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NextGen talks to cover family communication, succession

USDA ARS Cow and calf
A cow and calf stand in a pasture in Miles City, Mont.
University's conference to run Tuesdays and Thursdays through Jan. 28.

Registration is now open for the 2021 Montana’s Next Generation Conference, which will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning Tuesday, Jan. 12. The event is hosted by Montana State University ExtensionFarm Service Agency, NACDC Financial Services, Marias River Livestock Association and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

The conference will have all sessions broadcast and accessible for free online. Registration for the conference can be completed at This year’s conference will cover crops, livestock, family communication, business planning and succession planning.

There will be six workshops during the conference, each running from 6 to 8 p.m. Participation in all six workshops, along with a completed evaluation and passing a test on the materials covered, will satisfy the FSA's borrower training requirements.

Session dates and topics follow:

  • Jan. 12: Lacy Roberts, Glacier County FSA farm loan manager, will present “Beginning Financial and Production Recordkeeping.” Roberts will cover the basics of developing a balance sheet and cash flow, as well as how to keep track of income and expenses. Mykel Taylor, an associate professor at Purdue University and an MSU graduate, will discuss making strategic management decisions based on financial records.
  • Jan. 14: Dallas Mount of Ranching for Profit will be joined by three producers to discuss generating profit from farming and ranching enterprises by developing new income streams and closing unprofitable enterprises.
  • Jan. 19: Domenic Varricchio from Roach Ag Marketing will cover the topic of marketing and how to develop a farm and ranch marketing plan using futures and options. He will give an overview of the 2021 marketing opportunities available to producers. Shane Eaton, co-owner of Eaton Charolais Ranch in Lindsay, will discuss how his family operation is four generations strong thanks to a robust marketing plan. Along with over 1,500 head of registered Charolais and 1,500 commercial cattle, the family operation has multiple feedlots in Montana and North Dakota.
  • Jan. 21: Carla Sanford, MSU Extension beef specialist, will cover cattle nutrition. Her focus will be on how third trimester nutrition and fetal programming tie together. Brian Vander Ley, veterinary epidemiologist at the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center in Nebraska, will follow Sanford and discuss how to begin calf nutrition, the importance of colostrum in a new calf and long-term effects when this building block is missed.
  • Jan. 26: Jane Wolery, MSU Extension Teton County agent, will present “FENCES – Families Engaging Nicely in Communicating ExpectationS.” Wolery will share the importance of communication in moving a family operation forward and having effective lines of communication. Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, will follow with a discussion on how to start succession and estate planning conversations with family members.
  • Jan. 28: Brian Lee from the Lee Law Office in Shelby will present “Legal Horror Stories and Taxes.” Lee will highlight some legal stories gone wrong and how agricultural businesses can ensure agreements say what they mean. Britney Tempel with the accounting and business consulting firm Wipfli will discuss tax updates and how they are important to farm and ranch producers.

Producers who are completing classes for FSA borrower training credit can also substitute nights with Pondera County MSU Extension’s Master Farmer classes, which run Thursday evenings in January and February. For a full list of these classes contact Adriane Good at

Source: Montana State University, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
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