GLENDIVE, Mont. – Agriculture seminars are always well attended at the GATE, a show that supports and promotes agriculture in the eastern Montana region.
The GATE will be held at the Eastern Plains Event Center in Glendive Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, with ag seminars featured both days.
“The GATE committee worked really hard to bring some great speakers and presentations here for the 2020 show,” said Les Metzger, GATE show organizer and member of the GATE committee member.
Metzger said they have FFA teen-agers that have been coming to the GATE committee meetings, and he was glad to see the next generation interested in growing the GATE and agriculture in the region.
Metzger enjoys working with youth. While Metzger is mostly a hobby rancher raising chickens on 8.7 acres, he built 12 corn hole boxes for the 4-H kids’ fund-raiser.
“The GATE committee paid for all of it for the 4-H kids in Dawson County,” he said.
One of the main GATE ag seminars will be an oilseed listening session with Montana producers. It will be held on Friday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m. in the Sobotka Conference Room at the GATE.
The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a petition from oilseed growers seeking to create an advisory committee last fall.
“These growers are seeing increased canola acreage in Montana, and they are especially interested in education on the crop and its agronomics,” said Zach Coccoli, of the MDA.
Coccli said the growers hope to eventually set up a checkoff so they could support an education program about canola and perhaps, flax, and other oilseeds (except hemp and sunflowers), and also have support for research and help with marketing.
“The growers want to see if others will join them in forming a committee,” Coccoli said.
Those attending the GATE listening session will learn about the process for creating a commodity advisory committee and can provide input regarding its composition, crops to be included, and rate of assessment.
Based on feedback received during the legislative session, MDA will decide whether to propose an oilseed research and market development program for adoption by administrative rule.
“Montana ranks second in canola production in the nation, with a record high 200 million pounds in 2019. That is a 54 percent increase from Montana’s 2018 crop,” Coccoli said. “Flaxseed production totaled 1.34 million bushels and more than doubled from 2018 in Montana.”
In addition, Cargill in Great Falls has developed a special canola as a fish food, and that is expected to increase grower acreage next year with new hybrid canola varieties.
Other ag seminars at the GATE include:
Friday, Feb. 14:
Trade show will open at 9 a.m.
From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The Montana State University Eastern Ag Research Center in Sidney will host a pulse root rot and Fusarium Head Blight session with Frankie Crutcher, MSU EARC pathologist, leading the seminar.
Crutcher will talk about a different fungal agent in the Fusarium head blight (scab) complex.
“Fusarium avenaceum is the fungus that is the primary cause of pea root rots,” Crutcher said. “Canada has a lot of Fusarium avenaceum and North Dakota found a lot of it on wheat stubble.”
Crutcher will explain to Montana producers how this might affect pea/wheat rotations, and what can be done about it.
At noon, the Gateway Cowbelles will prepare lunch.
From 2 p.m.- to 3 p.m.: Thrivent Financial presents, “Keeping the Farm in the Family.”
The program is an educational workshop designed for farm or ranch owners who want a smooth transition to the next generation.
The workshop will provide participants a general overview of how they can take steps to secure their financial future, avoid transition obstacles, and develop a transition plan to transfer their business and maintain family harmony.
From 3:15 p.m.-4 p.m.: Wanda Pinnow of Baker, a sheep and cow/calf rancher, a Cowbelles member since the 90s, and the 2019 president of the American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW), plans to give a presentation at the GATE. Pinnow will end her presidency in February 2020, at the national meeting.
Pinnow, a past The Prairie Star producer progress reporter, was recently named the 2020 Montana Cattlewoman of the Year on Dec. 11, 2019 at a meeting of the ANCW.
“I am so passionate about the cattle industry and I love bringing knowledge and education about beef to others,” she said. “As an organization, we need to encourage women to stay in ANCW after college, and remain active members throughout their lives. We are an organization that is getting older, and we need to keep young women. We need every one of us.”
The GATE trade show closes at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 15:
Trade show opens at 9 a.m.
From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Dawson County 4-H ambassadors will give a presentation.
From 11 a.m. to noon: North 40 Ag will talk about cover crops.
Many farmers and ranchers are adding cover crop mixes to their rotations. But what mix is the right one for grazing or for renovating the soil after CRP or for a long season or short season crop?
At noon, Gateway Cowbelles will prepare lunch.
From noon to 1 p.m.: Thistledew Land and Cattle will have a presentation. Thistledew is a Land and Ranch Brokerage, and Real Estate Company.
From 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Bill Pelton will talk about Beef Quality Assurance and producers will be able to gain BQA certification right at the seminar.
“If you attend the seminar on BQA, you will have the opportunity to be BQA certified,” Pelton said. “Being BQA certified is the way the industry is headed, and many cattle buyers won’t look at your product if you are not certified.”
The trade show closes at 6 p.m.
The GATE tradeshow offers a 42-year history of showcasing vendors and being a great place for people to network, learn about new products and spend time with their neighbors.
The show is always a social event. The winter blues are over - 2020 is here and that means calving, bull sales, planting and haying are not far away.
“Come to the GATE before we all get busy, and enjoy some great ag seminars, head to the Trade Show for all your spring needs, visit with some great agri-business reps and have a lot of fun visiting and having some great food with your friends, family and neighbors,” said Metzger.
The GATE trade show and ag seminars take place at the EPEC building, located at 313 South Merrill St.
The trade show will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The GATE features around 80 vendors with booths featuring ag equipment, ag tools, seed, chemicals, calving shelters, and both ranching and farming machines.
There will be both indoor and outdoor booths.
“We had a wonderful GATE show last year, and this year, we have some outstanding agribusiness vendors coming to the trade show. All our agribusinesses will have representatives on hand to answer any and all questions producers have about their products,” he added.
The EPEC building is located at 313 South Merrill St. in Glendive, Mont.