Back in third grade, I remember reading a story about a little boy who grew tired of rain ruining his weekends. So he chanted: Rain, rain go away.

And he got his wish.

The sky cleared, the sun came out and in a few weeks it was dreadful; too much heat, everything dried up.

We have been tempted to repeat the little boy’s cry this past month as it seemed our soggy weather would never end.

Federal agencies managing western lands are increasingly demanding that ranchers with grazing permits on federal lands surrender their water rights to the government or get off the range. The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) believes this is extortion and not an acceptable practice of the ‘peoples’ government.’ MFBF strongly supports what’s being called the Water Rights Protection Act which could mean an end to federal strong-arming of ranchers by a government that owns the majority of land that can be grazed west of the Mississippi.

Utah Farm Bureau Executive Director Randy Parker told the House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans that the unconstitutional taking had to stop. Parker, who was representing all of the western state Farm Bureaus, including Montana, cited numerous instances in which the federal government forced or attempted to force ranchers to surrender their water rights. He urged Congress to act.

(WASHINGTON) – Today, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Administration’s intent to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Trade Committee Chairman Leo McDonnell issued the following statement:    
   
“Since the signing of NAFTA, U.S. cattle producers have experienced distorted and unfair trading practices with both Canada and Mexico. The current trade disparities have resulted in economic harm over the years to cow-calf producers, backgrounders and feedlot operators.”

(WASHINGTON) –The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner issued the following statement on the announcement of initial actions under the “100-day action plan” as agreed to by President Trump and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinpig:

“As noted in the U.S.-China Economic Cooperation 100-Day Plan, U.S. beef access in China remains one of the priorities for both countries.  The Plan states that following one more round of technical consultations, U.S. beef will be granted access to China, in accordance with international standards.  The plan gives a timeline for access set at no later than July 16, 2017.”

The Montana Farm Bureau Summer Conference theme “MFBF: United for Agriculture” will cover a variety of subjects ranging from leadership to new technology June 6-8 at Fairmont Hot Springs. The Summer Conference is a time when advisory committees meet to discuss current agricultural issues and concerns, and surface ideas for policy development.

Tuesday’s meetings include the Board of Directors, Women’s Leadership Committee, Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee as well as in-depth training for Farm Bureau’s ACE (Advocate. Communicate. Educate.) Team.