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Wins and losses of the Montana 2015 legislature

The 2015 Legislature is a couple of weeks behind us, and the Governor has finished making his vetoes.  Several people have now asked me what I felt we actually accomplished in Helena this spring.  

 Despite what you may have heard in the media, or from the rhetoric of the special interests, I think the fact is that the 64th session accomplished more than most people realize.  Oh, we had some heated high-profile debates, and some unique discussions about procedural rules that made interesting headlines; but many of those sensationalized stories had very little to do with the less exciting areas where most of us were actually spending the bulk of our time. 


Ag groups call for more flexibility in drone rules

Before drones can be widely used in agriculture, many in the industry argue that federal rules will have to change to allow users to fly them beyond the operator's line of sight.

It would make sense for checking cattle and scouting crops on sparsely populated swaths of land, South Dakota agricultural leaders said in comments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month.


USCA: Oppose H.R. 2393, protect COOL

USCA news release: 
USCA (May 20, 2015) -The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement on today’s passage by the House Agriculture Committee of H.R. 2393, a bill to repeal country of origin labeling (COOL).  The following statement may be attributed to USCA President Danni Beer:


Owner of Bozeman Kountz Arena charged with animal cruelty

The owner of a Bozeman arena faces two felony animal cruelty charges after a horse with a missing foot and a comatose calf were found on his property.

Dayle Kountz, owner of Kountz Arena, was charged Monday with aggravated animal cruelty and a second offense of cruelty to animals.

Prosecutor Erin Murphy provided an alternative felony to the aggravated animal cruelty charge, but Kountz can only be convicted of two total counts.


To address bee decline, Obama proposes more land to feed bees

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better.

A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.