Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
Pam Lamer joined Bear Paw Development Corp. this month as its value added agriculture coordinator, and says she is looking forward to her job. “I’m very excited about the current projects,” she said Tuesday. “I look forward to being able to turn these into reality, and having the opportunity to make the local economy better. It’s going to be a very rewarding experience.” Paul Tuss, executive director at Bear Paw Development, said Lamer’s background and experience will make a good fit in the position, which has the goal of helping agriculture producers find ways to add value to their commodities. “Her experience in finance will be extremely valuable,” he added. The progam, one of four in the Bio Product Innovation Center program in eastern Montana, is funded through the WIRED program administered by the Montana Department of Agriculture. Lamer, who is married to Paul Lamer and has four children, started her new position Aug. 13. She fills the vacancy left by Brandi Beecher, the development center’s first value added agriculture coordinator, who started about two-and-a-half years ago and left on June 15. Lamer grew up on a cattle ranch in northwestern Montana near Eureka, attended the University of Montana in Missoula then worked for more than six years at US Bank in Havre. “I’m quite familiar with some of the challenges our agriculture producers face and that will make it a lot easier to take some of the projects forward,” she said. She said the projects Beecher worked on, for which she will be taking over coordination, range from raising tomatoes and baby carrots to a wool mill in Phillips County and wind power projects, biodiesel projects and ethanol projects. She said she has spent the last week starting to familiarize herself with the duties of her new job, including attending the WIRED Conference at Montana State University-Northern last week, and will continue to do so. She will also attend a community development training session in Great Falls next month, sponsored by the Heartland Institute of Nebraska. Tuss said many ag producers in the region are great at what they do raising crops and cattle, operating their business but might not know how to sort through government programs and grant possibilities, organize feasibility studies, figure out a business plan for a value-added project, and implementing a new plan. That is what Lamer will help with, he said. “What this position does is take great ideas and hopefully make them success stories,” he said.