Last day to pre-register for Mid-Year; Great lineup of speakers scheduled for Friday, June 11

With MSGA’s Mid-Year meeting fast approaching, today is the last day to pre-register. (Click here to see the event schedule and registration form.) We have an outstanding line up of speakers and discussions set for Friday’s Opening General Session and Committee meetings.

Jim Peterson, a Buffalo, Mont. rancher and chairman of the U.S. Meat Export Federation will keynote the Opening General Session which begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 11. Peterson will discuss the outlook for beef exports this year. (Click here to for a preview of Peterson’s comments with an audio file of Peterson discussing the recent USMEF Board of Directors Meeting.) Errol Rice, MSGA’s executive vice president, and Ariel Overstreet, MSGA’s manager of communications, will also discuss “MSGA’s Issues and Media Response for the 21st Century: Embracing Social Media.”

Committee meetings will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday. The Tax, Finance and Ag Policy Committee will feature a discussion of rural families and the new health care legislation. Senate Finance Committee staffer, David Schwartz, will present an overview of the process and complexities of the legislation. An insurance representative has also been invited to discuss the health care insurance implications for ranch operations and rural families. Representatives from Montana’s congressional delegation will be on hand to give a legislative and 2010 Farm Bill update to the committee. Mike Faupel, program manager for the University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business , will discuss sustainability issues and their affect on the beef marketplace for both the Tax, Finance and Ag Policy Committee (afternoon) and the Beef Production and Marketing Committee (morning). The Beef Production and Marketing Committee will also feature a brucellosis panel discussion with veterinary officials from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and USDA APHIS. They will address brucellosis-related issues including surveillance, vaccination and wildlife. There will be an opportunity for those in attendance to ask questions to the panelists. The Land Use and Environment Committee will discuss wolf depredation and a new research project that is seeking to discover the additional impacts wolves have on cattle beyond depredations. The Committee will also hear from Steve Becker, State Conservation Engineer for the Natural Resource Conservation Service, who will present a new Feedlot Runoff Model. Also on the agenda for this committee is NorthWestern Energy’s MSTI project proposal.

The Business Session will take place immediately following the conclusion of the committee meetings. Committee chairs will give their reports from the meetings and Bill Donald, Melville rancher and President-Elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, will present NCBA’s proposed restructuring plan.

After the meetings on Friday, MSGA will have a prime rib dinner with music provided by the Dillon Junior Fiddlers at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds. Then there will be three fun events to choose from on Saturday, June 12. We will kick the day off with a parade through Dillon featuring horse and horse drawn entries only. Then attendees will have the choice of participating the Cow Pasture Golf Scramble or a tour of four of the area’s ranches. Today is the last day to pre-register so click here to see the schedule of events, lodging information, and registration form. You can print it out and fax it in today to receive the pre-registration discount!

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