Cattle

A raw steak, January 2012.
Taryn/FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A new trade agreement announced Friday could mean more Montana beef makes its way to European consumers. 

The Montana Department of Livestock is investigating bovine tuberculosis after three diagnoses with potential connections to Montana herds.
Cattle on Weston Merrill's family ranch

Montana saw a week’s worth of negative temperatures across the state this month.

YPR’s Kayla Desroches sat down with reporter Sarah Brown, who covers agriculture for the Prairie Star and produces Field Days for YPR, to talk about what that means for ranchers in the state.

Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, rancher Weston Merrill and his family try a new venture: running cows on shares.

  


Weston Merrill

On this episode of Field Days, the heavy, early-season snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of Montana in October means rancher Weston Merrill must start feeding his cows much earlier than expected.

  

Livestock death is part of ranching. At some point, ranchers have to deal with dead animals, from things like difficult births, disease, and weather extremes. And in southwest Montana, those dead animals can also attract unwelcome visitors — wolves and black bears looking for an easy meal.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.”