Montana’s Next Generation Conference set for Jan. 30, 31 |

Montana’s Next Generation Conference set for Jan. 30, 31

A conference to help Montanans transition their farms and ranches to the next generation will be Jan. 30 and 31 in Shelby.

Montana’s Next Generation Conference will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at the Shelby Civic Center. Kevin Spafford of Legacy by Design, will lead a beginning session on transition planning in the morning and an advanced session in the afternoon. Sessions will include hands-on activities for all generations.

Events that evening will include a social, trade show, dinner, and keynote address. Sandra Hare, an employee relations specialist at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, will speak on “Understanding the Personalities of the Generations.” The evening will conclude with bluegrass, country and folk music by Halladay Quist.

Events on Saturday, Jan. 31, will be at the Shelby High School. They will include industry speakers and professionals offering 36 workshops on topics related to crops, livestock, finances and management. A portion of the workshops will be geared toward beginning producers and more experienced producers.

Crop-related topics will include crop insurance, crop scouting, strategic fertilizer and chemical programs, Precision Ag, the 2014 Farm Bill, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), grain marketing and seed updates.

Livestock-related topics will include beef cattle nutrition, livestock marketing, animal health topics, genetics and bull selection, forage management, reproductive success in the beef cowherd, grazing management, the CSP and EQIP.

Financial and management-related topics will focus on financial recordkeeping, tax code updates, life insurance, workers compensation, lease options, farm insurance policies, payroll taxes and employee accounting, entity structure and tax implications, and a mock IRS audit of a farm or ranch operation.

Saturday afternoon will conclude with panel discussions on both livestock and crops, which will allow attendees to learn from the successes and challenges of local producers. The conference will return to the Shelby Civic Center in the evening for a beef brisket dinner, address by Conrad veterinarian Dick Kinyon, legislative updates, trade show and entertainment.

The Jan. 31 workshops will fulfill the FSA’s production and financial management training requirements for producers. Four commercial/private pesticide applicator points will be available throughout the day.

Registration forms are available online at or by calling (406) 873-2239 and are due January 23. Updates will be available via the Facebook page for Montana’s Next Generation Conference. Cost is $20 per person per day or $30 per couple per day. Daycare is available on Jan. 31.

Discounted motel rates of $75 per night are available at the Best Western Shelby Inn & Suites (call 406-424-4560 or the Comfort Inn (call 406-434-2212 at $70 per night for a single room or $75 per night for a double room if booked before the conference.

The conference is hosted by the Glacier and Toole County Farm Service Agency, the local Montana State University Extension, Marias River Livestock Association and the Front Range Counties Farm Bureau. For more information, contact Lacy Roberts at (406) 873-5618 or Kari Lewis at (406) 873-2239.

–MSU Extension

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