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

  Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership
July 2018

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Class III learns about oil and gas development in the Bakken region

Class III traveled to Sidney, Montana and the Bakken region June 21-23 as part of their “Oil and Gas Development” seminar. The group learned about the basics of oil and gas extraction, pipelines, community issues, working with wildlife, and how the Bakken oil boom and slowdown has impacted other sectors of the economy. Participants toured active Oasis Petroleum drilling and frac sites near Watford City, North Dakota, and the ONEOK Lonesome Creek Gas Plant. The class also participated in a skill building training on how to run effective political campaigns, and attended a networking banquet where they interacted with local program sponsors and industry leaders.

Photo: Class III at an Oasis Petroleum frac site on June 22

Scenes from Seminar 5

Pete Hanebutt of the ND Farm Bureau provides a skill building session on political campaigns.

Class members touring an active drilling rig.

Bonita Cremer learns about hydraulic fracturing fluid.

Don Johnson with WBI Energy Transmission discusses pipelines.

Class III outside the ONEOK Lonesome Creek Gas Plant near Alexander, ND.

Commissioner Duane Mitchell, Sherriff John Dynneson, and Sidney Public School District Clerk Nicki Beyer share the impacts of oil and gas on Richland County.

Seminar 5 Insights

"This seminar was a great opportunity to the learn about the past, present, and always changing future of the oil and natural gas industry. Individuals from the Sidney school system, law enforcement, and Richland county commission discussed the positive and negative impacts of oil "booms" and "busts” on their community, county, and the state of Montana.  I enjoyed the opportunity to tour active drilling and fracking sites, and I was amazed at the continued advancement of more efficient and economical ways for improving oil production."
-Ben Lehfeldt: Partner, Lehfeldt Rambouillets, Lavina

“The entire Sidney session was a great experience. Being from southwest Montana, I haven't had exposure to energy development at the production level. As a state policy maker, learning about the challenges of a boom and bust economy from the different local leaders' perspectives is knowledge that you just can't put a price on. To see the pride the workers in the energy sector take in their industry, and respect they have for their employers was worth the time spent." 
-Jeff Welborn: Diversified Small Business Owner and State Senator, Dillon

Class III Profiles

Tater Erickson: Territory Manager, Corteva Agriscience a division of Dow/DuPont, Hobson

I am so thankful I pursued the opportunity to grow as a leader through REAL Montana. I have been involved in other leadership trainings, and I can honestly say this is like no other program. The breadth of knowledge I'm gaining about Montana’s valuable resource industries is impressive, and I am excited for what will be asked of me in the future to help steer Montana in a positive direction.
The local panels and speakers we interact with at every seminar have been a highlight to me. I find their organic insight on real world issues is so impactful. You cannot fully grasp an issue until you meet the people whom the issue affects. We learn how they are adapting to changing landscapes, and how the issues affect them and their communities. The cultural importance shines through with each and every story our panels share.
Hobbies: Chasing my three children across the state in rodeo, equine, and 4H events, reaching out to youth to introduce them to our western way of life, and working as an EMT/Firefighter in my community.

Lynda Grande: Owner, Grande Ranch Company, Columbus

Through the REAL Montana program I hope to reap a broader knowledge about resource industries across our state and how we complement each other. I want to use facts to counter emotional responses as I engage in discussions with others who may have a different perspective. Learning new things helps one to grow, rather than just grow old, and should result in my becoming a better spokesperson and a more passionate agvocate.
The Colstrip seminar made the biggest impression on me to date. The environmental efforts made to maintain high air quality as required by the Northern Cheyenne, and to reclaim land to the same or better condition while maintaining historical watershed patterns are incredible. Every Montanan that drives on a county bridge or road, or goes to a public school, can thank coal tax dollars for those benefits. I will never again think the same way about turning on a light switch or a thermostat and just expecting the power to be there.
Hobbies: Reading, travel, spending time with family and friends, chasing after my pets, and discussing and promoting beef and beef issues on a state and national basis.

Jaime Edmundson Joins the REAL Montana Team

REAL Montana is excited to announce the selection of Jaime Edmundson as Program Manager. Jaime previously served as the Executive Director of the Montana FFA Foundation and is as a blogger and public speaker in her free time. Jaime comes from a ranching background with a passion for agriculture education and advocacy. Jaime has been involved in philanthropy and leadership development for over a decade and enjoys sharing her passion for developing and improving a strong communication base among leaders while opening dialog among all generations and backgrounds. Jaime holds a degree in Marketing and Communications from Boise State University.

Alumni News

Class I graduate Kate Vogel, agronomist and owner of North 40 Ag, graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in May. Kate was competitively selected to participate in the program, which helps entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services

Scott Blain, also an alumni of Class I, won the Carbon County District 2 County Commissioner primary race and will advance to the November general election.

Meet Class III

Class III of REAL represents a diverse cross-section of natural resource industries across Montana. 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.





Seminar 5 marked the end of year one for this exceptional group of leaders. They have already explored many aspects of our natural resource industries, and we look forward to watching them continue their leadership journey in year two. It is also an exciting time for the program with the addition of Jaime Edmundson as Program Manager. Her many skills and talents make her a great fit for the REAL Montana. Welcome, Jaime!

- Tara Becken
Director, REAL Montana

Seminar 6: Food Production, September 20-22 in Lewistown

Seminar 7: International trip, November 2-14 in India


REAL Montana
Tara Becken, Program Director
Jaime Edmundson, Program Manager

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

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