Marias River Livestock Association

MRLA is Co-Host of Cattle Producer's Forum

Marias River Livestock Association is proud to invite Montana livestock producers to the 2016 Cattle Producers Forum,  Sept 9 & 10,  at the Big Horn Resort, Billings Montana.

Jesse Wallewien, Whitlash, MT states, "With the volatility of the cattle market this past year, this forum is going to be a major player in helping cattle producers not only survive, but thrive in coming years and through future downward trends."

There will be panels and discussions with leaders in the Livestock industry to help us all understand the industry status and how to maximize our marketing strategy. We can't just do it like Grandpa did any more. We haven't driven our cattle to the rail in two generations now. This year, 2016 could be another pivot point in the way we transport and market our cattle. We need to be on top of it and here is the event to get the information needed to make critical decisions.

“Ranching is a lifestyle many of us love but it is only possible to maintain if we treat it like a business and make a profit,” states Maggie Nutter, Rancher in northern Montana and President, Marias River Livestock Association.

Visit the Cattle Producer's Forum Website

2016 Marias River Livestock Association 4-H Breeding Beef Project Awards

For the 4th consecutive year, Marias River Livestock Association has sponsored breeding beef project awards at the Marias Fair. 

The purpose of these awards is to encourage knowledge and interest in a continuing breeding project, that will serve to become the foundation of a future breeding herd. It is the goal of Marias River Livestock Association to encourage our youth to become the next generation of Livestock producers.

The first year award is for a bred yearling heifer and the second year award is for a cow/calf pair that is owned by the youth and intended for the development of a future breeding herd.

Selection is based on a two part criteria. One part is based on how well the animal scores in the Marias Fair breeding classes. This helps determine the overall quality of the animal as a future herd replacement. The more important part is how well the youth does in an interview. This interview helps determine the youth's overall knowledge of their project, as well as future goals and aspirations. It also recognizes the youth's involvement in the Livestock industry.

With the increase of participation the past several years, we were excited to be able to expand the program a bit this year. Reserve Champion awards were added to both divisions: 1st Year Bred Heifer & 2nd Year Cow/Calf Pair. Grand Champions received Montana Silversmith Belt Buckles and Reserve Champions received a certificate, redeemable for a custom embroidered jacket.

Marias River Livestock Association works hard to promote a healthy competitive and positive future for our livestock industry. Our youth is a very important component of that. We thank everyone in our four county area for their support.

Presenting the awards is Lindsey Habets, a member of the MRLA Awards Committee, who conducts the interviews with the participants. Carrie Lerum, Jesse Wallewein, and Janet Hawks are also part of this committee.


MRLA Sponsors New Award at the 2016 Marias Fair: Sheep Public Presentation

Not every 4-H'er brings an animal to the Marias Fair, but that should not prevent them from being able to promote the livestock industry in other forms. Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks Allow 4-Hers to Connect with the Livestock Industry.

Marias River Livestock Association has developed a new award for the Marias Fair with these goals in mind:

  • Promotion of the lamb and wool community
  • Educating consumers about the nutritious benefits of lamb and sharing tasty recipes
  • Educating consumers on the versatility and sustainability of lamb and wool
  • Encouraging 4H'ers to improve their public speaking skills
  • Encouraging participants to increase their depth of knowledge in their 4-H projects

The Marias River Livestock Association is pleased to announce the winner of our very first Lamb Promotion Award. This award is presented to youth participating in the demonstrations at the Marias Fair.

Awards were based on a combination of the 4-H judges score and the MRLA Judges' score for depth of knowledge on the topic that the demonstration was about.

Delaney Clark presented her demonstration, "Lamb is Good for Ewe", at the Marias Fair and also gave attendees a recipe to take home. Delaney did a very good job and we are very excited to present this award to her. It was well deserved!

Presenting a plaque and a check for $50 was Carrie Lerum. Other MRLA Committee Members who worked on this project are Jesse Wallewien (chair person), Carrie Lerum, Lindsey Habets and Maggie Nutter.

If we see good participation in the program, we are hoping to expand it in the next few years.

The Post Rider Volume 5 Issue 5 - MRLA's September 2016 Newsletter


Your 2015-2016 MRLA Officers and Board of Directors

Major Regulatory Expansion of ESA Listing and Critical Habitat Designations

MARCH 15, 2016

While private property owners were vehemently protesting the EPA's expansion of jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA-Fisheries (collectively "FWS") were bit-by-bit expanding the federal government's overreach on private property rights and federal grazing permits through the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). This expansion is embodied in the release of four separate final rules and two final policies that the FWS admits will result in listing more species and expanding designated critical habitat.

Read Full Article


Being Bear Aware can Help Keep your Family and Community Safe

What are we truly asking for when we demand Grizzly bears be removed from the Endangered Species List? Even if delisted grizzly bears will not just go away, so what do we want? We want safety for our family and friends. We want to know they can go to do their ranch/farm work and not get eaten by a Grizzly bear. We want our kids to walk to school or go to play at a friends' house and not have to worry about them meeting a Grizzly bear on the way to or from.

Ben Hofer, Rockport Colony, said it best, "There are programs to keep our livestock safe and build fences but how do we keep our children safe?"
Marias River Livestock Association will be organizing education on living with bears. While we support Grizzly bear delisting and strong management to prevent human/bear or livestock/ bear conflicts, we also realize bears are here now. In the last 10 years Grizzly bears have continued to increase in population and spread farther from the core recovery area. There are now more bears in areas where people have never had to be concerned about running into one. They are along the Marias, Tiber/Lake Elwell, in the Sweetgrass Hills and thick as fleas on the Rocky Mountain Front.

We do not want to read about some child being injured or killed but it is a real concern, therefore this summer as communities hold their summer celebrations MRLA hopes to have resources at as many events as possible to reach as many people as possible; to educate them on the proper actions when they come face to face with a bear.

Trina Jo Bradley and Paul Turner are working with Chuck Bartlebaugh, Be Bear Aware coordinator, and Lauri Wolf, MFWP Education coordinator, to bring education and fun to the  communitie's summer celebration events. Please watch for us this summer and participate in the bear education. Let's do our best to keep our kids and family safe.

"Be Bear Aware" will be attending:

  • July 28th – 31st Lewis  and Clark Days in Cut Bank
  • August 6th - Grizzly Days in Dupuyer
  • August 25th - Summer Fair in Chester

This photo taken April, 2016, just a few miles out of Valier MT really brings to light the risk to human safety in that area.  This bear isn’t just passing through he is comfortably resting in a family yard.

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Upcoming Events

Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture
Sept 8 & 9, Big Horn Resort, Billings MT
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U.S. Cattlemen's Metting and Producer Forum
Sept 9 & 10, Big Horn Resort, Billings MT
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MT Sheep Seminar Ewe & Ram Sale
Sept 14-16, Miles City MT
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MRLA Fall Membership Meeting
Oct 3

Farmers Union Convention
Oct 21-22, Great Falls MT

Prime Rib and Rib Tickler
Nov 12, Civic Center, Shelby MT

Montana Farm Bureau Convention
Nov 13-16, Crowne Plaza, Billings MT
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Montana Woolgrowers Convention
Dec 1-3, Billings MT
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Montana Stockgrowers Convention
Dec 7-9, Billings MT
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Montana's Next Generation Conference
Jan 27-28, Shelby MT



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