Event Details

While agricultural producers in Montana have always faced extreme weather conditions, the severity and variability of those conditions has been increasing. At the same time that February of 2019 ranked as one coldest and snowiest on record, average summer temperatures have been rising over the last 60 years and spring runoff has both declined and happened early over that same period of time. In the span of one or two seasons, producers in different parts of the state have experienced cycles of both drought and flooding. The extent and pace of this variability serves to make an already challenging environment for producers even more difficult.

This conference, produced in cooperation with the Montana Farm Bureau Federation and Montana Grain Growers Association, is aimed at helping producers find new approaches and extend existing strategies for responding to this variability.  Conference panels and guest speakers will consider our evolving experience with and understanding of this variability, and the explore the innovations being developed by entrepreneurial producers and applied researchers to craft responses enabling them to succeed in increasingly competitive markets and ensure a stable food supply
Location Details
Hilton Garden Inn
2023 Commerce Way Bozeman, MT 59715
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 582-9900

Event Sponsors


Wednesday, October 02

12:30pm - 1:15pmWelcomeHilton Garden InnEric Austin - Executive Director, Burton K. Wheeler Center
Chuck Tooley - Chairman, Burton K. Wheeler Center
Sreekala Baja - Vice President and Dean of the College of Agriculture
1:15pm - 3:15pmPanel 1: Climate Variation Trends and ConditionsHilton Garden InnBruce Maxwell - Professor and Co-Director Institute on Ecosystems
Dominique Woodham - Extension Agent and Director of the MSUE Climate Science Team
Kelsey Jensco - Montana Climatologist and Watershed Hydrologist, University of Montana (TBD)
Timothy DelCurto - Professor of Animal and Range Sciences
3:15pm - 4:30pmFacilitated Round Table DiscussionHilton Garden Inn
5:00pm - 7:30pmReceptionHilton Garden Inn
7:30pm - 9:00pmKeynote - Congressman Mike SimpsonHilton Garden Inn

Thursday, October 03

8:00am - 8:30amDoors openHilton Garden Inn
8:30am - 10:15amPanel 2: Innovative Producers and PracticesHilton Garden InnLyle Benjamin - Grain producer from Sunburst MT 
JM Peck - Rancher, Dillon MT
Zach Jones - Rancher, Diamond Cross Ranch
Vince Mattson - Grain producer from Chester MT
10:15am - 12:00pmPanel 3: What Can We do Next: Emerging Research and PracticesHilton Garden InnAnton Bekkerman - Associate Professor Agricultural Economics and Economics
Brent Roeder - Extension Specialist, Range Sheep Production
Lee Schmelzer - Agriculture & 4H Agent, Stillwater County
12:00pm - 1:30pmLunch and plenary speakerHilton Garden InnHailey Wilmer, post doctorate fellow and Social Rangeland Scientist, USDA