October 18, 2021

Convention keynote speakers tackle tough topics

Farmers and ranchers face tough times, but during the 102nd Montana Farm Bureau Annual Convention November 8-11 in Billings, keynote speakers will provide uplifting insights and valuable information to make the road easier. Members of the states’ largest agricultural organization grow a wide range of products, including beef cattle, wheat, sugar beets, chickpeas, barley, sheep, bees, and more.

Jay Hill will kick off the convention Tuesday morning, talking about standing behind one’s heritage while pushing for the future. His keynote will lead to the understanding that the future is changing, but one still can control one’s destiny. For Hill, what started as 10 acres and a John Deere 4020 tractor has grown into a multi-layered commercial operation of 18,000 acres with highly diversified crops in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. Hill strives to continually implement new practices and the latest technology to utilize his resources and farm sustainably. He actively advocates for the industry he loves on social media, using this platform to give an authentic glimpse into the life of a farmer.

During Tuesday’s lunch, Frank King, “The Mental Health Comedian and Suicide Prevention Speaker,” will discuss ways to develop effective suicide prevention strategies within the agriculture industry. Farmers are at a greater risk for suicide than veterans, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Occupational Suicide List. King will cover recognizing warning signs associated with suicide, understanding how to start a conversation, and offering support through referrals. You can save a life, and it may be as simple as starting a conversation, he explains.*

Wednesday’s lunch features Mike Pearson, who will provide an outlook for the farm markets and global trends impacting these markets. Pearson was born on his family's hog and cattle farm, built his own cow herd and worked as an agricultural lender. Over the next ten years, Mike left the world of finance and entered the world of media. He's previously hosted "Market to Market" on Public Television, the Ag News Daily podcast. Currently, viewers can find him behind the anchor desk on "This Week In Agribusiness" with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson, seen on RFD-TV or hundreds of local stations each weekend.

In addition to the compelling keynote speakers, the convention offers unique workshops, a trade show, socials, and the venerable delegate sessions where MBF policy is adopted for the coming year. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.mfbf.org or call the state office at 406-587-3153.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @montanafarmbureau.

*This project has been funded by the USDA NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), grant no. 2021-70035-35381/1027094, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.