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Tag Archives: Montana Stockgrowers Association

Montana’s Global Reach

BY WALKER MILHOAN, YPC Leadership Board

Oro y Plata

Montana’s state motto represents the riches of this great land of the north. Montana has always been well versed in the pioneering spirit and that tradition continues today. Although the jetliner has replaced the covered wagon, the adventurous nature of the states’ inhabitants is continually taking them to the far reaches of the globe in search of making the job of growing food a bit more profitable, less cumbersome, and more interesting.

The Land Down Under…

945608_10151522406397849_974608673_nIf you haven’t met a rancher from Montana, just wait around a bit and it’s likely that you just might. From Russia to Africa to Australia, Montana’s beef sector has a grasp on nearly the entire world. 

Meet Karoline Rose, founder of Collegiate Stockgrowers at Montana State University. It could be argued that Karoline was the driving force behind the Collegiate Stockgrowers movement all across the country over the last year and a half. Karoline was recently in Australia where she worked on a large beef operation and learned the ways of cattle ranching from an upside-down perspective (that’s a hemispherical joke!).

“There is nothing better than a good set of neighbors.  Rural living here is very similar to the US and I love every minute of it.  We are knees deep in calves and yesterday Pete and Donna came over and tagged calves with us for 2 hours.  The 5 of us worked extremely hard and ended up tagging about 60 calves in 4 hours.  Without their help, we wouldn’t have even driven through every paddock.

You can read more about Karoline’s adventures here.

…Up Above,

1064233_10200896252435849_796907344_oIn Russia, Amy Dellera and Jane’a Elke are helping the Stevenson Sputnik Ranch with Artificial Insemination efforts and getting a little taste of what life is like nearly 6,000 miles from the ranch gate. Russia has been a top destination for Montana’s seed stock producers, and since 2010 nearly 44 of the states’ ranchers have sold live cattle or genetics to Asia’s largest country, clearing nearly $20 million in sales.[1] If that isn’t exciting news, what is?

…and in the Middle!

1014806_10152915889065557_382700201_oOn the African front, yours truly has been to Ghana once already this summer and I will again be returning in August with my brother Trey. Both Trey and myself are undertaking Fellowships as part of Texas Christian University’s – Institute of Ranch Management in an effort to establish relations with Ghanaian businessmen, ranchers, and government officials for the purpose of building a demonstration ranch in the Lower Volta Region of coastal Ghana.

The ranch will be similar to a fully-functioning extension service here in the U.S., and local cattlemen will be able seek assistance, learn production techniques, build livestock budgets, plan grazing rotations, and much more, all through the ranches various fellows that will be attending on a yearly basis. The Institute also plans to send various industry professionals to Ghana with the purpose of providing much needed advice on things such as animal health, genetics, pest control and more.

Back to Montana

So once again, if you haven’t met someone from Montana, wait around for a while and you likely will. As you can see, Montana is representing industry players on a global front. These professionals recognize the the face of a changing global economy, and the importance that will have in the future to the ranchers at home.

 

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How did I ever…From the farm to newspapers

BY JACKSON BOLSTAD

The University of Montana, home of the Grizzlies and a far from likely place anyone ever though this farm kid would ever end up.  But, here I reside as a student and community member of UM and Missoula.

9626_150202758644_7779793_nI grew up in Bobcat country, also known as eastern Montana, surrounded by agriculture on all sides. I’ll always remember moving the wheel line irrigation, picking rock and rooting for the Bobcats.  So how did a country kid like me ever end up in the “land of the hippies”, as many back home in Northeastern Montana call it? The University of Montana’s nationally ranked journalism program brought me here.

In all its glory, the School of Journalism at the University of Montana has given me some of the greatest opportunities in my life. Surrounding me with friends, wonderful teachers and multitudes of opportunities to showcase my journalistic talents. Honestly, the place has really grown on me.

I began my term at UM in 2010 after graduating from Culbertson Public High School. Granted, moving 10 hours from home seemed like the best thing for this former high school senior, who had a bad case of senioritis.  Once here I began to realize some of the things I took for granted back home.  No more working cow, hunting, riding my horse or even just taking roadies with my friends all over the countryside.  Dedicating myself to my career as a journalist helped me to cope, at least a bit.

Journalism has been a great field for me as both a writer and a rural farm kid. Who else do you know that has more ability to talk to random old fogies than country kids? I swear I’ve met more people at coffee every morning at 6 a.m. at the local café back home, than most people have met in their entire life. At the beginning, journalism was a way for me to get off the farm, but the more I realized it, journalism was keeping me connected more than ever.

Since starting at the School of Journalism, I have remained acutely aware of many facets of agriculture and the current happenings taking place in the field. Mostly this is because journalism requires me to keep up to date on everything news, but also because agriculture is something I’m particularly familiar with.  During the summer of 2012, I was fortunate enough to work for the Williston Herald, a local paper in my area.  While there I wrote about the farmers, ranchers, and businesses that make up rural agricultural communities. That first real journalism experience really changed my outlook on where I might want to end up some day.

Most journalists will tell you that there goal is to end up at a prestigious international newspaper, such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. Me, I would settle for one of those, but I think I’d rather stay connected to what I’m familiar with: agriculture, small towns and country living. It’s just the principle of it.

Some people say journalism is a dying medium, but from what I can see, rural agriculture communities will always have a want and a need for newspapers and information. I’m here to fulfill that need in the best way I can, by gaining first hand journalistic experience here at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. By the time I graduate in a year and a half, I’ll be ready to take on any challenge and any community that will take me.  Seriously though, look me up; I’ll be desperate for a job by then.

 

 

 

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The Success of the Colleigate Stockgrowers at MSU

BY KAROLINE ROSE, Collegiate Stockgrowers at Montana State University
188637_302446563207769_258931513_nAll great things start with one simple idea…one simple idea to start a collegiate level affiliate of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. I am happy to say that one-year-old Collegiate Stockgrowers group at Montana State University has turned into something great!
Let me start at the beginning.
Last January, Jane’a Ehlke and I were approached by the Montana Stockgrowers Association staff about starting a group at the collegiate level.  We had our first meeting in the spring semester, and I am ecstatic to say that today we have over 75 paying members and an average meeting attendance of 45. This fall, we hosted a reception at Montana State during Celebrate Ag!! week, where the president of the university, Dr. Cruzado, spoke on the importance of getting involved on campus and the College of Ag. During the semester, we helped local ranchers with their brandings, had 3 guest speakers and offered many scholarships and internships to the membership.
This spring brings new and exciting times for Collegiate Stockgrowers! Our first meeting is January 30th in the Animal Bioscience building at MSU.  We are electing new officers, and planning our new road map.  A trip to the JBS packing plant and 5 Rivers feed-yard is in the works and tentatively planned for April.
664508_280683182050774_2126123567_oUltimately, there were 2 goals when Collegiate Stockgrowers was started: to bridge the gap between college-aged members and to encourage students to be active in a larger organization. While trying to complete these two goals, the futures leaders of Montana agriculture have come forward.  Our membership is made up of students with ag backgrounds and students without any ag background. We are trying to be proactive by sharing our story and learning from the older generations.  This week, a few of our members will be at an event in Helena, MT called “Calling on the Capital” where we will talk to representatives and tell them what’s important to us and our future in Montana agriculture.
I would like to offer any assistance to other students across the country who are looking at starting their own groups on their campuses or would simply like to network with our group here in Montana. The more we can get college students involved, the better the future of the beef industry will be. Think of all the time we can use to develop ourselves as leaders, learn from experienced ranchers and take in all we can!
Hope to see you all in Tampa,
Karoline Rose
@RoseCattleCo
 

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‘Tis the Season

BY KATELYN KOHLBECK, Storey Hereford Ranch

IMG957140As the old year closes, and the new year opens I would like to wish “Happy Holidays” from Storey Hereford Ranch to you and your family! Holidays are a time to rejoice with family and friends, a time to reflect on the past year, a time to realize what you have, and also a time to anticipate the upcoming year. There is nothing more amazing than the holidays around the house of the Storey’s. As the fall comes to a close, awaiting the first snow and freeze is a pretty big deal around here as the timing of this is a great predicament of the outcome of the holidays. For some reason, it seems like the sooner the snow comes in the winter season, the more prepared people are for Christmas, especially my family.

13As the snow falls for the first time, the first big rush of work begins around here. Cows need to be fed, vehicles need to be washed, fences need to be fixed, snow needs to be plowed, salt needs to be added, and bedding needs to be put out for our cows, all before the big freeze. It always seems like the harder and quicker the snow falls, the faster things need to get done and the faster things happen. Do your cows think about calving early? Most likely, this will happen at the most random, busy time of the snow season, with the worst weather.

Being farmers and ranchers, I know most of you are familiar with this, and I would hate to waste your time preaching about something you already know about preparing for snow season and the holidays. Like I said earlier, it is now time to reflect on what has happened in the past year, and nothing more pops in my head like the word “family”, and “togetherness”. I know I don’t say this frequently enough, but I really am completely blessed for the life I live, and I owe it all to the two people who put this all together.

11As the old year ends, I want to make a toast to the man who is out there early in the morning, plowing snow, and throwing salt, so I don’t bust my butt on the ice in the driveway. To the man who is starting the tractor as soon as he wakes up so he can bed down my show heifers because it is snowing, to the man who is pounding posts into the freezing ground, so that the show steers can be separated into their own pens. This man would do anything and everything to keep the holidays running smoothly within the household, and within the ranch. This man is my dad, and I know for a fact and appreciate it more and more every year how much he means to this place.

As this New Year begins, I want to make a toast to the other person in this duet that I look back and want to thank for being the “glue” of this household and the ranch. My Mother. The most hardworking and strong person I know. She seems to be the woman who’s “got it all”. And I know for a fact that Christmas wouldn’t exist without her as the beautiful tree that stands tall in our conference room would have about 1 million less ornaments if it was up to just my dad and I. There would be no garland, no holiday cookies, no antique train that my mom displays on our buffet and not many holiday traditions could be kept without my mom.

4The holidays around the ranch are actually the most beautiful time of year anyone can ask for. They are the one part of the year we actually get to say “Thanks” to one another. This is the time of year we can reach out from our hearts and really show each other how much we each mean to one another. This is the time of year we can all gather around our huge wooden dinner table with all sorts of food and just reflect on the year behind us and honestly thank the good lord above us for everything we are blessed with. I couldn’t ever ask for a better family, who has always been there for me; through the ups and downs and when I needed them or not, I have never met two people as supportive, loving and caring as the duet that raised me and make the holidays an absolute blessing and joyous time.

IMG954495I feel as if I can connect on so many levels to any ranch or farm kid, as their parents are most likely 100 percent the exact same way as my family. The farmer and the rancher get no vacation around the holidays, no paid vacation, and no sick days. Nothing! They do this all out of their heart and soul and for their love of agriculture.

Mom, Dad, I raise my glasses to you. May your 2013 be as amazing as your 2012! Everyone else, may your 2013 be merry and bright, and please never forget to thank a farmer or a rancher, as they do whatever is in their power to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone and anyone around them!!! Cheers!

 

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YPC’s Lauren Chase featured on I Am Angus

Published on Dec 3, 2012 by the American Angus Association
In this “I Am Angus” segment, photographer and writer Lauren Chase shares her journey from the city to the ranches of Montana. For more information, visit http://www.angus.org or http://www.mtbeef.org
 

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Always a Beef Ambassador

BY KAROLINE ROSE (Rose Cattle Company – Three Forks, MT)

Two weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Sacramento, California and represent Montana in the National Beef Ambassador competition.  When people say “a chance of a lifetime,” they mean events like this.

Going to this competition changed my life and it gave me many great connections of future leaders in the beef industry. Even though I didn’t make the team, I met some of the movers and shakers of the agriculture world.

While in California my passion for agriculture, especially the beef industry, only improved. “Once a beef ambassador, always a beef ambassador,” Malorie Bankhead main topic when she spoke to us at dinner one night.  She made the team a few years ago and said not only did that year change her life but it changed her future.  Instead of sitting back and allowing PETA and HSUS to harass the industry its time we take a stand!  We need to share our stories and our lifestyle.  Farmers and ranchers in agriculture are passionate and we are real.

Rancher by day, father by life, little league coach by Saturday, we are just like everyone else except for the fact that our income is our lifestyle and we love to provide food for you and your family.

Malorie Bankhead, past National Beef Ambassador

Even though I didn’t make the team I have faith in the 5 kids that made the team. Not only are they passionate and bright they are eager to change the world and the future.  All of the kids who didn’t make the team impress me more than I thought.  These are the kids who will be influence in the beef industry without a title.  Let’s just say that as long as the future of Ag is in the hands off the 22 senior contestants who where in California then we as a beef industry have no need to worry or be concerned.

 The National Beef Ambassador Contest was a once in a lifetime and if I have anything to do with it, Montana will have a rep for many years to come. The Montana Cattlewomen and Beef Council along with Montana Stockgrowers and Lauren Chase and Rachel Endecott are the people I owe a thank you.  I am not sure where I would be without all of you, your fabulous people who push me to be the best me possible and thank you for having faith in me.  Your unconditional support and hard work is something that I will never forget.  I owe this experience to you; you have changed my life forever.

To learn more about the National Beef Ambassador program, click here

 

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Telling the Story of Montana Family Ranching

The Montana Stockgrowers Association is happy to announce the release of Big Sky Boots: Working Seasons of a Montana Cowboy, a coffee table photography book featuring the work of MSGA’s multimedia outreach specialist & YPC’s Cattle Call co-editor, Lauren Chase. Chase has spent the past year and a half gathering photographs for the book, traveling in sunshine and snow to ranches across Montana. The book takes the reader on a journey through a year in the life of Montana’s cowboys—through calving, branding, and shipping, and everything in between.

“Our goal with this project has been to create a unique, fun, engaging and interactive way to tell the story of Montana’s ranching families that raise the beef that consumers all across the world enjoy,” said Chase. “There seems to be a growing disconnect as people, even here in Montana, are losing touch with what goes on at ranches and farms, and where our food comes from.”

Big Sky Boots is part of a larger project to bring beef eaters closer to the people who raise and care for cattle. The project uses social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to tell the stories of Montana’s ranching families through photo albums, audio slide shows, and videos.

The book connects the social media platforms to the printed page. “Something really unique to our book is that we have included QR codes that people can scan with their smartphones,” Chase said. “They can go to MSGA’s YouTube channel to watch a video of the rancher featured in the book and hear directly from him about his life. In that way we’ve really tried to marry the traditional print media with the social media that seems to be central in so many people’s lives today.”

One hallmark of Big Sky Boots is that the photos are largely untouched or enhanced by photo editing software. “A lot of books that are out there right now depict a romanticized view of the West and of the cowboy lifestyle,” Chase said. “We wanted to make sure to show life as it really is on Montana’s ranches. I think there is a tremendous amount of natural beauty in the pictures and it gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a real cowboy in Montana.”

Big Sky Boots is the first book in a series of five books that MSGA will develop over the next five years. The next book, already in production, will feature the women that are such an important part of today’s ranching families.

To learn more about this project and to order a copy of the book, visit www.mtbeef.org. The books are $75, which includes shipping and handling. The profits from the book will help support the continuation of MSGA’s “Telling the Story of Montana’s Family Ranchers” project into the future.

 

 

 

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