What a year we are having in the cattle business with prices never seen before! Many of us have wondered just how much our consumers will be willing to pay for beef. Well, apparently a healthy amount! With this increase in prices comes an increase in pressure to produce a better, more consistent product. We in Montana and the Northern Plains in general, lead the industry in producing high quality beef but there is always room for improvement. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels but a time to invest in better genetics and improve our management practices overall.
We have some challenges before us especially in the area of government encroachment of our private property rights. Case in point is the EPA’s attempt to expand the types of water and land that would be subject to federal permit requirements as well as expanding the regulations on farming and ranching practices on our own land! The comment period has been extended to Nov. 14th (today). Go to www2.epa.gov/uswaters to register your comments to this rule. Feel free to contact me or the MSGA office if you have any questions.
Another challenge to our private property rights is the sage grouse issue and the potential of it being listed as an endangered species. It has been said that the sage grouse could have a major impact on ranching in the western U.S. We have anti-grazing folks using this issue to get cattle off of federal lands. Don’t be fooled. This could have serious impacts on private lands as well. MSGA has been engaged with this issue from the beginning and will continue to be.
This fall is sure looking good in eastern Montana. We’ve had some late summer and early fall rains and now some early snow. Our weaning weights should be good.
I wish you all a great fall and I look forward to visiting with you at our affiliate meetings and convention in December.
–Jim Steinbeisser, Sidney, MSGA Northeast District Director