Who are we?

The Montana Grain Elevator Association

The mission of the Montana Grain Elevator Association is to provide a forum for all facets of the Montana Grain Industry. We discuss common issues and, when appropriate, take action.

The Association provides networking opportunities for professionals in the grain industry and serves as a resource for members and others about the grain industry.

Discuss common issues 100%
Legislative action 95%
Boring meetings 12%







Member Locations
Years since we were founded
Well over 50000
dollars awarded for scholarships
Great convention each year

What we do

Our Goals


To develop and maintain an organizational structure that addresses the needs of members, is financially healthy, and enables the highest volunteer and staff competency.


To monitor and influence state and federal legislation and regulation which affect the grain elevator industry.


To enhance the professional competency and knowledge of members and to foster high standards of ethical conduct.


To collect and effectively disseminate information on changing technical, governmental and other conditions affecting the grain elevator industry.


To encourage interaction and the understanding of the issues affecting our members and to provide opportunities for this exchange.


To maintain cooperation with the university system; state, regional and national agricultural, natural resource and business associations; state and federal agencies, and other groups in pursuit of MGEA’s mission.


To enhance the recognition of agribusiness as a profession and the public’s understanding of the positive contribution we make to society.

Meet the team

The MGEA Board of Directors

Justin Hager, President

Justin Hager, President

Montana Specialty Mills
Justin Hager grew up on his family’s irrigated farm and ranch on the Fairfield Bench before continuing onto MSU Bozeman where he obtained a degree in Agricultural Business Management and a minor in Economics.  After graduating from MSU Bozeman, he managed grain elevators for General Mills and Columbia Grain for 7 years, followed by 2 years managing a grant and loan program for the Montana Department of Agriculture.  Justin has been with Montana Specialty Mills since 2007, trading specialty crops such as mustard, flax, canola, safflower, coriander, and caraway.
Blaine Juedeman, Vice-President

Blaine Juedeman, Vice-President

CHS Big Sky
Blaine graduated from Montana State University-Bozeman with a degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. He is a grain and pulse merchandiser for CHS Big Sky in Kershaw where he specializes in procurement and origination. Blaine is also a fourth generation farmer from Geraldine where he and his family raise small grains and pulse crops.
Todd LaPlant, Secretary / Treasurer

Todd LaPlant, Secretary / Treasurer

Todd grew up on a farm in Bozeman where he attended Montana State University and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business.   He got his start in the grain industry as a merchandiser for MVC-Collins Elevator. He currently manages the EGT Kintyre Flats grain elevator near Glasgow, MT.
Greg Thayer

Greg Thayer

Montana Milling
Greg graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Business with an accounting emphasis and is a CPA.  Greg is CEO of Montana Milling, Inc specializing in certified organic and conventional grains, flours, flakes, cracked products and specialty mixes.
Krista Lee Evans

Krista Lee Evans

Executive Director, MGEA & MABA
Krista was born and raised on a farm/ranch East of Judith Gap.  She attended Montana State University where she obtained degrees in Agricultural Business, Economics, and Range Science.

Krista worked for Montana Legislative Services for 10 years as a research analyst specializing in water policy including water quantity and water quality, eminent domain, and agricultural issues.  Krista staffed the Environmental Quality Council and the Water Policy Interim Committee in the interim and the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees in the legislative session as well as the House Agriculture Committee.

Krista has run her Government Affairs Consulting business, Blake Creek Project Management, Inc. since 1999 where a majority of her business focuses on the protection of existing water rights and the prior appropriation doctrine, energy production in Montana and agricultural business and grain handling issues.  Krista serves as the executive director for the Montana Agricultural Business Association and the Montana Grain Elevator Association.  Krista also owns, operates, and coaches at FireTower CrossFit in Helena.

In her spare time, Krista is an avid runner and CrossFitter, is on the Lewis and Clark County 4-H Foundation Board, and takes part in other community activities.  She and her two boys have a small acreage in Helena’s East Valley.

Reed Gibson

Reed Gibson

Reed grew up in southern Idaho on a Tulip farm.  He went to the U of Idaho studying Folklore History and was an active member of Phi Delta Sigma.  He then worked in Jerome at a yogurt factory before becoming interested in the grain industry.  His first job was in Rupert at an Edamame bean factory with Peavey grain.  After 12 years he was promoted and moved to Carter, MT with Peavey Grain, where he managed the facility and fashioned the idea of no-entry bin sweeps.  In 2002 he took a job with Malteurop as the Country Elevator manager and currently holds that role.  He has a collection of Volkswagon Beetles and enjoys his time tinkering in his shop on them.  His fantastic wife Sonia and 3 boys reside just outside of Fort Benton and enjoy their time traveling national parks.
Terry Bartelt

Terry Bartelt

I started my career in the grain business at the Kershaw elevator in 1983 back when that location was owned by U.G.C.

I worked there as an elevator operator and moved up to superintendent.

From 1985 through 1986 I relocated to a U.G.C. facility in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado where I worked as assistant manager.

Being born and raised in Great Falls, Montana I soon couldn’t stand being away from my home state and returned to work at Kershaw.

I continued work at the Kershaw elevator until 1993 as Superintendent.

July of 1993 I accepted a job as manager of Moore, Montana for Peavey / Conagra which became Gavilon in 2008 where I managed for the next 25 years.

I have seen a lot of change in the grain business and have always enjoyed the challenges.

I recently relocated to Billings, Montana where I work as an area manager for Gavilon.

Kyle Koschmeder

Kyle Koschmeder

Kyle Koschmeder leads the CHS Country Operations Group in Cut Bank which includes 5 locations in Northern Montana. He joined CHS in 1998 and has over 20 years of Ag Co-op experience.  Most recently, he was the Grain Merchandiser and Manager at the Shelby Shuttle facility before taking his current role of General Manager. Kyle started his ag career as a teen with United Cooperative in Waukon, Iowa. He joined CHS Mountain West in Missoula in 1998 to work in retail sales and was introduced to the Cut Bank location as part of the two-year CHS management trainee program. He has stayed with CHS Cut Bank ever since, working his way up through progressively responsible positions in grain, agronomy, and overall operations management.

Jason Myers

Jason Myers

Montana Craft Malt
Jason is a 2000 graduate of Montana State University. He spent 15 years with ADM in various grain management roles in TX, ID, KS, WA and Europe. He lives in Hingham with his wife and three kids.
Josh Wulf

Josh Wulf

Josh was born and raised on a potato and grain farm in SE Idaho. He graduated from the University of IDAHO with a BS in Agricultural Economics and has a Masters in Business Management. He is an Elevator Manager for EGT Tunis. He and his understanding wife reside in Great Falls where they raise 2 darling girls.
Jayson Hauer

Jayson Hauer

Belle Pulses, USA
Jayson comes to Montana by way of Tennessee. He has a diverse background that includes time spent as a paratrooper in the US Army, a Senior Manager for an oil field service company, and an owner / operator of a small family cattle ranch. He currently is the general manager of Belle Pulses USA in Hingham, MT where he runs all the daily operations and buys pulse crops. He spends most of his time away from work coaching sports, including both football and wrestling. He and his wife Jana live in Chinook, MT with their 6 kids.
Kyle Schneider

Kyle Schneider

Kyle was born and raised in Wyoming before heading north to Montana.  He is the Elevator Supervisor for MillerCoors in Power Mt.  Kyle and his very tolerant wife are raising their son and daughter in Great Falls.

Brian Britt

Brian Britt

Columbia Grain
Brian was born and raised in Northern California, the small farm town of Colusa. Attended Yuba College before making the move to Montana to go to work for General Mills in 1995, managed Geraldine and then the Hingham elevators for G.M.I.. In 1998 accepted a position with Columbia Grain. Brian is currently overseeing 2 shuttle facilities, an organic elev. and a pulse facility. (Rudyard,Gildford,Chester) Brian has been a resident of the big city of Rudyard for 20 years, proud father of 3 girls and one granddaughter. He spends his free time with his family and friends enjoying the outdoors of Montana.
Katelin Standley

Katelin Standley

Katelin was born and raised on a wheat and cattle ranch in Molt, MT.  She then graduated from MSU-Bozeman with an Agricultural Business degree.  She is now the elevator manager for Busch Ag in Fairfield and Conrad.  She lives on the Fairfield bench with her husband and son where they raise cattle and horses.
Rhonda Knutson

Rhonda Knutson

United Grain Corporation
I was born and raised in the Brookings, SD area. I received an Elementary/Special Education degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. I then taught K-5 and special education in a one-room school in Lodgepole, SD, before accepting a job at the Adams County Farm Service Agency in Hettinger, ND. After 15 years as a program technician, I joined the United Grain Corporation team at the Bucyrus, ND shuttle location.

In 2018, I was offered the UGC elevator manager position in Pompeys Pillar, MT. My very supportive and understanding husband, Robert along with my twin daughters, Samantha and Rebecca have been my inspiration to accept the newest challenge in my career within the agriculture industry.

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