Registration is now open for the 2023 Montana’s Next Generation Conference, which offers 36 workshops for both beginning and advanced producers seeking continuing education. The conference will be hosted by Montana State University Extension and the Native American Community Development Corporation Financial Services at Shelby High School in Shelby on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Participants will be able to choose from six different presentations to attend during the conference’s sessions. Topics include record keeping, market outlooks, marketing, crop and livestock production, succession planning, and business.
Crop production presentations will cover a variety of topics. Chester-area producer Cory Hawks, a first-time conference presenter, will discuss regenerative agriculture and how it has changed the face of his multi-generation family operation. MSU entomology professor David Weaver will share research on how to make the best of grain storage, including bin preparation and what problems to watch for when storing grain for extended periods. Charles Good of MaxAg of Montana will present on precision agriculture for beginners and how to make data work for the end user.
Livestock production topics include an interactive presentation by MSU Extension Glacier County agent Kari Lewis on expected progeny differences, or EPDs, and selecting replacement seedstock. Livestock nutrition and veterinary topics will provide additional learning opportunities for participants.
Joel Schumacher, MSU Extension associate economics specialist, will discuss the impact of inflation and input costs with a 2023-focused presentation. Glacier County FSA farm loan manager Lacy Roberts will present on production and financial recordkeeping. Jane Wolery of Sterling Solutions will present on protecting assets and financial fixes. Ag West Farm Credit will offer a producer-focused financial presentation.
Markets will be another key topic of the conference. Lance Wilson of Integrity Consulting Co. will give two presentations on the 2023 market outlook, one designed for livestock producers and one for crop producers. For participants interested in direct marketing, Valier-area rancher Jennie Becker will present lessons learned from their ranch business and the direct sale of beef and pork.
There has been continued interest in programs available through the USDA. Stacy Eneboe, Great Falls-area resource conservationist, Lad Barney, area director for USDA Rural Development, and Bill Evans, Chouteau County Farm Service Agency executive director, will present on how to get started with their agencies along with updates over the past year.
In addition, popular conference presenters from previous years will share information on new topics. Britney Tempel of Montana Roots Accounting will present on selecting an entity for a farm or ranch, what a producer needs to consider and how to address deferred income. Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, will offer two estate planning presentations. Her first will cover what items are needed for developing a will, and the second addresses how to approach retirement years and prepare for Medicaid and Medicare implications.
Travis Clark and Holly Hovland of Leavitt Great West Insurance Services will present on general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Megan Hedges of Northern Plains Insurance will help beginning producers with a crop insurance presentation.
Helium exploration along the Hi-Line has caused landowners and lease holders alike to question what rights and options they have when they may not own the mineral rights but still want to keep the surface in pristine condition, according to event organizers. Don and Brian Lee of Lee Law Office specialize in oil and gas legal matters and will present on this topic.
The Montana Drought and Climate Project group will provide an update on what they learned from producers across the state and how producers are working to minimize the results of extreme drought. Martin Townsend of Ranchers Stewardship Alliance will continue this theme with a presentation on how to use a land monitoring software along with partnering with wildlife conservation industry as producers look for a win-win for ranchers, conservationists and Montana communities.
Jason Laird, marketing and communications director for the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, and Steve Sheffels, a farmer from the Great Falls area, will present on how they have been active in the grain industry and what key issues are ahead for Montana crop producers. Chalet Harney, Montana Beef Council executor director, will also provide updates on where beef checkoff dollars are used.
Farm Service Agency borrowers can complete their borrower training requirements by attending six presentations and completing an evaluation at the end of the conference. Pesticide points have been applied for and will be posted if approved prior to the conference.
For a full list of all the conference topics and agenda, as well as information about registration, visit mtnextgen.com. Paper registration forms are available at MSU Extension County Offices.
The final registration deadline is Jan. 23. Best Western has a block of rooms reserved for $99.99 per night, and Comfort Inn has rooms at $89 per night for a single room and $94 per night for a double. Participants should mention “Montana’s Next Generation Conference” for the discounted rate.
Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact Lacy Roberts at 406-873-5618, ext. 2, or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 by Jan. 17.