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2012 Montana GLCI Report

The Montana GLCI Funds Six Demonstration Projects for 2012

Funded projects included the following:

  • Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA): The Native Range Conservation and Promotion Mentorship Program, an effort to expand the target audience of disadvantaged producers to include young stock, wool and grain grower groups and the collegiate MSGA chapters. 
  • Deer Lodge Valley Conservation District: Hosted Montana Range Days, a premiere range education event. During the course of the three-day event, more than 300 participants gathered in Deer Lodge to learn about and compete in an outdoor environment. This event is held annually and rotates across the state to draw in people from all corners of Montana.
  • Lake County Conservation District: Biological Control and Long Term Monitoring of Noxious Weeds Using Livestock Grazing in Northwest Montana. The plan is the implement a two-part project locally to train cattle or other livestock to eat invasive species, primarily noxious weeds, and to monitor vegetation in an area used by the trained livestock.

The Montana GLCI continues to support landowners across the state by sponsoring local projects, seminars, and workshops that address areas of concern for Montana ranchers. 

Text description of GLCI project distribution shown on map.

Grazing Lands Education

In December of 2004, the Montana GLCI rolled out an education and awareness campaign, “Cowboy up with Conservation-it can save your grass.” Since the unveiling of the campaign at the Montana Stockgrowers annual convention in Billings, more than 1,000 conservation packets have been mailed. A packet can be requested on the Montana GLCI website or write to Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, PO Box 425, Bozeman, MT 59771-0425. In addition to the conservation packets, the education campaign has been featured and promoted through purchased air time with the Northern Broadcasting System in the form of radio. The radio ads include testimonials from ranchers and address “hot topic” issues in ranching and agriculture. The education campaign is also featured during trade shows at partnering organizations annual meetings and events. Many trinkets which feature the logo are available at the trade shows along with informational brochures.

The committee continues to support and provide funding to the State Winter Grazing Seminar held annually in January/February time frame and the Governor’s Range Tour held annually in September. These two events are co-sponsored by the Governor’s Rangeland Resources Executive Committee (RREC) and the local conservation districts.

Record Keeping

In 2010, the steering committee released an updated version of “A Stockman’s Grazing Record,” a hard copy (binder format) record keeping book which sells for $20 and is still available!

In 2012, the steering committee focused much of its energy and financial resources on an electronic version of the recordkeeping book, in the form of a prototype. The goal is for the prototype to become an app titled: “GrazeKeeper.” The steering committee appointed a subcommittee to work on this effort. The subcommittee is led by Chase and Tyrrell Hibbard, along with Bob Lee, Russell Nemetz, Jim Willis, Jon Siddoway, and Carla Lawrence. For those ranchers who prefer to use up-to-date technology to keep their livestock records, the GrazeKeeper should provide for all of their needs.

Fifth National Conference on Grazing Lands

Nine members of the Montana GLCI steering committee attended the Fifth National Conference on Grazing Lands in December of 2012 and six of the steering committee members made a total of four presentations to the participants gathered in Florida. See the Montana GLCI quarterly newsletter for more details.

GLCI Background

GLCI is a voluntary effort to enhance Montana’s 40 million acres of privately owned grazing land by increasing awareness and assisting with technical assistance at the grassroots level. Montana GLCI promotes partnerships, voluntary action, and respect for private property rights, diversification and technical development and is dedicated to healthy, productive and sustainable grazing lands. 

This effort is led by a steering committee comprised of representatives from organizations with a vested interest in grazing lands. Steering committee members include: Lon Reukauf, chairman, Montana Association of Grazing Districts; Dean Wang, vice-chairman, Montana Stockgrowers Association; Russell Nemetz, immediate past-chairman, Montana media- Northern Broadcasting Systems; Robert E. Lee, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and member of the National GLCI Steering Committee; Aggie Helle, the sheep industry and a member of the National GLCI Steering Committee; John Hollenback, Governor’s Rangeland Resources Executive Committee; Terry Haughian, Northern Great Plains Section of the Society for Range Management; John Anderson, Montana Association of Conservation Districts; Chase Hibbard, International Mountain Section of the Society for Range Management; and Jim Willis, Montana Farm Bureau Federation. In December of 2012, Ben Lehfeldt was welcomed and replaced Aggie Helle on the state and national steering committees. Additionally, Terry Haughian resigned his position on the steering committee and his replacement will be named early next year. 

The steering committee is also comprised of ex-officio members, who provide technical guidance and includes representation from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Montana State University (MSU) Extension Service, MSU College of Agriculture, Montana Association of Grazing Districts, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Montana Department of Agriculture, and the Ag Research Station (ARS) in Miles City and the Wool Lab at MSU. 

Funding for Montana GLCI is through a contribution agreement with NRCS to support demonstration projects and educational programs throughout the state, in addition to providing range management technical assistance to ranchers in every county in Montana.

Montana GLCI had funded over 110 projects in 51 counties. Projects are focused on enhancing the economic, social and environmental sustainability of private grazing lands.  

For more information about the Montana GLCI activities, please visit the Montana GLCI website or contact co-coordinators, Jon Siddoway, NRCS state rangeland management specialist at (406) 587-6790 or Carla Lawrence, dba Carla at the Ranch, (406) 962-3371.

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