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REAL Montana class

The REAL Montana class is pictured and its inaugural seminar September 7 in Bozeman. They are, from left, front row, Kim Gibbs, Rose Malisani, Jillien Streit, Lori Shaw, Lexi Pelagi, Lynda Grande, Karen Helfrich, Sarah Norcott, Jeff Welborn, Jack Alexander. Back row, Kevin Kanduch, Christian Rohloff, Brian Thompson, Brad Cook, Andy Lundquist, Bridger Mahlum, Alysha Wilson, Tater Erickson, Bonita Cremer, Ben Lehfeldt.

Four southwest Montana residents recently participated in the REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership) seminar in Bozeman.

They are:

• Karen Helfrich, Butte, environmental engineer with Pioneer Technical Services

• Andy Lundquist, Dillon, branch manager for Northwest Farm Credit Services

• Jeff Welborn, Dillon, owner of Stock Drive Trailer Sales and a state legislator

• Kevin Kanduch, Philipsburg, logger at Kanduch Logging, Inc.

For the 20 members of REAL Montana Class III, this was the first seminar in their two-year educational program. In Bozeman, the class completed personality assessments, participated in a high ropes course, and received training on business etiquette, persuasive speaking, and ethical leadership.

Educational panels focused on the growing economy of the Gallatin Valley and speakers included representatives of Simms Fishing, Zoot Enterprises, Montana Instruments, Dry Hills Distillery, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and the Gallatin County Commission.

Class members toured Gallatin Valley Botanical Farm and visited Montana Ale Works for insight into local food sourcing.

A highlight of the seminar was a leadership address by MSU President Waded Cruzado and a networking banquet at the MSU Bobcat Stadium Club.

The 20 emerging and established leaders were competitively selected from a pool of candidates representing a variety of agriculture and natural resource industries across the state to take part in Class III of REAL Montana.

REAL Montana is funded through a partnership with Montana State University Extension and private industry.

Details: or contact Janelle Booth, program director, at (406) 994-6480,

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