"Listen, Learn and Lead” is the theme of the 98th Annual Montana Farm Bureau Convention November 12-15 at the Northern and DoubleTree Hotels in Billings. More than 300 farmers and ranchers from across the state will come together to glean new leaderships skills, learn to advocate for agriculture and set policy for the coming year.

Keynote speakers follow the convention theme.  Dr. Garry Lacefield, professor emeritus, University of Kentucky, encourages members to listen during Monday’s keynote as he gives an uplifting presentation on food, farmers, family, friend, faith, freedom and country.  Members will learn from Dr, Gary Brester, professor emeritus in the Department of Ag Economics at Montana State University, as he talks about his research of the effects of European Union’s ban on Genetically Modified Technologies. Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Curt Swenson, vice president of FutureSYNC, International will talk about developing the skills necessary to lead using mentors.

Monday’s workshops are strong on listening, learning and leading, with information for beginning farmers, a new way to recruit members, agriculture and mental health, working with different generations and telling our ag story. Those interested in learning more about water issues will want to check out the presentation on exempt wells and water adjudication.

The challenging Montana Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet takes place for Collegiate Farm Bureau members Sunday afternoon and for Young Farmers and Ranchers Monday afternoon.  The YF&R Discussion Meet contest is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each person. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. The winner of the YF&R Discussion Meet receives a Polaris Ranger and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the American Farm Bureau national competition in Nashville in January.

During the Resolutions Session Tuesday, voting delegates from 30 county Farm Bureaus across the state meet to discuss and vote on what will become MFBF Policy for 2018. 

At the Tuesday evening awards banquet, county Farm Bureaus will be recognized for their hard work during the year. Immediately following the awards ceremony, speaker Jolene Brown will entertain the audience with her humorous talk “It’s a Jungle Out There” geared toward all of the challenges farmers and ranchers face.

“This convention promises to educate as well as entertain,” says Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson. “We will have top-notch speakers who will make us all better leaders. Our convention is a great time for networking, and members will want to visit all of our booths at the trade show.  Of course, the most important part of our convention is where our grassroots shine; setting Farm Bureau policy for the coming year.”

For registration information, click here, or call 406-587-3153.