As we have been honoring Agriculture all this month on KSEN & K 96, we've had a real "teachable experience" pertaining to our Treasure State. We've learned Lewis & Clark kept detailed records of all the plants & animals they came across on their 3 year journey. John James Audubon's "Birds of America" published way back between 1827 & 1838, confirm that before European settlement, North America's prairies teemed with wildlife. That all changed as European immigrants moved west over the next 100 years. Market hunting was one cause, but settlers also tilled & poisoned, fertilized & fenced the land, drained aquifers & damaged soil. As humans altered our prairies, bison disappeared from 99% of their native range. Prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, wolves & grizzly bears followed the same sad course. In the mid 20th century, conservationists began fighting to protect & restore what remained. Some efforts succeeded, & this morning (Thursday) I am able to report to you that Montana has retained EVERY species that Lewis & Clark observed here. Through the years, our Montana farmers & ranchers with their innovative approach to "sustainable" farming & conserving Montana's land, are setting an excellent example for farmers & ranchers all over the world! One of those farmers lives right here in our Golden Triangle...Jason Samsal up in Sunburst was recognized earlier this month by Congressman Greg Gianforte with his "Spirit of Montana" commendation for HIS innovation as a conservationist on his Golden Triangle Farm. Jason's just another example for this year's theme for National Ag Day 2020, "Food Brings Everyone to the Table!"

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