New Board Member

New Board Member

While some familiar faces remain on Montana Farmers Union Board of Directors after elections during the grassroots organization’s Annual Convention, there’s also a new face.

Trent Stoltz (Pompeys Pillar) was elected to a first term on the board representing District 5. Will Downs did not run for re-election.
Brett Dailey (Jordan, District 4), Jeff Bangs (Inverness, at large District 1&2), and Walter Schweitzer (Geyser, President) were re-elected to their posts.

Board members play an active role in the organization and its programs, as well as in the Montana Farmers Union Foundation’s work.
MFU’s dedication to the triangle of education, cooperation, and legislation benefits rural communities, farmers, and ranchers, making the decision to run and easy one, Stoltz said.

“I just think over the past 40 years it has been really tough to make a living in ag, and it’s not getting any easier. Montana Farmers Union is a group that’s willing to fight for producers of every size,” Stoltz said.

As a fourth-generation rancher, Stolz said he loves working with animals.

“I just went home after college and started doing it and enjoyed it and stayed,” Stoltz said about his return to his family’s homestead.
Nearly two years ago, Stoltz and his wife of 27 years, Holly, sold the longtime family place and now are near Pompeys Pillar, where they run yearlings and cow/calf pairs and produce hay.

“It’s been a good move. We like the new area. People are nice – it’s still Montana. It’s all been a really positive deal,” Stoltz said.
Stoltz’s son Austin ranches alongside him, and Stoltz said he hopes his other son Cameron will return one day as well. He and Holly also have a daughter, Jordan.
For his sons and himself to ranch together, the ranch must be profitable enough. Investing in real estate for a steady off-farm income, taking advantage of educational opportunities, and embracing new technologies like Vence are ways his family has adapted to make their operation more profitable.

Montana Farmers Union is working to make sure families like his can have profitable operations, as well as thriving rural communities in which to live, Stoltz said.

MFU is an organization that’s tackling corporate monopolies and consolidation and working for more transparent markets – things that will make his operation stronger, he said.

“I’m excited to try to help an organization that’s trying to help me that will in the end allow us to have both boys home and a more fulfilling, profitable place,” he added.

Stoltz said he looks forward to bringing his experience and his willingness to try new things into his new role on the MFU board.

“My top strength would be thinking outside of the box. We do things quite differently than other people. We’re very adaptable,” he said.
Ultimately, he wants his kids and other young producers to make a profit farming and ranching and sees serving on MFU’s board as a way to help.

“More than even my desire to pass it on, that’s the main reason I want to be successful and have a strong succession plan – because ranching’s what both my boys want to do,” Stoltz said.

Learn more about MFU’s board and its district seats at

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