A few months ago, I was at the local Cenex. It had been a wet, sloppy winter day and the floor had taken quite a beating from people tracking in their dirty boots and shoes. I watched as a young man who obviously had never mopped the floor and felt that he was allergic to the handle of the mop, attempted to clean the floor. I watched for a few moments has he toiled and I thought (sarcastically) to myself, I wonder if that is a picture of unbridled enthusiasm. 

As spring was getting closer and we entered what is commonly referred to as “I’ll buy you lunch today which means let’s go over to the neighbors and attend their bull sale” I watched a young couple going through the bull catalog, walking through the pens and making lots of notes selecting what they hoped would be the new foundation for their beef herd. During the bull sale you couldn’t help but watch as they turned every catalog page as each bull came in. You could tell by the enthusiasm on their faces which bull they had marked in the catalog that ended up being out of their price range; but they eagerly turned to the next page and said, “Okay, well this next bull we marked will be even better.”  Soon they were realizing they had good taste in bulls but so did everyone else. Finally, one bull they had marked that was in their budget came in and they were finally able to buy a bull. The excitement they displayed during the whole process made me think, “Wow, that is what unbridled enthusiasm looks like.”

Recently, Montana Farm Bureau staff and volunteer leaders traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the American Farm Bureau Fusion Conference. They joined 4,370 other Collegiate and Young Farmer & Ranchers, Women’s Leadership Committee and Promotion & Education Committee members in participating in the Discussion Meet, attending seminars to further their education and going on tours to see how agriculture is done differently in other parts of agriculture in the United States. When I see the future so bright before them and their energy and willingness to learn, I think, “Wow, that’s really a picture of unbridled enthusiasm.”

When I attend our Montana Farm Bureau Foundation board meeting and see our senior members and former leaders witnessing the fruits of their lifetime of labor coming to fruition by realizing that Montana Farm Bureau is exactly where they wanted it to be; respected in the political community, respected in the agricultural community and respected by other agriculture organizations and business leaders around the state, I see the satisfaction in their faces and I think, “That’s unbridled enthusiasm.”

As I see the current leaders of the Montana Farm Bureau and our Board of Directors, see our great staff, and great opportunities to move this organization forward as we enter our second century of serving Montana farmers and ranchers, I feel unbridled enthusiasm. As I look at our great leaders from the past, great leaders today and the great leaders to come that we have developed through the Young Farmer & Rancher and Collegiate Farm Bureau programs, I see the future is bright for Montana Farm Bureau. Now is the greatest time ever to belong; your membership does more for you today than ever before. I truly appreciate your membership in this organization and ask you to share the benefits of being a member with your neighbors. Ask them to join at this time when we have just expanded our membership benefits program with Ford Motor Company so members receive $500 Farm Bureau member discount on selected Ford vehicles. 

While I am not sure the young man at Cenex has a bright future in the janitorial business, I’m certain that the young couple with the new bull will go on to build a great herd and have a great future in agriculture, just as the young people who attend the Fusion conference will return to rule Montana and become great leaders. The future for Montana agriculture and Montana Farm Bureau could not be brighter.