Farm Bureau county presidents had the unique opportunity of meeting with Governor Bullock, training for media interviews, having breakfast with their legislators and learning details of the CSKT Water Compact during the Montana Farm Bureau Council of Presidents February 5-6 in Helena. The group of Farm Bureau county presidents traveled from Valley, McCone and Powder River/Carter County Farm Bureaus as well as from Park, Cascade and closer county Farm Bureaus. This gathering provided a way for leaders to meet with government and agency officials as well as learn new skills on everything from running a productive board meeting to testifying at the legislature.
Governor Steve Bullock visited with the presidents and covered subjects from the Sage Grouse Management Plan to education and infrastructure funding. The group urged the governor not to cut funds for FFA and vocational and agricultural education programs. Other visits included meeting with officials at the Department of Natural Resources where water issues were discussed, along with meeting with Kim Falcon at the Department of Agriculture. During both Thursday and Friday programs, legislators stopped by to address their constituents and discuss any concerns.
Park County President Bob Boyd was especially impressed with the “Nail That Interview” workshop presented by Johnna Miller, American Farm Bureau. “We learned what questions to ask the reporter before the interview so you can be prepared,” said Boyd. “You should provide emotional appeals and tell your personal story. Above all, get to the point and stay focused.”
“Our visit with the Department of Natural Resources water experts proved to be very informative, and that was the highlight of my day,” said Boyd. “They had speakers who answered a lot of questions about exempt wells and water adjudication.”
Cascade County President Jim Pribyl echoed Boyd’s sentiment regarding media training. “It was interesting that we should avoid jargon we use daily. Don’t use ‘ag,’ say agriculture, and avoid acronyms,” Pribyl said. “Our visit with officials in the Department of Livestock and Department of Agriculture were informative.”
Everyone praised the evening event at the Prickly Pear Simmental Ranch where they enjoyed dinner in the sale barn, visited with their legislators and Attorney General Tim Fox, and had the opportunity to ask questions to Melissa Hornbein, DNRC and Krista Lee Evans, Blake Creek Management about the CSKT Water Compact.
Montana Farm Bureau President Bob Hanson said, “The Council of President was an excellent training program for our county Farm Bureau leaders. Not only did they receive training about running meetings and media interviews, but they heard detailed discussion from experts on western water compact legislation. Everyone who attended found this event to be very worthwhile.”
Source: Montana Farm Bureau Federation