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For Immediate Release

July 30, 2014
Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
406-444-9431

Board of Livestock Creates Budget Subcommittee, Encourages Industry Participation

In an effort to address funding issues for the Department of Livestock, the Montana Board of Livestock has created a subcommittee for budget oversight, guidance and planning.

Board chair Jan French, a cattle rancher from Hobson, appointed board members John Scully (Ennis/cattle), Brett DeBruycker (Dutton/cattle) and John Lehfeldt (Lavina/sheep) to the subcommittee at yesterday’s Board of Livestock meeting, and encouraged industry groups to take a seat at the table and help find solutions to recent funding shortfalls.

“It’s clear that we have some issues with the budget, and that industry is concerned,” French said. “So the best way to move forward is by communicating and working together.”

Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stock Growers Association, said the state’s oldest industry group plans on playing a prominent role and hopes that other groups will also get involved.

“It’s a positive move,” Rice said of the subcommittee. “We’re looking forward to working with board members and representatives from other livestock industry groups on issues like the budget, cash flow and the diagnostic laboratory. We have to keep looking forward.”

French said the one-day meeting was busy and productive, including the formation of the subcommittee. In other board news:

  • Market audit compliance officer Laura Hughes reported on the pending sale of Headwaters Livestock Auction in Three Forks.
  • The Animal Health Division proposed administrative rule changes for tuberculosis testing on elephants (ARM 32.3.227); for handling anthrax-infected carcasses (ARMs 32.3.1002 and 32.3.1001); for tuberculosis testing on cervids (ARM32.3.221 and 32.3.602a); and for repeal of a rule requiring brucellosis vaccination for imported cattle (ARM 32.3.212a and 32.2.212).
  • Attorney Rob Stutz updated the board on the state Supreme Court’s recent decision to reaffirm the board’s 12-day milk labelling rule after a lengthy legal battle.

The next board meeting is scheduled for September 29-30.

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