Wool Grower Convention set for Nov. 30-Dec. 2 | TSLN.com

Wool Grower Convention set for Nov. 30-Dec. 2

Jesse Thompson
MWGA Executive Secretary

The 134th Annual MWGA Convention will be held in Billings on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Red Lion Hotel and Convention Center. We've done our best to try and provide a variety of workshops and speakers so that you can get the most out of your convention registration. Registration has opened up online and you can find that on the Wool Grower webpage: http://www.mtsheep.org/134th-annual-mwgaconvention/ Early bird registration ends on November 18th and the prices slightly increases after that. You are also still welcome to register at the door when you get to the convention. New this year is the "First Timer" discount. This is a $25 discount available for first time convention attendees on the "Full Conference Registration" only.

Come for the drinks and appetizers and stay for the conversation on Thursday night! The "Getting to Know Ewe" President's Reception held in the Hotel Lounge is a great way to meet new wool growers and catch up with the old ones. Thank you Center of the Nation Wool for sponsoring that event.

Friday's festivities will kick off with Jon Arneson and the Voices of Montana. Convention registration opens at 8am so that you can come early and catch up with your neighbors. We'll hear from Megan Wortman with the American Lamb Board, Dr. Pat Hatfield with MSU, and we'll do a Q & A with the vet all before lunch. After you enjoy a delicious lamb lunch Brad Cook with Wipfli will cover Ranch Family Business Management and Transition Planning, Jim Larson will talk about MT Ag Safety, and we'll hear industry updates from Wildlife Services, the Livestock Loss Board, and the Board of Livestock. The Speed Shear competition and Calcutta with the live auction fundraiser will be held on Friday evening. The money raised from these events will go to a good cause so don't forget to bring an item to donate to the live auction and bid on a shearing team in the Calcutta. The drinks are sponsored by Western Ranch Supply and the lamb sliders are sponsored by Superior Farms.

Bruce Barker and Larry Prager will be discussing the wool outlook and trends on Saturday morning, followed by workshops on mastitis in Montana, economic ranch tools for sheep producers, and lambing barn basics. Mike Corn, current President of ASI, is coming all the way from New Mexico to join us for lunch. After lunch, we'll hear about grizzly bear delisting and internal parasite resistance before the Annual Membership Meeting kicks off at 3:30pm. We'll be electing a new President of the association this year so don't miss it. We'll finish off the night with the Silent Auction fundraiser, Wool Grower Banquet, and the Make it With Wool Fashion Show. We usually do the NFR Calcutta and viewing after the fashion show, however we are too early this year. Instead, we'll be doing a little friendly competitive fundraiser called "Mutton Busting" complete with a calcutta. Don't worry, we won't make you ride any real sheep. The rules of the game will be explained at the convention but you need to make sure you bring your cash with you. Fundraisers during the convention will support the Wildfire Relief Efforts in Montana, the Wool Lab, the MWGA Legislative Fund, and the ASSDP.

While most will say "farewell" on Sunday morning and head back home the MWGA Board will meet again after the Past President's Breakfast. We're looking forward to the 134th Annual MWGA Convention and we hope to see you there! Visit http://www.mtsheep.org for more information. F

–Montana Wool Growers Association