Montana’s Next Generation conference set for Jan. 26-27 in Shelby | TSLN.com

Montana’s Next Generation conference set for Jan. 26-27 in Shelby

BOZEMAN — Registration is now open for Montana's Next Generation Conference, which will take place Jan. 26-27 in Shelby. The conference will feature sessions on business planning for the farm or ranch and production workshops.

The conference begins at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the Shelby Civic Center, located at 669 Park Ave. The day's events will begin with family farm coach Elaine Froese, a family farmer from Manitoba, Canada. Froese will discuss "Your Farm, Your Family, Your Choice," a talk designed for farmers and ranchers of all generations. Froese will speak about how to keep communication lines open in day-to-day family-business operations, manage a successful multigenerational operation and share what has worked on individual family farms.

"Like many producers, I have multiple roles in my southwestern Manitoba seed farm," Froese said. "I am a farm family coach, owner of a farm business, spouse to the farm manager, mother to the successor and a mother-in-law, and I need to maintain harmony and a connection to my team in all those roles."

Froese will offer a free copy of her latest book, "Building Your Farm Legacy," for all early bird registrations. The book covers relationships, communication, teams and operations, planning, succession and healthy habits.

Friday evening will include a trade show, keynote speaker, a roast beef dinner and time for networking with neighbors, sponsors and industry professionals.

Amanda Radke, the evening's speaker, is a fifth-generation family rancher, blogger and contributor to Beef magazine. As the incoming generation to her family ranch, Radke is asking a lot of the same questions producers in the middle of succession planning are asking.

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"When will my dad retire?" Radke said. "What kind of transition plan does he have in place? What will the terms for payment be for my husband and me when it's time to purchase? Will the agreement be fair and consider my two off-farm siblings? How can my generation prepare for this transition and not place the entire burden on the previous generation?" Radke will share what has been done in her own operation, as well as observations from other ranches.

Saturday's events will take place at the Shelby High School, located at 1001 Valley St. Workshops 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 will provide pertinent information for both the beginning and experienced producer.

There will be several new speakers this year, including Scott Shearer, an international trade expert; Breeann Johnson, water rights, Indian law and agriculture attorney; Rachel Endecott, MSU Extension beef cattle specialist; Gary Sides, beef and feedlot nutritionist with Zoetis; and Dr. Jeanne Rankin, MSU Extension associate specialist.

The speakers will offer information on multiple topics, including soil amendments and micronutrients, dealing with drought, planning for profit, artificial insemination protocols, tightening the calving window and expected progeny differences, or EPDs, among others.

Saturday's workshops will fulfill the Farm Service Agency's production and financial management training requirements for producers. Pesticide applicator points will also be available.

Registration may be completed online at http://www.ticketriver.com or by downloading forms at http://www.mariasriverlivestock.com/next_generation_conference.html. Paper forms are also available by calling 406-873-2239. Updates will be available via the Montana's Next Generation Conference Facebook page.

Early bird registration cost is $25 a day for individuals or $40 a day for couples if registrations are submitted by Jan. 12. Late registrations will be accepted until Jan. 19 at a cost of $30 a day for individuals or $50 a day for couples.

Daycare will be available for both days at $15 per child, which will include snacks and meals.

–MSU News