Montana Stockgrowers Meet in Bozeman for MidYear



The 2015 Montana Stockgrowers Association’s (MSGA) Mid-Year Meeting, held in Bozeman on June 4-6, drew over 150 ranchers and members of the cattle industry from across the state for policy meetings, a leadership-training workshop, the annual Ranch Tour and a concert with Ringling 5. Special guests in attendance included Dr. Gary Brester and Senator Steve Daines.

“Stockgrowers is very thankful to the Bozeman community and Montana State University for welcoming our MidYear event into town,” said MSGA President, Gene Curry from Valier. “Our ranchers enjoyed the opportunity to visit and learn more about the economy and businesses in the Gallatin Valley during this year’s meetings and tour.”

Ranchers in attendance kicked off the event by taking part in a workshop with leadership coach, Sarah Bohnenkamp. Ranchers of all ages participated in the engaging workshop, learning how to develop individual strengths to be better leaders on family operations and in ranching communities across the state.

A Welcome Reception was held on Thursday evening to benefit the Stockgrowers’ Research and Education Endowment Foundation. The reception included a live auction and recognition of Foundation programs; including scholarship recipients, Young Cattlemen’s Conference Attendees, Environmental Stewardship Award Program honorees and introduction of the Foundation’s new specialty license plates.

Senator Steve Daines joined ranchers in discussions during interim-policy meetings on Friday morning. Daines expressed support for the state’s ranchers and provided an update on important legislation debated this year on Capitol Hill. Contentious topics of discussion included passage of the Trade Promotion Authority, limiting of EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule and keeping sage grouse off the Endangered Species list.

Other topics discussed during interim-policy meetings included repeal of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, proposed EIS for bison management in the Greater Yellowstone Area, changes in the Department of Livestock and the state’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory along with updates on programs from MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Opening General Session featured MSU agriculture economics professor, Dr. Gary Brester with insight on current cattle market trends. Brester was optimistic on the cattle market outlook, confident that high quality will continue to support strong international demand for U.S. cattle genetics and beef.

MidYear attendees had the opportunity to learn about businesses and the rural economy of the Gallatin Valley during the annual Ranch Tour and Dinner. Tour stops included Simms Fishing Products at Four Corners where ranchers learned about the company’s international business in fishing gear and clothing products. The tour then visited Copper Spring Ranch to learn more about the performance quarter horse operation and the ranch’s investments in holding benefit events to help those in the ranching communities across the state.

Ranchers wrapped up the event with a dinner at Broken Hart Ranch near Gallatin Gateway and live entertainment by Ringling 5.

Plans are in the works for Stockgrowers’ Annual Convention and Trade Show, taking place December 3-5 at the MetraPark in Billings. To learn more about Montana Stockgrowers membership, programs and events, visit or contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420.

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