Former Miss Montana USA Tahnee Peppenger (pictured above) is speaking out in support of agriculture, and sending a strong message to the Miss USA Pageant.

This, as the current Miss Montana USA, Merissa Underwood, is facing criticism for her radical animal rights activism, and recent social media posts viewed as being anti-agriculture. Some of those posts have apparently since been deleted.

On her Instagram page, current Miss Montana USA Merissa Underwood encourages her followers to "join the animal rights movement 🐷" and to "go plant based to battle climate change 🌱."

Former Miss Montana USA Tahnee Peppenger of Great Falls spoke out in support of agriculture, adding "I would not be the woman I am today without agriculture." Check out her full video below that we are sharing with her permission.

(By the way- she would have joined us on the radio this morning, but she is busy studying for a big organic chemistry exam! It also should be noted that the Miss Montana and the Miss Montana USA programs are two separate programs, so Miss Montana is not the same woman as Miss Montana USA)


The Montana Stockgrowers Assocation is also trying to bring out the real facts about farming and ranching in light of the controversy. One commenter on their Instagram attempted to defend the current Miss Montana USA, saying that she wasn't criticizing all farming and ranching, just the larger farms. Here's how the Stockgrowers responded:

While we understand the idea of what she was trying to say the question comes down to "What is a small scale local farmer/rancher?" In Montana we have some pretty big operations that are apart of the 91% of family operations that would also be considered "large scale" and we promise that those operations are just as sustainable as any operation in our industry. The point of the post was to stop the spread of miss-information because even vaguely stating that small farms are more sustainable that large farms is a harmful narrative not only to large sustainable farms and ranches but the industry as a whole. Our association advocates for all ranchers in the state of Montana and we are very proud of what we do. We hope that explains why we chose to respond!


View this post on Instagram

Ms. Underwood, We recently saw your Instagram Stories on your thoughts on climate change and animal agriculture. As @missmtusa we think it’s vital to use your platform to represent Montana and the things that are important to our beloved state. Agriculture and the cattle industry are some of those things. Montana’s #1 industry is agriculture and we are proud to raise some of the best, most sustainable beef in the world. Ranchers care deeply for the animals they raise and the environment they raise them in. There’s a saying between ranchers, “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you.” This is our passion. While we appreciate your passion, we are disappointed in the misleading and inaccurate information you shared and wanted to share some facts about the beef industry that might help educate you and others. Swipe through these images to see the rest of our response⏩ Please like and share this message so we can continue to educate others! **EDIT: In our post we stated 91% of farmers and ranches are family owned and operated, the actual number is 96%!**

A post shared by Montana Stockgrowers (@mtstockgrowers) on

More From KMPT-AM