Jacquie Nelson wins Montana Farm Bureau discussin meet
November 19, 2010
BILLINGS, MT – Jacquie Nelson won the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Discussion Meet held during the 2010 Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention at the Crowne Plaza in Billings. The subject for discussion: “Government has always been involved in agriculture. Is the current level of government involvement a net hindrance or a net benefit to agriculture?”
Nelson pointed out that some farm programs can be good but some can be negative, especially those that take traditional agricultural land out of production. “One example is a Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS ) program that pays money for producers to take traditional farm land and turn it into organic farming. Another is the Conservation Reserve Program that takes valuable farm land out of productivity and put it in reserve so it’s no longer used.”
She noted that although the government has some positive attributes in relation to agriculture, such as disaster relief, the government’s expanded regulations are become a net hindrance to farmers and ranchers.
Nelson believes the best way to try to change the government’s view of agriculture is to talk to your elected officials and get involved. “Attend the Young Farmers and Ranchers Calling on the Capitol at both the state and national levels. Read Montana Farm Bureau’s talking points, and definitely stick together as a group, uniting on issues such as brucellosis eradication and concerns about additional National Monument designations.”
Nelson, who grew up in Washington State, moved to Montana to attend Montana State University. After completing her degree in agriculture, she married Tucker Nelson, whose family ranches south of Livingston, MT. Not only do the Nelsons have cattle, but they run a fishing operation and bed and breakfast. She works part-time at the ranch and full-time in Livingston as the Park Conservation District Administrator and Upper Yellowstone and Shields Valley Watershed Coordinator. She is responsible for promoting agricultural and natural resource issues, writes grants and implements on-the-ground natural resource efforts for local farmers and ranchers. She is involved with the state YF&R Committee and is also involved in Park County Farm Bureau.
By winning the MFBF Discussion Meet Nelson received $500 and an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the national Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet during the American Farm Bureau Convention in January in Atlanta. The winner of the national competition, sponsored by Ram Trucks, drives away with a new Ram pickup truck.
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Other competitors in the Discussion Meet included Doug Sass from Kirby, MT; Brandon Braaten from Melstone, MT; and Calli Oiestad from Big Timber, MT.