My name is Greg Gabel from Huntley. My parents have been members of Farm Bureau for over 40 years, so it was an easy “YES” to joining the organization when I returned to the farm two years ago. I retired from the Army after serving 20 years as an Aviation Officer. I flew the UH-60 Blackhawk and have been in command of various sized organizations including Battalion command.

Personal growth and the chance to be part of a group of people who view the world very similarly to mine are two of the main reasons why I became interested in the ACE program. I have extensive knowledge of leading people and organizations, however, I felt that this course would help me transition those skills to help in volunteer-based organizations.

My goal is to help develop a strategic and operational design plan to help move our county leaders in the direction that best fits the culture and dynamics of the current Farm Bureau members.

The regulation of current and future technologies is an issue I find critically important to agriculture. The cultural bias towards production agriculture has left us producers out of the conversation on how agriculture moves forward in the future. ACE helps prepare advocates to be able to better communicate their expertise and credibility on current issues. These skills will help to regain and establish integrity regarding the issues that are facing agriculture today.

The concepts taught by ACE will help me to be more perceptive of what the organization and members need in Yellowstone County. The most important thing that ACE has taught me is the huge importance of the grassroots movement that permeates through everything Farm Bureau does. Policy, ideas, and decisions must come from the roots, this ensures everyone is bought into the way forward.

I believe it’s important for farmers and ranchers in rural Montana to continually develop their leadership and advocacy skills for two reasons. First and foremost, no one is going to speak up for you the way you can speak up for yourself; secondly, rural Montana consists of small communities that can sometimes feel isolated and when dealing with large national policies, it becomes daunting to think about. Farm Bureau members can lead the way in connecting those communities and help make a large impact not only in small communities but all over the entire state and nation.