My name is Nick Courville and I am from Charlo Montana. My wife and I operate Double Cross Livestock, which consists of our stud and broodmare band and our small cow-calf operation. We joined Farm Bureau in 2021 when we purchased our house and acreage. From there I was appointed YF&R District Chair for Northwest Counties and a year later as the State YF&R Chair as well as Northwest Counties Farm Bureau Vice-President.

I was interested in participating in the ACE Leadership Program to network with other like-minded people, as well as to learn and bring back something to our local Farm Bureau group. I hope to lead by example and take action in our community for our Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. I want to grow the number of participants in our group and have engaged members who enjoy coming to events and feel like they made a difference.

Barriers to entry in agriculture are a real problem for young producers. ACE has already helped me influence decision-makers. I was able to meet with Governor Gianforte twice during class to talk about issues that were important to me, one of which was red tape initiatives that helps producers save time and money.

Some of the skills and techniques I have been working on through ACE are delegating and letting go of things to let others execute a shared vision. Through YF&R I feel like we are able to help mold and empower the next leaders in our organization by letting them control and guide our local YF&R group with events and meetings.

Farmers and ranchers are the lifeblood of most rural communities. Without them stepping into leadership roles in our communities we lose our voice. One of the first things we learned was advocating works better when you can work with other organizations instead of against. We need to tell our story well instead of bashing the other guys and what they are doing wrong.