MCC instructor attends REAL Montana class


Kimberly Gibbs of Miles City, the agriculture instructor at Miles Community College, recently returned from Crow Agency and Colstrip as part of REAL (Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership) Montana. For Gibbs and other members of REAL Montana Class III, this was the third seminar in their two-year educational program. 

The focus of the seminar was “Coal and Culture.” While in Crow Agency the class learned about Crow and Northern Cheyenne history and traditions, area agriculture, tribal community issues and working with other cultures. Class III members also traveled to Colstrip to discuss energy production, legislation, and community successes and challenges. 

Tours included the Westmoreland coal mine and Colstrip Steam Electric Station.  Class members also took part in a networking banquet where they interacted with local program sponsors and industry leaders. 

The session wrapped up with a discussion about the upcoming Farm Bill and current legislative issues in preparation for the Washington, D.C., seminar.

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 12-day international trip to India in November of this year. Seminars feature 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. 

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 Tara Becken, program director, at 406-994-6480,