Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Food Challenge Quiz

On this day before Thanksgiving, I am at work, busy listening to a calf sale on the internet, surfing the internet, and visiting with customers who have come in to taste some great chili.  I came across this food quiz, and thought I would take a stab at it. 

Now I wasn't too disapointed on my results, but I thought I would do better.

On the first quiz I got a 67%.

On the second quiz I scored a 75%.

This is just another lesson on how important it is to promote Agriculuture. 

Take a moment to take the quizzes and let me know what you scored!

Pepsi to Donate to HSUS

I am so fired up over this news, I really have no words at the moment.  I will let you read the article, and after I wrap my head around this statement, I shall post my thoughts/concerns/comments on the subject. 

The article was found on the Northern Ag Network website, and if you go there you can learn more about the Pepsi Fresh Project.  It also contains a link where you can send an email to Pepsi about your thoughts on this. 

Pepsi is set to Give HSUS $250,000

The Humane Society of the U.S. is in the top spot to receive this month’s $250,000 grant from the online Pepsi Refresh Project. And, in line to win a $50,000 grant is a project titled “$50,000 to stop healthy animals from being fed antibiotics.”

The Pepsi Refresh Project in itself is a very honorable endeavor. It began in January of this year. Their goal is to award grants to “innovative and inspiring causes.” Fourteen of the past 17 grants of that $250,000 amount have specifically benefited children and eight of the 17 grants have gone toward medical research.

Here are the details of the Pepsi Refresh Project:

Ideas are submitted by individuals, groups, non-profits and businesses with no more than 25-million dollars in revenue. Winners of the grants are selected by public votes. You can vote online or via text message.

The voting is still open for this month and you can still take part. But should HSUS and the antibiotic project be eligible?

The public vote does have the HSUS in the top spot to receive $250,000 and the top spot for a $50,000 grant seeks to stop the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animals.

In the official application guidelines, it strictly stats that applications cannot to any degree “challenge, lobby for or seek to change current laws, or enact any new laws.”

The Animal Agriculture Alliance has come out saying that they are dismayed that the Humane Society of the United States has been deemed eligible to participate, adding that the HSUS 100-million dollar budget exceeds the 25-million dollar limit imposed by Pepsi.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 MT Stockgrowers & MT Cattlewomens Convention

Mark you calendars for December 15th  - December 19th for the 2010 Montana Stockgrowers and Montana Cattlewomens Annual Trade Show and Convention. 

Registration Deadline is December 8th. 

Here is a link to registration & schedule

Your Local Cattlewomens Group

Do any of you out there belong to your local cattlewomens group? 

In my neck of the woods, there is no active group.  A friend and I have been toying with the idea of starting a local group up agian.

Any ideas?  Suggestions?  Ideas for projects?  How do we get started? 

Any Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated. 

The question I want answered is...

Why?   Why would a person do this? 

The Cattle Business Weekly reported today that a former Nerbraska cattle inspector was indicted for faking test results for BSE (mad cow).  He was charged with submitting inspection reports on 92 Nebraska cattle operations, but never really performed any of the inspections. The inspector faces federal charges on mail fraud and making false statements. 

Why??  Was it laziness?  Was it thinking no one cared? 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Month of Thanksgiving

Last November, when this blog was just a baby, I did a post entitled 30 Days of Thanksgiving

I enjoyed making that list, and I have decided to make another list, without reading last years, to see if and how my life has changed.  I am working on the list and should have it done tonight. 

What are you Thankful for?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cows Taking A Long Plane Ride

I came across this article in the Dickinson Press, and it caught my attention.    Not only is this company flying cows across the world, but this company is from North Dakota. 

ND firm sending 1st shipment of cows to Kazakhstan

A Bismarck business will ship 170 cows overseas in the coming week as part of a trade deal with beef producers in Kazakhstan.

Bill Price, president of Global Beef Consultants, told the Bismarck Tribune that the cows will go to two reproduction facilities and a feeding center. They're meant to help Kazakh beef producers improve their fledgling industry.

The cows, all angus and hereford, will be shipped by plane from the Fargo airport. It'll take about 18 hours to get to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Price says the cattle shipment is the first in a series. The deal calls for 2,000 cattle to be shipped.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Montana Beef Checkoff Dollars

I read today that the Montana Beef Council (Council) and the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) have decided to change how beef checkoff dollars are collected in the state. Beginning January 1, local and state brand inspectors will no longer be collecting the checkoff money from producers. Instead, they will provide the change of ownership paperwork to the producer. The producer is the held responsible to remit payment to the beef council. Local auction markets will collect/remit payment on behalf of the producer.

To learn more go to Northern Ag Network

Montana per capita fees

For Immediate Release
October 5, 2010

Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department ofLivestock

BOL Holds the Line on Per Capita Fees for 4th Straight Year

At its meeting last week in Helena, the Montana Board of Livestock voted to hold the line on per capita fees for the fourth consecutive year.

Authorized by Montana Code Annotated 15-24-921, per capita fees – a per head fee assessed on “all poultry and bees, all swine three months of age or older, and all other livestock nine months of age or older" – annually generate roughly one-third of the department's overall budget. The fees, which fund animal health programs, brands enforcement, theft investigation and recovery, and predator control, will generate approximately $3.5 million in FY2011.

Roughly three-quarters of the department's legislatively authorized budget is funded with state special revenues – funds paid directly by the livestock industry – with the remainder derived from federal funds (approximately 15 percent) and state general funds (approximately 10 percent).

In addition to the per capita fee, other state special revenues are derived from inspection and control fees, such as brand enforcement revenues, lab testing fees and milk inspection fees. Per capita fees are used only on operations directly relating to the livestock industry; no per capita fees are used for Meat & Milk Inspection, the Milk Control Board, the Livestock Loss Reduction & Mitigation Board or the Board of Horse Racing.

Everyone benefits from programs funded by per capita fees. PCFs are used for animal health programs, brands enforcement, theft investigation and recovery, predator control and other department operations. Additionally, the general public benefits from programs designed to prevent the spread of animal diseases to humans.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall is Upon Us

Fall is upon us, and harvest has been in full swing for way too long!  We are still (unfortunately) combining.  While this fall rain has been great for our pastures, it sure has put a big damper on getting our durum and wheat combined.  Ontop of that we are starting our second week of sugar beet harvest.  This is our first year raising sugar beets, and it has been quite the learning process.  They have been running crazy hours, so I haven't had a chance to get any pictures, but will do so as soon as I can.  We also have quite a bit of corn standing.  Hopefully thee combining of the corn goes better than last year, but I am not holding my breathe!  Of course, in between all of this, we must get calves vacinated, cows worked, and all bovines shipped home.  Oh, and have I mentioned that I am six months pregnant, so my helpfulness is at a minimum! 

Cattle Auctions

I confess, I am one of those nerds that follows livestock auction barn sales reports throught the region.  Religously.  Well I just discoverd that on two different sites, it is possible to watch these auctions live!  Uffda, I just get all excited thinking about it!  So if you are a fellow follower take a moment and check these sites out:


Taking a shot at U.S. Sheep Shearing Record

South Dakota Wade Kopren and New Zealander Matt Smith will attempt to an eight hour lamb shearing record on October 9th, 2010.  This is an official attempt at the record and will be help at Veal Custom Feeding, Meadow, SD.  The have teamed up with the local Shriners groud, who will be serving lunch, and all proceeds will be donated to the Shriner's Childrens Hospital. 

Wade Kopren and Matt Smith aim for U.S. sheep shearing record
Article Found in Tri State Livestock News
Where will you be at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9? Wade Kopren and Matt Smith will be attempting to set an eight-hour lamb shearing record. This will be an attempt at an official U.S. shearing record.
Kopren hails from a sheep ranch in Perkins County, SD, and operates a shearing business that serves sheep ranches across the northern plains.
Smith, who is from New Zealand, shears on Kopren's crew from March through May. After Smith set a world record in New Zealand in January, the two shearers started talking about working together to set another world record. Since no eight-hour U.S.-lamb shearing world record currently exists, this became their goal.

Both shearers have set an arduous target to shear 500 lambs in the eight hours.

“We hope to put up a large enough number that it will be difficult for another shearer to come in behind us and break our record,” said Kopren.

The organization of the event will follow the rules and facility specifications set by the World Sheep Shearing Records Committee. Shearing will begin at 7:30 a.m. Kopren and Smith will shear in two-hour increments with two half-hour breaks and one full-hour lunch break between blocks.

Anyone interested in witnessing the challenge is invited out to Veal Custom Feeding, 18738 Chance Road, Meadow, SD, on Saturday, Oct. 9. The local Shriners club will be serving a noon meal. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Shriners Children's Hospital.

“We wanted to set a new U.S. record, but we also wanted it to mean something,” commented Kopren. “That is why we connected with Shriners Children's Hospital. We get to attempt a shearing record while, at the same time, benefit a worthy cause.”

Donations can be sent to Shriners Children's Hospital, c/o Wade Kopren, Box 339, Bison, SD 57620.

In January, Smith set a new world eight-hour ewe-shearing record where he exceeded the previous record of 560 ewes shorn by shearing 578.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Farm Bureau Opposes 1099 Provision

While visiting the Montana Farm Bureau website I stumbled across this interesting article.  It's definetly worth your time to read and share with your neighbor. 

Farm Bureau Opposes 1099 Provision

Provisions in the new health care law that requires farms, ranches and other businesses to complete an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 for any expenditure totaling more than $600 in a calendar year creates an unnecessary and costly paperwork burden, according to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

These provisions, slated to go in effect in 2012, were placed in the new health care law to help pay for it.

Under current law, businesses that pay more than $600 to unincorporated service providers must file an information report with each service provider and with the IRS reporting the amounts paid for service rendered. However, this new provision would require business to now file a 1099 form for any purchase over $600, for services and goods, whether the payee is incorporated or not.

“This places an amazing burden on small business and especially farm and ranch families,” notes Montana Farm Bureau President Bob Hanson. “This means if you buy more than $600 on seed, horse feed, fence posts, corral panels—anything—you must file a 1099. Even if you go to an auction and spend more than $600 on some piece of equipment, you need to send the auction house a 1099.”

Hanson explained that businesses already report what they’ve purchased on their tax returns, and this will add another expense as they pass on the paperwork to their accountants. The government will also have to spend more time collecting and filing the paperwork. “It’s just a huge, needless hassle for everyone involved, and in many cases, it’s double-reporting,” notes Hanson, a White Sulphur Springs rancher.

The American Farm Bureau is strongly opposing the provision, as well.

Farm Bureau backs bills in the House and Senate, H.R. 5141, by Rep. Dan Lungren (R- Calif.) and S. 3578 by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would repeal the Form 1099 reporting requirements. In addition, American Farm Bureau filed comments with the IRS calling for repeal of the provisions.

“For small businesses like farms and ranches, this provision will drastically increase the number of Form 1099s that need to be sent each year. Farmers and ranchers will have to hire someone to do the paperwork or spend their own valuable time to do the research and fill out the forms.”

In comments to the IRS, Farm Bureau cited research by LeMaster Daniels, an accounting firm that services numerous agricultural operations across Washington State and Idaho. According to LeMaster Daniels, the number of forms that would be required for a typical cattle operation with $250,000 of gross income would increase over four fold from 16 to 68. For a typical orchard with $175,000 of gross revenue, the number of Form 1099s required would increase from one to 19.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where are all the Cattle?

Are you curious as to where all the cattle are being raised in this country?  Are you wondering if the great state you live in is ahead of you neighbors in beef production?  Well to answer your questions you need to check out the September 2010  edition of the National Cattlemen.  Last months edition contains the 23rd annual section entitled Directions.      This article contains the the top companies in Seed Stock Production, Cow-Calf Operations, Cattle Feeding Operations and Beef Packing Operations.  You just might be surprised on how the numbers play out.  Take a minute acheck it out:  Directions

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cydectin teams up with Wounded Warriors

What a great story!   It made me proud and a little teary eyed when I read this story.  Any program or project that supports our troops past, present and future, is a great thing in my mind.  The fact that Cydectin stpped up and became a sponsor is fantastic.  What a way to support our troops!!

Partnership honors service and sacrifice of today's soldiers
By Drovers news source
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cydectin announced it has become the industry’s first sponsor of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a nonprofit whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.

Founded in 2003, WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. The vision of WWP is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in our nation’s history.

The industry’s first collaborative effort with Wounded Warrior Project, Cydectin’s “Honor Our Troops” program, demonstrates support and gratitude for wounded veterans of today’s wars on behalf of beef and dairy producers.

“Our troops give the ultimate sacrifice by serving on the frontline for us each day,” says Mike Randolph, Cydectin brand manager. “One of the most fundamental offerings we give them is our respect and support … and to help them succeed when they return.”

“It is an honor to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, and we thank the company for doing its part to support wounded warriors,” said Wounded Warrior Project Executive Partnership Director Steve Nardizzi. “This assistance and public awareness will go a long way in helping this generation of veterans heal in mind, body and spirit.”

Wounded Warrior Project assists wounded warriors and their families through a holistic approach to their recovery by providing programs and services to aid their physical rehabilitation and improve their mental health and well-being. Through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services or adaptive sporting opportunities, Wounded Warrior Project empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries, but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success.

Official Statewide Vaccination

Last Tuesday July 27th, 2010 the Montana Board of Livestock met in Helena to vote on the proposed Official Statewide Vaccination for Brucellosis.  The BOL voted to review the rules for another 6 months, with everything being reviewed again in January. 

If you would like to listen to Errol Rice, VP of the MSGA, about ranchers reactions to OCV and the proposal it self, check out the Northern Ag Story.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wolve. Wolves. Everywhere Wolves.

Here is an AP story that I thought I really needed to share.  It was forwarded to me by my sister.  The very idea of them wanting to scatter more wolves throughout the country just makes me mad.  Read the story below and let me know what you think.

Petition seeks to have wolves howl across US
Jul 20, 8:58 PM EDT
Associated Press Writer

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Tens of thousands of gray wolves would be returned to the woods of New England, the mountains of California, the wide open Great Plains and the desert West under a scientific petition filed Tuesday with the federal government.

The predators were poisoned and trapped to near-extermination in the United States last century, but have since clawed their way back to some of the most remote wilderness in the lower 48 states.

That recovery was boosted in the 1990s by the reintroduction of 66 wolves in Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Yet as those first packs have flourished, increased livestock killings and declining big game herds have drawn sharp backlash from ranchers, hunters and officials in the Northern Rockies.

But biologists with the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity want to expand that recovery across the country. A few isolated pockets of wolves, they say, are not enough.

"If the gray wolf is listed as endangered, it should be recovered in all significant portions of its range, not just fragments," said Michael Robinson, who authored the petition. Robinson said the animals occupy less than 5 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states.

The federal Administrative Procedure Act allows outside parties to petition the government to act when species are in peril. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Chris Tollefson, whose agency received the petition, said there was no deadline by which the agency must respond to the one filed Tuesday, which was signed by Robinson and another biologist, Noah Greenwald.

Tollefson also said an internal review was under way to figure out where wolves once lived and where they might be returned.

"We need to look at what is realistic and where the suitable habitat would be," Tollefson said.

The review will be completed by late 2010 or early 2011 and will contain recommendations but no final decision on whether to create new wolf populations, Tollefson said.

About 6,000 wolves live in the U.S. outside Alaska, with most of those in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies, with only a few dozen in Arizona and New Mexico. They are listed as endangered except in Alaska, Idaho and Montana.

In early 2008, a similar petition was lodged by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In its rejection of that petition, the Fish and Wildlife Service said the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies programs had succeeded and any additional recovery efforts would be "discretionary."

The Fish and Wildlife Service faces no deadline to respond to such petitions

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has pushed to end federal protections for wolves and return control over the animals to the states.

But both administrations have been rebuffed in the courts. Federal judges have ruled repeatedly that the government failed to prove existing wolf numbers will ensure the population's long-term survival.

Last year, the Interior Department relented to pressure from environmentalists in the Great Lakes. The agency agreed to put wolves back on the endangered list at least temporarily - just months after they had been removed for the second time in recent years.

Wolves are notorious predators with a hunger for livestock, and experts say they could survive in most of the country if they were allowed.

Young adult wolves sometimes travel hundreds of miles when looking to establish a new territory. In the last several years, packs have gained a toehold in parts of Oregon and Washington. Others have been spotted in Colorado, Utah and northern New England.

But with wolves, more than just biology is at play. Politics serves the deciding role in where wolves are allowed, said David Mech, a wolf expert and senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

"In the areas where they are not acceptable, they will be killed out - illegally if nothing else, Mech said.

The Northern Rockies population has stirred the most rancor, largely because of sheep and cattle killings and wolves preying on big game herds that had swelled when the predators were absent.

Idaho and Montana initiated public wolf hunts last year, and both intend to increase their quotas on the animals this fall. The states want to put a dent in the animal's population growth rate, which has been as high as 30 percent annually.

Wyoming, which has about 525 wolves, was blocked in its efforts to start a hunt after federal officials said state law was too hostile to wolves to ensure their survival. That ruling has been challenged in federal court.

Wyoming House Speaker Colin Simpson said Tuesday it should serve as a warning for other states that are asked to take wolves.

"Be careful," Simpson said. "We don't need more of that in the West."

(This version corrects name of federal law that allows for outside party petitioning to Administrative Procedure Act, not Endangered Species Act.)

It's Raining, It's Pouring........

.....the old man is snoring.  He went to bed with a bump on his head and won't wake up this morning! 

It started raining sometime after midnight last night and it hasn't quit yet.  And it's a beautiful rain.  When I left for town at about 7:30, we had a little over an inch of rain.  In July!!  A couple of farmers were talking about starting to combine come Monday, that maybe pushed back a few days.  For all the moisture we have had this year, we were needing another little drink.  Here are a couple of pictures from this morning.  Not the best, as I still haven't found my camera, and these are off my phone. 

I am not going to lie, I really want to go out and run through the rain and jump in the mud puddles! 

Beef Checkoff

These days everyone has their own (usually strong) opinion on the Beef Checkoff system through NCBA.  Below you will find read what MCA recommends for this nations Beef Checkoff.

MCA Submits Beef Checkoff Improvement Recommendations
1. Checkoff dollars be used to promote only U.S.A. beef from cattle born, raised, and processed in the United States of America.
2. A periodic vote on the checkoff program (every five years).
3. Prohibit any one cattle organization from serving as the "prime contractor" for the program, but allow all U.S. cattle organizations to participate in approved projects on a case-by-case basis.
4. Reform the Cattlemen's Beef Board to reflect proportional representation from all national cattle organizations.
5. Allow for checkoff expenditures to protect U.S.A. beef and cattle from unfair trade practices and to protect the U.S. cattle herd from import practices which threaten cattle herd health and beef consumers.
6. Allow checkoff expenditures to promote branded products from small and large packing entities.
7. Provide that 70% of all funds collected remain in the state where collected, and 30% to the national Cattlemen's Beef Board.
8. Provide an exemption for producers contributing equal or greater funds into a private sector self-help effort.

In addition, the MCA Board recommends any increase in the checkoff assessment fee not be considered unless or until the above recommendations are implemented.

What are your thoughts on the Beef Checkoff situation?

I found the above information on the MCA website

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bison Tests Positive for Anthrax

I just read a news release on the MT Department of Livestock webiste that a bison heifer carcass tested positive for Anthrax in Gallatin County.  Field tests were done on the dead bison which was found near a pasture where Anthrax killed 287 bison in 2008.  The pasture has since been quarantined.

There is a vaccine for anthrax, and the state vet encourages produces that live in areas known for anthrax to vaccinate. 

You can read the whole news release on the MT Department of Livestock website.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

man oh man

Being without a camera really has taken its toll on my blogging.  Doesn't seem to be quite as fun with out pictures.  I promise I will do better (and get a new camera)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

MT FWP Purchasing 28,000 Acre Ranch

That wonderful agency we call Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is at it again.

MT FWP Could Soon Purchase 28,000 Acre Ranch

For more details, visit the FWP Website.

Two state agencies are taking public comment on a Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks proposal to buy a nearly 28,000-acre ranch near Deer Lodge.

FWP has requested $16.5 million in restoration funds administered by the state Natural Resource Damage Program to purchase the Spotted Dog Ranch.

The ranch would become a state Wildlife Management Area and be managed for fish and wildlife habitat and seasonal public access.

The lands are home to the largest concentration of wintering elk in the Upper Clark Fork River basin and provide yearlong habitat for antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose, black bear and other species. The land is bordered on two sides by national forest land. The ranch and intermingled school trust lands total about 38,000 acres.

"Spotted Dog provides a unique opportunity to permanently protect and manage a large, intact landscape between the Blackfoot and Clark Fork watersheds for a v ariety of fish and wildlife species," said Mack Long, FWP Region 2 supervisor. "The purchase would also ensure lasting public access to previously inaccessible lands."

The property is owned by the Rock Creek Cattle co.

The Natural Resource Damage Program said the project qualifies for funding by restoring or replacing resources injured by historic mining and smelting in the Upper Clark Fork basin. However, the project proposal would require an amendment of the NRDP's grant process to receive founding outside the regular NRDP grant cycle.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said he supports the purchase of what he calls "extraordinary habitat for an array of species."

FWP is seeking comment on the draft environmental impact statement, while NRDP is asking for public comment on the proposal and an exception to the funding process.

NRDP comments must be received by Aug. 9 and can be sent to NRDP, P.O. Box 201425, Helena, MT 50602, or nrdp(at); or faxed to 4 06-444-0236.

FWP is taking comments through July 30 at spotteddog(at), or by mail to Region 2 FWP; Attn: Spotted Dog, 3201 Spurgin Road, Missoula, MT 59804.

A public hearing is planned July 14 in Deer Lodge.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

FWP Proposes Free Roaming Wild Bison Herd in Montana

Those crack heads at the FWP office are at it again.  They recently held a couple of meetings to discuss if  whether or not it makes sense to have a wild, free-ranging population somewhere in Montana, and if a population of wild bison can actually exist and be managed like wild deer, elk, or antelope.  Good Gravy!  In what frame of mind would this make sense. 

HEY!  Montana FWP, have you ever heard of Brucelloisis???

Valley County & Phillips County have already taken a stand and have started a petitions to give to the FWP.  The Valley County petition states that, "Montana already has a wild bison population in Yellowstone. A free roaming bison herd will negatively affect private property rights and compete with livestock and existing wildlife for forage and adversely affect rural communities. We the residents of Valley County OPPOSE any evaluation or plan the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department have for a wild free roaming bison population in Valley County."

I wonder if the goal of the FWP is to put the Rancher out of business? 

Please take a moment and fill out this survey about this propsed bison herd.  It really just takes a minute.

Here is a link to story and video of Circle Montana area ranchers comments and opposition to this assinine proposal.   Video Link

Friday, July 2, 2010

Heat Killing Kansas Cattle

Man oh Man, the summer heat can be brutual, but this is just plain awful.  I read this on the Northern Ag Network website.  Makes my heart ache for those producers. 

Heat in Kansas Kills 2000 Cattle
The intense heat and humidity that blanketed central Kansas since late last week have killed more than 2,000 cattle and one state official called the heat-related losses the worst in his 17 years on the job.

However, conditions for the cattle improved somewhat on Tuesday as the humidity has decreased and the wind has picked up, state and feedlot sources said.

Kansas is the third largest cattle state with more than 2 million cattle in feedlots.

"It is all cattle in feedlots. It is more the humidity than the heat," Ken Powell, environmental scientist with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said of the more than 2,000 cattle deaths.

The cattle deaths have overwhelmed rendering plants and some feedlots are burying the carcasses in accordance with state regulations, said Powell.

"From the standpoint of dealing with the disposal of animals, this is the worst I have seen in the almost 17 years I've been here," he said.

The death losses helped guide Chicago cattle futures higher on Monday, but on Tuesday the futures were near unchanged as traders awaited Friday's release of a USDA cattle supply report.

Temperatures reached 101 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) at Garden City in southwest Kansas on Monday, and highs in the region were expected to reach the upper 90s to low 100s F (upper 30s C) through Friday, said Joel Burgio, meteorologist at Telvent DTN.

"For three or four more days, it's still pretty stressful," Burgio said. "There is a chance you may see a few showers this weekend, which would help ease stress on the livestock.

Source: Yahoo! News

Posted by Kaci Switzer

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bison Management Rejected!

I have blogged about Brucelloisis time and time and time agian on this lil ol' blog.  Yesterday, May 27th, 2010 the plea set forth by Montana Rancher for proper enforcement of the Interagency Bison Management Plan was rejected by District Judge John Brown of Bozeman. 

Please go to the MSGA page to view a video from MSGA VPresident as he responds to this ruling and addresses the next steps that must be taken.

National Hamburger Day

Happy National Hamburger Day!!

Get those grills dusted off and help celebrate this National Day of the Hamburger!!
MSGA Inducted Into Hall of Fame

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center (MCHF&WHC) recently announced the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) as a winner of the 2010 Legacy Award. MSGA, an association that has advocated for Montana’s ranching families since 1884, joined 23 other historical figures as the Class of 2010 in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The induction honors MSGA for its notable contributions to Montana’s Western heritage.

"It is very fitting that the Montana Stockgrowers Association has been nominated and elected by their peers to receive this honor,” said Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance for the MCHF&WHC. “For 126 years the MSGA has worked to strengthen Montana agriculture and, in turn, has strengthened our Montana communities, businesses and its people.”

The newly inducted members of the Class of 2010 of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame were chosen from candidates nominated by the public and trustees of the MCHF&WHC. The MCHF&WHC sought nominees that made a notable contribution to the history and culture of Montana before 1940, no matter the year of death or closure. Winners were selected by the MCHF&WHC Trustees.
“We are thrilled to receive this honor and join many other notable figures who have greatly contributed to Montana’s history and present,” said Tom Hougen, MSGA president. “We celebrated our association’s rich history last year with our 125th Anniversary celebration. This year, we developed a vision to guide our work through the next 125 years. That vision is to be the premier institution that exemplifies leading global beef innovation while preserving Montana’s complex natural landscape, history, economy, ethics, and social values.”
For more information about the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, or for more details on the Legacy Award inductees, please contact Christy Stensland at the MCHF&WHC by calling (406) 653-3800, emailing, or logging on at For more information about the history of the Montana Stockgrowers Association visit

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PETA owns stock in Kraft Foods, McDonalds and more.

I found this article on the Northern Ag Network site this morning.  Very interesting and disturbing story.

PETA now owns stock in Kraft Foods?? That’s right. The animal-rights group hopes to influence how the companies look at the animal welfare.
This story from the Associated Press:
An animal-rights group known for sending out scantily clad demonstrators to protest fur and other provocative stunts has gained influence in boardrooms with a more traditional tactic: buying company stock.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been buying shares for seven years and now owns a piece of at least 80 companies, including McDonald's and Kraft Foods. It hopes to influence their animal welfare policies on such things as how chickens are slaughtered or buying pork from suppliers that keep pregnant sows in small crates. By buying stock, PETA is guaranteed the right to present its ideas directly to officials and other shareholders, many of whom would otherwise likely pay little attention to the group.
"It gives us a new forum in which to present the research we've done to company executives, their shareholders and the public," said Ashley Byrne, a senior campaigner for PETA.

PETA tries to negotiate agreements with companies behind closed doors, but if that fails, the group submits shareholder resolutions with its proposed changes at shareholder meetings.

Companies don't always change their policies, but Byrne said the effort has paid off. After PETA bought stock, Safeway grocery stores and restaurant companies Ruby Tuesday, Sonic and Burger King agreed to give purchasing preference to suppliers that abide by what the group says are more humane rules, such as not confining chicken and hogs in small cages, she said.

In many cases, shareholders were "horrified" when they learned of some of the production methods used by their companies' suppliers, Byrne said.

"Many shareholders are average people who are compassionate and who don't want to be supporting practices that are inhumane," she said.

Meridith Hammond, a spokeswoman for Ruby Tuesday, said the company is "pleased to cooperate with PETA and are grateful for their advice, help with resources, and information about suppliers."

Hammond said listening to shareholders' ideas is a "normal and necessary part of doing business."

Burger King said in a statement it is committed to "maintaining open-dialogue with PETA and various other animal welfare experts."

Kraft Foods wouldn't comment on PETA but said all shareholders are free to express their opinions to management and the board. Safeway didn't respond to telephone messages.

Byrne said PETA's attempt to work from within companies didn't signal an end to its more visible, and often outrageous, protests aimed at improving the condition of animals and encouraging people to stop eating meat. Those events include PETA members stripping to protest the fur industry, nearly naked women taking showers on busy street corners to demonstrate the amount of water used to produce meat, and people squeezing into cages to focus attention on livestock confinement.

Hayagreeva Rao, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, said PETA runs the risk of alienating some supporters by working with companies while also protesting their actions.

"If you're extreme, you draw a certain set of supporters. If you become an investor, you're moving to a more moderate position and that could change your identity and confuse initial supporters," Rao said. "But you could gain new supporters."

Byrne said she doubted PETA supporters would object, arguing they're focused on getting results.

That's how Barbara Hegedus, a PETA supporter from Parkesburg, Pa., saw it.

"I think if they're able to influence in the boardroom rather than go through the demonstrations, it's pretty good," Hegedus said. "It's a more progressive way of doing it."

Michael Lent, chief investment officer for New York-based Veris Wealth Partners, said other shareholders have tried to influence corporate policies from within.

Some high-profile examples include the Rockefeller family, which in 2008 introduced shareholder resolutions pushing Exxon Mobile on climate change issues. Earlier this month, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility introduced shareholder resolutions at a Goldman Sachs board meeting calling for an immediate shift in the way the embattled investment company conducts business on Wall Street.

Under rules established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, shareholders must own at least $2,000 in stock for at least a year before they can introduce a shareholder resolution.

Success often depends on whether a group can attract other shareholders with similar values, Lent said: "PETA alone may not be able to, but in concert with others may be able to accomplish something."

Lent, whose firm works with foundations and endowments with an emphasis on sustainable and socially conscious investments, also said a shareholder resolution should be a last resort.

"Generally speaking, if you start out and engage them first, to start a dialogue and see how far you can get, that's usually met with a better response than going right to a shareholder resolution," he said.

That's exactly what PETA does, Byrne said.

"Very often, this takes away the need for a campaign because we're able to resolve things behind the scenes," she said. "It's a very effective way to do things."

National Hamburger Day

Friday May 28th National Hamburger Day!

How exciting is that?  Just another wonderful excuse to eat some great beef!  You can never go wrong with a hamburger!  While doing some reading about National Hamburger Day, I came across this crazy wonderful blog:  In summary, this blog is about one guys travels around the US sampling all kinds of differents burgers from all sorts of places!  Take a moment and check it out.  This website has a burger recipe that looks wonderful (along with all kinds of recipes for different cuts of beef) and may have to try out,

It really doesn't matter how you make your hamburger or what you put on top of it, get the grill out and celebrate National Hamburger Day! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Am Back!'s been a long somewhat rough couple of weeks.  T had surgery a week ago.  Took in Bucking Horse Sale.  Gained another bum calf.  And this weather is really screwing with my attempt to get horses rode and yard work done.  I will get you all caught up soon.  I have pictures from Bucking Horse Sale.  Pictures of new bum calf.  All sorts of cool stuff. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm hear to tellya....

.....ain't nothing much getting accomplished in the lines of work, blogging, or any other aspect of my usual schedule. 


You. Mean. You. Hafta. Ask?

Fine....I"ll tell ya.

There are only 2 days until I get to head to Miles City to Bucking Horse Sale! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Whatta Weekend

What a weekend, it flew by too fast!  We branded at Iversons Saturday morning.  Ol' Dick must have a direct line to the big guy up above, because the sun shone all day, and there wasn't much wind.  First time in over a week!  After we got the calves all done, and enjoyed some of Connie's good cooking, alot of us rushed home to shower and get ready for our friend Beau's surprise 30th birthday.  What a party it was.  Due to a train derailement, the guest of honor and his wife were almost 2 hours late, due to the detour they had to take. But the rest of us were enjoying some drinks and a grand supper, so noone really got unruly.

Sunday was Mother's Day, and the wind and cold were back with a vengence.  Big did take a half hour before he left to go and try to farm and haul in some dirt for my new garden spot.  He did get some seeding done before he got rained out. 

I hope you all remembered to wish your mothers a very Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

First One Of The Season

We are headed to our first branding this morning.  We are hoping calves are dry enough and we don't get rained out.  Safe to say kids and wrestlers will be mud from head to toe! 

Good Times.  Good Times.

Did I mention we are headed to Iversons & Dick brews his own beer?

Good Times.  Good Times.

Friday, May 7, 2010

BHS or Bust!!!!

The weather maybe rainy and dreary and snowing all around us, but there is a wonderful bright spot at the end of the tunnel.  This time next week I will be headed to the World Famous Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City! 

Whoop! Whoop! 

Man, I am getting all giddy just thinking about it.  Bucking Horse Sale, a sign that summer is on its way.  A place to catch up with friends you haven't seen all winter.  A weekend to run into people you haven't seen in years.  A time to meet new people from all kinds of cool places.  Wild Horse Racing.  A parade that just plain rocks.  The 7th Calvary Band, wow.  The BagPipers, wow.  The BagPipers and the 7th Calvary Band together, in the Bison Bar.  I get goosebumps thinking about it!  Cold Beer.  Betting on the horses.  Match Bronc Ride.  Watching those horses buck.  Man, I could go on forever.

Man....I Heart Bucking Horse Sale.

The crazy thing about it; I will have T and my 85 year old Grandpa Bob tagging along, and I am still super excited!  Grandpa said he couldn't remember the last time he was at a bucking horse sale, and really wanted to go.  So, I am taking him.  This will be the third Bucking Horse Sale I have taken T too, and she will just be 4 next fall.  There are lots of kids to play in the dirt with and she enjoys watching the horses.  Besides, she really really likes her Grandpa Bob, and he really really likes her, so it will be good as long as those two don't gang up on me!

The last couple of years we have had the team and wagon in the Bucking Horse Parade, for the Bison Bar.  It is still up in the air if we are this year, but will know shortly.

Awwww.... Bucking Horse Sale.  Did I mention how excited I am?

I shall have to look for some photos of years past to share with you.

Get your Grill On!

Ready?  Set. GRILL!

Even with our unpredictable, ever changing Montana weather, Big D and I use our grill pretty much year round.  Yes, our winter grilling is not as frequent as our summer grilling, but it still gets used.  I tell ya, I have shoveled snow off of sidewalk and from around our grill in order to get to it and use it in cold and icky weather?  Some may call me crazy, you may agree.  But you just can't beat a home grown grilled steak, in my opinion. 

Now, I am no expert and we like to experiment on the grill.  Here is a link to some guide lines I found on the Montana Beef Council webpage.  This handy dandy little chart gives you grill times for different cuts of meat depending on if you use charcoal grill or gas grill.  It contains some cool grilling tips such as marinating tips, cooking temperatures, seasoning tips, and much more.  It also gives you some tips on how to determin doneness. 

I wish I would have found this a long time ago.  I have already learned a thing or two!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Very Merry Month of May

May typically is a busy month around here.  Spring is thinking about arriving, calving is going full swing or about over.  People are thinking about branding, and going around fences in summer pasture.  School graduations, track meets, anticipation of backyard barbeques and summer fun and the Kentucky Derby.  But did you know that May is also:
*National Beef Month
*National Hamburger Month
*National Barbeque Month
*National Asparagus Month

So, in honor of all that above below is some of my favorite ways to beef and aparagus using my grill.  *note to reader, I am a simple cook, so don't be expecting anything to over the top, but do expect over the top flavor and goodness*

*Ribs Take 1*
Take ribs and rub yellow mustard or spicey brown mustard on both sides of ribs.
Take and sprinkle choice of seasoning onto mustard covered ribs.  I enjoy Johnny's Season Salt or Lawry's Season Salt.  Big D leans more towards Slap Yo' Mama seasoning.
Place ribs on preheated grill, on low.  The trick (we have found) is to cook them low and slow. 

*Ribs Take 2*
Take ribs and rub choice of seasoning on both sides of ribs.
Place ribs on preheated grill and cook on low. 
Pour apple juice, apple cider or apple vinegar into spray bottle.  Every half hour or so, spray the ribs generously to keep them from drying out.  Remember, low and slow.

*My Kinda Steak*
I prefer my steak grilled to medium rare.  Yummo! Take your choice of steak and if you so choose, sprinkle seasoning onto steak.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don't.  Just depends on my mood (according to Big D)! Place beautiful steak on grill and cook 5-6 minutes on first side.  Then flip and cook 3-4 minutes.  Of course the cooking times all depends on how you prefer your steak to be cooked.  If you are not sure how hot or fast your grill is cooking, start with shorter times, and increase until desired doneness is acheived. 

*Grilled Asparagus*
Snap off ends of aparagus and wash.  Coat asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place right onto grill or into grilling basket.  3-4 minutes and asapragus should be done.  It cooks really fast, so don't allow it to burn, unless you like burnt asparagus.

Like I mentioned above, I am just a simple cook, that likes to experiment.  Ribs have been at the top of our experimenting list, and are trying all sorts of new techniques and seasoning methods.  Any tips you would like to share?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wolves Wolves Wolves

According to an article in the paper this morning, there has been a confirmed wolf killing of a calf near Roscoe Montana.  In the past couple of weeks, there has been two other calves found dead on the same ranch, but are not confirmed wolf kills.  After finding the newest dead calf, FWP personnel attemped to call the wolf back in to the kill site in hopes to shoot the responsible animal.  The calling did not work, so a trap will be set and the wolf caught will be outfitted in a radio collar.

Coggins Test

Yesterday I braved the horrible winds and took some horses to the vet to get their blood drawn for a coggins test and to get their shots.  The other day I mentioned how a horse in Montana tested positive for EIA.  Well I read an article in the Billings Gazette this morning that stated that 2 horses have now tested positive. 

From Billings Gazette:
BOZEMAN — The state Department of Livestock has confirmed that two horses in Gallatin County have a rare and contagious disease.

The horses tested positive for equine infectious anemia. Horses that contract the virus must be quarantined for life or euthanized.
Livestock Department spokesman Steve Merritt says investigators believe the horses contracted the disease at a recent out-of-state event. State law requires that all horses crossing into Montana be tested for the disease. One of the horses tested positive upon returning.
The Livestock Department has identified about 35 horses that may have pastured within 200 yards of the infected horses.
Merritt says he does not believe Gallatin County will have a widespread outbreak.

My friend Sara rode with yesterday and while were visiting about the purpose of our trip we both were asking the same question, and never came up with the answer.   Just why is the test for EIA (swamp fever) called the Coggins test?  Was the man who invented the test name Coggins?  We pondered this for quite sometime.  Anyone have an answer for that? 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I was reading the TSLN this morning and came across an article about a retired butcher who has developed a website whose goal is to provide a method for anyone wanting to learn their meat cuts, where they come from, what to do with them, creative ways to cook them and more.  Eric Turner (the retired butcher) said he wanted his website, Meatshop101,  to provide accurat information that is enjoyable and easy to learn.
Genius I say, pure genius!!
I decided to check out Meatshop101 and see just what is was all about and what kind of information he was providing.  My conclusion:  what a great website!  It has information on cuts of meat, nutritional info and cooking ideas on Beef, Pork and Poultry, with Lamb and Shellfish coming soon.  He provides interactive pictures with along with videos where he breaks down each different cut on each animal.  For example when you click on the beef, and select Chuck Cuts, he has a video showing how to trim up the cut, shopping tips, recipes and more. 
I think this website will be great for the American consumer, but also a great teaching tool for 4-H lessons, FFA kids, demonstrations and more. 
Take a moment to check it out.  You won't be sorry!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Tonight we are headed to Sidney for the Best Kept Secret Bra Auction sponosored by the Women's Health Coalition.  I am pretty excited.  The Women's Health Coalition raises funds for surrounding counties to pay for cancer screenings and awarness programs.  The Bra Auction is a huge fund raiser and a huge hit.  People take a bra, decorate it how ever they choose, and then donate it to be auctioned off to the public.  All proceeds go to the coalition.  Below is a picture of the bra Juli and I decorated.  We had fun, and have already talked about how we will decorate next year.   The theme of our bra is "Cowgirl Up For Cancer"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meatless Mondays

I have been little snippets and references to Meatless Mondays, but never the full story.  I decided I wanted to know more about Meatless Mondays and just what all the fuss is about.  This is what I learned from my google search:

*Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative who has a goal to reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

*The are asking that in place of chicken, beef, or pork, just look for protein from beans, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds instead.

*The MeatlessMonday website states that going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
            *  REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation.[3] And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
            *  MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.[4] Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.[5]

             *  HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S.[6] Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.[7] Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
*There have been many cities (San Fransisco, Montreal Quebec) and school systems ( Baltimore MA School Systems, University of CA school: Berkley, Davis for example) that have already adopted Meatless Mondays, with quite a few more considering it. 
*“Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, says the goal is not to promote vegetarianism or ban meat eating altogether, it’s a way to encourage kids to eat less meat and more vegetables.”
Now no matter what the topic of discussion is, there are always many sides, thoughts and research.  That being said, I found some articles that are on the opposite end of the stick of Meatless Monday.
Below are some excerpts from an article I found on Drovers website this morning.  To read the whole article, go here.
'The big lie that has been repeated so often that many now consider it a fact is the claim made four years ago by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that “cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation.”

The report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow — Environmental Issues and Options,” was immediately used by animal-rights activists to argue that we should all become vegetarians in an effort to save the planet. That, of course, is hogwash. And now some scientists agree the analysis was, well, hogwash.

Frank Mitloehner, an air quality expert at the University of California at Davis, delivered a report last month to the American Chemical Society that undercut most of the claims about livestock and climate change.

Lower consumption of meat and dairy products will not have a major impact in combating global warming, Mitloehner says, despite persistent claims to the contrary. He says cows and pigs have gotten a “bum rap.” The claims that livestock are to blame for global warming are both “scientifically inaccurate” and a dangerous distraction from more important issues.'
'Humans can reduce greenhouse-gas production, Mitloehner says, “but not by consuming less meat and milk. Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.” He adds that “smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat.”
Further, Mitloehner says, “The developed world should focus on increasing efficient meat production in developing countries where growing populations need more nutritious food. In developing countries, we should adopt more efficient, Western-style farming practices to make more food with less greenhouse-gas production.”
Hmmm … that advice sounds strangely like utilizing modern technology and efficiency to help feed the world’s growing population. Why hasn’t somebody thought of that before? '

Now while I applaud anyone for choosing ot eat healthier and take care of our land, Idon't think I am convinced that Meatless Mondays is going to do any of this. 

Clean Water Act, changes coming down the stream?

I pulled this off of the WIFE Facebook page.   If you are not sure what WIFE is, go check them out.  They do some great work, all in the name of Agriculture.   As ranchers and farmers, we must work together to protect out natural resources and ourselves.  If the word change (read below) in the Clean Water Act is passed, it could become a nightmare battle in property rights, personal rights and doing what is best for rancher/farmers personal operatoins. 
*WIFE Member's Letter Published in the Washington Times*
Dear Editor,

I am a Montana rancher and an Area Director for Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE.) We are very concerned by Representative Oberstar’s introduction of “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act.” As farmers and ranchers we are already committed to clean water. It is our lifeblood. Without clean and useable water we cannot produce the food and fiber with which we feed and clothe part of the world.
This bill would remove the word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act of 1972, thus expanding the federal government’s jurisdiction from just navigable waters to all water in the United States. This means the puddles, ponds, and seasonal streams that exist on our property. This could produce a bureaucratic nightmare for us. Through average rains, floods, or draughts, we need to be able to make our own decisions quickly for the survival of our crops and livestock.
Although the name of this bill sounds good, it will not ensure cleaner water. It will hinder economic growth in rural America, place hardships on farmers and ranchers and infringe on state and private property rights. Please ask your Congressmen to vote against this bill.

Shana Baisch
323 Road 300
Glendive, MT 59330

Cuts of Beef

How well do you know or remember your cuts of Beef?  I came across this interactive site where you can test your knowledge of beef cuts.  Take a moment and check it out:

Beef Cut Quiz

I got it right the first time (surprisingly).  How did you do?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farming Widow

It's that time of year already. That time of year where I become a Farming Widow.

The time of year when Big D starts his schedule of early mornings, late nights and being home whenever T and I are not.

My widow status is a special thing at that, it doesn't stop when seeding is done. It lasts through irrigating, swathing, baling, custom farm work, fencing, and harvesting.

Big D and I do wave to each other as we pass each other on the road!

Big D loves what he does. So therefore I have no problem becoming a Farming Widow. Besides, while Big D's schedule has his driving in circles, irrigating, and putting out fires, T and I will spend our time gardening, riding horses, branding, rodeoing, taking swimming lessons, road tripping and enjoying our summer to the fullest.

Equine Infectious Anemia

Montana Department of Livestock reports that a horse from southwest Montana had a positive Coggins test for Equine Infectious Anemia.  

Just what is EIA?  The NDSU website defines Equine Infectious Anemia as contagious, viral disease that affects all members of the Equine species, including horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules.  Once animals become infected they are life-long carriers of the virus.

Acute, Chronic and Inapparant are the three clinical forms if EIA.  Symptons range from fever, depression, lack or loss of appetite, weight loss, anemia, weakness, stocking up (swelling of the legs), and edema.  Mares that have EIA abort their babies or fail to become pregnant.

EIA is spread through horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, and gnats.  The nasty annoying little blood suckers that they are! 

I recently scheduled appointments for 4 of my horses to get their blood drawn for the Coggins test.  No, not because I think they are carrying the disease, but because I will be headed into North Dakota several times this summer with my horses.  North Dakota requies all horses entering the state have a negative Coggins test.  The test is pretty simple and the results are good for a year.

EIA;  just another reason to keep those pesky little blood suckers under control!

Bareback Jack

When I was just a very young lad I walked up and I told my dad
A bareback rider's what I wanna be I want the whole world to know about me
In the rodeo arena I'll take my stand I wanna be known as a rodeo man
I'll come flyin' from the chute with my spurs up high
Chaps and boots reachin' for the sky
Spurrin' wild with my head throw'd back
You'll ask whose that well that's Bareback Jack
You'll ask whose that well that's Bareback Jack

It was a little windy that day!

I took T's saddle away from her.

And she is happy about it.

Crazy Kid.

All spring, T has been against using her stirrups and hanging on. So I did what any good mom would do, I took her saddle away. And made her ride with bareback rigging. The lil crazy kid loved it. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thumbalina & Charley

The other day I made mention of some calves that T was given;



A week later these two calves are going strong. So just how did T end up with Thumbalina (the smallest calf ever) and Charley (the cast is now off his leg and he is all healed)? Well, from her wonderful Uncle Terry, of course!

You see, Uncle Terry was tired of feeding calves, and he thought it would be a great idea for T to have these calves. Give her something to do. Keep her entertained. Wasn't that so very thoughtful of Uncle Terry?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Starthistle. That kind of has a pretty sound to it? Right? Wrong! Yellow starthistle is currently ranked at the top of the state’s noxious-weed list, it is the only weed currently denoted as priority 1A, meaning that if detected it is to be eradicated. Several years ago the yellow starthistle was found in Stillwater county. Since then, state and local officials have been brainstorming on how to eradicate the intruder and its off spring.

In a recent article, State weed director Dave Burch said “From the state’s perspective, that’s our biggest threat. We definitely want to keep that one out of the state. Every time we’ve had a confirmed sighting, we’ve been able to eradicate it.”

In the past 25 years, there have been dozens of reports of yellow starthistle, but the current infestation is the worse. Each plant has potential of broadcasting thousands of seeds. Many fall right by the plant, but with Montana winds, they can be carried quite a ways. This weed patch, which is about 10 acres, is near a sight that stages construction projects, so equipment is always coming and going, spreading the weed to more places. Which is how they figure the weed came to be in Montana, catching a ride on equipment!

So what exactly is so bad about starthistle? Well, let me fill you in. Like many other noxious weeds, starthistle can quickly force out desirable species as it infests rangelands, farmlands and roadsides. Large invasions of starthistle will deplete soil moisture in the equivalent of 15 to 25 percent of the mean annual precipitation of an area. Starthistle also sucks up moisture earlier than competing plants, which causes native species to suffer from drought conditions, even in a good rain year.

The yellow starthistle is less than desirable as a feed source. Cattle, sheep and goats are known to graze on its early green growth, and some bird species feed on its seeds. But the weed is toxic to horses. When they eat the thistle, it attacks their neurological system and the horses end up starving to death, and is refered to as chewing disease. Another bad thing is some horses will seek the weed out to eat.

If you would like to know more check out this article in the Billings Gazette. Or go to MT Weed Control

Livestock Loss Reduction & Mitigation

As you may or may not know, wolves in Montana is quite the headache and controversy every which way you look at. In 2007, Legislature established the Montana Livestock Loss Reduction & Mitigation program to address economic losses from wolves and to create incentives for producers to take preventative steps to help decrease their losses. The board will be working with all kinds of agencies, both federal and state, to keep the line of communication open and conflicts down. They also will continually be seeking funding sources for current livestock losses and for longterm compensation solutions.

According to their website, the mission of the LLRMB is as follows: To help support Montana Livestock communities by reducing the economic impacts of wolves on individual producers by reimbursing confirmed and probably wolf-caused losses and helping to reduce their losses by approving projects and funding programs that will discourage wolves from killing livestock.

Wanna know more? Their website is:
The also have a facebook page they use to keep producers up to date on deadlines, news, meetings and happenings. Check it out here LLRMB Facebook.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Have you ever wondered?

I am one of those that has way too much to to think, about the most random stuff ever. I also like facts. Especially facts backed up by colorful charts and or maps. So you can about imagine my excitement when I found maps that give county by county detail of livestock inventories. There is a map for poultry, dairy cow, beef cow, and hog inventories. I was almost giddy with excitement and I just knew I had to share the excitement!

Below is the map for dairy cow inventory.

Here is the link to all the maps on the Feedstuffs website. Maps are available in high resolution pdf's AND there are excel spreadsheets of the census data used to create the maps.

Isn't that exciting?

Foot and Mouth Disease found in Japan

Below is an article I found on the Feedstuffs website this morning.

Japan suspends beef exports after finding FMD*

Ian Elliott

The Japanese government notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Tuesday of suspected cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD) at a farm in Tsuno-cho Koyu-gun in Miyazaki province, prompting the government to suspend beef exports.

"A private veterinarian first found a suspicious case in the affected farm and reported it to the local government’s veterinary service on April 9, 2010. An official veterinarian observed that a cow had fever, anorexia, salivation and erosions in the oral cavity on the same day, but the others had no clinical signs," Japan's Ministry of Agriculture reported to OIE.

"Since two other suspicious cases were found in the same farm on April 16, the veterinary service examined similar diseases such as bluetongue, bovine viral diarrhea-mucosal disease, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and Ibaraki disease, but they showed negative results by PCR (polymer chain reaction) tests on April 19," the ministry added.

The Ministry of Agriculture reported that samples were submitted April 19 to the National Institute for Animal Health, which affirmed last Tuesday that the cattle were infected with FMD virus.

Agriculture Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu told reporters in Tokyo, Japan, "The government will take every measure to prevent the disease from spreading further."

The ministry told OIE it has destroyed all 16 head on the farm, started cleaning and disinfection there and put quarantine zones in place around the affected farm.

"Movement restrictions within 10 km around the affected farm have been implemented. Export international veterinary certificates for ruminants and products derived from them have been suspended since April 20," the ministry said.

This is Japan's first case of FMD since 2000.

No excuses...

What a week it has been! I have been a very bad blogger, and I would apologize, but there is really no need, as I am pretty sure noone reads this crazy blog of mine. But heck, that won't keep me from blogging, cuz I am having fun with it!

So in the last week, I became an auntie again! My (first) Nephew, Parker Shane, was born last Wednesday. He had some problems breathing and he was airlifted to Minot hospital where he has been ever since. He is getting stronger and stronger by the day, and I can not wait to meet him!

Tally was given some bum calves the other night! Yep. That's all I shall say about that as Charley & Thumbalina (the calves) deserve their own post, complete with pictures.

Tally has gotten to ride some in the last week, which has made her very happy. I did take her saddle away from her and she is now riding with a bareback rigging. And, she loves it! You go girl!!

Below is a link to an article I found this morning in the Billings Gazette. It's a great article, and the title explains it pretty well Young Rancher defy trends, return to land. Take a moment and read it, you won't be sorry.

Have a great day! And I promise (to myself at least) to get back on a blogging roll!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Budget Cuts to Extension & Research Stations

A proposal to cut roughly $1.2M from Montana Agriculture Experiment Stations and $600,000 from Montana Extension Service is being pushed right now. These would be permanent budget cuts and would take effect July 1, 2010. I feel this is will be a huge hit to our states 4-H program, training sessions for producers, and ag research.

Take a moment to read the news release here, and then take that extra moment to send off an email to show your support for our states ag programs.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Donkey Basketball

I just can't help myself, I have to repost the following article. I can't help it. The article left my a little dumbfounded, a little amused and a little scared. I found the article at AofA blog along with Mr. Hadricks's comments. Here is a link to the original source to the article.

I am just not sure, yet, on how to comment on this article. I do know that I must dig in my picture archives to retrieve pictures of the last donkey basketball that was held at our local high school for a fundraiser.

Animal rights activists protest donkey basketball
by Ray Lane

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- Donkey basketball -- is it clean fun, or simply cruel?

On Wednesday night, animal rights activists targeted Snohomish High School, where the popular annual family event took center court.

Simple advice and a pep talk paved the way for the tipoff, and a stampede of action on the court. Eight donkeys jumped into action with players on their backs.

The event was a fundraiser for a senior class graduation party with teachers and staff in black jerseys taking on the students in white.

But not everyone thinks it's fun and games. Animal rights activists quietly protested outside, saying it's simply cruel.

"The donkeys are pushed, kicked, shoved, and prodded to do something that is unnatural for them and confusing," said protester David Schirk.

Some say the event is bad enough, but having it at a school makes it worse.

"I think it sends a really bad message to children on how to raise them and cruelty to animals and to all beings, and what does that teach our children?" said protester Carol Guilbault.

But Bruce Wick, who owns the donkeys, says the animals are well-cared for, and really enjoy playing the game.
They're trained to follow the ball, and go up and down the court.

"When I back into the corral, they're all fighting to see who gets to go," said Wick of Donkey Sports.

To help ease the impact on the hardwood, the donkeys' hooves have rubber padding.

"They're pretty intelligent animals," Wick said. "And if they're sitting around in a small pen or stall all day, they're fighting boredom all that time."

Out on the court, they cut loose.

"It was pretty uncontrollable, but it was a lot of fun. They've got a mind of their own, definitely," said one rider.

"Everybody likes to see somebody look silly, and a lot of times, the donkeys will make the riders look silly," said Wick.

Wick says, overall, donkey basketball is fun and safe. But animal rights groups say event also comes with huge liabilities, because people can get hurt easily.

Grasshoppers in the News, again

The other day I posted a link to a map distributed by the USDA that is predicting the Grasshopper Hazard.

Today I found a radio interview where Tom Hougen, MSGA president, discussed the possible grasshopper infestation that is predicted for the year, and a New York City radio program.

Take a minute and listen to it either here or here.

I am praying that these predictions of a massive grasshopper hatching are wrong. I hope you are doing the same.

Japan's Restriction on US Beef

I read this this morning and thought I would pass it along.

Read the article and let me know what your thoughts are.
* Is Japan being too harsh with their beef ban?
* Are we asking too much for Japan to lift the ban?

Japan says it has no plans to ease US beef restrictions
(AFP) – 2 days ago

TOKYO — Japan said Tuesday it has no plans to ease long-standing trade restrictions on US beef imposed over mad cow disease, two days before talks in Tokyo between the two on the issue.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was travelling to Japan Tuesday for a four-day visit in a renewed attempt to settle the long-running dispute that has created friction between the allies.

But Japan's Agriculture Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu said he "has no plan to ask the government's food safety commission to review US beef", even if Vilsack demands it during their meeting scheduled for Thursday.

"Asking for a review by the food safety panel would mean Japan was heading in the direction of changing its trade restriction," Akamatsu told a news conference. "Honestly speaking, I don't expect to do so."

Japan, which used to be the largest importer of US beef, stopped the imports after mad cow disease was detected in an American herd in late 2003 and has only resumed limited imports since then.

As the ban threatened to turn into a trade war, with US farm state senators seeking sanctions, Tokyo agreed in 2006 to resume US imports from cattle under 20 months, except for high-risk parts such as brains and spine bones.

Japan's US beef imports now stand at only around 10 percent of their former peak, while Australia has become the biggest beef importer.

US farm state senators have again accused Tokyo of being too rigid on its beef ban which continues even though no new cases of the brain-wasting cattle disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy have been detected in years.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

American Angus Association President

I feel lucky to live in a area, and grow up in an area in cattle country. I feel fortunate that people in this big area that I call home are so passionate about their cattle. Back in November a local guy was elected President of the American Angus Association. While I was in high school a good family friend was elected President of the AAA. Having two presidents for such a big association from a close area like this is amazing.

Check out this article about our current president of the American Angus Association.

Big Award, Great Honor

A year ago Big D and I were privelaged to be able to attend the 2009 Montana Young Ag Couples Conference in Helena. It was a great trip where we met lots of new people and learned so much about the Ag Industry. During the week, there were several different workshops and guest speakers. One of those sessions was about Huls Dairy. He talked about the dairy industry in Montana and the U.S.. He talked about their struggles, and what they are doing to stay viable. He talked about the influx of people moving to their area, and not understanding the dairy industry, or agriculture at all, and the difficulties that can arise from that. It was a great session, easily my favorite of the whole week.

A while back I read an article about Huls Dairy. I stated that the dairy were one of 75 winners of the 2010 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I find that to be an incredible honor. Take a moment to check out Huls Dairy website. Their dairy has been in the family for 5 generations, and they have quite the story to tell.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Never Too Old To Become A Daddy

I ran across an article at The Beef Site that I found quite interesting. Back in the 1960's some semen was collected from bulls, processed and stored in liquid nitrogren at the USDA National Germplasm Conservatory – a sperm and embryo cryobank – in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Recently some calves were born and Louisiana Agricultural Centre from some 40-year old semen that was used to AI about 200 cows. With live calves on the ground born from this stored semen, scientists see two positives effects for the beef and dairy industries.

1. Germplasm banks that are storing frozen semen have a product that we know will work for livestock producers

2. Strides have been made in genetics, and some small differences in DNA – single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs – have been shown to be positive production modifiers that can and likely will be used to increase animal production performance.”

*SNPs can act as biological markers, helping scientists locate genes that are associated with a variety of traits, such as growth, milk production and disease susceptibility. Some of the older bulls in the study may have had these SNPs, and with our advance in technology scientists will be able to identify SNP's and different traits to help improve production.

To read the whole story check it out here

Monday, April 5, 2010

Learn something new....

..everyday. Did you know they (USDA) has a map to predict Grasshopper Hazard. Well, I sure as heck didn't. Crazy.

Curious to see what the predicted grasshopper hazard looks like where you live? Click here.

Happy Easter

I Hope you all had Happy Easter!

I hope the Easter Bunny found your house.

I hope you made it to church on time.

I hope you stuffed yourself on Cadbury eggs and chocolate.

I hope you were able to enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brucellosis, you aren't a friend of mine

Montana has been struggling with Brucellosis for quite sometime. Trying to figure out how to control it, handle, take care of it, and deal with it. Montana just got done holding public meetings across the state on OCV. I wrote about it here and here. One thing producers, the state and officials can agree on is that something needs to be done. It is just that noone can agree on what that 'something' should be.

Now, I found an article titled Survey shows elk brucellosis on rise in Yellowstone region. This article states that the elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem appear to be carrying this brucellosis at an increasing rate. The lead author on the study stated that high elk densities are a big factor in the alarming increase in brucellosis.

This is not good news for the cattle producers in that area, or for the state of montana. Something needs to be done, some regulations put in place, some help for vaccinating in that area. For the sake of many cattle operations and future operations and operators. we need to figure that 'something' out and soon.

Take a moment to read the article here

Arizona Rancher Killed

58 year old Robert Krenz was shot to death last Saturday while out checking water line and fences on his Arizona ranch. Investigators are saying Mr. Krenz came up one person when he was shot and his dog wounded. This incident has put the pressure on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to beef up border patrol. It also has Senator and Representatives alike calling for more security steps and for dispatching the National Guard to watch over our southern border.

Robert Krenz, who was described a pillar of his community by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was recently inducted into the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame.

"The cold-blooded killing of an Arizona rancher is a sad and sobering reminder of the threats to public safety that exist in our border communities," Giffords said. "It has not yet been determined who committed this atrocity or why, but I know that federal and local authorities are mobilizing every possible resource to locate and apprehend the assailant."

Sheriff's deputies, U.S. Border Patrol trackers and Department of Corrections dog chase teams followed footsteps approximately 20 miles south to the Mexican border. No suspects have been apprehended.

Read More Here