Sheep ranchers say their industry paid for the state of Montana, contributing to a struggling economy in the 1880s.
This weekend, the Montana Wool Growers Association held its 136th annul convention at the Billings Hotel & Convention Center.
The ranchers raise sheep for meat and for wool.
The convention brings them together to talk about the issues: predators, fiber and product development, and government regulations.
"Government regulations, I don't think it's any more of a challenge for us than any other industry," said David McEwen, past president of the association. "We have to address it. You can not, not address it because it'll eat you. The predator issue has always been a challenge. And market share, if you're not progressing, you're losing. It's just something that you always have to keep going."
The Montana Wool Growers Association started in 1883, six years before Montana became a state.