BOZEMAN - Montana State University Extension announced Class II of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership), a two-year program focused on building a network of informed and engaged leaders to advance the natural resource industries in Montana.

The class of 20 participants was competitively selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates, all of who represent a variety of agriculture and natural resource industries. REAL Montana is funded through a partnership with MSU Extension and private industry.
REAL Montana is a two-year program featuring eight in-state seminars, a four-day national study tour in Washington D.C. and a ten-day international trip. Seminar topics include: agriculture institutions and agencies, natural resource development, public speaking/media, economics, state and federal policy, international trade, urban/rural relationships, water issues, transportation, labor and production costs and entrepreneurship.
The first seminar takes place September 17-19 in Bozeman.
Class II participants are: 
Paul Babb, Butte: Community Relations Manager with NorthWestern Energy
 
Katie Cooper, Willow Creek: Director and ranch hand at Cooper Hereford Ranch; Co-owner of McDonagh Construction
 
Lacey Ehlke, Townsend: Co-owner of Ehlke Herefords; Young Stockgrowers Vice-Chair; Secretary/Treasurer of the Montana Hereford Association
 
Chaley Harney, Billings: Executive Director of the Montana Beef Council
 
Megan Hedges, Chester: Vice President of Heydon Farms Inc.
 
Jill Herold, Shepherd: Agronomist and Sustainable Solutions Specialist for Syngenta; Vice President and Treasurer for Yellowstone Cattlewomen
 
Tom Hougen, Melstone: Owner of Hougen Ranch; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Region V Policy Vice President
 
Karli Johnson, Sidney: Finance Manager at R&J Ag Supply; Sidney Chamber Board of Directors
 
Bryan Lorengo, Anaconda: Safety Consultant for the MT Logging Association; Anaconda School Board Chairman
 
Brian Marler, Great Falls: Marketing and western region asphalt sales for Calumet-Montana Refining
 
Farrah McGregor, Cascade: Branch manager for Northwest Farm Credit Services
 
Nick Miller, Helena: Construction Manager and Vice President of Helena Sand & Gravel
 
Tracy Mosley, Wilsall: MSU Park County Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Agent; Vice Chair of the Park County Cooperative Weed Management Area
 

The Nutter family of Certain Creek Farms: front row - James Nutter, Peggy Nutter Kimmet, Carol Keats; back row - Edna Streit, John Nutter and Maggie Nutter (Photo by Kim Owens)

Maggie Nutter, Sweetgrass: Co-owner of Certain Creek Ranch; President of Marias River Livestock Association

 
Darcia Patten, Broadus: Co-owner of Graham MT Ranch, Inc.; President of the Powder River/ Carter County Farm Bureau; Montana Farm Bureau Equine State Chair 
 
Nicole Rolf, Miles City: National Affairs Director for Montana Farm Bureau Federation; President of the Montana 4-H Foundation
 
Molly Schwend, Laurel: Manager of Community Relations and Public Affairs at Cloud Peak Energy
 
Jacob Smith, Glen: Part owner of Smith 6-S Livestock
 
Marc Vogel, Ballantine: Owner of North 40 Ag and partner in Vogel Land & Cattle Co; President of the Huntley Project Lions Club
 
LaVon Wagler, Wolf Point: CHS Inc. Location Manager
 
Complete program information is available at www.realmontana.org or by contacting Janelle Booth, (406) 994-6480, janelle.booth@montana.edu.