On the Trail

Travels with MFBF’s State Staff and Volunteer Leaders

Montana Farm Bureau wants to keep you “in the know” with the federation’s activities. Tune in regularly to see what your county leaders are up to and how MFBF is promoting agriculture!


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October 31st, 2016: Lead where you’re standing

The 2016 Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention will be November 13-16 at the Double Tree and Northern Hotels in Billings, Montana. The theme “Connecting at the Trailhead” captures the coming together of farmers and ranchers to work toward the common goal of promoting agriculture, dealing with regulations and providing food for a hungry world. Here’s a preview of some convention highlights:

Monday, November 14 — Women’s Leadership Committee-hosted lunch session keynote:

Sherry SaylorSherry Saylor of Buckeye, Arizona, was elected American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chair in 2015 and serves on the AFBF Board of Directors.

For the past 29 years she has served as a school guidance counselor at Buckeye Elementary School.

Sherry and her husband, Rick, a third generation farmer, are partners in R&S Farms, a diversified row crop farm. They grow cotton, wheat, alfalfa and barley. Sherry and Rick have two children and three grandchildren. Sherry will give a motivational keynote describing the four characteristics of being a sustainable leader.

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Ready to join us at the 2016 Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention? REGISTER ONLINE HERE. 

LODGING INFORMATION – Attendees are responsible for making their own room reservations. Call the Northern Hotel at (406) 867-6767 or for overflow, contact the DoubleTree Hotel at (406) 238-4302 and request the MFB room block for special conference rates.


October 21st, 2016: How to feed a more populous, prosperous world

The 2016 Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention will be November 13-16 at the Double Tree and Northern Hotels in Billings, Montana. The theme “Connecting at the Trailhead” captures the coming together of farmers and ranchers to work toward the common goal of promoting agriculture, dealing with regulations and providing food for a hungry world. Here’s a preview of some convention highlights:

Tuesday, November 15 — Young Farmers & Ranchers-hosted lunch session keynote:

Greg PageGreg Page, Cargill’s former chief executive officer, is versed in success. As the head of Cargill, Page used his global experience, leadership skills and positive, realistic outlook to help drive Cargill’s growth, even as the company navigated one of the world’s most difficult economic periods. In his talk to Farm Bureau members, Page will provide insights into the challenges and choices we face as we feed a more populous and hopefully more prosperous world. He will share what he’s learned in his international travels that brings technology and agriculture together for the betterment of all.

Page also serves as a member of the board of directors of Eaton Corporation, Deere & Company and 3M.  He is past-chair of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and immediate past-president of the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and continues to serve on both boards.

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Ready to join us at the 2016 Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention? REGISTER ONLINE HERE. 

LODGING INFORMATION – Attendees are responsible for making their own room reservations. Call the Northern Hotel at (406) 867-6767 or for overflow, contact the DoubleTree Hotel at (406) 238-4302 and request the MFB room block for special conference rates. Be sure to book your room by October 23!


October 18th, 2016: I-177: Bad for Montana agriculture, recreation, hunters & more.

Don’t miss I-177 on the ballot Nov. 8. The measure proposes to ban trapping on public land throughout Montana. Purported by animal rights activists, it has huge ramifications for Montana agriculture when it comes to protecting our livestock and water resources.

i-177-ballot-initiative2The ballot language allows trapping on public lands by either Montana FWP or U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  It alleges that livestock producers would have due recourse in dealing with predators, but as usual, the devil is in the details.

There is a myriad of hoops a rancher must jump through before a government official can set a trap on public land. First, a rancher must provide on-site evidence of predators causing habitual injury to livestock. Next, non-lethal predator control methods like guard dogs, range riders, fencing, carcass removal and herd relocation are required by I-177 before a trapping permit may be issued. These methods take time, cost money and there is no guarantee they will be successful at preventing livestock loss. If a rancher does secure a permit, traps may only be set by an employee of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services or the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Traps are only allowed on public land for no more than 30 days in any calendar year.

There are potential consequences for irrigators as well. I-177 limits the ability to trap and remove beaver from Montana waterways on public lands. Bear in mind that, below the high water mark, stream beds of navigable waterways are considered public land in Montana. Before a beaver may be removed, flow devices must be installed and maintained. All of this takes place at the expense of Montana tax payers.

Trapping is an effective and necessary tool when it comes to controlling predators and preventing livestock loss. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services data from 2015, 959 predators associated with livestock predation were removed via trapping. Defeating I-177 in November is crucial to protecting Montana agriculture—vote ‘NO’.

You can find the complete ballot language here: http://sos.mt.gov/Elections/2016/BallotIssues/assets/I-177.pdf

For more information on I-177 visit http://www.mwpla.com/.


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