The MABA Presidential Award is reserved for those who perform truly outstanding service to the association and to you, as members.
- Rob Brattain, Great Falls
Rob’s leadership as MABA president and Legislative Committee chair led to the passage of the national landmark Montana Ag Chemical Groundwater Protection Act. The Act became national model legislation and was subsequently enacted in numerous other states.
- Dr. Jeff Jacobsen, Bozeman
Dr. Jeff Jacobsen is the reason we have the Certified Crop Adviser program in Montana. While some university types view themselves as ivory tower, Jeff is not one of those. He originated “Fertilizer Facts” which has been the most requested publication from MSU’s Land Resources & Environmental Sciences Department. He also developed the state CCA exam and has served as chair of the international CCA board. In the spring of 2004, Jeff was named the Montana State University Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Experiment Stations.
- Barry Beaudoin
As a past president, Barry, spent endless hours bringing the industry’s plastic pesticide recycling program to Montana as chair of that committee. It took numerous meetings with the Department of Agriculture and what is now Crop Life America to get the program instituted. His efforts also led to the state’s pesticide recycling program currently operated each year by the Montana Department of Agriculture and underwritten by our members.
- Gary Gingery, Helena
Gary spent the bulk of his professional career as Montana’s chief pesticide regulator. He worked with us to educate members and help us comply with certain regulations intended to be effective for the environment and health, yet not unrealistic. He also was essential in developing the Montana’s landmark Ag Chem Groundwater Protection Act and the Pesticide Recycling Program.
- Mike Thomas, Great Falls
Mike was MABA’s first president and signer of the original MABA articles of incorporation. He brought Wilbur Ellis to Montana and has been a constant innovator. As Wilbur Ellis vice president he supported numerous Wilbur Ellis employees’ participation in MABA and was always willing to help. His vision helped make MABA what it is today.
- Mike King, Billings
Mike is truly Mr. Crop Biotech in Montana. A past president, he served as the first chair of MABA’s Biotechnology Committee for several years. He was instrumental in defeating numerous anti-biotechnology pieces of legislation over ten years of efforts to limit opportunities for our members and Montana growers.
- Donga Goodell, Big Fork
Donga grew up raising grain on the family farm in Dutton, MT. After serving his country in Vietnam, Donga took his love for agriculture into the ag business world as the grain manager of Mountain View Co-Op in Dutton and then with Westland Seeds. Donga now owns and operates Affordable Home & Yard. He served as MABA President in 2000 and continues his support of the association through his unwavering support and assistance at the MABA/MGEA Convention. His experience, knowledge, and expertise are a major asset to the smooth running of the annual convention.
- Jeff Farkell, Brady
Jeff has been a member of MABA for over 30 years. As long time member of the Educational Planning Committee he has been in charge of the continuing education credits for both Certified Crop Advisers and Commercial Applicators/Dealers. Jeff has represented and testified for MABA at many legislative sessions over the years working to protect agricultural businesses in Montana. He continues to be a strong promoter of MABA and Montana Agriculture. He is a Certified Crop Adviser and Certified Professional Agronomist. Jeff owns CENTROL, LLC, an independent crop consulting and soil sampling company out of Brady with his son Joel.
- Russ Miner, Great Falls
Russ’s dad passed away when Russ was 12 and he was raised by his mom on a very small farm/ranch south of Great Falls. He was active in 4-H raising a steer, had horses and put up hay. That may have been what put the agriculture bug in his system.
He studied Ag at Montana State University and graduated with a degree in Ag Production. He worked his way through college by working on a farm/ranch and knew from early on that is where his heart was.
After graduation he married and took a job with Montana Pump, putting wheel lines and pivots on farm land. He also worked at Ag Management and Con Agra where he enjoyed many different aspects of Agriculture. After Con Agra Russ joined forces with Wilbur Ellis where he has been busy buying and selling fertilizer ever since.
In between all this he raised two sons and is now the proud papa of five grandchildren. Russ also played Santa many years for foster kids, which lead him into becoming a foster dad. He will soon be training to become a child advocate as a CASA. For 35 years Russ has been involved with the youth in his church with the Awana program. He has also served as a deacon and an elder at his church.
Russ’s love for agricultural has never let up as he has been active in MABA, FHA and 4-H. These activities highlight his passion for supporting young people in agriculture. Additionally, he enjoys learning and staying active in anything the experiment stations are working on.