Board of Directors

Leo Barthelmess - President

Leo Barthelmess is a former president of Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, past Director of the MT Stockgrowers Association, served as a president for the Highline wool pool, past president of the Phillips County Livestock Association, and serves as a Trustee for the state chapter of The Nature Conservancy. This third generation family ranch is a cow/calf operation that also produces sheep, hay and grass seed. The ranch has also been recognized as the region 5 recipient of the NCBA environmental stewardship award program in 2005.

Dale Veseth - Vice President

Dale is a third generation rancher who lives on the family ranch in the Missouri River breaks. Dale received a bachelors and master’s degrees in Animal Science from Montana State University. He worked for the Montana Beef Performance Association while completing his MS degree as executive secretary. Dale and his wife, Janet, were the recipients of the Clarence Burch award in 2008 and the ranch received the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association regional environmental stewardship award that same year. Dale and Janet are founding members of the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance and the Matador Grassbank.

Conni French - Secretary

Conni ranches with her husband, in-laws, nephew and his wife south of Malta, Mt.  She and her husband (with the help of the community!) raised 3 children on the ranch.  Over the years she has been active in 4-H, local youth wrestling programs, Phillips County Cattlewomen, Ranch Management Consultants EL program, RSA, Montana Community Preservation Alliance, and Northwest Farm Credit Services.  She looks forward to working with the folks involved in RSA and others to improve the chance of success for the next generation of ranchers.

Aaron Oxarart - Co-treasurer

Aaron Oxarart was raised on the family ranch south of Malta in the same area that his family set down roots back in the “homestead era” over a century ago.  Aaron works for the statewide agriculture lending company Montana Livestock Ag Credit, Inc. out of Helena.  Aaron has been serving on the Rancher’s Stewardship Alliance since 2012.

Vicki Olson - Co-Treasurer

President of the Montana Public Lands Council

Vicki Olson is a third generation rancher from Phillips County, along with her husband, sister and brother-in-law. Her family has been on the ranch for 100 years. She is the President of the Montana Public Lands Council, past President of the Montana and local Cattlewomen, and a member of the National, state and local Stockgrowers.   She also serves as an EMT and 4-H volunteer.


Casey Coulter

The Coulter Family Ranch operation is located in Brusett, Montana.  Casey, Lacey, Garrett (3), and Poppy (1) are members of the operation.  Casey went to MSU, then worked in western Montana on a ranch and at a lending institution before moving back to the operation 9 years ago.  Lacey is from North Dakota, but went to college and worked in Kansas before moving to eastern Montana.  The fifth generation is now living on the ranch.  Coulter Family Ranch has a goal that incorporates natural resource and financial health, while providing the best quality of life.

Kelli French

Kelli is a country girl at heart.  She grew up South of Malta on her family's ranch.  In addition to enjoying her time on the ranch, Kelli has always had her head in the clouds.  To pursue this interest she went to college and graduated with a Bachelors in Aeronautical Science.  Kelli then came back to the ranch and helped her folks while giving flying lessons.  To quench some of her thirst for adventure, Kelli headed to Australia for work and to Vietnam and Peru for holiday.  Kelli has now been a member of RSA for 2 years and is new to the board.  She is also active in CattleWomen.  Kelli's newest adventure is flying Second-in-Command for NE MT STAT Air Ambulance in Glasgow, MT.


Amber Smith

Amber Smith has been living and working in rural, western America for the past two decades. She currently serves on her local country school board, the Council on Aging and Big Dry Transit boards of Garfield County, and spent many years developing riding and coaching programs for 4-H youth. She and her husband are raising their two children and stewarding Antelope Springs Ranch near Cohagen, MT.


Rick CaquelinRick Caquelin

Rick Caquelin and his wife ranch south of Stanford, Montana. Rick grew up on a crop and livestock farm in Illinois. He graduated from Montana State University with a range degree and spent the better part of 33 years raising a family and working for the NRCS in Culbertson, Baker and Stanford. Now retired from his work at NRCS, Rick continues to be a trusted advisor to many in the ranching community.