The REAL Deal

  Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership
June 2015

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Class I Studies Timber Industry and Graduates from REAL Montana in Kalispell

Class I of the REAL Montana program met for their final seminar focusing on timber industry issues in Kalispell May 14-16. During the seminar, experts presented on the current state of the Montana timber industry, forest health, state and federal regulation, and how timber harvest positively impacts local economies. The class also toured a timber harvest site, the Plum Creek Evergreen sawmill and plywood plant, and the F.H. Stoltze Trumbull Creek Educational Forest.

The seminar concluded with a graduation ceremony for the eighteen Class I members, attended by program sponsors, spouses, and industry leaders. Bruce Vincent, an inspirational speaker and 3rd generation logger from Libby, provided a keynote address. Taylor Brown, REAL Montana Advisory Board member, presented each graduate with a custom pin and delivered the following charge:

“We are counting on you to use real science, real facts, real compassion and to invest real commitment to make a real difference.”

Seminar 10 Activities

Class members learn about timber harvesting from Plum Creek employees   Paul McKenzie explains tree growth at the F.H. Stoltze Trumbull Creek Educational Forest
Sonya Germann with DNRC and Julia Altemus (REAL Advisory Board member) discuss the state timber program   Class I with Plum Creek feller buncher operator at timber harvest site

Meet Our Class I Graduates

The inaugural class of REAL represents a diverse cross-section of natural resource industries across Montana. Eighteen participants were competitively selected based on leadership capabilities and willingness to serve in decision-making roles upon completing the program. For photos and biographies of Class I, CLICK HERE.

Tara Becken Joins REAL Montana Team

REAL Montana is pleased to announce the addition of Tara Becken as Program Coordinator. Tara holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s in Agricultural Business. She previously worked as a Risk Management Specialist for the USDA Risk Management Agency and has a strong agricultural background. Tara is a graduate of REAL Montana Class I.  Please join us in welcoming Tara to her new position!


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 is an exciting time for REAL Montana! During the Class I graduation, we reflected on two successful years of leadership lessons and natural resource education that spanned the globe. The spring produced highly qualified applicants for Class II and we look forward to announcing the new participants.  Finally, our team is growing as Tara Becken takes on the new role of Program Coordinator. The future is bright! 

-Janelle Booth, Director, REAL Montana

Class II Selection Announcement: July 2015

Class II Seminar 1: Inauguration, Ethical Leadership, and Teambuilding- September 17-19, 2015 in Bozeman



REAL Montana
Janelle Booth
Program Director

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

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