By Marc King, Sweet County County Extension
In the August newsletter, I said that I hoped that we would receive ample Fall moisture. I am going to tell you that from here on out I am going to be very careful what I hope for! There is no doubt that we needed to get some moisture into our soil profiles and that we needed to build some snow pack in the coulees and mountains to recharge our water. But, this is becoming ridiculous and I am tired of digging myself out of being stuck. I sure hope that the temperature moderates some as we move into calving and lambing season.
The new year brings many new educational opportunities to the producers of Sweet Grass County. Sweet Grass County Extension and CMSGA are again teaming up to host three Rancher’s Roundtable presentations this winter. Topics to be covered are Estate Planning and Risk Management; Technologies for Ranchers; and Forages, Management and Opportunities. These discussions will be held in February, but to date no exact dates have been established.
The Federal Veterinary Feed Directive is up and running. If your operation utilizes antibiotics in feeds, I would suggest that you visit with your veterinarian and feed dealer to make sure that you are meeting the requirements and playing by the rules. I know that the veterinarians and feed dealers that service our community are on top of this new regulation and are some of the best in the area.
I would also like to use some of this space to thank all of the producers that have allowed the livestock teams to practice on your ranches. This past couple of weeks the senior judging team competed in Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado. In Phoenix the team placed sixth over all out of over 50 teams. Jess Moody finished as eighth high individual. In Denver the team placed fourth overall and was third in sheep, fourth in hogs and was the Reserve Champion Cattle team. Jess Moody again finished as the eighth high individual out of 60 of the top livestock evaluators in the country. This success is a direct result of the support and quality livestock that you all have allowed these young people to practice on.
At the January Board meeting, President Nathan Anderson reiterated the need for all members to be involved in the decisions and direction of the organization. I fully agree with Nathan. It is said that the world is run by those that show up. I think the recent election is a prime example of this, and hopefully it is the start of some positive change in our State and Country.
The Legislature is in session this year so I would encourage you to be watching what is happening in Helena and be active in the process on issues that could potentially affect your operations. The CMSGA is a member driven organization that realizes the importance of being a part of the decision making process. If you see bills that we need to be active on I would encourage you to contact the leadership. I would also encourage you to watch appointments to the local boards and some of the decisions made by these boards.
I do hope that calving and lambing go well for you all. Further, I hope that the markets find some footing and allow you all to have a profitable 2017. I have numerous Red Calving Books available in the office for those that need one or several, let me know and I will get them to you. Finally, “Thank you” to you all for allowing me to continue to serve you in Sweet Grass County, I honestly believe that I have the best job in the world and that I get to work with the best people in the world.