I am Bill McLean from Brady Montana, which is part of Front Range Farm Bureau.  We farm and grow winter and spring wheat , barley, pulse crops, flax, and fatten and direct market a few hogs each summer.  I’ve been a Farm Bureau member only a few months.  We decided to join after we attended the Front Range Counties annual meeting in the fall of 2018.   

One of the places I was exposed to Farm Bureau is Montana’s Next Generation Conference in Shelby which Farm Bureau helps sponsor.  I was impressed that Farm Bureau worked on an issue (business succession and education) that is so vitally important to the future of our industry and local communities.   

ACE is one reason we joined Farm Bureau.  I liked the member development/education aspect of ACE and I felt that reflected favorably on the Farm Bureau as a whole.  I believe it bodes well for future of an organization if they are willing to invest time and resources training members. I am honored to be a member of the ACE team. 

I hope to refine and strengthen my leadership abilities for the possibility of filling a leadership position in Farm Bureau, church or community organizations, or helping in political campaigns. I have no specific personal goals, but look forward to serving if the opportunity arises. 

I think private property rights are constantly under attack and I hope my ACE training will help me respond appropriately and effectively.  Opportunities to make a difference present themselves periodically and I expect education and networking will help give me the confidence to speak up and be a constructive advocate for our industry. 

Conflict resolution skills taught in ACE will be one of the tools that will be useful in organizations and gatherings.  People invariably have different opinions about issues and helping them to peacefully coexist is sometimes necessary. 

Advocacy opportunities present themselves frequently in human interaction in rural as well as urban areas. We tend to expect that we all share common values and experiences in rural areas, but just because we know our neighbors on a first name basis doesn’t mean we have the same experiences.  My experiences are different than neighbors with different machinery, different livestock, or different crops.   It will be beneficial to be equipped to deal with issues as they arise.