Monday, July 25, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Helena - On Monday, July 18, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) will present a proposal to the state Land Board that would double the grazing fee for ranchers with state land leases. The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is encouraging the Land Board to hold the line on the fees.
“This proposal increases the cost of doing business in Montana,” said Jay Bodner, MSGA’s Natural Resource Director. “During the legislative session earlier in the year, both the governor and the legislative leadership made it clear they didn’t want to raise taxes or fees on anyone in these uncertain economic times. This proposal doesn’t fit with that position.”
In May, Dr. John Duffield presented information to the Land Board from his report “Montana Trust Land Grazing Lease Rate Valuation Analysis,” which was an updated analysis of the work previously completed in 1993. He recommended that the minimum rate for state grazing leases should be set at 70% of the private lease rate in order to realize full market value. Duffield’s recommendation would amount to a 100% increase over the 2010 rate. The report was made available for a 30-day review and public comment period. MSGA, along with others in our membership, submitted comments explaining this was an excessive increase.
“Some people argue that the current fees are too low compared to the cost of a private lease,” Bodner said. “However, state leases do not include fencing, water developments, weed control and other benefits offered by private leases. The Duffield study did not take this fact sufficiently into account.”
Despite MSGA’s comments and the comments of several of Montana’s family ranchers, which pointed out flaws in the study, the DNRC had decided to move forward with the proposal. If the Land Board approves moving forward, DNRC will hold hearings and allow for more public comment on the proposed changes. After the close of the comment period, the Department will bring back a final recommendation to the Board.
MSGA is concerned that if this proposal moves forward, it will have a significant impact on the landscape of Montana. “Doubling these fees will affect ranchers’ ability to invest in conservation practices on their state leases as well as their private lands, which benefit Montana’s wildlife and all of us,” Bodner said.
MSGA is encouraging Montana ranchers to attend this meeting and provide comments on this proposal that would double grazing rates on state lands. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact Jay Bodner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 442-3420.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
“I’ve fought hard to ensure better market access for Montana beef across Asia and the Montana Stockgrowers Association have been a real partner in the process,” Senator Baucus said. “There’s no doubt, Montana beef is the best in the world and the APEC meetings in Big Sky are the perfect opportunity to spread the word. If we can boost our beef exports to APEC countries, we can strengthen our ranching communities and create good-paying jobs here at home.”
MSGA President, Watty Taylor of Busby, Mont., Executive Vice President, Errol Rice, Conservation and Farm Program Associate, Carl Mattson, and former MSGA President/current National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, Bill Donald, have been attending the meetings.
“This has been an incredible opportunity for our association as we work toward achieving global competitiveness for Montana ranchers,” said Errol Rice. “We want to thank Senator Baucus for his leadership in bringing this very important meeting to Montana.”
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation U.S. beef and variety meat exports to APEC member countries totaled $3.47 billion in 2010, accounting for 85 percent of total U.S. beef export value. Exports to APEC member countries equated to $130.33 per head of fed cattle slaughter in the U.S.
“U.S. beef exports to APEC member countries were worth more than $194 million to Montana ranchers,” Rice said. “We hope to see that dollar amount continue to increase. At this meeting we observed the APEC high-level dialogue on food security as a private sector delegate where we had the opportunity to discuss with other delegate economies how Montana ranchers can offer innovative approaches to meeting the growing global demands of food production and food security.”
High on MSGA’s priority list throughout the APEC meeting has been a continuing discussion with Korean delegates about expanding beef exporting opportunities to the country once the U.S. Congress has ratified the KORUS Free Trade Agreement. MSGA met with Kyeong-Kyu Kim, Minister Counselor with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, in Big Sky this week to promote the safety and quality of Montana and U.S. beef. MSGA’s delegates also participated in a steak and eggs breakfast with Senator Baucus, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Montana agriculture leaders and senior officials from APEC’s 21 member economies this morning. MSGA will be testifying in support of the KORUS FTA in Washington D.C. next week May 26th before the Senate Finance Committee, which is chaired by Senator Baucus.
Friday, May 20, 2011
The Ranch Tour will begin at 12:45 p.m. departing from the Animal BioScience Building. The tour will feature stops at the MSU’s Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm, where participants can view MSU’s current research projects; the 2001 Montana and Regional Environmental Stewardship Award winners, MZ Bar Cattle Co. in Belgrade, to learn about how the Milesnick family has protected riparian areas; Schutter Farms in Manhattan, where local implement dealers will be on hand to demonstrate the features of various tractors and equipment; and the KG Ranch in Three Forks where the group will enjoy dinner, view cattle from priority page buyers of MSGA’s Montana Seedstock and Commercial Cattle Directory, and be entertained by a stick horse race fundraiser for MSGA’s Research Education and Endowment Foundation (REEF).
This year, one lucky Ranch Tour participant will win a D110 Lawn Tractor generously donated by Moodie Implement Company with locations in Belgrade, Chester, Great Falls, Havre, Lewistown, and Livingston. The D110 Lawn Tractor features a 19.5 Horsepower Briggs & Stratton® Anti-Vibration System, The Edge™ Cutting System, CargO Mount™ System for attachments, hydro/automatic drive transmission, electronic ignition and a full-length welded steel frame.
Other events from this year’s Mid-Year meeting will include addresses from Bill Donald, Melville, Mont. rancher, past president of MSGA and current president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and MSU President, Waded Cruzado during the Opening General Session Thursday morning, June 9. MSGA’s Beef Production & Marketing Committee and the Membership Development & Services Committee will meet Thursday while the Land Use & Environment Committee and Tax, Finance & Ag Policy Committee will meet, followed by the Business Session, Friday, June 10. The Young Stockgrowers will host an informal social media workshop on Friday morning. Friday afternoon the MSGA Board of Directors, Montana Grass Conservation Commission, MSGA’s REEF and the joint Board of Directors of the Montana Public Lands Council and the Montana Association of State Grazing Districts will hold meetings.
For more information regarding the Mid-Year Meeting, contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420 or visit www.mtbeef.org.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Today the Montana Stockgrowers Association commended Montana Senator and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus for his tireless effort to achieve fair, science-based trade rules for U.S. beef trade with Korea. Senator Baucus has received commitment from the Obama administration, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk for additional resources to promote the safety and quality of U.S. beef to Korean consumers and to ensure the full application of the U.S.-Korea beef protocol which calls for full access for U.S. beef in Korea.
“Senator Baucus has always been a powerful and effective advocate for Montana ranchers,” said Errol Rice, Executive Vice President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “It wasn't easy but Senator Baucus kept fighting for a better deal. Thanks to his efforts, Korea is a fast-growing market for us, and we are one step closer to our goal of full access to the Korean beef market."
MSGA has worked to support Senator Baucus in his efforts to hold Korea to its commitment to open its market to U.S. beef in a manner consistent with sound science and international standards. Montana will host Korean officials during the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers meeting later this month.
“We are excited for this opportunity to join Senator Baucus in showcasing Montana ranchers’ cutting edge approaches to global beef innovation to deliver safe, healthy and environmentally wholesome beef to all of the 21 Asia-Pacific member economies,” Rice said.
Monday, April 25, 2011
The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will hold its Mid-Year Meeting, June 9-10 in Bozeman, Mont. at the Animal BioScience Building on the Montana State University (MSU) campus. Mid-Year is one of the two major meetings MSGA holds each year. MSGA members will gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the rest of the year. The highlight of this year’s meeting will be the Ranch Tour on Thursday afternoon, June 9.
On Thursday morning, June 9, Bill Donald, Melville, Mont. rancher, past president of MSGA and current president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, will be the keynote speaker for the Opening General Session. MSU President, Waded Cruzado, will also address the group. The Beef Production & Marketing Committee and the Membership Development & Services Committee will meet that morning, and then the group will depart for the Ranch Tour. The Ranch Tour will feature stops at the MSU’s Bozeman Agricultural Research and Teaching Farm, where participants can view MSU’s current research projects; the MZ Bar Cattle Co. in Belgrade; Schutter Farms in Manhattan, where local implement dealers will be on hand to demonstrate the features of various tractors and equipment; and the KG Ranch in Three Forks where the group will enjoy dinner, view cattle from priority page buyers of MSGA’s Montana Seedstock and Commercial Cattle Directory, and be entertained by a stick horse race fundraiser for MSGA’s Research Education and Endowment Foundation (REEF).
Friday, June 10, will feature an informal social media workshop hosted by the Young Stockgrowers. The Land Use & Environment Committee and Tax, Finance & Ag Policy Committee will meet, followed by the Business Session, which will serve as a recap of the committee meetings and a discussion of resolutions to be passed as interim policy. Friday afternoon the MSGA Board of Directors, Montana Grass Conservation Commission, MSGA’s REEF and the joint Board of Directors of the Montana Public Lands Council and the Montana Association of State Grazing Districts will hold meetings. For more information regarding the Mid-Year Meeting, contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420or visit www.mtbeef.org.