Leadership Montana alumni in action: Ryan Hughes, Class of 2016, Dillon
A smiling man with gray hair in a white-button up shirt, blue tie with gold, circular accents, and black jacket with pin and Montana emblems on his lapels
Rolf Groseth
November 28, 2017
A smiling woman in a blue button-up shirt with crossed arms leans back in front of a capitol building
Melissa Shannon
January 31, 2018
A smiling man in suit and red-patterned tie in front of green leaves


Ryan Hughes, Class of 2016

As interviewed by Jake Feddes, Manhattan, Class of 2017A smiling man in suit and red-patterned tie in front of green leaves

Tell us about you…what do you do, where do you live, family life.

Ryan is a Nutritional Consultant for Alltech. Alltech is an innovative, agricultural, technology company based out of Kentucky, but has operations all over North America and 32 other countries. His day job is to bring biosciences and new technologies to ranchers and farmers from Idaho Falls to Kalispell in order to help improve production and efficiency. Ryan manages the retail outlet in Dillon, Montana as well as sits on the North American advisory board for Alltech.

Ryan also has 30 head of registered black angus cattle and works as a consultant for numerous cattle breeders in the state, purchasing genetics for many ranchers across north America.

Tell us about a favorite memory from your Leadership Montana class.

Ryan’s favorite memories both took place in Glasgow. The first was when they had an area rancher speak. The class was expecting him to be at odds with classmates whom were employed by conservation groups. Throughout the conversation, he said it was neat to see how the class learned that ranchers work closely with conservation and how agriculture has nothing without conservation of the land and water.

The second was when they learned about the American Prairie Reserve and how local people opposed them, not for what they were doing, but for how they were doing it. He said it was interesting to see the class learn firsthand about things that agriculture in Montana deals with daily.

What has been the strongest impact that Leadership Montana has made on your life, professionally or personally?

Professionally LMT helped open Ryan’s eyes to how little many Montanans know about the Agricultural sector and the economic driving forces in our state. While our energy companies and our states natural energy reserves pay the largest taxes to the state to fund government programs, Agriculture is still Montana’s largest industry. Most people don’t realize that because it’s not publicized or promoted as heavily as other industries and our tiny rural towns don’t have large voices in more populated areas in our state. Along with adding more perspective and insight on how to better approach situations, it has helped push Ryan to get more involved in the state in different aspects to bring awareness so more Montanans know how important Agriculture is to Montana. It has also helped him push more Agricultural people to get involved on a statewide basis so there is a better understanding the values that small agricultural businesses hold dear.

Personally, LMT helped Ryan meet business professionals from across the state on an even playing field. Everyone was there for the same reason, to make Montana better. He was able to pull tools from different classmates and their given areas of expertise to strengthen himself on a professional level and help motivate him in his personal life as well.

What do you see as the role for Leadership Montana for our state?

Montana the last best place. Yet it is impossible to turn back the clock and become what we were last week or 100 years ago. As Montana is becoming more diverse and is being influenced more and more by out of state interests it is important to preserve history and understand the values pasted down from that history, but also embrace positive change for the betterment of those who live here. Leadership Montana is a way of bringing leaders from a wide variety of industries and businesses into the same room with the same common goal of making Montana a better place for all of us.

Finally, tell us what you appreciate most about Montana.

Ryan’s favorite things about Montana are the history and diversity. Even though Montana is a huge state and even with the massive distances and diversity, it still feels like a small community. No matter if he is in Dillon or Glasgow, he feels like he is with family and part of the community. He loves the fact that Montana is full of independent thinkers and persevering hard workers.

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