Montana has 286 cases of COVID-19 as of April 5. Flathead County reports 4 new cases. Gallatin County has 9 new cases. Lewis and Clark County reports 1 new case. Madison County has 3 new cases of the virus. Missoula County has 1 new case, and Toole County reports 3 new cases, according to montana.maps.arcgis.com/
By Diane Larson ButteNews.net April 5, 2020Editor's Note: This story first appeared in the March 2020 issue of the Shop.Dine.Play
“What drew me to the mining museum was that they were hiring for a seasonal position. It sounded fun,” explains Jeanette Kopf the Executive director of Butte’s World Mining Museum (WMM). A happenstance position for a season lead her to a new-found love and passion for not only Butte’s history but ways to preserve and show it off for all to experience.
Bozeman, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks recently completed a two-year collaborative sampling effort with the Montana Department of Livestock in the Bangtail Mountain Range as part of Montana’s Targeted Elk Brucellosis Surveillance Project.
One hundred samples taken from elk in the Bangtails in 2019 and 2020 have tested negative for brucellosis exposure.
The surveillance project includes capturing, sampling and collaring elk populations near the DOL’s Designated Surveillance Area (DSA), an area where livestock brucellosis testing and traceability requirements exist due to the presence of brucellosis in elk. The goal of the project, which began in 2011, is to determine the presence of brucellosis in elk and understand the movement patterns of elk populations. This research provides important data to inform the risk of disease transmission between elk and cattle on the landscape.
Elk were also sampled this year in the Ruby Mountains. FWP and DOL announced in February that two among 100 elk sampled there were found to be seropositive for brucellosis, indicating they’ve been exposed to the disease. The Ruby Mountains are currently outside but near the boundary of the DSA.
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can infect humans, but most commonly infects cattle, bison and elk, and can result in abortion or the birth of weak calves. The disease is primarily transmitted through contact with infected birth tissues and fluids.
Department of Livestock Announces New Brucellosis Rules
Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) has adopted changes to rules affecting vaccination requirements and the boundary of the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA).
The newly adopted brucellosis vaccination rule (ARM 32.3.433) mandates that eligible animals in 10 Montana counties must be vaccinated against brucellosis. The change requires that all sexually intact female cattle and domestic bison 12 months of age or older in Beaverhead, Big Horn, Broadwater, Carbon, Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison, Park, Stillwater, and Sweet Grass Counties must be brucellosis vaccinates. Prior to this rulemaking, only cattle and domestic bison in Gallatin, Madison, Park, and Beaverhead Counties were required to be vaccinates. This rule includes cattle that enter any of these counties for seasonal grazing.
Beyond the addition of new counties, the rule also moves away from December 1st as the cutoff date for completion of vaccination and no longer specifies that animals be calf-hood vaccinates. This gives producers more options for the management of replacement heifers and allows animals to be vaccinated as adults.
“Vaccination in a broader area than Montana’s DSA provides some protection from sudden changes to the distribution of infected wildlife on the landscape,” said Eric Liska, brucellosis program veterinarian with MDOL. “Vaccination has been shown to minimize the spread of the disease if it is introduced into a livestock herd.”
Producers who have not vaccinated their replacement females in the past should contact their local veterinarian to schedule replacement heifer vaccinations and discuss options for unvaccinated adult females in the herd.
Additionally, changes to ARM 32.3.433 adjusts the DSA boundary in a portion of Beaverhead County. Cattle and domestic bison that utilize this area will be subject to all brucellosis DSA regulations. DSA regulations include brucellosis testing prior to change of ownership and movement as well as vaccination and identification requirements.
The DSA boundary has expanded 3 times since 2009. Each expansion was made in response to findings of brucellosis in elk which required the inclusion of additional cattle and domestic bison in the surveillance program. Undetected disease spread outside of Montana’s DSA could jeopardize Montana’s federal brucellosis Class Free status, and in 2008, a loss of brucellosis Class Free status was estimated to have cost Montana’s producers up to $11.5 million annually. DSA regulations and producer compliance have allowed for early disease detection when a periodic transmission from wildlife to livestock does occur. This success promotes trading partner confidence in the disease-free status of Montana’s livestock.
The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal disea
Pack your blue jeans and head for Billings to attend the Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture (WSFA) Conference! This year’s conference will be held October 2-4 at the DoubleTree Hotel.
The annual conference began in 2001 and has evolved each year since, and is now planned by a committee of agriculture-minded ladies from across the state. Their mission is to empower women involved in all sectors of agriculture through education, collaboration and networking, to ensure the success of farms and ranches across the region.
This year’s agenda promises to give attendees a blend of education, entertainment and inspiration. Topics covered this year range from the Farm Bill and financial strategies to overcoming the opioid epidemic and alternative forages. Attendees can interact with presenters during the popular Women in Business panel, and new this year, the Generational Differences panel with a range of Montana agriculture couples sharing their success and failures as they forge their way. This year’s keynote speaker will tackle the difficult topic of suicide in rural communities through “Lipstick, Laughter and Life” with inspiration and motivational speaker, Renee Rongen.
Register by September 9 and receive early bird pricing at $70 ($90 after September 10), which includes all meals and speakers. Hotel reservations also need to be made by September 9 to receive a rate of $109. For all the details, visit the website at www.womensteppingforward.org.
Editor's Note: In November, the Montana Stockgrowers Association signed a "memorandum of agreement (MOA) to facilitate collaboration on Montana sourced beef to China as well as the potential investment in Montana.," a stockgrowers press release said. That agreement now appears to be threatened by recent trade announcements by the US and China.
WASHINGTON (April 4, 2018) - Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that China has included American-produced beef on a list of proposed retaliatory tariffs:
“It is unsettling to see American-produced beef listed as a target for retaliation. Sadly, we are not surprised, as this is an inevitable outcome of any trade war. This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China. The Trump Administration has until the end of May to resolve this issue. We believe in trade enforcement, but endless retaliation is not a good path forward for either side.”
(Nov 8) – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA), Cross Four Ranch, and Chinese eCommerce retailer JD.com, today, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to facilitate collaboration on Montana sourced beef to China as well as the potential investment in Montana.
This agreement transpired following Daines’ agricultural roundtable where Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Chinese business representatives, and Montana agricultural leaders discussed potential opportunities for expanding Montana beef exports.
“While there are details to be finalized, this MOA represents a great step in the right direction for Montana ranchers and the state of Montana,” said Errol Rice, Executive Vice President of MSGA. “The Montana Stockgrowers Association thanks, Sen. Daines for his work on expanding opportunities and access to overseas markets for Montana ranchers, particularly in lifting the ban on U.S. beef in China earlier this year. ”
The agreement is proposed for an initial three years, with a minimum commitment of $200 million in Montana beef to be imported by JD.com from MSGA members. Beef is the fastest growing sector in China and the world’s fastest growing overseas market for beef.
In addition to the $200 million proposed procurement, JD intends to invest up to another $100 million to build a brand-new processing facility in Montana to support Montana beef production.
Click HERE to read the official signing agreement. For additional information, please contact the MSGA office at 406-442-3420.