Lad Barney – Lad started his working career as an Operations Manager and Lead Sales Consultant for two technology solution providers in Kalipsell and Vancouver. He then moved to Small Business Development Center for the Kalispell Chamber for five years. In 2008, he went to work for Rural Development and is currently the MT Business and Cooperative Programs Director for RD. He and his wife have three children and they enjoy softball, football, recitals and Glacier National Park.
Jennie Becker – Seth and Jennie Becker have a story like few others out there that you won’t want to miss. From Seth being injured in what many would say would be a career ending accident to starting a ranch in Montana and eventually marketing beef through a direct marketing company. The lessons learned will make you laugh, make you cry and most of all want to cheer for overcoming obstacles and making a dream become a reality all on a ranch at Valier, MT! Check them out online at https://sticklegranch.com/
Travis Clark – Travis Clark – Travis brings over 18 years of experience in the insurance industry and is currently the Vice-President of Operations for Leavitt Great West Insurance Services based out of Shelby, MT. Travis was awarded “Agent of the Year” by the Montana Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) in 2014. In 2008, he was recognized as one of the top ten new insurance professionals in Leavitt Group. He earned the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 2009 and the Certified Professional Insurance Agents (CPIA) designation in 2013. In his off-work hours, he and his wife work to keep up with their kids activities in 4-H and sports.
Bill Evans – Bill Evans grew up on a ranch that is located in the Geyser/Stanford/Belt areas of Judith Basin and Cascade County Montana. He graduated from Montana State University Bozeman with a degree in Agricultural Business, and has worked for Farm Service Agency since 1987. Bill’s career with FSA began in Broadwater and Meagher counties, and he has been the County Executive Director for FSA in Chouteau County (Fort Benton) since 1996.
Marsha Goetting – Marsha has presented over 800 workshops reaching over 25,000 Montanans with financial and estate planning information. She has also authored over 75 MontGuides and bulletins and has received national, regional, and state awards for her financial management and estate planning programs. Dr. Goetting received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Family Economics and Adult Education from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. from Iowa State University.
Chaley Harney has served as the Montana Beef Council Executive Director since 2012, with the office located in Billings. She is a native of Red Lodge, Montana, and is a graduate of Montana State University, Bozeman. Chaley also studied at Colorado State University and Oklahoma State University, obtaining a well-rounded land grant university education focusing on agriculture business, extension, education, marketing and communication. Chaley is also a proud graduate of Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership Montana program.
Previously, Chaley worked in Nevada and California and her role with the Montana Beef Council has brought her and her husband, Deeth, back to Montana. Chaley administers beef checkoff dollars through the MBC mission that focuses on protecting and increasing demand for beef through promotion, research and education on the state, national and international level. Chaley has served on various national, state and local boards through her current position and is involved in community organizations as well. Chaley also owns and operates a cake decorating and instructing business called Sugar by Chaley. Chaley and Deeth have one son, Ira.
Cory Hawks – Cory is the next generation of the Hawks family who has their routes in Northern Montana since his family homesteaded the area in 1910. Cory came back to the family operation after college in 2009 when he bought the neighboring ranch. With wife Belinda at side, they have added to their operation over the years and now manage 17,000 acres of range and farmland spread over 20 miles. They have really focused on improving soil health through utilizing NRCS programs and will bring a unique perspective to the term “Regenerative Ag” as they have merged their farming and cattle operation.
Megan Hedges – Northern Plains Insurance (Agent/Owner) Megan is a Hi-Line farm girl with deep roots in agriculture. Growing up, she spent her summers working on her family farm North of Chester helping raise high quality small grains and pulse crops. After graduating from Oregon State, she came home and began working alongside her family on their farming operation and became actively engaged in several ag organizations. After 13 years of managing business financials, record keeping and operating farm equipment, Megan traded her Carhartt’s for an office job and began a career in the insurance industry.
In 2020 Megan took over the former Seubert Insurance Agency in Chester and began Northern Plains Insurance. Megan is passionate about the sustainability of family farms & ranches. Her passion and experience allow her to maintain a commitment to finding the most applicable coverage to meet the needs and budget of the clients she serves.
When Megan isn’t in her office, she and her husband Chad can be found chasing their kids around with sports or at the lake camping with their 3 kids: Eliza (9), Brody (8), Stella (3).
Holly Hovland – Holly wears a lot of different hats in her life including wife, mother of three, Mayor of Sunburst, MT, Community Leader and Commercial Insurance Advisor for Leavitt Great West Insurance in Shelby. She has been involved in the insurance industry for the past eight years and currently focuses on cyber liability insurance, executive and professional liability, Farm Insurance, Loss Control, Risk Management and Warehouse/Logistics/Transportation. In her spare time, Holly enjoys following her children’s activities and catching a good game of golf.
Ashley Kent – Ashley joined the Local Government Center (LGC) in July 2014 and currently serves as the Associate Director. She oversees the LGC’s education programs for local government officials, provides governance and leadership workshops across the state, and is developing new educational tools to enhance the LGC training offerings. Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Montana State University in 2012 and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Montana in 2017. She has also worked in human resources, institutional equity, and served as the governance manager for a nonprofit healthcare system.
Jason Laird – Jason has spent most of his professional career working in radio and television. While in the media business, Jason acquired a certificate in broadcast and operational meteorology while also working as an agricultural reporter. Currently Jason works as the communications and marketing director for the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.
Don Lee – Don R. Lee is an AV rated attorney and former shareholder (now of Counsel) of Lee Law Office PC. He has practiced in Shelby since 1973 as a general practitioner but with a special emphasis in the area of oil and gas law, including title examinations and regulatory matters. He is experienced in representing clients in administrative matters before regulatory agencies, including hearings before the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation. Don received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law in 1973. In his free time Don enjoys pheasant hunting, exploring the world from the seat of his truck and spending time with his wife and three boys.
Brian Lee – born and raised in Shelby, Montana, Brian is a Shareholder in Lee Law Office PC. Upon graduating from Shelby High School in 1995, Brian enlisted in the U.S. Army where he spent his entire enlistment serving in the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Montana State University in Bozeman in 2002 and a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Montana School Of Law in 2005. Following graduation from law school, Brian returned to Shelby and began practicing with his father, Don.
Kari Lewis – Kari is an MSU Animal Science graduate, where she was actively involved in numerous organizations including the livestock judging team. She completed the Nebraska Feedyard Management internship, and received her Master’s Degree in Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May, 2013. Kari and her husband, Kaleb, recently purchased a ranch near Kevin and this keeps them busy along with Kaci, 2, and Lane, 3 months.
Lacy Roberts – If you have ever been confused about how to put together your financials to renew your operating loan and felt confused, you are not alone. Lacy Roberts, Glacier County FSA Farm Loan Manager, will help producers understand how to build a Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Projection and assemble the actuals that FSA requires as a FSA loan borrower. This class will satisfy FSA’s requirement for financial management training. Lacy grew up on a Registered Black Angus operation, attended Montana State University where she obtained an Ag Business and Economics degree and continues to run her own cow herd with her husband, Chris. They have three children that keep them quite busy as well.
Joel Schumacher – Joel is part of the talented team at MSU-Extension Economics department where he has focused his research on understanding the economics and public policy implications of alternative energy projects along with consumer economics topics including retirement planning and investing.
Steve Sheffels – Born in Bozeman and raised in Great Falls and Glasgow, Steve has been farming on his family’s farm NE of Great Falls since 2007. He has an electrical engineering degree from MSU and an MBA from the University of Washington. Steve is currently secretary of the MGGA and has proudly served on the board since 2016.
Britney Tempel – Britney Tempel recently opened her own accounting firm, Montana Roots Accounting, after working for Wipfli along the Hi-Line for the last decade where her roots are. Britney grew up on her family farm near Turner, which along with her own farming experience, has provided her with a great ability to relate to her clients. When she isn’t busy chasing her two children for activities, Britney enjoys getting outdoors with her family. Britney has been a long time presenter at the MT Next Gen Conference and is always willing to sit down and answer questions that agriculture tax brings up.
Martin Townsend – Martin Townsend works with the group Ranchers Stewardship Alliance in coordination with Pheasants Forever and other wildlife groups to over see RSA’s Conservation Committee. This committee of ranchers, agencies, non-profits and sportsmen focuses on local solutions to joint problems of production and habitat through a rancher-led, locally controlled model across Blaine, Phillips and Valley Counties.
David Weaver – David is currently a professor at MSU-Bozeman where he teaches classes on integrated pest management and physiology. David has written and co-written numerous papers on his research efforts over the years. His research has ranged from toadflax biocontrols to Russian Olive control. He is a top expert in his field and will help producers learn about how to protect their stored grain from insects.
Bob Welker– Bob Welker is on the 2023 MT Next Generation Conference agenda! Bob is the third generation on the Welker Farm homesteaded in 1912 and is currently working with the fourth (his sons Nick and Scott) as they change the face of farming in Toole County. Bob will share how he and his wife, Karen, have expanded their operation in unique ways to be able to bring their sons back to the family operation to not just operate but to thrive as they celebrate over 110 years farming on the Hi-Line of Northern Montana. Many will recognize Bob from the family’s popular YouTube channel “Welker Farms” and recognize the farm from the Welker Farms Farming Simulator. Bob has a unique sense of humor that will make this a workshop you don’t want to miss.
Lance Wilson – Lance is a market coach with Agri-Trend where he focuses on working one-on-one with producers. Lance was raised in north central Montana, graduated from Conrad High School, and received an Agricultural Operations Technology degree from Montana State University-Northern. Before becoming involved with Agri-Trend he was an important part of BW Futures Inc.
Jane Wolery – Jane Wolery is a farm girl raised on the family farm 30 miles north of Joplin, MT. She worked for five years as a 7-12 family consumer science teacher and K-12 school counselor in Hinsdale, MT before moving to Extension in Wyoming. Since 1998, she has been serving the citizens of Teton County as a MSU Extension Educator and just recently changed positions to the Director of the Montana 4-H Foundation. Jane’s home team includes her husband, Darren Beadle, and their two daughters, Darynne Delaynie and Bellamy.
Laurie Yung is a Professor of Natural Resource Social Science in the Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. Laurie works with scientists, rural communities, farmers and ranchers, and public land management agencies to improve the utility of scientific information, sustain rural livelihoods, and support decision-making under uncertainty, in particular in the context of drought, extreme weather, and wildfire.