No matter how old you are, what your musical taste is or whether or not you can read a note, there's never a wrong time to learn how to play an instrument.

Scholarships for Livestock and Poultry Farmers
As funding allows, FACT will award scholarships of up to $400 for livestock and poultry farmers to attend conferences and training events to learn humane animal management practices. FACT is currently only accepting applications for scholarships to conferences or events that are proposed by individual farmers on their application.
Carolina Meat Conference (October 2019 - Not yet accepting applications)
CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference (November 2019 - Not yet accepting applications)
Other conferences - If you would like to attend a conference or event that is not listed above, please suggest it on your application. FACT staff members will review proposed conferences on a case by case basis and approve those deemed eligible.

Mental Health Month
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI and the rest of the country are raising awareness of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
The WhyCare? campaign is an opportunity to share the importance of care in our relationships to others, in mental health treatment and services and in support and education to millions of people, families, caregivers and loved ones affected by mental illness. Demonstrating how and why we care brings more to awareness by showing our actions and connections to others. Care has the power to make a life-changing impact on those affected by mental health conditions.

MOSAICS (Maximizing OVC’s Survivor Assistance in Court Settings) is a training and technical assistance (TTA) project to assist courts in implementing trauma-responsive policies to:
Identify survivors of human trafficking who are facing criminal charges.
Respond to the needs of survivors facing charges with a range of outcomes in their cases and a continuum of social service referrals.
Reduce the infliction of harm on survivors facing criminal charges in court proceedings.
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is generally understood in two categories: sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Under federal law, sex trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion. Inducing any person under the age of eighteen to engage in a commercial sex act is also sex trafficking.
Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, provision, or transportation of a person for labor or services, using force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Survivors of human trafficking can be any race, gender, age, class, religion, or culture.
Barriers to Helping Survivors
A major barrier to reaching and providing recovery services to survivors of human trafficking is that trafficking survivors are often arrested and prosecuted for crimes related to their trafficking. When survivors enter the legal system facing criminal charges, they often go unrecognized as victims. The court is sometimes the last to learn – or never learns – that an accused person has been coerced into criminality by a trafficker and/or is struggling with the traumatic effects of trafficking. While courts have a duty to hold offenders accountable, they must also have systems in place to ensure that they are not unduly punishing survivors. In addition, courts must have mechanisms to connect survivors to the support and assistance they want and need.
MOSAICS training will better position courts to identify, intervene, and interrupt cycles of re-victimization of survivors that, too often, play out in court settings.

When Los Angeles City Leader Xavier Clarke was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2009, he took with him a very unique passion. A passion that he has since transformed into his own small business, Yosa Matcha. Yosa, meaning great quality and goodness, is the result of Xavier’s time stationed in Japan combined with some business prowess taken from his military background.
It was during his time stationed in Okinawa that he became fascinated with the health benefits and history surrounding matcha. Originally given to samurais before battle as a way to help cultivate focus and calmness, Xavier found himself identifying with the idea of becoming a mindful warrior. He began to use matcha as a way to help himself remain calm, energized and laser-focused during grueling workouts or long missions. It wasn’t until he returned home that he noticed the absence of high-quality, Japanese matcha available to American consumers. Recognizing this opportunity, Xavier called on his military background to help him launch Yosa. He began with learning objectives — through research he could discover support systems that would help him grow his veteran-owned business. Then he looked at enabling objectives — which programs did he quality for and what did the application process look like. Finally, he tackled his executable items and launched Yosa.
One specific resource that Xavier found during his research was the We Work Veterans in Residence program powered Bunker Labs. Xavier points to the ambitious network of other veteran entrepreneurs as well as the access to WeWork locations across the region as key to helping him support Yosa. He has also been able to sample his newest product, nitro cold brew matcha, with key demographics by placing it in multiple WeWork locations around Los Angeles.That isn’t to say that everything from the Marines has translated perfectly into the entrepreneurial world. One major difference Xavier noticed is the contrast between the very regimented and structured environment of the military to the free-for-all of the consumer marketplace. Navigating that transition was a soul-searching period not just for Xavier, but for Yosa. It was during that time he began to define the culture of his company, one that has been built on selling the highest quality matcha in the world.

May is National Drug Court Month, and this year marks thirty years of treatment courts in the United States. The first drug court was created in 1989 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. During the past three decades the number of drug courts has exceeded 4,000.

Treatment courts are designed with people in mind, essentially putting treatment and rehabilitation ahead of punishment. Instead of incarceration, the programs offer people with drug offenses the opportunity to enter court supervised, long-term treatment.

As public support for justice reform builds, so too does the recognition that a substance use disorder is a health issue and should be treated as such. The recent increase in opioid-related overdose deaths, with 130 Americans dying every day, changed the conversation about both substance use disorders and about treatment.

In 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. To combat the crisis, the federal government called for improving access to treatment and recovery services.
Treatment courts are a part of the solution. They help to save lives; reduce drug use, crime, and recidivism; save money; and make families and communities safer. This #DrugCourtMonth we celebrate those who worked hard to turn their lives around and the professionals who support them.

So, do you want to embrace social networking to have a positive influence on the world? Here are some ideas for how to use social media to make a difference.

USDA National Organic Program has launched an online Organic Integrity Learning Center that provides free training for organic professionals. Initial course offerings include the following: Introduction to the USDA Organic System; Sound and Sensible Organic Certification; Fundamentals of Inspection; Compliance and Enforcement: Adverse Actions, Appeals, and Reinstatements; and Import Oversight Essentials. Future courses will include Dairy Compliance, Traceability Techniques, Advanced Inspections, Materials Reviews, Certification Administration, and Sampling and Testing. Each training lesson includes assessments to track learning progress.

REBOOT Combat Recovery Montana
Come celebrate the completion of another REBOOT course on May 20 at 6:30 pm.
The celcbration will be at the The Well Church at 1800 Highland Drive in Helena Montana.
To RSVP, send an e-mail to or TEXT 406-438-6319.

If you’re a veteran of the US Military this program is for you.
Bridger Creek Golf Course is proud to be one of two courses in the PGA Rocky Mountain section to host the PGA HOPE program. This introduction to golf program is for all veterans, including disabled veterans, with the aim of bringing veterans together to enjoy the outdoors, camaraderie with fellow veterans and the great game of golf. Absolutely no prior golf experience is necessary and veterans who do golf can sharpen their skills in this program.
Sessions are taught by experienced PGA professionals. Golf clubs, training aids, range balls and course access are all included. Specialized equipment for disabled veterans is also available and all the programs are free of charge. If you’re a veteran or know of a veteran who would benefit for some outdoor time learning to play golf just call the pro shop at 586-2333. Spaces are limited and veterans who did not participate in last fall’s HOPE program will have first priority.
The 2019 Program runs for five weeks starting on Wednesday, May 15th. The series will be from 10am until noon on May 15th, 22nd, and 29th and June 5th and 12th.
Just call the pro shop to sign up for this 5 week program.
Sincerely, Mark Holiday, PGA Director of Golf

The NAMI Blog is our way of getting tips, research, information and hope to our followers. Every month features a different theme.
For the month of April, we are featuring "Therapy." Coming up in May is the theme: "Mental Illness in Pop Culture."
In case you missed it, March was “Stories of Discrimination.” Here are some of the pieces we featured:
• That Time in The Psych Ward
• My Brother is Not a Threat, He Has Schizophrenia
• When Discrimination Starts in Elementary School
Thank you for your help in spreading the word about the NAMI Blog!

June 3
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting applications for Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects. The program supports the development of CFPs with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. The purpose of a Planning Project (PP) is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of this program. Examples of CFP Projects include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing and consumer cooperatives. Examples of PPs include, but are not limited to, community food assessments’ coordination of collaboration development plan, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants. Approximately $4.8 million is available. No single CFP award will exceed $125,000 in any single year or $400,000 over four years. No single PP award will exceed $35,000 for the total project period.
Applications are due by June 3, 2019.

What is new in your neck of the woods? For me, everything has changed. Ok not really but we do have Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes available for FREE to veterans and their spouses/significant others. I will be all over the State of Montana teaching classes. What does that mean for you? It means if you are interested please contact me so I can get you on the list to know where I should go for my next class. I have completed classes in Billings and Missoula, and am scheduled to be in Havre teaching Dave Ramsey, May 20-22. I also recently attended the Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention in Missoula and will be attending a resource fair in Helena on August 24th.

STACIE GRANDPRE | (406) 209-8609 |

Montana’s revisions call for all detention centers to record the veteran status of all detainees if located in the same county as a VTC. This information is then sent to the local VTC, which now has legal responsibility to inform detained veterans about the program and their eligibility.

With more than 440,000 youth in foster care, there are plenty of ways to make a difference during this month. Here are ideas for how to support National Foster Care Month.

Governor Bullock, Montana Broadcasters Association Renew Partnership to Raise Awareness about Suicide Prevention

TV, Radio PSAs promote Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock and the members of the Montana Broadcasters Association (MBA) today announced the renewal of a media campaign of TV and radio public service announcements that focus on raising awareness about suicide prevention in Montana. The media campaign first launched in April 2017.

“Suicide has broken the hearts of so many, on reservations, among veterans and active service members, across Montana in urban and rural communities, and in our schools,” Governor Bullock said. “I’m grateful for this partnership with the Montana Broadcasters Association and I know that it’s making a real difference in raising awareness of where Montanans can seek help and ultimately lives can be saved.”

MBA Board Chair Tamy Wagner said its members are committed to continuing a sustained public awareness campaign and building on the successes achieved thus far. “Montanans need to be fully aware of the resources that exist,” she said. “We know that in order to truly make an impact, these critical messages need to be reaching the public year-round. We are proud to continue this partnership.”

Recent statistical information from the same time period when the ads first began airing illustrate a noticeable increase in the usage of the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line. Suicide rates fluctuated for the first time in a decade. In 2018, there was a drop in the number of suicides from 312 to 270.

Further, from 2017 to 2018, there’s been a dramatic increase in the utilization of services, including to the:

• Hotline. There was a 43% increase in calls to the Lifeline from 2017 to 2018.

• Text Line. The number of contacts made to the Text Line tripled. In fact, statistical information from the Text Line shows that Montanans utilize the Text Line more than any other state in the nation. And, a 54.9% usage occurred between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. when conventional resources are not available.

• Trainings. Suicide prevention training was provided to 1,300 community members, 800 educators (296 on or near reservations or tribal health), 600 health care (104 on or near a reservation or tribal health), and 400 law enforcement and first responders.

The Lifeline is available 24/7 for people in crisis to call at 1-800-273-TALK. Veterans are urged to call this number and by pressing ‘1’ will be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. The Text Line can be accessed by texting MT to 741 741. It offers 24/7 access to crisis counselors through a familiar format, especially appealing to youth: text message.

In 2017, MBA, along with creative talent from the Montana Television Network and the Montana Radio Company, offered to produce and air the PSAs. According to MBA President/CEO Dewey Bruce, the total estimated value for the last two years of production and air time is well over $3 million, when combined with additional donated radio air time and production from the Montana Radio Company.

The MBA is an organization made up of 155 TV and radio stations all across Montana. The spots are being aired under a program called the Non-Commercial Sustaining Announcement Program. NCSA is a 20-year-old program that has been made available to non-profits and state agencies. Bruce said MBA waived their usual charge because of their commitment and priority to partner with the state on this campaign.

The organizations worked jointly with Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials to create the ad contents. The ads focus on four main areas, including firearm safety for those at the highest risk with access to lethal means (males age 35-64), recognizing the signs of suicide, Veterans, and youth. The common theme in all four ads urge Montanans to speak up and reach out to an individual who is exhibiting signs of suicide.
Matt Kuntz of NAMI-MT said he’s not surprised more people are utilizing the Lifeline and Text Line, given the frequency the PSAs have aired over the past two years, including many other efforts in communities across the state, in schools and emergency rooms.
“There’s just a unified effort right now to educate Montanans about the signs of suicide, efforts made to reduce stigma, and to highlight the resources that are available,” Kuntz said. “There’s a lot of comprehensive work happening statewide on this topic, and it’s making a difference.”
Suicide continues to be a major public health issue in the state. Montana has been at or near the top in the nation for the rate of suicide for nearly four decades.

Kim Spurzem of the University of Montana Center for Children, Families and Workforce Development points out the reduction in the number of suicides from 2017 to 2018 is a good sign. But, she cautions that 2018 had the highest number of deaths by suicide, so the reduction may be more of a leveling off.

“Either way, we must celebrate each small success and find hope,” she said. “We hope these numbers continue to decline and that we are, in fact, headed in the right direction.”

For more information about suicide prevention in Montana go to


The TV and radio ads can be accessed at

• Know the signs
The message: It’s vital that Montanans learn the signs of suicide, including depression, alcohol abuse, isolation, and giving away possessions.

Statistics: In 74% of the suicides where warning signs were identified, at least three warning signs were present in each suicide. DPHHS urges Montanans to speak up and ask the difficult question if an individual is showing signs of suicide. DPHHS officials say it’s important to ask: “Are you feeling suicidal?”

• Firearm safety for those at highest risk (males age 35-64) with access to lethal means.
The message: Access to lethal means is a huge factor for this age group. This ad states: ‘If a loved one is depressed, ask to temporarily store guns away from home.’

DPHHS actively promotes the importance of using gun locks. Since 2007, DPHHS has distributed over 20,000 gun locks with suicide prevention tags.

Statistics: This is the highest risk age group for suicide in Montana. Nearly 50% of Montana suicides involved males age 35-64. Further, 63% of all suicides involved a firearm compared to the national average of about 50%.

• Veterans.
The message: This ad reaches out to Veterans.

Statistics: Montana has one of the highest suicide rates of Veterans in the U.S. at a rate of 68 per 100,000 compared to the national average of 17. And, 25% of all deaths by suicide in Montana were Veterans.

• Youth.
The message: This ad urges youth to reach out to their friends and offer help to those who are showing signs of suicide.

Statistics: In Montana, 31% of high school students and 26% of middle school students report experiencing high levels of sadness and hopelessness for at least two weeks over the past 12 months. In addition, 9.5% of Montana high school students and 14.8% of middle school students have attempted suicide in the past 12 months.

VET TEC is a new tuition and housing assistance program launching that will help you advance your IT career. If you are a Veteran,VET TEC may be for you. In just weeks you can gain computer skills that can greatly impact your career. Whether you want to launch a new career, hit the ground running during your transition to civilian
life, or improve your business, VET TEC can help. VET TEC pays for you to take your classes in one of five areas: information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, and computer software.
Why use your GI Bill entitlement to go back to school when you could quickly learn 21st century skills that are in high demand by employers without using up your entitlement right now?
What is VET TEC?
This innovative new pilot program pairs eligible Veterans with market-leading Training Providers offering the high-tech training and skills development sought by employers. You will have your classes and training paid for by VA and will receive a monthly housing stipend during your training.
VET TEC is unique because the computer skills training programs take just months or even weeks to complete. Acquiring essential skills in such a short amount of time gives you the opportunity to advance your career sooner rather than later.
When you're accepted into the program, you'll train in one of the five areas (computer software, information science, computer programming, media application, or data processing) of high-tech training. After you have completed your program, you will have new skills that will help you secure meaningful employment in the modern workforce.Are you eligible for VET TEC?
If you have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill entitlement, then you may be eligible for VET TEC.
What are the benefits of using VET TEC?
Participation in the VET TEC program will not count against your GI Bill entitlement. While you are in VET TEC you will earn a housing stipend.
● If you attend in person, your payment will be equal to the monthly military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents, based on the zip code where you physically attend training.
● If you train online only, your stipend will be half of the BAH national average for an E-5 with dependents.
Your housing payment will be prorated for the days attended if you do not train for the full month.
How do you sign up for VET TEC?
Apply online. You’ll receive a letter from VA with a decision. If you are approved for VET TEC, you can review our list of approved providers to find a program you want to take. Contact your chosen provider and tell them you are eligible for VET TEC and interested in their program.
Training Providers may assess your qualifications using their own enrollment processes, though not all will require an assessment. This helps ensure that you will successfully complete their program and find meaningful employment to use the skills you learned.

You want to make a difference, but aren’t sure where to start without money. Fortunately, we have ideas to help you donate to charity without breaking the bank.

Please help us welcome Courtney to our Whitetail staff! Courtney Lazoff comes from Yakima, WA. She will be serving Whitetail until she fulfills her 270 intern hour requirements for her BA in Recreation, Tourism, and Event Management from Central Washington University. Courtney has been involved with wedding planning and music festivals over the last two years – she is looking forward this new experience: working with a non-profit organization. When Courtney is not in the office, you can find her participating in a wide range of activities including hiking, painting, video games, and working out in the local gym.

During her time with us, Courtney is assisting us with planning our upcoming event, updating databases, and coordinating our volunteers. She may be connecting with you via email or phone. We are so very excited to have her help. Welcome aboard -

The Whitetail Ranch Center Board of Directors

Turns out, even the smallest steps can have an impact. This Earth Day, consider your ecological footprint and enact these seven green ways to embrace today.

Please share the updated Women Vets Storybook (“Building Trust With Women Veterans”) for those who may not yet have seen. Some excerpts from this ambitious, ongoing effort to assess and best serve the fastest growing Veteran demographic group:
• “The VA Women Veterans Patient Experience (PX) Journey Map identifies the moments that matter most to women Veterans before, during, and after a healthcare appointment.”
• “By helping document where women Veterans experience pain points along their outpatient care journey with VA, we can then work to address those pain points.”
• “Across the journey, women Veterans identified many moments that matter. These are moments VA can build trust with women Veterans or lose them entirely.”
• “The VA Women Veteran Patient Experience Journey Map lays the foundation for rebuilding trust with women Veterans. With a deeper understanding of their end-to-end experiences with outpatient services, VA has the opportunity to identify and create patient experience improvements across all facilities.”
Questions: Bob Mortenson, Veterans Experience Office (VACO:, Veterans, Family and Community Engagement (, Department of Veterans Affairs, (360) 568-4592, C (206) 554-1491, VA Welcome Kit:

The Friends of the National World War II Memorial is calling on all World War II veterans to join us at the National World War II Memorial this year as we continue with our four-year WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration, marking the 75th anniversary of every battle and campaign during World War II.
Friends is the only organization hosting a four-year 75th anniversary commemoration, marking every battle in which American troops participated during World War II. Since the beginning of the 75th anniversary commemoration on Pearl Harbor Day 2016, Friends has hosted twenty 75th anniversary ceremonies at the Memorial. The Friends of the National World War II Memorial WWII 75th Anniversary Commemoration still has two more years full of ceremonies left, as it will continue through the 75th anniversary of V-J Day on September 2, 2020.

Among the battles whose 75th anniversaries Friends will be marking over the course of 2019 are the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, France on D-Day on June 6, 2019 and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 2019.

In order to honor, remember, and celebrate the Greatest Generation, we want to be joined by as many of our World War II Veterans as possible.

But even if our veterans can't make it in person or if they've left us too soon, they can still be honored!

If you are a WWII veteran or you know of one, please be sure to sign up to be remembered today!

U.S. Army Ranger Patrick Montgomery was a private on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011 when he got horrible news: His brother-in-law, Jeremy Katzenberger, also a Ranger, had been killed while in action. Montgomery escorted his brother-in-law’s body home to America, to his sister. That death and the things he saw on his tours of duty in the Middle East changed him. They made him want to help his fellow veterans. After retiring from the military in 2014, he went to veterinary school, but decided it wasn’t for him. Instead he became a maker of Wagyu Beef, he invited his fellow former war vets along for the ride.
Today, he employs them at his KC Cattle Company which operates on 300 acres of farmland near Weston.
Kansas City Spaces: What is Wagyu beef?
Patrick Montgomery: “Wagyu” means black cow in Japanese. The original genetics came to the United States from Japan in the late 1980s. What makes it special are two mutations in its DNA which allow for a lot more marbling for prime steaks, making the melting temperature lower than other breeds of cattle. It has a lot more buttery flavor than other breeds.
KCS: Why did you decide to get into raising Wagyu cattle?

PM: There’s just something about working with cattle. The lifestyle and all it entails was appealing. It is like the military in that there were always tasks to complete, and I was outside a lot. There’s a lot of synergy between that (ranger) lifestyle and working with cattle.
KCS: What do you try to do differently than other producers of beef?
PM: There are a couple of things you have to do to help them pack on that marble. They are pasture-raised. We try to maintain a low-stress environment. When we are moving the cattle for harvest, we try to keep them calm and relaxed. It’s not necessary to holler at them. We train them to the feed bucket. They come to us and associate us with something good, like feed. It’s also slow feeding. Traditionally, you harvest cattle at about 18 months of age. The youngest we go is 26 months, and normally it’s closer to 30. That’s why you see the higher price point. You’re spending a ot more time on them.
KCS: How do you think being a veteran makes a difference in how you work?
PM: I have a “never quit” mentality. As a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion, that was something drilled into my head. Being a startup, a lot of days are pretty tough, but maintaining that discipline I had in the military helps in the business world as well.

KCS: How do people get your product?
PM: We sell online ( to the lower 48 (states). For orders over $99, we ship for free. To the Kansas City area we have a local delivery service that will deliver to your house for free every Tuesday to the majority of zip codes in the Northland. We’re looking to push further south with demand. By the end of 2019 we are hoping to set up retail locations.

The arts still play a vital role in much of our society. In fact, without the arts, much of our history, expression and culture would be virtually nonexistent.

In recognition of Military Sexual Trauma Awareness Month, Fort Harrison is hosting a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Resources Fair on April 25 (1130-1400) at the Helena Armed Forces Reserve Center (HAFRC). It is **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**
The scheduled events are as follows:
 Introduction by MG Matthew Quinn, the Montana Nation-al Guard Adjutant General
 Learn about how local organizations can help prevent and respond to sexual assault and domestic violence
 Resources from agencies in our community including the VA, Friendship Center, AWARE, Helena PD, L&C Sheriff’s Department, and MCADSV
 Walk a Mile in Their Shoes—walk around the HAFRC on Fort Harrison and learn facts about sexual assault
 Refreshments provided by MTARNG Recruiting