The 2021 Montana’s Next Generation Conference will provide six powerful evening sessions covering crops, livestock, family communication, business planning and succession planning topics. Sessions will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., beginning Jan. 12. All sessions will be broadcast and accessible online. Sessions will be free, but registration is required at www.mtnextgen.com.    

Participation in all six workshops, along with a completed evaluation and passing a test over the material covered, will satisfy FSA’s borrower training requirements.

Sessions will be as follows:

Jan. 12 – Lacy Roberts, Glacier County Farm Loan Manager, will start the night off with Beginning Financial and Production Recordkeeping. She will cover the basics of developing a balance sheet and cash flow along with how to keep track of income and expenses. 

Dr. Mykel Taylor will build on this in the second session by taking the financials you have developed and making strategic management decisions based on your financial records.

Jan. 14 – Dallas Mount (Ranching for Profit) will build on Jan. 12 concepts as he, along with three producers he has worked with, will delve into how they generated more profit from their farming and ranching enterprises by developing new income streams and closing unprofitable enterprises. This will be a great opportunity to hear from producers on how they have put their financial management into action.

Jan. 19 – All things Marketing – Domenic Varricchio from Roach Ag Marketing will delve into developing a farm and ranch marketing plan using futures and options along with giving an overview of the 2021 marketing opportunities on the horizon. This will be followed by Shane Eaton, co-owner of Eaton Charolais Ranch, at Lindsay, Mont. Shane will share how their family operation is four generations strong, utilizing a robust marketing plan for their 1,500 head of registered Charolais and 1,500 commercial cattle. The family operation also operates multiple feedlots in Montana and North Dakota to feed their cattle, along with their customer’s cattle, which has required an active marketing plan.

Jan. 21 – Cattle Nutrition will be the topic of the night. MSU Extension Beef Specialist Dr. Carla Sanford will start the evening off with focusing on how third trimester nutrition and fetal programming tie together.

Dr. Brian Vander Ley, veterinary epidemiologist at the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center in Clay Center, Neb., will follow.  Dr. Vander Lay will cover beginning calf nutrition and importance of colostrum in a new calf and long-term effects when this important building block is missed.

Jan. 26 – You will not want to miss this dynamic and high-energy evening with Teton County MSU Extension Agent Jane Wolery and MSU Extension Specialist Dr. Marsha Goetting. Jane will lead the evening off with “FENCES – Families Engaging Nicely in Communicating ExpectationS”. A farm girl at heart, Jane will share how important communication is in moving your family operation forward and having effective lines of communication. This will lead into how to start those succession and estate planning conversations that Dr. Goetting will share are a must have.

Jan. 28 – Legal Horror Stories and Taxes, what a combination! Brian Lee from Lee Law Office will start the evening off with his favorite legal agreement stories gone wrong and how ag businesses can ensure their agreements say what they mean and mean what they say. Brittney Tempel with Wipfli will follow with updates in the tax world and how these will be important for our farm and ranch producers across the area.

Please note producers who are completing these classes for FSA borrower training credit can also substitute in nights with the Pondera County Extension Office’s Master Farmer classes that will be running Thursday evenings in January and February. For a full list of these classes, please contact Adriane Good at adriane.good@montana.edu.

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