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REAL Montana announces Class III

Summary:  REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership) has selected 20 participants for Class III.
Contact:  Janelle Booth (406) 994-6480 or
BOZEMAN – Twenty current and emerging leaders from Montana’s natural resource industries have been selected to take part in Class III of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership).  Class III will begin their leadership journey on September 7, 2017 at their first seminar in Bozeman. 
“REAL Montana continues to strengthen its mission of building a network of informed and engaged leaders to advance the natural resource industries in Montana.  The individuals selected for Class III are a diverse group of leaders who will offer a variety of perspectives and experiences. We look forward to the next two years," says Howard Skjervem, chairman of the REAL Montana Advisory Board and Class I graduate.
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 a two-year program featuring eight in-state seminars, a weeklong 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.  REAL Montana is funded through a partnership with MSU Extension and private industry.
Class III participants are:

  • Jack Alexander, Belgrade: Range Management Consultant and President of Synergy Resource Solutions
  • Bradley Cook, Helena: Certified Public Accountant, Partner, and Agriculture Practice Leader at Wipfli, LLP
  • Bonita Cremer, Melville: Owner of Sweet Grass Land & Cattle, LLC
  • Shawn Erickson, Hobson: Retail Account Manager with DuPont Crop Protection
  • Kimberly Gibbs, Miles City: Agriculture Instructor at Miles Community College
  • Lynda Grande, Columbus: Vice President of Grande Ranch Company
  • Karen Helfrich, Butte: Environmental Engineer with Pioneer Technical Services
  • Kevin Kanduch, Philipsburg: Logger at Kanduch Logging, Inc.
  • Ben Lehfeldt, Lavina: Rancher and Partner in Lehfeldt Rambouillets
  • Andy Lundquist, Dillon: Branch Manager for Northwest Farm Credit Services
  • Bridger Mahlum, Helena: Government Relations Director with the Montana Chamber of Commerce
  • Rose Malisani, Cascade: Agriculture Extension Agent with MSU Extension
  • Sarah Norcott, Helena: Corporate Counsel for NorthWestern Energy
  • Lexi Palagi, Great Falls: Marketing Representative for Calumet Montana Refining
  • Christian Rohloff, Great Falls: Regional Precision Agriculture Manager for CHS
  • Lori Shaw, Colstrip: Co-founder and Director of Colstrip United
  • Jillien Streit, Chester: CFO and Owner of Stricks Ag
  • Brian Thompson, Helena: Associate Attorney with Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry and Hoven, PC
  • Jeff Welborn, Dillon: Owner of Stock Drive Trailer Sales and State Legislator
  • Alysha Wilson, Ringling: Office Manager at Tintina Resources

Complete program information is available at or by contacting Janelle Booth, (406) 994-6480,

View Class I archive here
View Class II archive here

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and the Montana State University Extension Service prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jeff Bader, Executive Director of Extension, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.