MSGA to “Celebrate the Ranching Spirit” for 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Dec. 10-12

MSGA is gearing up for its 125th Annual Convention and Trade Show, Dec. 10-12 at the Crowne Plaza hotel and MetraPark in Billings. To continue the celebratory mood of MSGA’s 125th Anniversary this past June, the theme of convention is “Celebrating the Ranching Spirit!”

MSGA’s convention will feature a great lineup of speakers, entertainment, educational seminars, policy discussions and business meetings.

“This year’s convention is a ‘can’t miss’ for anyone involved in Montana’s livestock industry,” said Tom Hougen, MSGA President. “We have a lot of important issues to address in our business meetings, but we also have some great entertainment lined up so we can relax a little and enjoy ourselves. We’re especially excited about our lineup of speakers and Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges this year. There will be plenty of opportunities for all of us to learn things that we can take home and implement on our own operations.”

Cattle rancher and Montana’s Governor, Brian Schweitzer, will address the Stockgrowers during the Northern Ag Network Lunch on Friday, Dec. 11 at the MetraPark Expo Center. Trent Loos, radio and TV personality and sixth generation farmer, will speak during the Opening General Session on Friday afternoon. Montana’s Congressional delegation, Senator Max Baucus, Senator Jon Tester and Congressman Rehberg, have been invited to address the Stockgrowers during Saturday’s President’s Lunch. Tester will send a video message and Congressman Denny Rehberg is planning to make a personal appearance. The Von Trapp Children singers, great-grandchildren of Captain Von Trapp, father of the famous singing family whose story captivated the world in the musical “The Sound of Music,” will provide entertainment during Friday’s Inspirational Breakfast and Saturday, Dec. 12’s Grand Finale Banquet.

Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges scheduled for Saturday morning and afternoon at the MetraPark Expo Center will include: “Effective Stockmanship” with renowned Montana horseman, rancher and stockmanship instructor, Curt Pate, and Texas A&M livestock specialist and beef nutritionist, Ron Gill. Effective Stockmanship is an innovative hands-on training session using live cattle demonstrations to inform cattlemen about the importance and benefits of proper cattle handling—and its critical role in increasing the consumers’ confidence in beef; “Searching for the cows that will consistently make money for my ranch” with John Paterson, PhD, Extension Beef Specialist for Montana State University, focusing on research to better understand ruminant nutrition; “Animal husbandry, science & health in beef production” and “Doing your best, does it still pay?” by Gerald L. Stokka, DVM, MS, of the Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations team; “Benefits of and tips to achieve a short calving season” by Rick Funston, PhD, the reproductive physiologist for the University of Nebraska, concentrating on reproduction advancement in cattle; “Getting to know your estate plan…before you die,” a panel discussion featuring speakers Curt Barnekoff, Bill Honzel, and Max L. Erickson who will answer questions like, how do I determine if my estate will owe a tax? How much will it be? Who will pay the tax and how will it get paid? And, who will assume operating and management responsibilities when I’m gone?

The expanded Trade Show on Friday and Saturday at the MetraPark Expo Center will feature cattle industry exhibitors, including indoor equipment displays, complimentary silk scarves, the First Annual Cattle Pen Display, beef dinner stations and complimentary “watering holes.”

The Grand Finale Banquet on Saturday evening will feature the Von Trapp Children singers, auctions of the last Brett Badgett bronze to commemorate MSGA’s 125th Anniversary and priority pages for the 2010-2011 Montana Seedstock and Commercial Cattle Directory, a saddle give-away by NutraLix and the MSGA/Montana Ford Dealers 2009 Ford F-150 XLT Truck give-away.

Business meetings will take place throughout convention with meetings of MSGA’s executive committee, board of directors, and the trustees of MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation being held at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Thursday, Dec. 10. The Grass Conservation Commission, the Montana Hereford Association, the Joint Montana Public Lands Council and Montana Association of Grazing Districts Board, the Montana CattleWomen, the Montana CattleFeeders and the Montana Simmental Association will also meet Thursday at the Crowne Plaza. Committee meetings will take place Friday, Dec. 11 at the MetraPark Arena to begin developing new policy for the year. The second reading of resolutions will follow the Opening General Session at 4 p.m. on Friday, along with reports from the committee chairs. The final reading of resolutions will take place at the MSGA business meeting on Saturday, Dec. 12. MSGA members will also vote on two new Board of Director members during convention and the winners will be announced on Saturday evening’s Grand Finale Banquet.

Other convention events include meetings of the Montana CattleWomen, Young Stockgrowers caucus and social, a Montana Ag Safety Recertification four wheeler safety demonstration, the Women of the West Fair, and the announcement of the 2010 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award winner. For more details, or to register, visit or call (406) 442-3420.

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