The deadline is fast approaching to register for Montana’s Next Generation Conference, January 30 and 31, 2015, in Shelby, Montana.  Hosted by the Glacier and Toole County Farm Service Agency, local MSU Extension, Marias River Livestock Association and the Front Range Counties Farm Bureau, this comprehensive conference of succession planning and production workshops is one not to miss.

Events kick off Friday, January 30, at 9 a.m. at the Shelby Civic Center with Kevin Spafford of Legacy by Design, LLC. Spafford will lead participants through beginning succession planning in the morning, and then move to an advanced session in the afternoon to build upon the morning session’s foundation or for those who attended last year.  Sessions will include hands-on activities for all generations as they learn how to make a successful transition of the farming or ranching operation.

Halladay Quist will be the featured entertainment of the Next Generation Conference on Friday evening, January 30. Quist, who grew up in the Flathead Valley and has been singing from an early age, performs Bluegrass Country, electric folk, and country rock music. Photo courtesy of Brenda Ahearn

Friday evening will include a no-host social and trade show, a roast beef dinner and a keynote address from Sandra Hare, “Understanding the Personalities of the Generations.”  The evening will conclude with bluegrass, country, and folk music entertainment by the talented Halladay Quist.

Saturday’s events feature an outstanding lineup of industry speakers and professionals offering a total of 36 workshops throughout the day, with a portion of workshops aimed each towards beginning producers and for those more experienced.

Crop topics will include crop insurance, crop scouting, strategic fertilizer and chemical programs, Precision Ag, 2014 Farm Bill, CSP and EQUIP for farmers, grain marketing, and seed updates.  Livestock related topics will feature presentations on beef cattle nutrition, livestock marketing, animal health topics, genetics and bull selection, forage management, reproductive success in the beef cowherd, CSP and EQUIP for cattlemen, and grazing management.

Financial and management related topics will focus on financial record keeping, tax code updates, life insurance, workers compensation, lease options, farm insurance policies, payroll taxes and employee accounting, and entity structure and tax implications.  One highlight from Galusha, Higgins, and Gulasha will include a mock IRS audit of a farm or ranch operation, which in the process will cover the new tax extender rules, depreciation rules for year-end purchases, new repair expense rules, commodity wage parameters, like kind exchanges and other tax update and tax savings strategies.  

Saturday’s workshops will fulfill FSA’s Production and Financial Management training requirements for producers and four commercial/private pesticide applicator points will be available throughout the day.  One pesticide point will be available at each of the following sessions, ‘Montana Crop Production Basics’ and ‘The 411 on What’s Going On in Your Fields,’ by Joel Farkell of Centrol, LLC Crop Consulting, ‘Updates in the Seed World,’ by Jake Baum, Northern Seed, and ‘4R Nutrient & Chemical Stewardship Program,’ by Jake Knapton, CHS.

Dr. Pat Trindle of Benton Veterinary Clinic was a highlight of the 2014 Next Generation Conference. Dr. Trindle will again be a feature of the 2015 conference, applying his practice experience to cover animal health issues for the livestock producer. Photo by Trina Jo Bradley

Saturday afternoon will conclude with both a livestock and crop panel discussion which allows attendees to learn from the successes and challenges of local producers in their daily operations and succession planning.  The conference will return to the Shelby Civic Center Saturday evening for a beef brisket dinner by Dr. Dick Kinyon, legislative updates, the trade show, and entertainment.

Registration forms are available online HERE or by calling 406-873-2239, and are due January 23.  Watch the Facebook page, Montana’s Next Generation Conference for updates.  Cost is $20/individual/day, or $30/couple/day, and daycare is available Saturday.

Discounted motel rates of $75/night are available at the Best Western Shelby Inn & Suites (406-424-4560) or the Comfort Inn (406-434-2212) at $70/night for a single room or $75/night for a double room if booked in advance of the conference.

Travis Standley, Teton county extension agent, took some extra time after his beef cattle nutrition session to answer questions from Nolan Conway, Cut Bank, MT rancher, at the 2014 Next Generation Conference. Standley’s talk was a favorite last year, and he’ll be returning for two sessions in 2015, with beginning and advanced talks again on beef cattle nutrition and supplementation. Photo by Trina Jo Bradley

Conference Agenda

Friday, January 30th - Shelby Civic Center - 669 Park Ave. Shelby, MT
8:00 - 9:00 am Registration
9:00 - 12:00 pm "Succession Solutions for Farm Families"
Introductory succession planning workshops with Kevin Spafford. Designed for those beginning the process or would like a refresher
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 - 4:30 pm Advanced Succession Planning with Kevin Spafford
4:30 - 5:30 pm No host social and trade show
5:30 - 7:00 pm Roast Beef Dinner
7:00 - 8:30 pm "Understanding the Personalities of the Generations"
Presentation by Sandra Hare
8:30 - 11:00 pm Live Entertainment
Saturday, January 31st - Shelby High School - 1001 Valley Street, Shelby, MT
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Workshops on:

  • Beginning Financial Recordkeeping
  • NRCS – Using CSP & EQUIP for your livestock operation
  • Ag Precision Topics
  • Long Term Health Care Insurance and Life Insurance
  • Creating Reproductive Success in your cow herd
  • Crop Insurance for Beginners
  • Updates in Crop Insurance
  • Updates in the Tax Code
  • Beginning Hay Management
  • Advanced Grain Marketing and outlook for 2015
  • Agriculture Leases
  • Grazing Management strategies
  • Beginning Livestock Marketing
  • Crop Seed Updates
  • Establishing an entity and tax implications
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 - 5:00 pm

Workshops on:

  • Beginning and Advanced Beef Cattle Nutrition with Travis Stanley, Teton Co.
  • Advanced Hay Forage Topics
  • Crop Scouting
  • Workman’s Compensation
  • Advanced Financial Recordkeeping
  • Beginning and Advanced Herd Health with Dr. Trindle
  • Whole Farm Insurance
  • Establishing a Fertilizer and Chemical Program
  • NRCS Programs for Crop Producers
  • Advanced Livestock Marketing
  • Understanding Genetics and EPD’s
  • Basics of Livestock Marketing
  • 2014 Farm Bill and Impact on producers
  • Employee tax accounting

Finish with Livestock and Crop Producer Panel Discussions

5:00 - 10:00 pm Beef Brisket Dinner, Booth Fair and Live Music
(Shelby Civic Center)

If you have any questions, please contact Lacy Roberts at 406-873-5618 or Kari Lewis at 406-873-2239. Don’t miss this great opportunity to plan for the future and learn new information!