Montana’s Next Generation Conference


Montana’s Next Generation Conference will take place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26, in Shelby. The conference will focus on business planning for the farm or ranch and production workshops. 

The conference will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the Shelby Civic Center with Scott Shearer of the Bockorny Group, Inc. Shearer, who has extensive trade and agricultural policy expertise, will speak on the importance of trade to U.S. agriculture. He will provide an update on current agriculture trade, where the U.S. is headed in the future and how that will affect Montana producers.

Following lunch on Friday, Matt Roberts, a former agricultural economist at The Ohio State University and founder of Kernmantle Group, a risk management consultancy in Columbus, Ohio, will deliver a keynote speech, “Six Hats of Agriculture and Making Sense Today.” The talk is designed to offer real-world application for farmers and ranchers in terms of how agriculture has changed in the past five years. Roberts will discuss the various roles farmers and ranchers have, from being a soil health specialist to marketer to land and futures speculator and capital allocator. He will then discuss the changes that managers can make to each of these businesses to help ensure that their operations are successful in the 21st century.

Friday evening will conclude with a trade show and social including a roast beef dinner and time for networking with neighbors, sponsors and industry professionals.

Saturday’s events, to be held at Shelby High School, will feature industry speakers and professionals offering 36 workshop options covering crops and livestock production, financial management, record keeping, leasing, succession planning and more. The workshops are designed to provide pertinent information for both beginning and experienced producers.

Livestock topics include beef cattle nutrition, livestock marketing, bull selection, animal health, optimizing hay quality, U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, using biocontrols for weed management, grazing management and record keeping. Crops producers will have opportunities to learn about intercropping and alternatives to wheat and barley, growth solutions, pulse crop marketing, herbicide carryover, crop production basics and more. There will also be numerous financial and accounting topics in addition to one workshop room devoted to succession planning topics.

The day’s workshops will fulfill Farm Service Agency’s production and financial management training requirements for producers. Pesticide applicator points will be available throughout the day.

Online registration is available online here or registration forms are available on the conference website,, or by calling 406-873-2239.  Updates will be available via the Montana’s Next Generation Conference Facebook page.

Early bird registration is $25/day for individuals or $40/day for couples if registrations are submitted by Jan. 11. Late registrations will be accepted until Jan. 18 at $30/day for individuals or $50/day for couples. Daycare will be available for both days at $15/child, which includes snacks and meals.

The conference is hosted by the the local Montana State University Extension office, Glacier and Toole County Farm Service Agency, Marias River Livestock Association, Native American Community Development Corporation and the Front Range Counties Farm Bureau.

For more information, see or contact Lacy Roberts at 406-873-5618 or Kari Lewis at 406-873-2239.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact Roberts or the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 by Jan. 21.

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