MSU Voice of Montana Farmers workshop seeks to garner state agriculture input | TSLN.com

MSU Voice of Montana Farmers workshop seeks to garner state agriculture input

A new Montana State University workshop invites Montana farmers to campus to deepen the connection between Montana's agricultural industry and MSU's cereal grain research.

"The workshop is intended to constitute a link between the farmers of Montana and the academic community of MSU involved in agricultural research, in which farmers across the state share their perspective, history and view on the current status of agriculture in Montana," said Hikmet Budak, MSU Winifred Asbjornson Plant Science Chair and professor of cereal genetics and genomics in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology.

The Voices of Montana Farmers workshop was initiated by Budak's university Cereal Genomics and Targeted Breeding Program. At MSU, Budak leads a cereal grains research program meant to ensure Montana grain growers remain competitive and sustainable through research tailored specifically for Montana's current and future challenges in production agriculture.

The workshop series will be held the second week of every month in Room 108 of the Plant Bioscience Building at 1:30 p.m. Food and refreshments will be provided. Montana farmers are encouraged to attend or serve as speakers.

"The workshop provides the academic community an opportunity to assess the impact of its current research agenda and to identify new areas of research," Budak said. "It's also an opportunity for other Montana producers in agriculture, and MSU faculty, students, and staff, to attend and hear firsthand some of the challenges, successes and desires in the industry."

Buzz Mattelin, a third-generation Montana farmer along the Missouri River in northeast Montana, was the workshop's inaugural speaker in March. Mattelin spoke about his experiences with cereal marketing in the U.S. and internationally and addressed his experience with sustainable agriculture.

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Lochiel Edwards, Big Sandy farmer and advisory member of the Winifred Asbjornson Plant Science Chair, will speak on Friday, April 13. Lyle Benjamin, owner of Skookumchuck Ag in Toole County, will share remarks on Friday, May 11. Montana Grain Growers Association President Michelle Erickson-Jones will speak on Tuesday, June 12. A full schedule of the series can be found at agriculture.montana.edu/mtplantscienceschair.html.

For more information on the workshop, or to serve as a speaker, contact Hikmet Budak at hikmet.budak@montana.edu or 406-994-6717.

–MSU