It can leave a deep hole when your organization loses a phenomenal leader.

Lola Raska’s knowledge and experience has been invaluable to the Montana Grain Growers Association, so wheat farmers were not thrilled when Lola Raska announced her retirement this month, after 14 years as MGGA Executive Vice President.

On the statewide “Voices of Montana” talk show on December 30, Lola Raska and Taylor Brown reminisced about her amazing career, and the many grain industry leaders with whom she worked.  It’s a heartwarming story that begins when her Grandfather homesteaded near Plentywood in 1906, and becomes a tutorial on how the Montana Grain industry has advanced to where it is today.

This show includes the announcement that MGGA’s outgoing state President Vince Mattson made in his retiring address, of a new permanent scholarship through the Montana Grains Foundation, to be named the “Lola Raska Excellence in Agriculture” scholarship!

Alison Vergeront has been hired as MGGA’s new Executive.  Vergeront grew up on her family’s farm that was homesteaded near Polson in 1910, and for the past six years has worked on ag issues for U.S. Senator Steve Daines.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Lola Raska and Taylor Brown Reminisce on Her MGGA Retirement on “Voices of Montana” Talk Show

  1. I certainly want to wish Lola the best in whatever she decides to tackle next. She will be missed but never forgotten. I was on the board when Lola was a board member and also when we chose her to take over the reigns when her predecessor, Richard Owen, decided to move to a new job. It was a great decision by the board. I termed off the board, however our paths continued to cross. My path led me into pulse crops which ultimately put us both on the trip to South America with Senator Baucus as she mentioned. Lola is one of those quiet but very influential leaders. Montana growers were lucky to have her especially during the Farm Bill years. We have been friends for many years and once again, best wishes and enjoy those grandchildren. You have more than earned a little break before taking on whatever your next challenge might be.

  2. I first met Lola when I was a MGGA Board member and past officer. Lola took Chuck Merja’s seat on the board. It did not take us (MGGA) long to figure out Lola’s expertise and willingness to fill in anywhere needed. For us guys with big fingers and slow brains, Lola was a bright light, especially taking over the web site and communication duties. As time went on, the Executive Vice President position opened up. When Lola submitted her application, it did not take long to make the decision. For the next decade and half, Lola’s quiet and direct approach was revered. When the officer team would go to DC and Helena, Lola would help and mentor the team on the "approach" to the law and policy makers. Be polite, direct, state your issue in understandable terms and give them a workable solution. Working with so many Representative and Senators in that fashion gained MGGA credibility and an open door the next time in town. Lola will be greatly missed. The title to the Lola Raska scholarship is summed up in one word that best describes Lola’s approach to everything and Lola’s tenure at MGGA: Excellence. Good luck Lola! We’ll miss you.

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