REAL Montana announces Class II Leadership Participants



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

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 or by contacting Janelle Booth, (406) 994-6480,

Source:  REAL Montana

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