Class III meets for inaugural seminar in Bozeman
Class III of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership) held their inaugural seminar September 7-9 in Bozeman. This was the first of ten seminars in the two-year educational program.
While in Bozeman, the class completed personality assessments, participated in a high ropes course, and received training on business etiquette, persuasive speaking, and ethical leadership. Educational panels focused on the growing economy of the Gallatin Valley and speakers included representatives of Simms Fishing, Zoot Enterprises, Montana Instruments, Dry Hills Distillery, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and the Gallatin County Commission. Class members toured Gallatin Valley Botanical Farm and visited Montana Ale Works for insight into local food sourcing. A highlight of the seminar was a leadership address by MSU President Waded Cruzado and a networking banquet at the MSU Bobcat Stadium Club, attended by REAL Montana spouses, alumni, industry leaders, and program sponsors.
Photo: Class III at Rocky Creek Farm in Bozeman
Scenes from Seminar 1
Seminar 1 Insights
The inaugural seminar in Bozeman was a great experience for me. It is very humbling to see the time, energy, and effort involved in getting this program started. Getting to meet people like Cary Hegreberg and Taylor Brown and hear them share why this program is so important is inspiring me to become a more vocal and active leader in my community. This seminar introduced me to multiple people that I can look up to and learn from as I try to become a better leader myself."
-Andy Lundquist: Relationship Manager, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Dillon
“My first observation is what an amazing group of classmates with such knowledge and talent! All of the presentations, from learning business etiquette with Liz Moore to getting butterflies listening to President Waded Cruzado, left me feeling empowered and excited. It makes me want to get out there and make a difference in every aspect of my life. What an opportunity to learn the tools to become a leader and make a difference in all natural resources industries."
-Alysha Wilson: Office Manager, Tintina Resources, Ringling
Class III Profiles
Ben Lehfeldt: Partner, Lehfeldt Rambouillets, Lavina
One of the most important issues facing Montana today is coordination of leadership across all natural resource industries. The number of local farms and ranches in Montana have decreased, resulting in a smaller pool of volunteers to help lead in the future. It is important that leaders emerge from our rural communities and I believe the REAL Montana program is an essential component to help serve this purpose.
There is great anticipation from all of the class members for the upcoming educational opportunities and experiences that REAL Montana will offer. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow class members and having the opportunity to meet some the great sponsors and organizers who make all of this possible.
Hobbies: supporting our local school sports events, following the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, and spending time with my wife and three- and four- year-old sons, Luke and Cade
Christian Rohloff: Regional Precision Agriculture Manager, CHS, Great Falls
I moved to Montana to take on the leadership role of Precision Ag Manager. This opportunity has come with its challenges. Being a part of REAL Montana provides me the opportunity to see how other industries are taking on similar issues. I look forward to cultivating my knowledge and leadership skills to become a better advocate and leader for all of Montana’s natural resources.
The most impactful experience has been interacting and networking with fellow Class III participants, REAL Montana alumni, and sponsors. The passion that each individual has for their respective industries is contagious. It is clear that the relationships built with REAL Montana will last a lifetime.
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, spending time with my wife, and exploring the Montana outdoors
Meet Class III
Class III 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 12 industry leaders from across the state who donate countless hours to ensure REAL Montana is a success. CLICK HERE to meet our 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.