Ranchers

There are a lot of women managing Montana farms and ranches. It's often thought of as a sector long dominated by men, but that's changing as women enter the state's agriculture industry.

There's a conference underway in Billings this week where women ranchers and farmers are gathering to learn more about making their businesses profitable.

Rancher Anita Brawner stands in line waiting for lunch. Her family runs a cattle calving operation in Nebraska, but the Brawner Ranch Company is headquartered south of Livingston, Montana, where she was born.

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.

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.

(Photo by Marina Starr)

Declaring today as a "great day for American jobs," President Trump reversed an Obama administration decision and issued a permit to continue building the $8-billion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline

Some Eastern Montanan farmers and Fort Peck Reservation residents near the pipeline's route don't agree. They believe the environmental and social risk the pipeline poses is greater than a potentially short-lived economic boost for the state.

About two-dozen water protectors are walking across the Fort Peck Reservation this weekend to pray and demonstrate opposition of the pipeline's construction in the state.