Daines Honors January Montanan of the Month: Justin Heupel of Flathead County

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines recognized Justin Heupel of Flathead County for his dedication to his students and passion for advancing agriculture education in Montana.

Through his “Montanan of the Month” initiative, each month Daines will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Month” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: HERE.

The following is a statement submitted to the Congressional Record:


Mr. Daines. Mr. President, Today I have the honor of recognizing Justin Heupel of Flathead County for his dedication to his students and passion for advancing agriculture education in Montana.

Originally from Culbertson, Montana, Mr. Heupel first joined FFA as a student in 1988. His passion for farming and ag took him to Montana State University where he received a degree in agricultural education–Go Cats! He has served Montana as an educator for 27 years and has spent the last 19 years teaching at the H.E. Robinson Agricultural Education Center in Kalispell where he also serves as a faculty adviser for FFA.

Mr. Heupel has been instrumental in improving and expanding ag education in our great state. He served as president of the Montana Association of Agricultural Educators and advocated for the Advancing Agricultural Education in Montana program that helped create over 25 new agriculture education programs in Montana schools and provided funding to improve the quality of existing programs. Recently, Mr. Heupel received the National FFA Organization’s highest degree recognizing him for his exceptional service to agricultural education.

Teachers serve an important role as they shape the minds of young Montanans and help prepare them for future careers. Montana has a rich legacy of agriculture, as it’s the primary driver of our economy. There is no doubt that Mr. Heupel’s passion for teaching about agriculture helped encourage young Montanans to pursue careers in this important field. In fact, nine of his former students have gone on to become agricultural education teachers themselves.

Passionate educators like Mr. Heupel help make Montana a better place and give students the tools they need to be successful. It’s my honor to recognize Mr. Heupel for his devotion to shaping the next generation of Montana ag leaders and keeping Montana’s rich legacy of agriculture alive. Keep up the great work, you make Montana proud!


Contact: Rachel DumkeBlake Kernen