The Montana Farm Bureau is hosting a variety of educational workshops with interesting speakers during their annual convention November 8-11, 2015, in Missoula. Speakers include Governor Steve Bullock, along with Joe Ritzman, vice president, SSA Marine, and Trent Loos, agricultural radio personality.
Governor Bullock will provide the morning address, while Ritzman and Loos are scheduled as lunch speakers Monday and Tuesday. Ritzman will talk about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal which will enable large shipments of grain to the Pacific Rim. Loos will examine how to combat junk science versus real science, and how to use a passion for agriculture to set the record straight.
The first set of workshops slated for Monday morning is beekeeping, agricultural issues in D.C., cover crops and GMOs. Afternoon workshops include putting on a Farm Fair, bio security focusing on Ebola, and embryo transfer in cattle.
· Three apiasts will discuss how to start a colony, how to keep a colony buzzing, how to care for bees and how to gather and market honey. They will cover how farmers and ranchers can benefit from owning hives, and the satisfaction that comes with having bees.
· Country of Origin Labeling has been a hot topic, and Dale Moore, director of public policy, American Farm Bureau Federation, will discuss the good, bad and ugly about COOL. He will cover how the Trans Pacific Partnership will affect farmers and ranchers.
· Dr. Clain Jones, MSU, will talk about new ideas as well as successes in cover cropping. He is currently studying nitrate leaching, the effects of cover crop cocktails on soil quality, and the effects of long-term cropping systems on nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency.
· Jay and Colleen Meyer of Ravalli County wrote the book on how to put on a farm fair. This couple has successfully spearheaded successful farm fairs and will share their vast knowledge of this great way to educate kids about farming and ranching.
· In a unique twist on bio-security, Dr. Joseph Prescott, a research scientist at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institutes on Allergy and Immunology will share his research on how his lab work on the recent outbreak of Ebola. The high containment laboratory in Hamilton developed antiviral therapies as well as vaccines against Ebola virus, including a vaccine candidate that was administered and showed effectiveness during the current outbreak.
· Embryo transfer in cattle has been an ongoing practice, and Dr. Thomas Gregory, USDA-ARS Fort Keogh, will share the latest in research.
“With these great speakers and fascinating workshops, our convention promises to educate on a variety of subjects,” notes MFBF President Bob Hanson. “We look forward to seeing our members from across the state converge on Missoula to explore ideas in agriculture and participate in our policy development process.”