By Rebecca Colnar, editor, Montana FB Spokesman
#WomenInAg recognizes the contributions of women involved in agriculture during Women’s History Month (March). AFBF is proud to salute Cyndi Johnson, a Montana farmer and Farm Bureau leader!
Wheat farmer Cyndi Johnson was elected Montana Farm Bureau vice president in November and has been involved in the organization since she was a kid. “I’ve watched it grow into a highly successful organization,” she said. “You might get sound bites from other organizations, but the one organization that makes a big difference is Farm Bureau. Agriculture is our history and backbone as well as our future. I can’t think of a better organization to ensure that agriculture remains the most respected profession.”
Along with farming, Johnson has been involved in several different community entities. “Politics runs in my family. I was a county commissioner for 12 years. We belong to the local Chamber of Commerce, and I’ve been involved with baseball and softball for more than 30 years. I volunteer as a swim coach and started coaching volleyball. Sometimes I get involved in the local theater group because I enjoy singing and acting.”
Johnson’s current job is executive director with the Pondera Regional Port Authority. There is not a port close by, but in Montana, a law allows for local governments to create a port authority for economic development. Johnson sees this as a way to add value to agriculture.
As for challenges facing agriculture, the regulatory environment has become a burden, noted Johnson. “There are so many rules – what you can or can’t do – being passed down from the state and federal governments. Bureaucrats want to tell you what and how much and how far you can go. Ranchers are struggling with keeping public lands in production. The healthiest thing you can do for land is be a steward of it.”