Friday, October 23, 2009

MSGA features 142 ranches in upcoming book about Montana centennial ranches

An upcoming book, The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana features 142 Montana ranches. The book, edited by Linda Grosskopf and Nancy Morrison, celebrates the long tradition of ranching in Montana, highlighting the stories of 142 ranch families that have been living and working on the same land for over 100 years.

Commissioned by the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) to commemorate its 125th Anniversary in 2009, the book honors the perseverance, courage and forward thinking of those who were able to pass their family ranch down the generations and help shape Montana as it is today. The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana tells the inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of the ranch families who have endured through the ups and downs of life on the sometimes unforgiving lands of Montana over the past 100 years. The book has all of the ingredients of a great story, with tales of love and death, success and failure, family and community.

While the heart of this commemorative hardbound book is the 142 ranch stories and accompanying historical pho­tographs, there are also other treasures to be found within its pages, including 37 pen-and-ink drawings by Aubry Smith, photographs of MSGA’s presidents and executive vice presidents, a timeline of important events in MSGA’s history, historical sidebars, and timelines to help tell the story of ranching in Montana over the last century.

The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana will be released in early December. MSGA is currently accepting pre-orders and is selling the book for $50, including shipping and handling. For more information, please contact MSGA at (406) 442-3420 or visit

Early praise for The Weak Ones Turned Back, The Cowards Never Started: A Century of Ranching in Montana:

“For a most humbling understanding of those who shaped Montana’s livestock industry, this book is none other than first class.”
~Christy Stensland, Executive Director
Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center

“...will be worth far more as a documentary of Montana ranch history than any of us realize today... this book will help future generations know and appreciate their family histories.”
~Pat Holman, Kinsella Ranch, est. 1891

“Great ranches are not made of the dirt, water, wind and grass that comprise their environment. They are formed and sustained by the character of the people attached to them... These are not just stories of Mon­tana ranches. They tell the story of America at her best...a superb tribute to the heritage of Montana and the American West.”
~Charles P. Schroeder, Executive Director
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

“Every family has an event-filled story, and every story is infused with accomplishment, tragedy, humor, and perseverance… What these families brought, and still bring, to Big Sky country was willingness for the tough work, and an enduring respect for each other and the land. Savor this book, and turn the pages slowly.”
~Richard Sims, Director of the Montana Historical Society

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MSGA seeking internship applicants for annual convention!

MSGA is seeking three interns to help at our upcoming annual convention, Dec. 10-12. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable career experience and network with important industry members. Interns will be expected to help MSGA staff members in a variety of capacities during the convention so we require that all applicants have completed at least one year of undergraduate education. If you are interested, please send a resume with a cover letter explaining your interest in being a convention intern, plus one letter of reference by Nov. 20th to or by mail to MSGA, Attn: Jessica Kirschten, 420 N. California, Helena, MT 59601. If you would like more information, please call Jessica at (406) 442-3420.

Monday, October 19, 2009

MSGA kicks off Fall Membership Roundup and reminds ranchers about the importance of being involved

Helena - The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) recently launched its 2009 Fall Membership Roundup and MSGA President Tom Hougen is taking this opportunity to remind Montana ranchers about the importance of being involved in associations such as MSGA.

“With all the things happening right now in Washington, D.C. that have the potential to drastically change the way we are allowed to do our work as ranchers, everyone needs to get involved in their associations, local and statewide,” Hougen said. “It is vitally important to join groups like MSGA to let your voice be heard and help direct the work done to protect our livelihoods and way of life.”

MSGA has served and advocated for Montana cattle ranchers since 1884. As a leader in the agriculture industry, MSGA actively participates in state and national legislative processes. MSGA attends a significant number of regulatory meetings and provides a voice for the interests of its members.

MSGA is currently working on a number of issues on the behalf of its members including the newly released concept papers for federal rule rewrites on brucellosis and tuberculosis; the estate tax; Senator Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act in regards to grazing; endangered species issues including wolves, grizzly bears and sage grouse; climate change legislation; the Clean Water Restoration Act; and opening more markets overseas to U.S. beef. MSGA is also actively involved in improving issues of importance to beef consumers including food safety, nutrition, animal welfare, and the environment.

Each year MSGA members create policy that directs the efforts of MSGA’s volunteer board of directors, officers and staff. Policy is set at MSGA’s annual convention, which will be held this year on December 10-12 in Billings at the Crowne Plaza and MetraPark. MSGA also provides important educational opportunities for its members through Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges at annual convention covering Beef Quality Assurance, low stress cattle handling, beef reproduction, beef nutrition, and estate tax planning.

This fall, please consider joining or rejoining MSGA to help us protect Montana’s ranching heritage. Members receive monthly newsletters, daily update emails, representation at industry meetings and educational materials about important industry issues. MSGA members are also eligible to win a new 2009 Ford F-150 truck at the 2009 Annual Convention. For more information visit or call (406) 442-3420.