesday, June 29th and Billings at the Lincoln Center on Thursday, June 30th starting at 5:30. I’m encouraging everyone to consider going to one of these hearings to show your support for Montana’s farmers and ranchers. The one in Billings could be the most critical with the expectation there will be a large contingency of environmentalists in attendance. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can send your comments via e-mail to cenwo-planning@ June 2016



Montana Beef Council Hosts Japanese Media Team Chaley Harney Montana Beef Council Executive Director


he Montana Beef Council partnered with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to bring a team of editors and photographers from Japan to provide firsthand knowledge about the U.S. beef production and safety systems, and the variety of U.S. beef products available. The tour demonstrated how U.S. beef is produced, marketed and consumed, giving the team greater knowledge and experience in promoting U.S. beef to their readers. The team was able to visit the ranches, families and facilities in Montana that clearly highlight the natural conditions in which beef is raised, the care that producers take to ensure the highest quality, as well as demonstrate the exceptional taste, quality and health benefits of the end product. The two-day tour began with a field-to-fork panel presentation including Kiley Martinell as a cow-calf producer, Travis Choat as a feedlot operator, Bob Cook representing auction markets, Kelsi Gambill as a meat processor, Mike Callaghan as retail representative and Chef David Maplethorpe as a foodservice

representative. The team then toured Project Meats, followed by a trip to Stovall Ranches, LLC for a Dutch oven lunch in their cow camp and a tour of their ranching operation. The first evening concluded with dinner at The Northern and a visit with Chef Nick Steen. The second day began at the expo and starting line of the Heart and Sole race where Team Beef members were suited up to run and promote beef. The media team spent the rest of the morning touring the Hollenbeck Ranch and was then treated to Montana-style Shabu Shabu, or pitchfork fondue. In the afternoon, Montana Beef Council Registered Dietitian Lisa Murray shared a presentation about beef in a healthy diet and the tour concluded with a visit to the Sip & Sizzle, a community barbecue event held at Yellowstone Cellars and Winery. “The detailed information on U.S. beef production, coupled with cultural experiences of visiting the American West, will help team members increase their understanding of U.S. beef and further improve their overall impression, which will ultimately be communicated back to the beef end-user in Japan,” said Greg Hanes, USMEF Assistant Vice President of International Marketing and Programs. Currently ninety-six percent of the world’s population is outside the U.S. and the growth of

Want to keep up to date on what the Montana Beef Council is up to? Head to and sign up for their Newsletter! 8 

STOCKGROWERSUpdate June 2016

the global middle class is growing exponentially. Just in Asia, it is expected to grow by over eighty percent by 2030—accounting for sixty-six percent of the global middle class. At that time the U.S. will account for just seven percent of the global middle class. In addition to this growing purchasing power, the beef cuts demanded in the international markets are typically different than the high demand cuts in the U.S. As a result, the international markets boost demand, and prices, for a wide variety of cuts that are considered “underutilized” in the U.S. “The additional value that is derived by exporting U.S. beef adds significant value to each head of fed cattle. Japan is the largest export market for the U.S., both volume and value, and provides some of the largest margins for “underutilized” cuts. So we were very proud to be able to showcase Montana ranching to this Japanese team and provide further value for beef producer’s checkoff investment right here in Montana,” said Kristin Larson, president of the Montana Beef Council. The Montana Beef Council is active throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and can be found at www.

Veterinary Feed Directive Impacts Feed-Grade Antibiotics Megan Van Emon, MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist


he new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule will change how medically important antibiotics are fed to livestock. The rule does NOT include the use of injectable antibiotics. Previously, feed-grade antibiotics have been labeled for control, treatment, prevention, growth promotion, and feed efficiency. The VFD rule results in the removal of the statements and uses of feed-grade antibiotics for growth promotion and feed efficiency. Guidance for Industry proposal #209 concerns the use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals. Guidance for Industry proposal #213 focuses on the drug companies and recommending they voluntarily align their products with GFI #209. Medically important antibiotics are those that are used in both human and animal medicine. The two main proposals of GFI #209 are: 1. use of medically important antibiotics will be limited to therapeutic uses only; and 2. use of medically important antibiotics for food-producing animals will be limited to those that have veterinary oversight. The main proposal of GFI #213 asks the drug companies producing medically important feed-grade antibiotics to voluntarily remove production (ie. growth promotion and feed efficiency) claims from the labels and moving the over-the-counter products to VFD or prescription status. Additionally, a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is required for veterinarians to issue a VFD. A valid VCPR includes: 1. the veterinarian assumes the responsibility for medical judgements and animal health and the client agrees to follow veterinarian instructions; 2. the veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal(s) to initiate medical treatment and makes timely visits; and 3. the veterinarian is available for follow-up care and evaluation. If you currently do not have a valid VCPR, building this relationship prior to the VFD implementation may be a good idea. Date City Location A valid VFD consists of paperwork filled out by the veterinarian that July 26 Kalispell Flathead Co. Fairgrounds contains the veterinarian information, clients information, description August 3 Miles City USDA-ARS Fort Keogh of animals and location, VFD drug information, why is the VFD being August 4 Billings TBD issued, level of VFD in the feed, duration of use, date, and withdrawal August 9 Glasgow Cottonwood Inn & Suites time. All VFDs will require the statement: “Use of feed containing this August 10 Havre MSU-NARC veterinary feed directive drug in a manner other than as directed on the August 11 Lewistown Eagles labeling (extra label use), is not permitted” and the veterinarian’s written or August 16 Sidney TBD electronic signature. The veterinarian is required to maintain the original August 24 Butte TBD VFD form with copies being provided to the feed distributor and produer. August 25 Missoula TBD As we move closer to the implementation of the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule, the MSU Extension Beef Cattle Program will be conducting educational meetings throughout the state this summer.

Department of Labor Overtime Elk Brucellosis Work Group Rule Change


n July 6, 2015 the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule to update the minimum salary level for overtime exemptions, extending overtime protections for salaried workers. Currently the threshold is $23,660 per year; the DOL has proposed to increase the threshold to $47,476 this December and make additional increases every year afterward. What this means is anyone that makes under the threshold must be compensated for hours worked exceeding 40. People in agriculture are generally exempt. However any office work or management work (for example any bookkeeping) is not considered “ranch work” and they will be subject to regulation under this

new rule. As ranchers wear many hats, this rule change could have significant effects on the industry. Congressman Ryan Zinke recognizes the important of agriculture to the state of Montana and has cosponsored H.R. 4773, the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act. “This bill will send the DOL back to the drawing board on the overtime rule and require that any new rules regarding overtime regulations use regional data that reflects wages in rural areas and cost of living.” MSGA will continue to monitor the rule change and provide updates as they are available. If you have questions please contact the office.


he working group charged with developing elk management options in areas where the transmission of brucellosis between elk and livestock is a concern will meet in Bozeman on July 5 to review the results of last winter’s activities. The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ office in Bozeman at 1400 S. 19th St. The focus of the meeting is to review the effectiveness of and reactions to Fish and Wildlife Commission–approved management techniques used last winter to keep elk away from high-risk areas where elk could comingle with cattle. The meeting is open to the public and includes time for public comment. For more information visit FWP’s website at: management/elk/workingGroups/areasWithBrucellosisWG/ June 2016




STOCKGROWERSUpdate June 2016

Don’t forget to submit your advertisements for the Cattle Directory! This premier directory is mailed to MSGA members, livestock markets, feeders and cattle buyers across the U.S. It is also distributed at the numerous national and statewide trade shows, seedstock sales, and other national and state agricultural events. Listings and Advertisers must be a current MSGA member. Interested in advertising in the Directory? Contact Jerry Gliko: 406.860.3181 Questions about the Directory can be sent to or 406.442.3420.

June Newsletter At a Glance All things MidYear - front page

DOL has a rule change that could affect ranchers - page 9 Are you Your Checkoff Dollars at work! - see page 8 Interested in Montana Cattlewomen award Scholarship - page 3 advertising in the There were interim policies passed at MidYear - page 6 The MSGA Foundation welcomes a new trustee - page 3 Stockgrowers Update? Do you have something you want in next month’s newsletter? We will be Email running an COMING IN NEXT MONTH’S NEWSLETTER advertising special all summer long! Email for details.

NCBA Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting Young Cattlemen’s Conference Recap from Andy & Ariel Environmental Stewardship Tour Beef Sustainability - what does it mean? Board of Directors Updates Leadership Series Updates

Stockgrowers Update | June 2016  
Stockgrowers Update | June 2016