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Phillips County Livestock Association hold Spring Meeting


The Phillips County Livestock Association held its spring meeting May 9 at the First State Bank. Hailey Shipp of the Northern Ag Network was the featured speaker. She stated that with a shortage of beef due to drought and a shortage of pork duet to the PED virus, poultry producers feel they are in prime position to fulfill people’s protein needs. Shipp encouraged producers to fill the void of misinfor-mation consumers are receiving about what they are eating. There is a lot of misinformation. She played a video from youtube that featured Jimmy Kimmel where consumers were asked if they were on a gluten free diet but could not tell the interviewer what gluten was. Shipp also highlighted the Hamilton property where an individual stood up to the Environmental Protection Agency and won, Mexico will lift the 30 month rule on cattle trade and 22% of the farm population was considered new in 2012.

Errol Rice, Executive Vice President, Tucker Hughes, President, and Lee Cornwell, Northeast area Di-rector, spoke on behalf of the Montana Stockgrowers. Rice covered the new Farm Bill with the live-stock disaster assistance, Environmental Protection Agency expanding control of water, opposing beef imports from Brazil, and tighter rules for truck hauling. Hughes acknowledged that the organization spends a lot of time and money making trips to Washington supporting the livestock industry. Calfwiz is a program where producers can receive information on subjects via email, producers respond and it is automatically sent to legislative people. Stockgrowers are also following the bison and sage grouse issue closely for producers.

BJ Rhodes spoke for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The south fire fence repair is finishing up, as well as a fence project on the Frenchman. The Whitewater watershed plan is finished and they will start on Beaver Creek. He noted that the Resource Management Plan is on schedule, it is going through a consistency review. Rhodes was asked how range improvement monies are distributed and who get priority? Resource specialist makes suggestions then management makes the final decision.

Fire dispatch seems to be inconsistent with BLM, County, and Volunteer fire department. For BLM fire is managed by the Lewistown office. Commissioner Lesley Robinson acknowledged that the MOU would be renewed soon for all fire parties. Robinson also noted that the County received $486,000 in PILT (Payment in Lew of Taxes) money from the Interior Department. It has been difficult to get con-gress to stick to their responsibility for this payment.

Vicki Olsen spoke for the Public Lands Council (PLC). She noted that in the President’s budget pro-posal, BLM and Forest Service would receive reductions but the Land Water Conservation Fund would be funded at its full $900 million. This fund is used mostly to fund land purchase for the federal gov-ernment. New legislation the PLC has been watching is public oversight of monument designation, water protection, endangered species reform, funding of Wildlife Service, and the grazing improve-ment act.

The Phillips County Livestock Association/Darryl Seeley Memorial Scholarship was won by Katie Mitch-ell in the amount of $500.


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