Alfred (Al) Montna
Alfred (Al) Montna and his wife Gail own and operate Montna Farms, Montna Farms Dryer, and the Dingville Duck and Social Club located south of Yuba City, CA.
Montna’s extensive rice industry experience includes his position from November 1984 through November 1998 as Chairman of Farmers Rice Cooperative (FRC) located in Sacramento, CA. After stepping down as Chairman, he remained on the Board until 2000. FRC is the largest rice marketing organization in California. Montna was USA Rice Producers’ Group Chairman from 1991-1994; served as the USA Rice Conservation Committee Chair from 1995–2006; and is the past Chairman of the USA Rice Federation. In September 2000, Montna assisted in forming, and is a partner of, American Commodity Company (ACC), a rice marketing business. ACC markets US milled and paddy rice domestically and internationally to over one hundred countries. In 2005, ACC acquired Great Western Growers (GWG), a rice milling and storage facility located in Williams and Willows, CA.
Montna served on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture from 1992 to 1999 under Governor Pete Wilson and again served from 2005 to 2010 as President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture under Governor Schwarzenegger. He was a member of the Governor’s Flood Emergency Action Team and assisted locally during and following the 1997 flood. Montna also served as a member of the Bay Delta Authority under Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger and on the Bay Delta Advisory Committee. Additionally, he was a member of the Ag Task Force for Resource Conservation and Economic Development and the Ag Network.
As a founding director of the Northern California Water Association in 1970, Montna remains actively involved today. He has served as President/Manager of Garden Highway Mutual Water Company and is currently on the Board of Directors for Levee District One in Sutter County. In 2007, he was appointed to a newly formed Sutter-Butte Flood Control Agency Board.
Montna serves on the Board of Directors for the California Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Sacramento Host Committee. He is past Chairman of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s College of Agriculture Advisory Council and is currently a member of the Board. In 2007, he was asked to be a member of the Cal Poly University Foundation Board. Montna is currently the Senior Vice President of Public Policy at Ducks Unlimited and also serves on the Ducks Unlimited National Board of Directors, and the Conservation Programs Committee.
In 1992, Mr. Montna received the Rice Meritorious Service Grower Achievement Programs Award, a national recognition of his exemplary service for the economic progress of the rice industry. Cal Poly named Montna “Honored Alumnus of the Year for the College of Agriculture” in 1996. In 2004, Montna was named “California Agriculturist of the Year,” an award presented annually to a person who has contributed extensively to the agricultural industry. In 2009, he received the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award. In 2010, he was awarded the Distinguished Service to California Agriculture by the California Chapter of Farmers and Rural Appraisers. In 2008 and 2009, Montna was selected as a finalist for the Leopold Conservation Award. Then in 2010, he was the recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award, an award given to recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
In politics, Montna was Northern California Chair for Governor Wilson’s senatorial, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns and was the Northern California Regional Chairman for Dan Lungren for Governor. Montna served on the Steering Committee for California Agriculture for George Bush for President. He served on the Finance Committee for Wally Herger for Congress, Vic Fazio for Congress, Mike Thompson for Congress and Doug Ose for Congress. Montna was chairman of the Bill Jones, Bill Simon and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor campaigns for Sutter County. Currently Montna is the Finance Chairman for the Sacramento Region for Romney for President.
Outside of agriculture, Montna has served as a director on the Metro Air Park Development Committee since 1989. Metro Airpark is a 1,486-acre master planned community with nearly 16 million square feet of manufacturing, distribution, research/development, office and retail space located adjacent to Sacramento International Airport. In addition, Montna was elected in February 1999 to the Board of Directors of Feather River State Bank, which had $300 million in assets and was based in Yuba City, CA. He was Chairman of the Feather River State Bank Board of Directors from 2002 until the bank’s merger with Humboldt Bank. He served on Humboldt’s Board of Directors until Humboldt merged with Umpqua Bank in 2004.
Al and Gail have two grown daughters, Nicole Montna Van Vleck and Michelle Montna Vogt, and six grandchildren. The family believes that conservation friendly agriculture is fundamental to the sustainability of Montna Farms for future generations.