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!