There will be a renewable energy and energy efficiency funding workshop at the Montana Agricultural Trade Expo Show in Billings. Farmers, ranchers and rural business owners who want to cut energy costs are invited to attend the "Tapping Clean Energy for Rural Montana" workshop that will be held at MetraPark in Billings on Feb. 17. This workshop will describe what's needed to secure loans, grants, and rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

The "Tapping Clean Energy Opportunities" workshop is sponsored by the National Center for Appropriate Technology along with the Joliet Food & Ag Center at Beartooth RC&D, Montana Dakota Utilities, Harvesting Clean Energy, Montana DEQ's Renewable Energy Program, NPRC, MEDA, NorthWestern Energy and the Montana Department of Agriculture, in partnership with USDA Rural Development in Montana.

For more information, contact Al Kurki of the National Center for Appropriate Technology at 406-449-0104 or akurki@ncat.org.


Hulteng, Inc. Commercial Construction of Billings received the 2010 first-place aware for Design and Construction Excellence in Large Commercial Structures, as well as the 2010 first-place overall award in Design and Construction Excellence by Garco Building Systems (Spokane, Wash.) for construction of the Montana Honda and Marine facility located at 2124 Goodman Road. Hulteng Inc. has more than 20 years of experience in commercial general construction.


Stockman Bank will host two "Financing for Condos" seminars on Thursday at Stockman Bank King Avenue, 2700 King Ave. W.

Stockman Bank real estate loan officers will lead the discussions, with the first session  taking place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. with a continental breakfast, and the seconde session taking place from noon to 1:30 p.m. with lunch provided.

The seminars are open to all Realtors to learn more about the new requirements of conventional, FHA and VA loans; the approval process; and general financing of condos.

Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information or to RSVP, call Stockman Bank at 655-3979.

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Cascade County Montana Statea University Extension Agent Wendy Wedum has been recognized by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals for her leadership in working with community members to develop, implement and coordinate a new Community Development Program to address poverty in Belt. Wedum received the 2011 Excellence in Community Development Work Award for coordinating work in Belt that resulted in successful implementation of many community programs, including weatherization improvements to the local Senior Center, construction of an information kiosk on Main Street, a grant for a new wellness facility and coordinating a youth leadership group. The award will be presented to Wedum at the 2011 NACDEP conference in Charleston, S.C., in March.

The Awards Committee of the Montana Association of Community Development Extension Professionals voted unanimously to nominate Bruce Smith, Montana State University Extension Agent in Dawson County, for the State Distinguished Extension Community Development Service Award. The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals recognizes one individual from each state for their achievement. Smith received this award for his outstanding service in Extension Community Development programs. Smith has been involved in coordination of the Montana Horizons Program, a community capacity-building program to address poverty; a food development center; organizing a local community garden and farmers market; development of a farm-to-table co-operative including establishing local food councils in neighboring counties; and working with the Montana Department of Corrections on a prison garden.


Four new Extension publications are available that describe the biology, ecology, and management of the noxious weeds of the knotweed complex, flowering rush, Scotch broom and yellow starthistle. These weeds are very limited in their distribution across the state and are Priority 1A and 1B species on the Montana noxious weed list. Preventing further invasion of these species is critical, and starts with learning how to identify them, knowing where they might grow and what to do if and when plants are found. These publications will help you with these important tasks.

One of the world's leading experts on equine osteoarthritis will be the featured speaker at Montana State University's sixth equine conference, to be held March 5 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman. Wayne McIlwraith, director of the Orthopedic Research Center at Colorado State University, will present the latest research on equine arthritis during his Catlin Memorial Lecture. He will also discuss the myriad of medical and nutraceutical treatments, as well as surgical interventions that are available for horses with osteoarthritis. In addition to McIlwraith's lecture, the equine conference will offer several breakout sessions and a trade show. The conference — on a one-year hiatus after the retirement of Sandy Gagnon — has been resurrected by Shannon Moreaux, MSU Extension equine specialist, veterinarian and assistant professor at MSU. For more information about the conference or to be included on a mailing list about the conference, contact Julie Hager at jhager@montana.edu




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