Registration is now open for Montana’s Next Generation Conference. The conference, which will take place Friday and Saturday, January 27-28, 2017, in Shelby, MT will focus on business planning for the farm or ranch and production workshops.

The conference begins Friday at 11 a.m. at the Shelby Civic Center. Dave Pratt from ‘Ranching for Profit,’ will lead participants through two sessions, ‘The Three Secrets for Increasing Profit,’ and ‘Hard Work and Harmony.’  Dave will give both farmers and ranchers a fresh look at their agricultural operation, to see how to make it profitable enough to pass on to the next generation, particularly in this period of declining commodity prices.  Events Friday evening will include a trade show, a roast beef dinner and time for networking with neighbors, sponsors, and industry professionals.

Saturday’s events at the Shelby High School will feature industry speakers and professionals offering nearly 40 workshop options covering crops and livestock production, financial management, record keeping, leasing, succession planning, and much more.  Saturday's workshops will provide pertinent information for both the beginning and experienced producer.

Crop-related topics will include grain marketing, crop insurance, crop alternatives, crop scouting, USDA crop programs, production and marketing of grains and alternative crops and pulse crop disease management.  Livestock topics will include 50K genetic testing, bull selection, animal health, livestock marketing, supplementation decision making, and beginning nutrition workshops.  Related forage and grazing topics will include basic grazing management, intensive grazing, and hay production tips.   Three sessions of farm safety and ATV safety will be offered throughout the day as well.

Financial and management related topics will include sessions on farm tax law basics, financial recordkeeping, cash vs. accrual accounting, understanding what goes into a loan decision, corporate structuring, legal documents in agriculture and water rights, and minimizing liability risk.

Workshops focused on succession planning will include dying without a will, communication in estate planning, early and late stage investments, developing a succession plan and tax implications to consider in succession planning.  For families committed to beginning succession planning, there will be professionals available at the conference scheduling follow-up appointments for February 11, 2017.

The January 28 workshops will fulfill Farm Service Agency’s production and financial management training requirements for producers. Pesticide applicator points will be available throughout the day.

Throughout the Saturday session there will be a Farm/Ranch ‘New and Improved’ Fair where conference participants can vote for homemade or home modified items that make life on the farm or ranch more efficient.  Top vote getters will earn $100, $75, or $50 for first, second, or third place, respectively.  To submit an item to the contest, visit the conference website for a form and details.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Saturday workshops, a beef brisket dinner will be available at the high school along with the trade show.

Online registration is available at www.ticketriver.com or registration forms are available at http://www.mariasriverlivestock.com/next_generation_conference.html, or by calling 406-873-2239.  Updates will be available via the Montana’s Next Generation Conference Facebook page.

Early bird registration cost is $25 a day for individuals or $40 a day for couples if registrations are submitted by January 13. Late registrations will be accepted until January 20 at $30 a day for individuals or $50 a day for couples. Daycare will be available for both days at $15 per child, which includes snacks and meals. Discounted motel rates of $75 per night are available at the Best Western Shelby Inn & Suites (406) 424-4560 or the Comfort Inn (406) 434-2212 at $70 per night for a single room or $75 per night for a double room, if booked in advance of the conference.

The conference is hosted by the Glacier and Toole County Farm Service Agency, local MSU Extension, Marias River Livestock Association and the Front Range Counties Farm Bureau. For more information see http://www.mariasriverlivestock.com/next_generation_conference.html, or contact Lacy Roberts at (406) 873-5618 or Kari Lewis at (406) 873-2239.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact Lacy Roberts at (406) 873-5618, ext. 2 or Federal Relay Service at 1 (800) 877-8339 by Jan. 20, 2017.