It’s summer convention time for Ag organizations across our region. Last week, the Montana Ag Network’s Lane Nordlund took in the Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s summer meeting in Bozeman along with the Montana Stockgrowers Association mid-year meeting in Miles City.
This week, Russell Nemetz is at the Colorado for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association annual convention in Steamboat Springs. But, whether you’re a rancher in Montana or in Colorado, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association president Mike Hogue says predators like wolves are always a concern.
“It’s a hot topic here today” said Hogue. “We have a ballot initiative in the state to reintroduce wolves, and how we’re going to deal with that issue is very complicated. It’s not something easy to whip. It’s very expensive to fight ballot initiatives in this state. So, we are strategizing.”
Like other states, Colorado raises some of the highest quality beef in the world. Robbie LeValley is a Colorado Beef Council director from Hotchkiss and says the beef checkoff program is critical to helping cattle producers tell their important story consumers.
“So, it’s very critical to not only maintain that demand increase that demand” said LeValley. “And that’s exactly what we’re seeing. But increase that research and development which are so critical to make sure we’re here not only now but years down the road for future generations.”
A special highlight at this year’s Colorado Cattlemen’s Association convention was the presentation of the Colorado Leopold Conservation Award to the Livingston Ranch of Stratton. Mike Livingston says his family is honored to be this year’s award winner and it all started when they decided to have a partnership with Mother Nature.
“The partnership with Mother Nature: the thing that we really learned, [and] it’s been quite a while back when we realized to work with her, how much better she was to us than trying to work against her,” said Livingston. “When we quit managing for what we didn’t want and started managing for what we wanted, that really is what turned the corner for us.”
Montana is the latest state where Sand County Foundation will present the Leopold Conservation Award®. The application may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may apply themselves; but applications must be postmarked by July 1. For more information or to download an application, visit this website.
-Reported by Russell Nemetz/MTN News