• Brenda Hittmeier has been promoted to managing director at Stockman Asset Management (SAM) in Billings. Her responsibilities include investment account management, economic analysis, business development and employee supervision and development. She works with Montana families to provide holistic wealth management services.
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  • by Renée Jean, Sidney Herald MINOT — Operators have been saying the Bakken is getting better and better, but North Dakota Department of Minerals Director Lynn Helms had the numbers to show it. Not only are today’s wells vastly superior to wells of even two years ago, Helms said during the annual conference of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, but
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  • Tourism is a dynamic industry. What it brings to a community is far reaching, diversified and often wholly unpredictable.From comedians to construction, from hiking to fine dining, from education to exciting careers, visitors to Montana bring it all.
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  • Fred Stout said his company was “elated” to receive the 2016 Montana Family Business award in the Small Business category, “because it is an outstanding event and award.”“We are sharing this award with many small businesses that could be here more appropriately,” he said.
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  • In attending the award ceremony of MSU’s College of Business’ Family Business Day, one walks among true greatness, as affirmed by the stories these families tell about their history, their struggles and their achievements. Everyone involved with the program says much the same thing about how much they enjoy it. One always leaves the event, more so than any other,
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  • Because someone said “I can do this better,” a small family business was born.That business, Elliotts of Montana, was recognized in the Very Small category of the 2016 Montana Family Business Awards from the Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, during an awards ceremony last week. Each year, the event is co-produced by State Farm Insurance,
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  • Many small businesses relate start-up experiences of working in their basement or a garage, but the 2016 Montana Family Business award winner in the Medium Category began business out of the trunk of a car. Don Cowles owner of Wild West Shirt Co. began his business in 1974 selling t-shirts to employees of Yellowstone National Park from the trunk of
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  • Given the growing popularity of local breweries in Montana, it isn’t too surprising to find that one of the winners, of the 2016 Montana Family Business Awards, is a newly established brewery in Glasgow — nor, that it is a winner in the New Business category.
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  • General Distributing Company has grown to be one of Montana’s premier businesses, with locations in Great Falls, Glendive, Butte, Bozeman, Helena and Billings. As the family business of the Bliss Family it was recognized with a 2016 Montana Family Business Awards from the Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship, during an awards ceremony last week. It
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  • In Montana agriculture few names are as readily recognized as the Cooper Hereford Ranch, a pioneer in the production of purebred Hereford cattle.Over a hundred years in the making, the business was recognized as one of Montana’s top family-owned businesses in the Old Business Category of the 2016 Montana Family Business Awards presented by the Montana State University’s Jake Jabs
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  • Stockman Asset Management (SAM), an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and provider of integrated wealth management solutions based in Billings has acquired Peak Investment Management, Ltd. Peak is also an RIA firm based in Missoula. The two firms now offer their services on a larger scale with locations in Helena, Missoula, Conrad and Billings.
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  • The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a new study that outlines the destructive legacy this administration’s relentless labor regulatory agenda will leave for manufacturers, their employees and the communities in which they live.
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Montana State University set an enrollment record this fall, with 12,764 students attending classes, MSU officials announced.

MSU has set enrollment records in three out of the last four years. The 2009 headcount is 395 more students than the previous record, set in 2008.

Significantly, the university has a record number of freshmen enrolled, 2,281. The previous record of 2,225 was set in 2005.

"A big freshman class is a vote of confidence. Both Montana residents and out-of-state students are choosing us," said MSU President Geoff Gamble.

A 20 percent increase in Native American freshmen helped set the record. The number of Native American freshmen rose from 54 students in 2008 to 65 students this fall. Overall, Native American enrollment is at a historic high of 377 students - a 79 percent increase since Gamble took office in 2000. Increasing Native American enrollment has been one of his primary objectives.

"All our students receive a great education here, with hands-on opportunities to do cutting-edge research or explore creative endeavors in the humanities - both preparing them well for their careers after college," Gamble said.

Not only is it MSU's largest entering freshman class, but on average, it is also the brightest.

The average ACT score of this fall's, full-time, entering freshman is 25.14. A common measure of a student's academic accomplishment in high school, the ACT scale is from 0 to 36.

This fall's full-time freshmen have an average ACT score 0.7 higher than the university's previous record holders, the entering class of 2008. Since 1998, the university has never seen a jump in ACT scores greater than 0.3 from class to class.


"This is remarkable. MSU is seeing an unprecedented jump in the quality of its entering, full-time freshman," said Allen Yarnell, vice president of student affairs.

Additionally, 58 entering freshmen scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. One freshman had a perfect score. Together, they make up the largest group of top-scoring ACT students ever in an MSU freshman class.

"We have committed staff; we have superb faculty; and we prepare our students for great success. Quality students recognize that," Yarnell said.

Since 2006, MSU has been the only university in the five-state region of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and North and South Dakota to meet the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's criteria for the highest research classification. Since 2000, research funding earned by the university has grown 61 percent, from $61 million to $98.4 million in fiscal year 2009.

Last year, MSU's research directly provided $7.76 million in undergraduate and graduate salaries, benefits, scholarships and fellowships. Additionally, two MSU students won Goldwater Scholarships last year, the nation's premier scholarship for undergraduates studying math, natural sciences and engineering. MSU is ranked 11th nationally for Goldwater winners, just behind Yale and MIT.

"On top of all we have to offer academically, MSU students get to live in this beautiful setting that is the Rocky Mountains. That's part of our message and we believe it's being heard," Gamble said. "We are Trout U and the University of the Yellowstone. That's very appealing to students."

In the past six years, MSU has been ranked No. 1 in the country by Fly Rod & Reel magazine for undergrads angling for an education near trout streams; No. 5 in Outside magazine's "40 Best College Towns;" No. 4 ski town by Skiing magazine, and in the top 10 hunting and fishing universities by Outdoor Life magazine. Bozeman was named one of top three cities for an adventurer to start a family in the October 2009 issue of National Geographic Adventure.

MSU also has a good reputation among employers, which translates into opportunities for graduates, Gamble said.

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