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MAY 17, 2018

The Marias River Livestock Association held a meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Ringside Ribs Restaurant in Shelby, MT. In attendance were: Bob and Diana Thompson, Casey Buffington, Paul Turner, Trina Jo Bradley, Butch and Doreen Gillespie, Marvin Kimmet and Carrie Lerum.

President, Bob Thompson called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. Carrie read the minutes from the last meeting. Trina moved and Marvin seconded to approve the minutes as read. Motion carried. Carrie gave the Treasurer’s report with the checking balance of $13,012.44. 

Old Business:

Trina reported that there were about 15 people in attendance in Dupuyer for the Guard Dog presentation and approximately 40 people came to the meeting in Choteau. She would like to organize another guard dog meeting for the Augusta area, Browning area and at the Marias Fair. People and Carnivores from Missoula have money available for those seeking guard dogs or needing additional funds for fencing. Steve Skelton talked about layering the guard dog breeds and how effective they are. He is going to start a website to take pup orders.

Bob and Diana are going to the NCDE meeting on May 9th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell. The IGBC meeting will be June 19th-21st in Polson, MT. 

USCA comment period has been extended to May 17th to petition for beef and meat definitions. 

The ELD is delayed for 1 yr. Bob isn’t sure if it’s until December or March. The EPA is eliminating manure reporting.

Bob stated that Maggie isn’t going to produce the newsletter anymore. She most likely won’t be posting Ag issues on Facebook either. After some discussion, it was decided that Bob would work on a short newsletter right before the mid-year meeting. If you have any articles, please submit them to Bob for publishing.  

Paul updated the board on Mid-year membership meeting that will be June 5th. He is lining up Kate Vogel to talk about cover crops. He is also working on hotel room and travel expenses. 

Trina moved to hire Cara About Ag to entertain at the Rib Tickler for 1.5 hrs. Paul seconded. Motion carried. Marvin moved and Paul seconded to hire Dick Kinyon to cater the Rib Tickler. Motion carried. 

Carrie has confirmed the Civic Center and the Coyote Club as well.

New Business:

Carrie reminded the board that the MRLA trailer is being stored at the City Shop. She was asking if we should keep it there or store it somewhere else. It may be helpful to put in some shelving or old cupboards to store some of the smaller items. She also was concerned about the shape of the tires on the trailer. Bob offered to stop by the trailer and determine if anything should be done. 

Bob asked how the Marias Fair contests were coming along. Carrie said that she would talk to Lindsey, Wendy and Trina about some possible changes and report back at the next meeting.

The Norseman Consulting group (Todd Hansen), has withdrawn from the Madison Food Park Project.

Our next meeting will be Monday, May 21st at 6 p.m.

Seeing no further business, the meeting was adjourned. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Carrie Sue Lerum  



JANUARY 29, 2018

The Marias River Livestock Association held a meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday, January 29, 2018 at Ring Side Ribs Restaurant in Shelby, MT. In attendance were: Bob Thompson, Wendy Connelly, Paul Turner, Trina Bradley, Marvin Kimmet, Maggie Nutter, Dean Lerum and Carrie Lerum. 

President, Bob Thompson called the meeting to order. He started off by thanking the board for supporting the Madison Park informational meeting. 

Carrie read the minutes from the last meeting. Trina moved and Paul seconded to approve the minutes. Motion carried.

Carrie gave the Treasurer’s report. Trina Moved and Paul seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

Trina reported that Cara Ayers has agreed to be our entertainer for the 2018 Rib Tickler dinner. We may be possibly sharing the cost of her travel and lodging with a group in Havre who will have her for their event. The board discussed how to overcome the issue of people not paying for tickets for the Rib Tickler dinner. Some ideas were to use our Square account and allow people to pay with credit cards, also saying “No tickets will be sold at the door”, and adding a “store” tab to our web site.

The board discussed the Next Generation Conference. There were some troubles with online registration this year. Next year we may need to have more information on the first page of our website.

Maggie said that the newsletter is almost done but she needs the Bull Bucks Plus Participants and winner for 2017. She also needs to know what the Rib Tickler Dinner auction items were and who purchased them. 

There was some discussion that the Grizzly bear comment period over habitat is closed.

Marvin reported on the FWP Region 4 meeting. He expressed his concern over the bear specialists and that we need to not let a blaming game start with FWP and Wildlife Services.

Paul gave a report on the CWD meeting. So far 97 deer have been harvested for the special hunt north of Chester and 90 of those were tested. None of the animals had CWD. The hunt will continue until February 15th. Next fall there will be CWD check points with possible testing for TB and Brucellosis.

Paul is also trying to get Katie Vogel to come for the membership meeting. 

For New Business, the board read through the By-Laws. Trina will post the proposed changes on our website. We will vote after the posting of the proposed changes and after 2 board meetings. The board discussed having an informational meeting in Teton County to discuss either adding the county to our association or helping them form their own livestock association.

The MRLA decided not to join the NCBA.

Electronic logging for commercial/agriculture drivers will be going into effect in March. The board discussed hosting an informational meeting to help educate our membership about all of the changes and laws. We will try for some time the end of February or beginning of March. Maggie will contact the Department of Transportation.

The board also discussed hosting a day of workshops covering feedlot management and handling. It would be beneficial to have a panel of professionals including a vet, feedlot owner, feedlot designer, feed salesmen, and a representative from the Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Bob asked if anyone would be willing to travel with him to a livestock processing plant up in Canada. 

Seeing no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Carrie Sue Lerum   




The Marias River Livestock Association held a meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at The Lighthouse Restaurant in Valier, MT. In attendance were: Casey Buffington, Bob Thompson, Diana Thompson, Trina Bradley, Peter Bradley, Kadence Bradley, Paul Turner, Robin Bradley, Guy Bradley, Dean Lerum, Carrie Lerum, Wendy Connelly, and Don Connelly.

President, Bob Thompson called the meeting to order and Carrie read the minutes from the last meeting. Trina moved and Paul seconded to accept the minutes as corrected. Motion carried. Carrie handed out the Treasurer’s report and went over the income/expense report for the Rib Tickler dinner. Carrie also had some thank you notes from 4-H’ers.

For Old Business, Bob asked for feedback or input on the Rib Tickler dinner. Some commented on the meat was sliced to thin and there was mixed reviews over the entertainment. Trina recommended Cara Ayres “Cara Bout Ag” who is a musician from Oregon. She saw her at the Women Stepping Forward Conference last fall and she performs custom made musical entertainment for agricultural audiences. She is also very funny. She will cost $1300 plus travel and lodging. Trina moved and Paul seconded to book Cara Ayres for the Rib Tickler and perform for 1- 1.5 hrs. Motion carried. We set the date for the Rib Tickler to be Saturday, November 10, 2018 for the same time. 

Carrie passed around an updated listing of our membership report. We had a good amount of renewals. 

She reminded the board that the By-Laws should be gone over. She will email them to our current board members.

Trina reported on the Next Generation Conference. She asked if MRLA would be willing to sponsor it and if so, for how much. Paul moved to sponsor for $1500 in 2018 but let the organizers know that next year we are not going to be part of the planning committee and we will cut back on funding but they can still use us for liability insurance coverage and non-profit status. Motion carried. 

Bob gave an update on the MT Beef Checkoff. He asked the board to continue to pass out the Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Forms and educate producers on how to fill them out.

New Business

MRLA received a letter from Wool Growers asking for us to sign a letter to the government to ask them to keep the Dubois Sheep Station open. Paul moved and Trina seconded to sign the letter in support. Motion carried. Bob will talk to Dave McEwen.

2018 Committees:

Mid-Year Membership meeting will be on June 4th or 5th. Bob Thompson, Paul Turner and Trina Bradley are on the planning committee. They will try to have Katy Vogel be our guest speaker.

Bear Education- Trina, Bob and Casey

Marias Fair 4-H contests- Carrie, Wendy and Lindsey Habets and possibly Janet Hawks

Annual Membership Meeting- Paul Turner

Rib Tickler Dinner- Carrie, Trina, Robin Bradley, Dena Fritz and Casey Buffington

Bob gave a report on the Cattleman’s conference. He also gave a report on the Madison Food Park project meeting. Bob asked the board if we would like to host an informational meeting with Todd Hanson about the proposed Madison Food Park. Trina moved and Casey seconded the motion to host the meeting on Jan. 8th or the 15th in Shelby, MT. Motion carried.

Bob gave an update on the Stockgrower’s Conference in Billings, MT. He learned more about the China agreement involving MT natural beef.

There will be a bear meeting in Missoula on Jan. 3. Trina asked that the board submit electronically comments on the habitat recovery area. The IGBC will meet in Choteau, MT in June.

Trina stated that Maggie is not running the MRLA website and Lindsey no longer wants to run the website. Wendy moved and Paul seconded to have Trina create and manage our website on Go Daddy. Motion carried.

Trina looked into having someone design a new logo for MRLA. The design would cost from $100-$300. Trina volunteered to take care of it.

Trina moved and Casey seconded to approve the 2018 budget:

USCA dues

Stockgrowers dues

Woolgrowers Dues

$100 sponsorship for the Young Couple Conference

$200 sponsorship for Ag Leadership 

$200 FFA

Cut Bank Chamber

Shelby Chamber

Liability insurance and tax preparation 

Motion carried.

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm at Ring Side Ribs in Shelby, MT.

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Carrie Lerum  




OCTOBER 11, 2017

At 6:05 p.m., Butch Gillespie called the meeting to order and started the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. He then introduced Harry Benjamin who has been instrumental in building the Carousel Rest Area of Shelby, MT. The carousel is intended to be a community meeting place for birthday parties, meetings, or community events. He visited about the project and how MRLA members can help by donating money and then they would display the brand of the donator. He also invited those in attendance to swing by and check it out.

Next, Butch Gillespie introduced Dennis Garcia from the Glacier County FSA office. Dennis gave updates about disaster programs and talked about new programs available. He also distributed handouts.

Carrie read the minutes of the last meeting. Trina moved and Paul seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. Carrie passed around the Treasurer’s report and said that she would answer questions if needed.

Butch gave a Vice-President report for MRLA. He isn’t going to run for an office on the MRLA board again because he is running for Llew Jones’ position. 

Paul Turner, (Toole County Director) reported the MRLA hosted multiple meet and greet sessions with Wesley Sarmento in our area including Devon, Whitlash, Sunburst and Valier. Wesley is the new bear specialist for our area.

Marvin Kimmet (Glacier County Director) told the audience that the grizzly bears are very active in Glacier County. He also gave an update on the bison on the Blackfoot Reservation and how they are pushing to classify the species as wildlife.

Trina Bradley- (Pondera County Director) stated that lots of calves have been killed in western Pondera Co. Recently a bear was euthanized but there were 14 grizzly bears documented eating carcasses so they are still very much a problem. Wes Sarmento, worked with the Valier Bear Task Force on how deter the bears from the town. Trina arranged a meet and greet with Hillary Coolly that helped spotlight the intensity of the bear issue in the Valier area.

Jason Enneberg (At-Large Director) introduced himself as a new director to the board and advised that Toole and Liberty County should be prepared for the bear population increasing.

Bob Thompson (Liberty County Director) touched on the bear issue. He also represented MRLA at the Cattlemen’s Forum in Billings, MT. He expressed his concern on the electronic data log issue for truckers and how that will impact cattle producers at shipping time.

He asked those in attendance to evaluate how the board is doing and what we should focus on in the future. Some of the input received included: MRLA is an aggressive, motivated group, we recognize solutions need to be realistically achieved, and membership learns a lot from the meetings and from the newsletter education. It would be helpful for members to go to meetings and be a voice for agriculture. We need to keep educating environmentalists because they are intelligent but just misguided. Producers need to stay united.

Senator Llew Jones reported on the budget that is still very tight. W-2 withholding was up but business income as a whole was down. He is still pushing for cuts not increasing taxes. However there is a possibility of lodging taxes increasing. We most likely will see a special session.

Rep. Rob Cook explained that the House passed a bill to change endangered species act. It would include no longer prioritizing listing vs delisting. That is the first positive note in 20 years for endangered species act.

Chaley Harney, the Executive Director of the MT Beef Council was our guest speaker. She gave a brief history of the Beef Checkoff and how it works. Their main focus is on education, promotion and investor relations. In December of 2016 an injunction was filed by R-Calf on the Beef Checkoff so now 100% of the money collected goes straight to the national council. She explained to the producers present how to complete the MT Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Form. She said that will allow 50% of the checkoff collected to stay in MT. Extra forms will be available at the Extension office and with Carrie Lerum.

At this point elections took place. 

Bob Thompson was elected President, Trina Bradley Vice-President, Paul Turner Toole Co. Director, Wendy Connelly Pondera Co. Director, Casey Buffington Liberty Co. Director.

Seeing no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carrie Lerum Sec. /Treas.