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Sheep Industry Springs into Action

by Mayzie Purviance

“Dear Secretary Perdue,” the letter began, “On behalf of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) we write to request that the USDA consider damages to our industry as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing market collapse due to trade disruptions with China in any future relief effort.  ASI represents the nation’s 100,000

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Letters Urging Action Flood the Hill

by Kayla Sargent

Not long after the CARES Act passed, carrying with it provisions for cattle producers, D.C. lawmakers penned a letter to Secretary of Ag Sonny Perdue urging immediate action to aid producers affected by severely depressed live cattle markets.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the need for food security,” the group wrote.  “All farmers and ranchers are vital

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A Ruling to Be Appealed

by Kayla Sargent

“You win some, you lose some, but you live to fight another day.”

And that’s what R-CALF USA intends to do in their battle against the USDA and their operation of the Beef Checkoff.

After a lawsuit was filed by R-CALF over three years ago, a final judgement was made on March 27 by the United States District

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High Five for Homegrown Hamburger

by Mayzie Purviance

It’s no secret that the producer-packer relationship is a little rocky at the moment and has been for some time now.  But what would happen if you cut out the middleman?  What if you, the producer, took your product directly to the consumer?

High Five Meats of Molt, Montana does just that — and they do it

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Labeling Limbo: Product of the USA or Product of Timbuktu?

by Mayzie Purviance

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) has been a widely debated topic over the past few years, and it seems as if many consumers want to know if their beef is a product of cattle that are, to quote the great Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA.”

Although some agricultural organizations do not support COOL, the U.S. Cattleman’s

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Straight to the Top

COVID-19 coronavirus in USA, 100 dollar money bill with face mask. COVID-19 affects global stock market. World economy hit by corona virus outbreak and pandemic fears. Crisis and finance concept.

by Kayla Sargent

Shortly after the Coronavirus outbreak showed its role in the markets, beef prices and cattle prices took separate paths in early March — boxed beef

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CARES Act Covers Cattle

by Kayla Sargent

“Two-trillion dollars.”  “Historic.”  “Largest in recent memory.”

Those were the descriptors in the headlines that buzzed on cell phones, flooded into emails, blared on the radio, and swarmed the internet around noon on Friday, March 27 when the House passed the Coronavirus stimulus package.

“I just signed the CARES Act, the single biggest economic relief package in American

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The Ear Tag Boys

by Gilles Stockton

Grass Range, MT

The boys at USDA and the National Cattlemen’s Big Business Association must be really bummed that their shares in ear tag companies has crashed along with the rest of the Wall Street economy.  Last year, it looked like they had triumphed in their scheme to mandate that cattlemen buy RFID tags for

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Wyoming Finance Specialists Suggests Discussing Finance with Family

Wyomingites need to respond aggressively to the coronavirus rapidly disrupting jobs, said a University of Wyoming Extension personal finance specialist.

Governor Mark Gordon’s order to close public spaces meant those who work in the entertainment, restaurant and bar, travel, retail and hospitality industries face significant losses in income, especially in Wyoming’s tourism-heavy economy, Cole Ehmke said.

“Wyomingites need to keep paying their

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Grandma Or Mrs. Metcalf?

No one alive today will ever forget the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 when we all stayed home to fight an invisible enemy.  As I write this, we are not sure whether we are effectively flattening the curve, but most people seem to be trying to follow the CDC guidelines.  As an educator of 39 years, I find myself struggling with

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Yellowstone National Park Announces Closure

by Johnathan Hettinger, MT Free Press


Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park closed on March 24, 2020 at the request of neighboring public health and political officials.

According to the release, no visitors are allowed in the park, but state roads will remain open.

The closure does not have an end date.

“We will notify the public when we resume

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Comments by the Publisher

Sometimes a person just has to stay positive.

This Chinese Virus has certainly taken a big toll on the United States and much of the rest of the world.  We went from the packers increasing their bids for fed cattle $20 in a matter of days, to taking it all back and then some.  Cow and bull processing facilities have done

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Thoughts from the Editor

Producers are talking.

National industry organizations, state affiliates, industry leaders, and even your everyday ranchers have become a part of the conversation in the past few weeks.  It’s unfortunate that it takes an event like the COVID-19 outbreak to shake our cattle markets before people really step up to the plate.  Nonetheless, the constant chatter about our market issues and potential

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Playing Pudge Like A Pawn

“Alright, are you sure you’re good with this?” Banjo asked.

“Never better,” Pudge said.  “I’ll be so sticky sweet to Rascal that it’ll be like trying to pull syrup off of his fur.”

Tuff looked at her and twisted his head.

“Huh?” he asked.

Pudge looked at him in frustration.

“I’m just saying I’ll stick to him to find out what he knows,” she said.


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Adjustments in Agriculture Will Be Required As Coronavirus Continues

Coronavirus is taking a bite out of local businesses on Main Street and now the implications for agriculture are beginning to take shape, a rural entrepreneurship specialist with University of Wyoming Extension, said.

Those implications include falling commodity prices affecting any farmer who had March contracts for delivering grain, Cole Ehmke in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at UW,

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Prepare for the Worst, Pray for the Best

Despite overwhelming evidence from literally every corner of the world, a farmer friend recently related to me that three — not one, not two, but three — rural acquaintances had assured him that “this whole virus thing is just a big hoax to bring down Trump.”

If so, there’s now 100,000-plus graves, more than a half million hospital patients, and trillions

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The Vegan Diaries — Part One Thousand: Donski

I am writing this column on Tuesday, April 7 and it will get to you after Thursday, April 9 — the day that I am allowed to end my vegan fast for Lent and eat animal products again.  You know those commercials where the camera pans over to a woman standing in a crowd of people with her eyes closed,

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Reporter Roll Call

This week, we wanted to shed light on the good in the world!  We asked members of the WAR staff, “what’s something good you witnessed this week?”

“I witnessed people step up and support local business in their time of crisis.” — Jared Murnin, WAR General Manager

“I saw production sales continue to be very strong.” — John Goggins, WAR Publisher

“An online

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Corona Points to Ponder

Keeping a weekly column timely is problematic because I write it 10 days before it is read.  The COVID-19 news is changing fast, so here are quick corona points to bring this column current:

Because you can unknowingly spread corona for two weeks, it is like hay baled and stacked while green — the stack looks great until it explodes in

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Partial JBS Plant Closure, More to Come?

After team members displayed flu-like symptoms, the JBS plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania, partially closed leaving Northeastern producers with finished cattle between a rock and a hard place.

“The JBS Souderton, Pennsylvania, beef production facility has temporarily reduced production because several senior management team members have displayed flu-like symptoms.  Out of an abundance of caution, these team members have been sent home

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Thoughts from the Editor

The news is nonstop in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.  Reporters nationwide have experienced some of the busiest times the past few weeks trying to keep up with case statuses, market happenings, stimulus packages, and find a few feel good stories to help morale.  This is the case with mainstream media, local papers, and even ag publications.  Lately, if

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Quarantine at the Nutterite Colony

Even though COVID-19 is a very serious topic, I feel that my job description as a cooking/humor columnist is an essential service in coping with this crisis.  I think since everyone is sheltered in place in Montana and much of the nation, we need good recipes and a chuckle now more than ever.

Since most of the workforce is working from

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Comments by the Publisher

God bless the American rancher.

Bull sales around Reporter Country continue to be nothing short of remarkable.  The Chinese Virus has certainly been something nobody in this country, or the world for that matter, has ever seen.  We are all in uncharted territory.

Major cities around the United States were the first to quarantine.  Now many states around the nation have issued

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“We can’t just leave all of them cooped up like they’re in jail,” Tuff said.

Banjo stood and looked at the barn and a line of animals stood patiently awaiting his ‘go ahead’ for the afternoon.

“I know,” he said.  “I feel like some sort of dictator not letting our ranch friends roam around and be free.  But we can’t afford any

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