The Equine Boosters of Montana State University’s 11th Annual Top of the West Horse Sale & Ranch Horse Competition will be held April 7-8 at Copper Spring Ranch west of Bozeman. This year, you will have the opportunity to purchase 30 phenomenal young prospects started by the the MSU Colt Starting Class as well as those consigned by the donors to the Equine Boosters of MSU.

The MSU colt starting class has been working diligently to prepare these young horses for you to purchase and go on to the discipline of your choice.

The Montana Farm Bureau Foundation is holding their annual Youth Speech Contest during the Montana FFA State Convention, March 22-25, 2017 in Great Falls.  One of the Foundation's most important goals is to help with agricultural education and the leadership development of Montana's youth. The MFB Youth Speech Contest is open to students who are not able to participate in the State FFA Prepared Speech Contest. The actual competition will take place Thursday, March 23, from 8 - 11 AM.

The speech topic: Put yourself in the shoes of a local Representative or Senate candidate running for office in the Montana Legislature.  Please prepare your 2.5 – 4-minute campaign speech indicating your top priorities for serving agriculture and rural Montana, if elected.

Montana Farm Bureau brought 55 people to the American Farm Bureau FUSION Conference February 10-13, 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA. The FUSION Conference is a bi-annual gathering bringing together members of Collegiate Farm Bureaus, along with Young Farmer & Rancher, Women’s Leadership and Promotion & Education Committees to develop leadership skills. Only Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina had more members from the 36 states attending. MFBF not only had WLC and P&E members, but collegiate groups from Montana State University-Bozeman, Miles Community College and University of Montana-Western.

The event included a number of networking lunches; workshops weren’t organized by committee topics but by subjects including: advocacy, business, collegiate, communication, education, leadership, rural development and technology. Sessions featured speakers or panels as well as hands-on training.

There are issues certain to surface each Legislative session in Montana, and this week was an onslaught of many of those familiar themes wrapped in new packages for the 2017 session. We dealt with bison, animal confiscations, water and regulations.

As we approach the transmittal deadline next week, bills are starting to get pushed through and the pace is moving more quickly, which means we all need to being paying close attention to these issues that matter most to Montana agriculture.

House Bill 419 – Revise requirements for sale or transfer of wild bison.

(WASHINGTON) - Following the CME Group’s announcement of amendments to the Live Cattle Futures Contract, United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Marketing Committee Chairman Allan Sents issued the following statement:

“Over the course of the past year, USCA has worked closely with the CME to find real, workable solutions to price volatility in the marketplace. We are encouraged by recent actions taken to reduce spot month limits during the last few days of each contract month. This change reduces the possibility of a "squeeze" in the market and alleviates pressure points that could occur. USCA appreciates the ongoing conversations with CME leadership and looks forward to continuing the dialogue with CME to address the disconnect between the cash and futures market.”