I’m Darcia Patten and my husband Ward and I are the owners of Graham Mt Ranch, Inc. where we produce mostly Black Angus cattle, a few horses, and even less hogs. Ward and I have three grown daughters, all of whom are married. We have four fabulous grandkids and more on the way. I’m a REAL MT Class II graduate and in my twentieth year of doing spinal manipulation and massage for horses and dogs. 
This is my eighth year serving as Powder River/ Carter County Farm Bureau president. In addition to the Equine Committee, I serve on the P&E Committee, the PAC Board, and try to help out with the Women’s Leadership Committee when possible. 
I’m the chairwoman of the Equine Committee, and I serve on this committee because I feel it is very important to have advocates working for the betterment of the horse industry. It’s a vital part of agriculture that needs to have representation on both state and federal levels. Being a part of MFBF is one of the very best places to get that representation and have a grassroots voice. 
Currently, the Equine Committee is working on a brochure to make the general population aware of the responsibilities of being a horse owner and also safety issues of traveling with and around other horses and events, both within the state and beyond its borders. We are looking for ways to help control dangerous disease outbreaks and improve the collection of revenue dollars from horses. We are always looking for ways to improve the horse management practices both in state and federally, and improve markets for producers. 
Many Montana ranchers rely heavily on horses to complete their work producing food and fiber for the nation. By the same token many use horses purely for recreation and pleasure. Regardless of the use, horses are livestock that are in need of representation.
It is very important for MFBF members to support legislation for domestic processing plants by talking to their congressional leaders about the need for those plants and control of wild horse populations through the country. This is vitally important to remember when it comes to the delegate body and setting policy for our organization. 
MFBF is absolutely the best agriculture organization and I’m very proud to say I’m a part of it. There’s nothing like grassroots for setting workable policies for our industries.