MGGA Welcomes Birkeland as Director of Policy

by Andy Schwab

Great Falls, MT – Montana Grain Growers Association is thrilled to announce the hiring of Kera Birkeland as the Director of Policy.

The Montana Grain Growers Association is a commodity specific organization that represents the interests of the Montana wheat and barley growers. We are passionate about improving the lives of Montana producers through collaboration, innovation, and influencing agricultural policy.  Montana Grain Growers Association, Executive Vice President, Alison Vergeront, celebrates the hiring of Kera Birkeland to serve as the Director of Policy. “Our number one priority is to advocate for farmers and we look forward to deepening our grassroots efforts in order to influence ag policy. Vergeront said. Kera will solely focus on policy and regulatory issues that our members are experiencing.”

Montana Grain Growers Association, President, Boyd Heilig added, “This is an exciting step for our association as we’ve been working towards hiring this position for quite some time. With Kera’s background and experience in the Utah Legislature, we look forward to expanding our ag policy efforts on both a national and state level.”

Kera Birkeland was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. She grew up in an agricultural family and it has always been a passion of hers. She’s been married to her husband, Lars Birkeland, for 22 years. They have six children, three dogs and several horses. Over her career Kera has started several small businesses and worked in a Utah based law firm. More recently Kera serves in the Utah Legislature.

The Montana Grain Growers Association was organized in 1956 when the Montana Crop Improvement Association and the associations from Northeastern Montana and South Central Montana merged into one organization. Norris Hanford, Montana Grain Growers Association’s first president, would later describe the early functioning of the organization as: “we had no money, no postage, no secretary….but we struggled along.” It was a succinct description of how the association operated in its first few years. The passion of those early leaders to succeed and their never-give-up attitude eventually led to a strong representative organization that still serves the grain industry of Montana.

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