The 2017 Montana Grain Growers Association Convention and Trade Show is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28 through Thursday, November 30, at the Best Western Heritage Inn in Great Falls, Montana. With over 800 expected to attend, a dynamic and educational agenda, and a full trade show with more than 70 exhibitors, the MGGA Convention is one of Montana’s largest agricultural gatherings.

The program gets underway Tuesday with a half day workshop titled “Positioning Your Farm Business for Successful Transition,” presented by popular farm business management consultant and Idaho farmer Dick Wittman. This seminar includes a case study work session and will examine best management practices that must be implemented for a family farm business to excel and pass successfully from generation to generation along with the consequences of failing to adopt these practices in everyday operations. It will help participants become familiar with (1) a systems approach to managing a family farm business; and (2) strategies for family farm business managers to implement more professional management systems.

Wittman has provided family farm business transition consulting for four decades. His goal is to convince participants that: (1) their problems are not unique…nor are the solutions, and (2) implementation of a professional management and governance system is doable and must be given equal priority to production, marketing and financial management.

Wednesday and Thursday offer a diverse lineup of speakers including multiple breakout sessions, a panel discussion on alternative crops, and a rapid research presentation where five of this year’s topical projects funded by the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee will be highlighted. Farm policy and world markets will be covered by National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Goule, US Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson, NAWG President Gordon Stoner, and National Barley Growers Association Vice President Buzz Mattelin.

Break out sessions on Wednesday include topics and speakers ranging from micronutrients, wheat quality and the flour milling industry, the Montana Climate Assessment, food processing, crop diseases, ag census and statistics, deferred payment contracts and a Q&A on transitioning to organic.

Thursday features a presentation from Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Norman Borlaug, a wheat breeder known internationally as the father of the Green Revolution. Borlaug has worked to further her grandfather’s legacy and expand upon his mission to feed the world’s hungry. She speaks passionately about engaging the next generation to become “hunger fighters” by embracing technological innovation, creativity, bold ideas and collaboration in order to feed a growing world.

Dr. Mir Seyedbagheri, professor emeritus at the University of Idaho, will discuss humic substances and their effects on soil, yield and quality and Greg Stordahl, Bureau Chief of the Montana State Grain Lab, will offer a hands-on grain grading workshop and answer your questions about grain quality inspection and analysis.

Dr. Hikmet Budak, holder of the MSU Winifred-Asbjornson Plant Science Chair, will speak about bridging the gap between genomics and classical breeding and his efforts to build a world class research program to address Montana’s grain challenges. Budak was recently named an associate editor of Frontiers in Plant Science, one of the world’s top-ranking research publications in plant sciences.

On Thursday afternoon a panel of growers and agribusiness representatives will share their experiences and opportunities on a variety of crops including pulses, barley, canola, soybeans, corn, sunflowers and safflower.

Everyone is invited to join us on Wednesday night for a special dinner event celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee. And most importantly, convention is the time when MGGA members come together to debate existing and proposed resolutions through the important grassroots process that sets our policy platform for the coming year. Make plans to attend committee and resolution meetings to lend your voice to the discussion.

Visit or call the MGGA office at 406-761-4596 for more information and to register online.

Source: MGGA

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