The Montana Stockgrowers Association recently launched its 2009 Fall Membership Roundup and MSGA President Tom Hougen is taking this opportunity to remind Montana ranchers about the importance of being involved in associations such as MSGA.

“With all the things happening right now in Washington, D.C. that have the potential to drastically change the way we are allowed to do our work as ranchers, everyone needs to get involved in their associations, local and statewide,” Hougen said. “It is vitally important to join groups like MSGA to let your voice be heard and help direct the work done to protect our livelihoods and way of life.”

MSGA is currently working on a number of issues on the behalf of its members, including the newly released concept papers for federal rule rewrites on brucellosis and tuberculosis; the estate tax; Senator Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act in regards to grazing; endangered species issues including wolves, grizzly bears and sage grouse; climate change legislation; the Clean Water Restoration Act; and opening more markets overseas to U.S. beef. MSGA is also actively involved in improving issues of importance to beef consumers including food safety, nutrition, animal welfare, and the environment.

Each year MSGA members create policy that directs the efforts of MSGA’s volunteer board of directors, officers and staff. Policy is set at MSGA’s annual convention, which will be held this year on December 10-12 in Billings at the Crowne Plaza and MetraPark. MSGA also provides important educational opportunities at annual convention for its members through Pfizer Cattlemen’s Colleges which this year will cover Beef Quality Assurance, low stress cattle handling, beef nutrition, beef reproduction, and estate tax planning.

MSGA hopes that this fall, Montana ranchers will remember to join, rejoin or continue their support of their associations. For more information about MSGA please visit or call (406) 442-3420.