27 Dec MWGA Announces New Officers and Directors
The Montana Wool Growers Association (MWGA) is pleased to report its new officers and directors. The new directors and officers were approved by MWGA’s membership during the Association’s 134th Annual Convention, which was held in Billings on November 30th-December 2nd.
The weather was unusually nice this year which made travel to the convention easier than in years past. Participants at the convention discussed a wide range of topics impacting Montana’s sheep and wool industry, including lambing barn practices, ranch family business management and transition planning, sheep production and research developments, economic ranch tools for sheep producers, grizzly bear delisting, ag safety, and wool outlook and trends.
American Sheep Industry President Mike Corn attended the convention and provided MWGA’s membership with an update on the national sheep industry and the issues that ASI has been working on. There was a great turnout for the Speed Shear Competition and Calcutta with funds being raised for the MSU Sheep Shearing School and the Eastern MT Fire Relief fund. The annual “Make It With Wool” Fashion Review and the “Mutton Busting” competition were held Saturday night at the banquet and provided convention goers with worthwhile entertainment to round out the event.
The MWGA also used the convention to recognize the important work provided by its members to Montana’s rural communities, and took the opportunity to introduce its membership to its newly elected President and board members.
- Kevin Halverson of Big Timber, was elected to take the reins as President of the MWGA:
Halverson epitomizes MWGA’s mission of serving small Montana communities. He is a 4th generation sheep producer from Sweet Grass County. His family has run sheep there since 1883. Kevin, along with his wife, Shirley, run a cow/calf and sheep operation. They utilize their sheep for weed control and also have an H2A herder. Halverson is the past president of the Sweet Grass County Wool Marketing Association and part owner of Montana Natural Lamb. The 5th and 6th generation are also on the ranch, helping run the place and keeping Grandma and Grandpa busy.
MWGA is fortunate to have Halverson as a leader in the industry. Kevin takes pride in the association and looks forward to promoting Montana’s sheep and wool products and advocating for its producer’s rights. Halverson replaces Dave McEwen of Galata as President. McEwen served the sheep industry faithfully for the previous two year period. Halverson had a few things to say in regards to Dave’s time spent on the board.
“The MWGA wants to thank Dave McEwen for the last two years as President of the organization. His tireless efforts on wildlife issues concerning the bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, and wolves has allowed MWGA to have face to face meetings with FWP to find common ground and work cooperatively to find practical solutions to different issues. Dave has also spent a lot of time working to keep a Sheep Extension Specialist in place and the Montana Wool Lab funded. He has done that by attending legislative hearings and having a good rapport with the MSU staff and MSU President Waded Cruzado. His dedication to the sheep industry is unsurpassed and the board will still rely on his expertise. Thanks Dave.”
- Ken McKamey of Cascade was selected by the MWGA board members to assume the duties of the Vice President:
Ken is a 3rd generation sheep producer from Great Falls. Ken and his wife Phyllis, have three children, Tracy, Kendra and Tadej. Ken and Phyllis along with Tracy and son in Law Simon run a cattle and sheep operation near Great Falls on the Smith River. Ken served on the Cascade County Farm Bureau board for 15 years, 11 as secretary-treasurer and was a past president of the Foothills Livestock Association. He currently serves on the board of the Smith River Habitat Project.
- Dave Scott of Whitehall is one of the newest members of the MWGA board representing District 1:
Dave is a first generation sheep producer in Whitehall. He and his wife, Jenny, run 200 Polypay ewes on intensively grazed irrigated pasture. They market their lamb through their lamb company, Montana Highland Lamb, serving restaurants, institutions, stores, and direct customers in SW Montana. Dave is an affiliate member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control and works off the farm as a livestock specialist for the National Center for Appropriate Technology and its ATTRA Program.
- Michael Green of Cohagen returns to the MWGA Board representing District 3.
Michael is a rancher from Garfield County. Following graduation from MSU in 1991, Michael and his wife Thelma moved back to the family ranch at Cohagen. They raised sheep and cattle with his father Melvin and brother Dennis, including selling Targhee rams at the Montana Ram Sale. They continue to ranch now with their two sons Kendall and TJ. In addition to ranching, Michael is a local brand inspector, and a member of the Jordan school board.
The Montana Wool Growers Association has faithfully served Montana’s sheep producers and community banks for over one hundred and thirty years. MWGA gives our members the multi-level support they need to serve their local communities and to run successful sheep production operations. MWGA’s members are dedicated solely to meeting the nation’s food and fiber needs, and to providing the foundation for Montana’s local businesses and families to prosper.
More information on the convention can be found at the Montana Wool Growers Association’s web page at: http://www.mtsheep.org/
Questions: Please contact Jesse Thompson, Executive Secretary of MWGA at (406) 450-3429 or Jim Brown, Public Relations Director at (406) 449-7444.