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Bitterroot Stockgrowers hold expo, banquet

Bitterroot Stockgrowers president Brian Rouse said cattle markets are doing better than last year. But he said it will take two years for producers to climb out of last year's market slump. The rancher sees positive movement down the road.

Ranchers are in Hamilton this weekend for the Bitterroot Stockgrowers Expo and Banquet.

Cattle ranchers from all over western Montana and Idaho are expected.

Bitterroot Stockgrowers president Brian Rouse said last year the cattle market tanked, making it difficult for ranchers to make ends meet.

This year he said markets are much better.

But he said it could take two years for producers to climb out of last year's slump.

Rouse said it's important that markets be stable for the next two years.

He sees positive movement down the road.

"The state's looking at having a couple packing plants here that are coming on board," said Rouse. "There's been some money designated to go towards those projects. China's throwing their hat in the ring . And they are a lot more interested in American beef."

The Stockgrowers are holding the expo at the First Interstate Center.

On Friday at 7 p.m. bull producers will hold a round table.

On Saturday there are several educational seminars on subjects from cover crops to weed identification and a workshop on keeping family ranches in working agriculture.

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