The Montana Grain Growers Association 2019 Convention and Trade Show, scheduled for Dec 3 to 5 at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls, promises an exciting lineup of speakers as Vince Mattson, vice-president of MGGA and this year’s convention chairman, builds a program around the theme “Gaining the Upper Hand.”

“A primary goal of this year’s convention is to offer growers new tricks of the trade that will help them manage tough times,” said Mattson. “Farmers are usually pretty good at finding savings on the big ticket items, but in the current economic climate, we need new skills to help us eke out a few more dollars to put in our pocket at the end of the day.”

With over 800 expected to attend, a dynamic and educational agenda, and a full trade show with over 80 exhibitors, the MGGA Convention is one of Montana’s largest agricultural gatherings.

Events begin Tuesday with a special half-day workshop that will help attendees become better at the art of influence. Learning how to be a better negotiator when working with suppliers, vendors, employees, family members, brokers, landowners, or bankers could be key to improving your profit margin. Professional negotiator and long-time instructor Jack Williams has trained executives around the world and consulted with numerous individual farms and ranches throughout the country in improving their negotiating skills. His workshop will be dynamic, fun, interactive, fast-paced, and most of all, experiential.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a dynamic list of speakers on a range of diverse topics offers sessions on pulse merchandising and processing, emerging ag technologies and the law, managing agricultural ecosystems, canola production and markets, farm business operating structure and tax management analysis, the role of the Wheat Marketing Center and Northern Crops Institute, podcasting, maximizing ROI on stored grain, and an entertaining message from comedian Lyndy Phillips, reminding attendees why it’s important to laugh more and stress less.

A topical discussion will be held on Thursday when a panel of trade experts headlined by Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney will be joined by Augusto Bassanini, president and CEO of United Grain Corporation, and Angela Marshall Hofmann, co-founder of Farmers for Free Trade and a trade policy expert with more than 20 years of experience including as trade counsel to former Montana Senator Max Baucus and as vice president of International Corporate Affairs for Walmart. The panel will be moderated by Spencer Chase, managing editor of Agri-Pulse Communications, one of the most trusted farm and agricultural policy sources in Washington, D.C.

Mattson adds, “Four trade show breaks and three nights of receptions, capped by Thursday’s banquet where we’ll honor outgoing MGGA President Lyle Benjamin, give attendees time to visit with exhibitors and catch up with friends. There is a welcome camaraderie that is felt at every convention, especially when we all work together to establish the resolutions that set our organization’s policy direction for the coming year. I invite all voting members to participate in our annual committee and resolution process during this year’s convention.”

Visit mgga.org/events/convention or call the MGGA office at 406-761-4596 for more information and to register.

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