REAL Montana Media Seminar Takes Place in November

REAL Montana Media Seminar Takes Place in November

Lavina resident and MWGA Board Member Ben Lehfeldt  just returned from three days in Billings as part of REAL Montana (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership).  For Ben and other members of REAL Montana Class III, this was the second seminar in their two-year educational program.

The focus of the seminar November 2 – 4 was media & communications. While in Billings, class members participated in live television and radio interviews and took part in editorial meetings at the Billings Gazette and the KULR8 and KTVQ-2 studios.  The class received training on how to handle challenging interviews, get a story in the news, elevator speeches, social media, and crisis management from media professionals hailing from the Billings Gazette, Northern Ag Network, Big Sky Business Journal, Montana State University, Yellowstone Public Radio, ExxonMobil, and BNSF.  A highlight of the seminar was a networking banquet at the Petroleum Club where class members interacted with local program sponsors and industry leaders.

“I was happy to have the opportunity to practice and improve my interviewing skills through this program” Ben said. “Class III members were guests on more than 14 different radio and TV programs during our seminar and I was happy visit the Nick Tyler morning show on KGHL 790.”

Twenty of Montana’s emerging and established leaders were competitively selected from a pool of qualified candidates representing a wide variety of agriculture and natural resource industries across the state to take part in Class III of REAL Montana.  The two-year program features eight in-state seminars; a five-day national study tour in Washington D.C.; and a ten-day international trip in November 2018. Seminars include training in natural resource development, agriculture institutions and agencies, public speaking/media, economics, state and federal policy, international trade, urban/rural relationships, water issues, and other current industry topics.  During the Billings seminar Bonita Cremer of Melville, MT was elected class President and Ben Lehfeldt was elected the Vice-President of REAL Montana Class III.

REAL Montana is funded through a partnership with Montana State University Extension and private industry.  Oversight is provided by an advisory board of industry leaders.

Complete program information is available at or by contacting Janelle Booth, program director, at (406) 994-6480,


Photo: REAL Montana Class III members took part in the live noon broadcast at the KTVQ-2 studio on November 3.

FRONT (L to R): Nick Tyler, Brian Thompson, Ben Lehfeldt

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