I’m Doreen McClure of Roy, Montana. I am a fourth generation farmer and rancher in the Missouri River Breaks, proudly preserving the homestead that my great-grandparents, Frank and Stella Cimrhakl, Sr. settled in 1913. I was born and raised in Roy and graduated from Roy High School. I furthered my education in legal secretary program at the Billings Vocational Technical Center. I have been married to Rod McClure for 31 years and with that union we started our Farm Bureau membership. Upon our return to Central Montana in 1991, we then became a part of the Fergus County Farm Bureau. Since 1998, We’ve run a cow/calf operation, along with raising wheat and hay. We are blessed with three amazing daughters and one son, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.
Upon first reading about the A.C.E. program, I was immediately interested, but concerned about my time away from the farm and family. The concept really appealed to me from the beginning. Personally, I have wanted to learn more background information about current issues from a trusted source and how I can advocate effectively to save our lifestyle and rural communities. Learning better ways to communicate and advocate are crucial, not only for our industry, but also business and personal relationships. I believe we cannot grow, if we do not continue to listen, learn, evaluate ourselves, and commit to participate. Farm Bureau staff members have always shared great information, in such a way that it inspires me and helps me to see the whole picture. As the “calls” for members to apply appeared last fall, I could not get it off my mind, and decided to take the journey.
With a renewed hope and energy, and the help of all my new A.C.E. friends, I hope to share what I have learned at home and in my community by fostering groups and events that will unite us all. At a county level, I would like to encourage young members to become active, assume roles in the organization and understand their value and voice. I seek to provide educational opportunities, events and include creative ways to help others balance participation with their busy lives.
The influence that radical groups have over our federal and state policy, education systems and false media claims are extremely concerning to me. I feel a personal attack on agriculture and rural America by the American Prairie Reserve and their agenda in my back yard. Their claim that there is essentially no one living in their target area and/or taking care of this land is disheartening. Their use of false information, photos, out-of-state and foreign funds, lack of transparency, along with failing to contribute to the local society is extremely disturbing. I ponder the excessive nature of their ultimate plan; I feel it is a complete takeover and it causes me to believe there is so much more to their agenda. They will remove taxes and industry crucial to many communities, cater to an elite group, and their belief that this is going to be a tourism savior for Central Montana is giving a false hope to a rare few that believe them. The damage to this beautiful region will be devastating. This seems to be a common story among industries like ours.
I am concerned about rural access to technology, student debt, rural healthcare and emergency services, excessive regulations, industry market influence, and potential corruption, as they can negatively affect the people living in our area. My concern is also for neighbors that have personal or family issues that are destroying their lives or families and the ability to carry on their own heritage, especially with the additional pressures in our industry.
We have growth in rural Montana, at this time many young families are returning to their rural roots to raise their family in the perfect place to create honest and productive citizens of society gives me renewed hope. I want to find ways to help everyone sustain for generations through my new A.C.E. skills. Speaking with confidence, I can advocate more effectively and accurately.
I hope to implement the new techniques learned through A.C.E., by engaging in the process of positive and honest conversation from personal experiences. It’s my hope to balance all that needs done, be inspired by new ideas, along with doing my part to be active with any and all groups that I can, to encourage hope in our young farmers and ranchers, including my children and grandchildren.
With the development of new skills, farmers and ranchers can respectfully listen, and be more prepared to answer the tough questions and share our passion from a grassroots perspective. I feel through Farm Bureau we can help answer the calls and questions with factual and up-to-date data. I believe it is up to us to represent our industry and tell our story. I am prepared to participate in a united voice for agriculture, because we are here to stay.