The Montana Beef Council is organized to protect and increase demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs (promotion, education and research) thereby enhancing profit opportunities for Montana beef producers.
Organic and Grass-Finished Beef Cattle Production
This publication by NCAT’s ATTRA project highlights the practices producers are using to provide customers with nutritious food from pasture- and rangeland-based farms and ranches. Resources are included for further reading.
Beef Farm Sustainability Checklist
This check sheet by NCAT’s ATTRA project is designed to stimulate critical thinking in planning a beef farm. Use this guide to define areas in your farm management which might be enhanced as well as areas of strength.
Building a Montana Organic Livestock Industry
This publication by The Nature Conservancy begins with a cost of production survey and then examines how organic beef producers in Montana can better access regional and national markets. In a broader sense, this report provides an understanding of the value chain of the organic grass-finished beef market from the producer to consumer.
Dairy Resource List: Organic and Pasture-Based
This resource list offers many sources of information helpful to organic and pasture-based dairy farmers, on topics including general organic dairying, pasture productivity, animal management, milk marketing, and farm energy. This annotated list provides information on some of the best resources, both in-print and online, but is not meant to be all inclusive.
Montana Wool Growers Association
Montana Wool Growers Association advocates for, and works on behalf of, Montana’s farm and ranch interests, namely Montana’s sheep industry. Montana Wool Growers Association also seeks to promote the economic health of Montana and Montana’s agriculture industry and the Montana communities, businesses and people supported by agriculture. MWGA also operates wool pools for selling wool cooperatively to larger markets.
Sheep: Sustainable and Organic Production
This publication introduces concerns and practices specifically related to sustainable sheep production. Topics covered include breed selection, controlled grazing, pasture lambing, alternative health management, and innovative marketing of meat and wool products. A list of further resources is also included.
The sale of sheep milk or milk products is often more profitable than selling only lamb or wool. This publication explores the dairy sheep business and helps producers decide whether it is a viable option for their farms. Regulations governing the industry are discussed. The publication also addresses production issues, animal health, stock selection, and nutrition issues surrounding dairy sheep. References and resources follow the narrative.
Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products
NCAT’s ATTRA project includes several tip sheets for marketing sheep and goat products, covering fiber, live animals, vegetation management, meat, and dairy.
This cut-yield calculator, created by NCAT, allows you to price individual lamb cuts for profit. The spreadsheet-based tool will calculate carcass yield percentages, individual and average net profit per lamb, and your overall gross and net profit.
Additional Livestock Resources
Written largely by Montana sheep and cattle ranchers, this tutorial has an array of information on how to implement a managed grazing program on your property.
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The NRCS offers a wide array of services and financing opportunities, one of which is pasture management assistance. Check with your local NRCS office to access staff who can visit your farm to assist with grazing planning.
MSU Extension Animal and Range Sciences
P.O. Box 172900
Bozeman, MT 59717
Tel: (406) 994–3721
Fax: (406) 994–5589
Location: 2nd Floor, Animal Biosciences Building
Director of Extension: Cody Stone
Tommy Bass: Livestock Environment and Sustainability
Jeff Mosley: Rangeland Management
Jmosley@montana.edu, (406) 994-5601
As noted above with several other links, NCAT’s ATTRA project offers many varied resources on sustainable agricultural production. For additional resources on other livestock questions, visit their site.