MSGA’s 125th anniversary: A five star celebration “back where it all began”

Nearly 125 years ago, a group of seven men, led by Col. Thomas J. Bryan, met at the newly formed Miles City Club and created the Eastern Montana Stockgrowers Association. Later, across the state in Helena, another group of men, led by Granville Stuart, formed the Montana Stockgrowers Association. The members of these two groups decided to merge them into the one Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) that exists today.

This spring, MSGA will be celebrating its 125th anniversary in Miles City, June 10-13. The 125th celebration will follow MSGA’s mid-year meetings which will take place Wednesday, June 10 through Friday morning, June 12. Thursday night will feature a joint 125th celebration with the Miles City Club. Attendees are encouraged to don period dress for an evening that will include history, music, and the traditional roast pork dinner. (In the early days, the Stockgrowers did not want to eat their inventory.)

Friday morning will begin with a breakfast celebrating frontier photographer ‘Lady’ Evelyn Cameron and honoring Montana’s 100-year-or-older working livestock ranches. After the conclusion of MSGA’s business meetings, the official 125th kickoff will ensue with a fun-filled review of the past 125 years. Following lunch, a golf scramble or variety of tours will be available to choose from. Friday will wrap up with the Stockmen’s Ball at the fairgrounds with a delicious meal (including beef provided by the Montana Beef Council), Barn Players performance, Brett Badgett Commemorative Bronze auction, ranch rodeo cowboy calcutta, and dancing to music by Whisky River.

Saturday’s highlights will include a horse drawn parade down Main Street. Only 1959 and earlier automobiles or tractors will be seen pulling floats. Various wagon trains will be converging upon Miles City and will take a trip down the parade route as well. On Saturday afternoon, participants will find excitement at the fairgrounds arena in the form of a traditional ranch rodeo. The evening will wrap up back on Main Street for a street dance.

This is a one-of-a-kind chance to celebrate the days of the Wild West. Join the Montana Stockgrowers in Miles City for a five star celebration “back where it all began!” For more information, visit www.mtbeef.org, or call (406) 853-0411 or (406) 442-3420.

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