MILES CITY—Members of Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) had an exemplary time at the organization’s Summer Conference. The event, held June 10-12 in the historic Cowtown of Miles City, offered plenty of food for thought, camaraderie, fundraising and entertainment.

The MFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee held a tour in Forsyth where they visited small, innovative agricultural businesses including Wandering Acres flower farm and Cowboy Meats. During the day, the MFBF Advocate. Communicate. Educate. (ACE) program held a session which featured a range of speakers sharing their success on collaborating with different groups. The Women’s Leadership Committee made plans for the coming months.

Social media influencer and agricultural advocate Brandi Buzzard kicked off the second day of the conference with a high-energy message encouraging the members to tell their story even if it is to a consumer at the meat counter. The attendance swelled to 270 for lunch when MFBF members were joined by the Montana Association of Agricultural Educators who were in town for their conference. Luncheon speaker Clayton Phipps enthralled the group with details of hunting dinosaur bones in northeastern Montana including the “Dueling Dinosaurs” and the resulting challenges. Lieutenant Governor Kristin Juras updated members on different initiatives in the governor’s office and encouraged members to reach out with any questions. The Taxation Committee listens intently about updated property tax information from Montana Department of Revenue Director Brendan Beatty.

Ten advisory committees met Tuesday morning and afternoon including Livestock, Equine, Farm & Trade, Membership and Private/Public Lands. American Farm Bureau Senior Government Affairs Director Shelby Hagenauer shared her insights on federal agency directives in the Public and Private Lands Committee and the Resource Management, Environment and Technology Committee, giving each committee a heads up on governmental regulations that may be coming down the pike.

The Montana Farm Bureau Foundation’s “Let’s Get Western” Fundraiser and Annual Golf Scramble netted more than $35,000 in donations, including vigorous bidding on the 10 MFBF District Baskets which boasted western goods, fishing and hunting trips, and Montana products representing each region of the state. The Foundation offers scholarships to students and funding for members to attend national agricultural conferences. They also offer mini-grants for agricultural education and community events. One of the Foundation's primary missions is to support youth in agriculture, so funds raised are also donated to groups like 4-H and FFA. 

Wednesday tours included an informative visit to the Muggli Brothers Pellet Plant, the Tongue River Winery where the group learned about making wine using Montana-grown fruit anMontana Farm Bureau members at the Muggli Brothers Pellet Plant on the tour at the MFBF Summer Conference. Other members that day participated in the Foundation Golf Scramble at the Miles City Town & Country Club.d the venerable Range Riders Museum. The tour stops highlighted various aspects of agriculture in eastern Montana and the colorful history of Miles City.

“The 2024 Summer Conference and Foundation Fundraiser is one to remember,” said MFBF President Cyndi Johnson. “With amazing speakers and relevant topics like property tax relief, private property rights, Farm Bill progress, water rights and their impact on agriculture and a host of commodity specific issues tossed with a dose of dinosaur hunting, I consider this an event worthy of acclaim. To top that, we had record-breaking fundraising and a fantastic crowd. Miles City was a wonderful place to host a statewide conference.”