Montana Public Radio

livestock

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar, puma, or catamount. (File Photo)
(PD)

Since 2007 Montana taxpayers have compensated ranchers when wolves and grizzly bears kill their livestock — to the tune of up to $200,000 a year. Some of that money is also spent on projects designed to prevent predator conflicts. That earns it high marks from both ranchers and conservation organizations.

Last year, state lawmakers voted to add mountain lion-related losses to the compensation list for the first time. The problem is, the program didn’t get any additional funding to do that.

MFP project Architectural & Engineering Firm EPSTEIN Global, Inc.

The Alberta-based livestock company Friesen Foods is proposing a 3,000 acre slaughterhouse and food processing facility outside of Great Falls.

In a deal that coincides with President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week, China’s largest online retailer says it will buy $200 million dollars worth of Montana beef over the next three years. 

A Madison County ranch was placed under quarantine by the Montana Department of Livestock earlier this month after cow infected with brucellosis was discovered during a voluntary blood test.
Lynn Donaldson

A heifer has tested positive for the disease brucellosis on a cattle ranch near Yellowstone National Park. 

Livestock carcass composting site outside Wisdom, MT.
Courtesy of the Big Hole Watershed Committee

Livestock death is part of ranching. At some point, ranchers have to deal with dead animals, from things like difficult births, disease, and weather extremes. And in southwest Montana, those dead animals can also attract unwelcome visitors — wolves and black bears looking for an easy meal.

The new agreement between the U.S. and Japan lifts age restrictions and opens the door to an estimated $200 million annual increase of U.S. beef and beef product exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Montana beef producers say they can’t wait to regain access to the enormous Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Errol Rice says today’s announcement that China will resume U.S. beef imports by mid-July is great news:

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Bison being released at Fort Peck Reservation, November 2014.
Courtesy of the Defenders of Wildlife

Tribal members and wildlife groups were among those asking lawmakers today to consider a bill to change how bison can be moved and sold. The bill proposed by Rep. Willis Curdy, a Missoula Democrat, would remove an existing requirement for wild bison be cleared as free from brucellosis before being transferred.

Ag Bill Pushes For State Regulation Over Local Control

Feb 8, 2017
Hay field. File photo.
PD

Lawmakers in Helena will consider a bill that would strip local governments’ authority to regulate the agricultural industry with the aim of providing consistency for farming techniques across the state. Senate Bill 155 would mean any regulations dealing with agricultural processes or seed usage would have to come from the state.

Yearling bison inside Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap.
Buffalo Field Campaign

At least 80 Yellowstone National Park bison are now trapped in government corrals. Hundreds more will soon follow suit and be sent to slaughter.

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