| TSLN.com

Homeland — Spring 2019

ND House passes protection from public, leaves private land open to hunters

The North Dakota House of Representatives has taken a step toward improving property right protections. A bill that would have helped move the state toward adopting fundamental property rights in regard to trespass was split into two parts. Division one, the segment that would change the law to require the public to ask permission before entering private property (for all purposes except for hunting) was approved by the House of Representatives. The second part would have created an allowance for electronic posting, established an advisory group on access issues and required the group to make a majority recommendation by 2020 or land would be considered closed for hunting purposes. This segment failed. In the end, the remaining portions of the bill passed.

The Senate passed a different version earlier this session – a bill that included the electronic “posting” option, that allowed landowners to select “open to hunting,” “closed to hunting,” or “open with permission.” The bill now goes to conference committee where committee members from both the House and Senate will negotiate, and will need to approve some version of the bill in order to keep the issue alive. If a compromise is found, both chambers must approve it, in order for the bill to become law.

Current North Dakota law allows the public to access on private property unless the landowner has posted signs at various points around their property indicating “no trespassing” or “no hunting.”

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson calls the current statute “archaic” and says this is the closest the state has ever come to updating the law.

“It would have been nice to have had the whole shebang, but we appreciate the vote in the House that allows us to continue working on this issue.”

Lidgerwood rancher and landowner Kathy Skroch, representing District 26 said that her constituents had hoped to see the bill passed in its entirety.

“SB 2315 was going to be a good answer to protecting private landowners’ rights and as it split, it very definitely weakened the bill,” she said.

Skroch said the issue has been a hot one during the session, and she worries that landowners across the state are at a “flashpoint.” She fears that without some fundamental property protections, landowners will “lock the land up so tight, it will be a slamming of the door.”

She hopes the public is gaining a better understanding of the frustration landowners feel about this issue. “We’ve been kicking the can down the road. I’m told landowners are going to take that can, fill it with cement and stick a big ‘no trespassing,’ ‘no hunting’ sign right in the middle of it.”

Skroch said she is still hopeful the state can avoid that situation with some common sense legislation.

Several sportsmen groups are lobbying hard to keep the status quo for hunters.

Darrell Belisle of Turtle Lake spoke on behalf of the North Dakota Bowhunters. In an earlier interview with TSLN, he said he was a part of a sportsmens group that met with the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association since the 2017 legislative session but that the two groups didn’t reach a compromise.

“Sportsmens groups are concerned first about the lack of contact information. We use the posted signs to know who to contact and to know whose land we are on. Our biggest concern is that we’ll lose hunters. This will cause more confusion and we’ll lose even more hunters,” he said.

Hunters have a hard time knowing whose land is whose, he said, and it’s hard to find landowners, particularly out of state ones.

“Personally, myself, I prefer to ask permission even though that land may not be posted,” he said.

“My group respects the landowners’ concern for private property rights but we hope to find a compromise that respects the needs of the solution,” he said. But neither Belisle nor his group have a suggestion as to what that compromise would be.

Belisle believes that allowing property owners reasonable privacy (without a posting requirement) is a violation of freedom of speech. “The first Amendment includes freedom of speech and right now landowners have the right to say what happens on their land. They can say ‘I don’t want trespassing.’ They can say ‘give me a call.’ They can say whatever they want to. But this bill is asking the state to do the speaking for everyone, even those that don’t care. I think that’s a clear violation of freedom of speech.

Skroch said she heard an opponent to the bill say that “owning land is a privilege and hunting is a right,” and that it is only a handful of “selfish, lazy” ranchers who want to require hunters to ask permission before accessing private property.

Forage 2019

2020 NILE Merit Heifer Application Available

The legacy carries on with the 2020 NILE Merit Heifer Program

BILLINGS, MONT.–The opportunity for kids started in the cattle industry is knocking, and loudly. Applications for the NILE Merit Heifer program are now available for the 2019-2020 year.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live, heifer calf. The objective is to to help youth get a start in the beef cattle business and gain knowledge about the beef industry.

Program participants are chosen based on merit, future goals, and ability to care for the animal. 4-H or FFA members who are 12-16 years old may apply. Applicants are not limited to Montana residents.

During the program duration, participants are responsible for care-taking, record keeping, breeding, and bringing the heifer back one year later to the NILE Stock Show & Rodeo. The class of merit heifer recipients competes for best phenotype, top showman honors, best record book, best interview and overall top herdsman.

“This program would not be possible without the generous support of our donors over the years,” says NILE General Manager Jennifer Boka. “We are truly grateful for them since the program’s inception.”

Interested in becoming a donor? The NILE Merit Heifer Program is also seeking those interested in donating a heifer calf for the upcoming year.

Applications and a link to the YouTube video must be received no later than June 28, 2019 at 4 p.m.. The 2020 recipients will be announced in late August 2019. Applications available online at www.thenile.org

Application Requirements:

complete application

character references

written essay

3-5 minute YouTube video (should include, but is not limited to):

an introduction

facility tour

current 4-H/FFA projects

goals and objectives for the Merit Heifer

voiced by the applicant

An example YouTube video can be seen here.

For more information regarding the NILE Merit Heifer Program, please email Shelby at shelby@thenile.org or call the NILE Office at (406) 256-2495 ext 4.

–The NILE

Significant Lands Package passes Senate, includes Risch Bills benefiting Idaho

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today passed a package of bipartisan bills, including several provisions authored or sponsored by U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), which would improve public lands management, protect Idaho’s natural landscapes, and increase public access for sportsmen while protecting private property rights. The Natural Resources Management Act included two bills introduced by Risch, the Reclamation Title Transfer Act and legislation to improve a recreation facility at Smith Gulch, and several other bills cosponsored by Risch that would increase public access to shooting ranges, among other reforms.

“We place a high value on our public lands in Idaho and want to ensure they’re accessible for thousands of sportsmen and women in Idaho as well as for future generations,” said Senator Risch. “It’s also important that we not allow federal government interference to hinder the critical role of land and water in our agricultural industry. This legislative package does both and I applaud Chairman Murkowski for her hard work across the aisle to find consensus on these dozens of bipartisan bills.”

S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, reflects a bipartisan Senate-House agreement to bundle together over 100 individual lands bills. This bipartisan package strikes a balance between creating new opportunities for natural resource and community development, primarily in western states, with limited, locally-supported conservation. For a full list of reforms in the lands package, click here.

Provisions Introduced or Cosponsored by Risch in the Lands Package:

The Reclamation Title Transfer Act: Introduced by Risch

The Reclamation Title Transfer Act will streamline the process for non-federal entities, like irrigation districts to obtain the title for Reclamation projects they already operate and have repaid. More than two-thirds of Reclamation assets are operated by these entities.

This bill will give the Secretary of Interior the ability to facilitate qualifying transfers instead of requiring each individual transfer be approved by an act of Congress.

Title ownership increases flexibility, autonomy, and the ability to secure financing for beneficiaries of the projects.

Legislation to Improve a Recreation Facility at Smith Gulch: Introduced by Risch in Senate, Introduced by Simpson in House

Would allow for intended maintenance of commercial recreation services at Smith Gulch in the Frank Church Wilderness.

Owyhee Wilderness Areas Boundary Modifications Act: Introduced by Crapo, cosponsored by Risch

Makes locally supported and intended boundary adjustments in the Owyhee Wilderness in Idaho.

Sportsmen’s Act Provisions: Cosponsored by Risch

Allows the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lease or permit federal land for shooting ranges.

Allows for the transport of bows in National Parks.

Allows qualified volunteers to assist with wildlife management in parks.

Increases sportsmen access to federal land by establishing “open unless closed” standard for BLM and USFS lands.

Requires the Department of Interior and USFS to identify and publish land that is available to the public for hunting, fishing, and recreation.

Protects federally recognized treaty rights and state authority for fish and wildlife management.

Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA): Cosponsored by Risch

Will increase transparency on politically motivated organizations taking advantage of taxpayer funded lawsuits by creating a database where fees paid under EAJA are clearly listed and available to the public.

–Senator Risch

Grizzlies make problem neighbors

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., introduced the Grizzly Bear State Management Act, on Feb. 28, which directs the Department of the Interior to re-issue its delisting decision and prohibits further judicial review of this decision.

“It’s clear that under the Endangered Species Act, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone region are fully recovered, that they should be delisted and management returned to the states,” Enzi said in a news release. “I have been working on this issue for over 20 years, and we already knew back then that grizzly bears had already fully recovered. Unfortunately, we have seen environmental groups take advantage of the court system in the face of wildlife management experts and the science presented before us. Our legislation would finally right that wrong by once again delisting the bears and stopping further frivolous and litigation on this issue.”

“The Grizzly Bear State Management Act stops the abuse of the court system by environmental extremists, safeguards the scientifically proven delisting determination and puts management of the grizzly bear back in the hands of Wyoming,” Cheney said. “I’m pleased to reintroduce this bill and continue fighting for the important work done by the state of Wyoming to establish its own effective grizzly bear management plan. The decision by a Federal District Court Judge in Montana to re-list the grizzly ignores science and reinstates one-size fits all federal management. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and with President Trump to fight for Wyoming’s statutory right to manage wildlife,” said Enzi.

Wyoming isn’t the only state dealing with the pesky predator.

Trina Jo Bradley said when she was growing up on Dupuyer Creek in Montana bears were common and they had to travel in pairs with the dog if they wanted to leave the yard.

“There were several times we had to cut a fishing trip or berry picking excursion short because of the grizzlies,” said Bradley, explaining that with bears moving east and onto the plains, bears are now everywhere including on Birch Creek near Valier where she now ranches with her husband. She says it’s not uncommon to see 10-15 bears in the summer. “When we fence on the creek, one of us has to carry the fencing tools while the other carries a shotgun and watches for bears. We have to be especially vigilant during calving, especially night checking. Walking into a dark barn is creepy anyway, but when there’s a possibility that a grizzly could be waiting inside, it gives me heart palpitations.”

Bradley says there is a difference between tolerating wildlife while ranching and accommodating wildlife to the point that ranching isn’t possible. “Our ranch is home to many different species of wildlife, and we are proud that we can provide a habitat for Montana’s animals. On the other hand, we shouldn’t have to tolerate those animals that don’t respect us. The majority of our grizzlies avoid us, avoid our cows, and are rarely seen. Those are the ones we don’t mind sharing our home with.”

The rancher explains that the problem is the bears that hang out in the yard and aren’t scared of the dogs or people, or the ones that prey on cattle, either for food or for fun. “Those are the ones we will not tolerate. Grizzlies need to be removed from the Endangered Species List so control and management can be handled by the state and the people who are on the ground working with ranchers to mitigate conflicts. Until these bears are managed with a firm hand, there is no hope for any of us to be able to live in relative peace with them.”

Steve Skelton runs cattle near Bynum on the Rocky Mountain front—in what’s considered Zone 1 for grizzlies. Because of the proximity to bears and other predators, the Skeltons established Black Bear Guardians, a working guard dog business. “I ranched here for 15 years, before I left for four. We had bears. Did we see bears ever day? No. If you really looked hard for bears you might see one once a week. We leased this place out, were gone four years and came back in the spring of 2017. The bear population had ballooned because the bears are federally protected. It doesn’t matter if the bear is in your livestock killing them all, you can’t kill that bear; it’s a $50,000 fine and five years in jail.”

Skelton not only worries about livestock but about human safety. “I witnessed my daughter going into her horse barn; she walked through the man door and when she cracked the barn door a grizzly bear ran out through the big sliding door,” Skelton said. “We don’t go in the yard after dark anymore because the bears are right there. We had one ewe get out and she was killed by a grizzly less than 250 yards from my door. We have a guest cabin that is 250 yards the other way from our door. That’s really scary.”

Skelton said ranchers need to portray that these apex predators have changed our lives. “These predators not only make it economically harder for us, but they make it hard to find common happiness. Things that were once okay, like going out to pick berries and choke cherries, we can’t do anymore. The kids used to swim in the creek and they can’t do that anymore.”

“What really galls ranchers – and myself – is when the government introduces these apex predators and then they strip away your constitutional rights. You cannot protect your property and you cannot protect yourself,” Skelton added.

The frustrated rancher said there must be legislation where the bear will be delisted and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks can manage them, much like they do the gray wolf that was delisted in Montana in 2011, allowing for more state control.

(At the time of publication SJ 6, introduced by Sen. Mike Cuff, R-Eureka, which would turn management of grizzly bears back to the state of Montana, had passed the Montana Senate and was in the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee.)

Cyndi Johnson doesn’t own livestock but she and her husband, Ken, are wheat farmers outside of Conrad. Johnson is bothered by the fact that the federal government controls the management of this bear although the original intent of the ESA was to include state and local governments as well as farmers and ranchers in the decision making.

“The first human-bear interaction in my county which caused significant concern was the weekend more than two years ago when a sow grizzly was teaching her two yearling cubs to hunt. They killed 75 ewes, rams, and lambs in two nights “hunting” and they didn’t eat a single one,” Johnson explained, adding that last June their local golf course had to close for a day in order to ‘manage’ a grizzly that wandered into town, putting human and bear life both in danger.

“Bears have been spotted as far as 300 miles from the Front in Central Montana – tipping over bee hives and ripping doors off of full grain bins. I have full grain bins, and that concerns me,” Johnson said. “Grizzly bears have been within a few miles of me. Standard response to these problem bears is usually relocation, if the bear survives the encounter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always result in a bear who stays put in his new home as they will wander hundreds of miles back to the scene of the crime.”

Johnson is pleased to see Endangered Species Act reform is finally being discussed in Washington. D.C. and cites some commonsense regarding the move to delist gray wolves, that have more than reached their target population, nationwide.

“We need to re-evaluate the original ESA and turn back the rules that get in the way of a community’s ability to address the problems we have with bears,” Johnson said “The ESA contains unfunded mandates of which local and state communities bear the cost. It says actions designed to protect a species take precedence over infrastructure and development. For example, in order to repair a road, special barriers must be erected, by construction companies to prevent bears and other wildlife from entering construction zones with the ultimate design including an avenue for wildlife to cross or fences with dirt fill on both sides so critters don’t have to jump or crawl under. My goat raising neighbor is being required, at her own expense, to add tall electric fencing to prevent bears from eating her goats and their food.”

Johnson adds the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks needs to provide resources to encourage better livestock safety, animal feed storage and grain storage in remote areas if farmers and ranchers are to continue having this increase and mobility in the bear population.

Effling bull wins at NWSS, BHSS

January stock shows have been the scene of achievement for a South Dakota cattle-raising and showing family. Winning titles at both the Black Hills Stock Show and National Western Stock Show, one Simmental bull, CKCC Edge 7692E, has brought abundance for the Efflings. CK Cattle is owned and operated by Chris and Kristi Effling and their three daughters, Cagney, Chesney, and Kenidey in Highmore, SD. The girls enjoy participating in the junior showing associations. As a family they produced a bull that won over the judges and brought home two titles to their 500-head working ranch of Charolais, Simmental, and Hereford cattle. They operate in conjunction with Kristi’s parents, Lanny and Jayne that operate Wager Cattle out of Gettysburg, SD.

“Our youngest daughter Kenidey showed him at the Black Hills Stock Show. Chris showed him in Denver, but the Boyerts got him ready. They purchased half of him at the Black Hills Stock Show,” Kristi said. Boyert Show Cattle own a share of Edge. They specialize in showing cattle and have won numerous titles at the NWSS and the junior associations.

Kenidey and Edge won the supreme champion title at the BHSS in 2018, and with Chris showing him this year at the NWSS, he won the Champion Percentage Simmental Bull. Chris said they enjoy showing because they can pick out their own genetics and compare them to other producers’ and see how they compare. This bull wasn’t their first success story.

CK Cattle began roughly 15 years ago when they purchased papered Simmentals, and since then have won the BHSS supreme champion bull three times and supreme female once, along with the champion Charolais in Denver, Kansas City, and Louisville. Chris emphasized that showing isn’t their priority, though—they focus on producing genetics that can do well in that aspect, but also in feed yards for commercial producers. He said they just thought it was a good fit when choosing the genetics for Edge.

“We matched the quality, growth, and performance, and it seemed like combining all those things was a good match with that cow. We bought his mother in Denver at the stock show as a bred heifer. She’s a cow that’s done a really nice job. She’s raised cattle that have sold in different states, bulls and females alike. She’s been a really good producer year in and year out for us. We make sure to flush her—this bull was a product of an embryo transplant,” Chris said.

The champion bull is also used on their cowherd and they sold semen out of him last year, so calves will be produced out of him this spring within numerous herds, including their own. Even with the large success they’ve found at the two stock shows they’ve taken him, they won’t be showing this champion bull again or offering him for sale. They plan on utilizing the bull as most ranchers would.

“He was run on cows last summer. He’s not one of those that just sit in the barn; he’s doing his job. We’ve been approached by people that want him for semen or special shares, but we just have semen for sale right now,” Chris said.

In addition to operating a large cattle operation, Chris works as a field service and ringman for Tri-State Livestock News. While managing all this, showing is a large part of the family’s lifestyle.

“A lot of it is promoting, but that’s not our main focus. We were getting ready to have a sale on Feb. 9, so we like to raise cattle that have quality and are profitable to commercial producers,” Chris said. “We enjoy the people of the business and that’s probably the part we enjoy the most. We just try to raise good cattle and do the best we can.”

New Proposal Addresses Deer Firearm Regulations

Among South Dakota hunters, landowners, and wildlife managers, there has been a rift driving them to heated discussions and multiple new proposals regarding new ways firearm deer licenses are allocated. A fourth revision of the proposal has found some common ground, but many will still have to accept the changes whether they are solicited or not if approved by the Game, Fish, and Parks Commission and the Legislative Interim Rules Review Committee.

Kevin Robling is a Special Projects Coordinator for the South Dakota GFP, taking on contention issues and reviewing strategic plans for the department. He was interested in wildlife management at a young age, and decided he wanted to be a big game biologist at the age of 12. He earned his undergraduate and Master’s degree through South Dakota State University, and recently moved to Pierre to become Department Secretary Kelly Hepler’s policy advisor.

Robling discussed the new proposal and why they feel it’s necessary to move forward in supporting wildlife management. As a department, they strive to provide more hunters their preferred deer license more often, and to get as many deer hunters in the field as possible. Their ultimate end game with this proposal is to reduce the amount of deer hunters that are unsuccessful applicants for multiple years in a row. The current system allows for this to happen.

“The reason this all came about is we are continuously having unsuccessful applicants, year in and year out. That’s been an issue for the department and one of the concerns is if an individual applicant is unsuccessful for two or three years in a row, there’s a chance they might quit trying to get a license and we lose another hunter,” Robling said.

There are six deer firearm seasons each individual deer hunter can apply for each season, including West and East River (Special Buck included), Black Hills, Muzzleloader, Refuge, and Custer State Park.

“Under the current system, a resident applicant could draw a first-choice, first-buck tag for all six of those seasons. The issue is we have 53,524 deer hunters that applied for deer licenses last year, of which approximately 70% of those folks apply for just one season, one unit, one place. We have others who want to hunt all six seasons in different units across the state. We end up with a lot of unsuccessful applicants who don’t draw deer licenses that year, while we have others that draw multiple deer licenses every year because they have their name in multiple draw buckets,” Robling explained.

The new proposal has gone through multiple changes and would now allow for a deer hunter to apply for two, instead of all six, seasons in the first draw. “We have about 6,344 hunters that applied for three or more of the six seasons last year in the first draw. That means the rest applied for two or less, so that’s how many deer hunters this will impact directly each year. Those 6,344 hunters actually submitted 22,292 applications last year, and this would reduce that number to around 12,000 applications because their names are going from being in numerous draw buckets to only two of those six draw buckets.”

The first iteration of the proposal was to only allow one season per applicant, and the new proposal allows for two. Robling said the draw system is complicated and there’s no perfect way to address it, but the main message is that no deer hunter will have more than two licenses until the third draw.

“There are about 36,000 hunters that will only apply for one season, and their draw probabilities will increase. However, we hear from both sides. Some folks are potentially losing the opportunity to submit multiple applications. You go from six to two, and the first proposal was only allowing one license. There was definitely opposition to that concept. The commission had a lot of discussion and different iterations but the department feels like they found some middle ground with the hunters,” Robling said.

While many stakeholders are more satisfied with the new proposal, there are still oppositionists to the new regulations of license allocation. Mark DeVries is a regional vice president for the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and also a member of their wildlife management committee. He’s a rancher near Belvidere, SD and from the perspective of a landowner and also a hunter, doesn’t believe the new proposal will bring a positive outcome.

“There are guys that have been hunting out here for 15-20 years, and the landowners want to keep the relationship with them because they know and trust them.” DeVries believes the new proposal may not directly affect landowners, but is afraid it will impact their already existing partnership between them and the hunters they allow on their lands each year. If the hunters aren’t allowed the licenses they’ve had in the past, they won’t be able to hunt on these lands. The landowners will have to adapt to a larger quantity and unfamiliar deer hunters, which may cause private property issues.

DeVries said he hasn’t heard too much uproar from ranchers, but observed that “the safest place for a giant buck is in a room of all these people that disagree because they’d rather shoot each other.” In a country where political and social divisions are obtrusive, DeVries’s point hits home.

If the new proposal passes, the draw dates will all be moved up to June, as opposed to staggered dates running from June to September. Robling said 47,000 of the 53,000 deer hunters wouldn’t see a difference in the online application process except for the option to use preference points in the second and third draws along with free preference for youth and a bonus preference point for first time applicants. The new proposal doesn’t affect youth or archery season applicants. Robling said the allocation number of licenses will remain the same; it’s the distribution of those licenses that would be changed.

Despite the difference in opinions, both sides are eager to find a solution and make a decision that will benefit the vast majority of deer hunters, wildlife management, and landowners. Robling said balance is what the GFP strives for, but finding that balance proves to be difficult at times.

“Our hunting heritage relies heavily on user participation and without hunters, we don’t have wildlife management and that’s where our concern lies. We want to increase participation the best way we can, in as many ways we can.

NILE offering scholarships to the next generation of agriculturalists

Billings, Mont.–Now accepting applications for scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year, the NILE Foundation expects to award over $30,000 to youth.

For almost 30 years, the NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition) has awarded scholarships to deserving FFA and 4-H students. The criteria being that applicants have been actively involved in their communities, leaders in their respective programs, excelled in the classroom, and participated in NILE events.

“Promoting the future of agriculture through the support of youth via scholarships is a long-standing tradition of NILE.” says Jennifer Boka, General Manager of the NILE. “Educating today’s youth to be tomorrows ag proponents is crucial to the entire world and we at the NILE are proud to support and embrace the future of agriculture.”

Scholarship applications and guidelines can be found at www.thenile.org, or by contacting the NILE Office at (406) 256-2495. Applications must be submitted to the NILE Office by March 1, 2019 by 4 p.m. (postmarked March 1st will not be accepted). Applications incomplete or late will not be considered. Scholarships will be awarded and announced in early April 2019. Similar to previous years, the NILE Scholarship Committee will be awarding five levels of scholarships:

High School One Time Scholarship – Awarded to high school seniors that meet the qualifications listed in the guidelines.

Secondary One Time Scholarship – Offered will also be a one-time grant, for students already enrolled in College or a Vo-Tech school meeting the qualifications.

Shining Star: All qualified applicants are eligible. This scholarship is for an applicant that stands out in the crowd.

Needle In The Haystack – This scholarship will be awarded to any NILE scholarship applicant if they attend Stetsons & Stilettos in May 2019. The winner will be randomly drawn that night.

Rolling Scholarship – The most prestigious of all scholarships awarded is The Rolling Scholarship. This scholarship will be offered to a select group of High School Seniors who will have the opportunity to renew the scholarship annually, up to four years of their secondary education. Recipients of rolling scholarships will be chosen from the pool of applicants that are current seniors in High School.

Each year the NILE touches the lives of nearly 10,000 youth and provides over $55,000 in cash and live animal scholarships. Major highlights of NILE Youth Programs are the NILE Merit Heifer Program, 4th Grade Ag Education, Jr. Fed Livestock Show, Scholarship Program, and Internship Program. Live Animal scholarships are donations of heifers to kids in the Merit Heifer Program.

The NILE Foundation was established in 2009 as a supporting arm of the NILE organization, which is dedicated to the promotion of livestock, agriculture education, and respect for the western culture. It is funded through generous donations and the annual fundraiser, Stetsons and Stilettos. This year the theme is Kentucky Derby and held Saturday, May 4th.

–The NILE

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo & Rodeo Rapid City 2019