Parents and Family News: Published by the Parent and Family Association

  Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership
December 2016

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Class II learns about hard rock mining in Butte and prepares for international travel

Class II recently returned from Butte as part of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership). This was the seventh seminar in their two-year educational program. While in Butte the class took part in an interactive panel and roundtable discussions focusing on the past, present, and future of mining operations in Montana. They were joined by local and state policy leaders on a tour that included the reclamation efforts around the Berkeley Pit and the manufacturing facilities of Headframe Spirits. A full day of industry tours included discussions at the Montana Resources Mine, the NorthWestern Energy Grid Operations Center, Montana Precision Products, and REC Silicon. The seminar concluded with an educational learning session led by a Colombian native to prepare the class for their upcoming trip to Colombia in January. Class members presented their research on Colombian politics, culture, agriculture, natural resources, and infrastructure.

Photo: Class II at the Montana Resources Mine on November 18

Scenes from Seminar 7

Mining Panel (L to R): Mark Thompson, Montana Resources; Tammy Johnson, Montana Mining Assoc.; Dan Banghart, Barrick Golden Sunlight Mine; John Shanahan, Tintina Resources

Class members discussing mining issues with industry leaders during the small group round table session

Class II learning about the mining process at Montana Resources

Courtney McKee of Headframe Spirits provides a tour of their facilities and discusses community involvement

State Senator Jim Keene and class at the Berkeley Pit

Colombia native Estela Londono preparing the class for their upcoming international seminar

Seminar 7 Insights

"The hard rock mining seminar left me feeling inspired. I was so impressed by the industry that Butte has built on the foundation of mining. Seeing first hand the creativity and skill at Headframe Spirits, Montana Resources, Montana Precision products and REC Silicon was amazing. The sense of pride and entrepreneurial spirit was contagious. Butte is such a wonderful example of making the most of what you have. I am excited to take what I learned back to Sidney."
-Karli Johnson: Finance Manager, R&J Ag Supply, Sidney

"Growing up just South of Butte meant that I knew of these businesses but not what they did. Being able to tour Headframe Spirits, Montana Resources, Montana Precision Products, and REC Silicon was an eye opening experience. For a community that has been known for the Berkeley Pit it is encouraging to see such diversity and entrepreneurial spirit."
-Jacob Smith: Part Owner, Smith 6-S Livestock, Glen

Class II Profiles

Darcia Patten: Co-owner, Graham MT Ranch, Broadus

I am passionate about Montana and all of the natural resources this state has to offer. I want my grandchildren to be able to live this same lifestyle, if that is what they choose to do. In order for that to happen we need a collation of informed, educated, and professional leaders. Montana plays an important role in providing the food and fiber for the world. I applied for REAL Montana to become a better advocate for Montana and its future.

The most impactful experience thus far has been the opportunity to build relationships. We are all so passionate about this state, and how important it is to our country. We will continue to grow and advocate for all of Montana for years to come.

Hobbies: Life is a hobby. When you get to work with animals and your family doing what you love, it just doesn't get any better.

Blaine Juedeman: Location Manager and Grain Procurement Merchandiser, CHS Inc., Geraldine

As a fourth generation Montana farmer, the natural resource industries are extremely important to me. I applied for REAL Montana because our industries are changing and faced with new challenges every day. We have the ability to have a hand in that change if we use the correct tools, and this program provides those tools. Our message needs to be shared, and REAL Montana will help us promote and advocate to the best of our ability.

The opportunity to network with people from other natural resource industries has been incredibly enlightening. Having the chance to work with people who are passionate about their industries and learn from some of the struggles and triumphs that they have experienced has been extremely beneficial.

Hobbies: Fishing on the West Fork of the Bitterroot River south of Darby and pheasant hunting with my French Brittany, Chief, on the family farm near Geraldine.

Fall Alumni Tour

REAL Montana alumni, Class II members, board members and guests at the MillerCoors elevator in Huntley, MT

Class II members Jill Herold, Tom Hougen, and Darcia Patten learning about sugar beet harvest near Billings

Meet Class II

Class II of REAL represents a diverse cross-section of natural resource industries across Montana. Twenty participants were competitively selected based on leadership capabilities and willingness to serve in decision-making roles upon completing the program. For a complete list, CLICK HERE.

Our Advisory Board

The REAL Montana Advisory Board consists of 11 industry leaders from across the state who donate countless hours to ensure REAL Montana is a success. CLICK HERE to meet our 2016 Advisory Board.

REAL Montana Sponsors

REAL Montana is made possible through the generous support of a broad group of public and private entities. CLICK HERE for a complete list of program sponsors. For information on becoming a sponsor of REAL Montana, please contact the Program Director.






It’s hard to believe that there are only 3 seminars left for Class II! Along with preparing for our trip to Colombia next month, we are getting ready to open the application process for Class III on March 1, 2017.  Please spread the word about REAL Montana to interested leaders!

- Janelle Booth
Director, REAL Montana

Seminar 8: International trip, January 2-12 in Colombia

Seminar 9: State Government; Water Issues, March 9-11 in Helena

Seminar 10:Timber; Graduation, May 11-13 in Kalispell


REAL Montana
Janelle Booth, Program Director
Tara Becken, Program Coordinator

MSU Extension
Culbertson Hall
PO Box 170535
Bozeman, MT 59717-0535

Tel: (406) 994-6480
Fax: (406) 994-1905