Anyone can be a victim of

Human Trafficking

Those exploited by traffickers represent people of all races, genders, backgrounds and social and economic statuses. A trafficker can be anyone — a classmate, employer, family friend, acquaintance, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or someone you met online.

According to Polaris, who operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 10,359 trafficking situations reported to the Hotline in 2021. In those situations, a total of 16,554 likely victims of trafficking were identified. As shocking as these numbers are, they are likely only a fraction of the actual problem.

Since 2000, traffickers have recruited 55% of all sextrafficking victims online through social media, messaging apps, chat rooms, dating apps, classified ads, or job boards– making the internet the most widely used tool to scout out and groom potential victims into this horrific crime. Additionally, traffickers use the internet to solicit buyers. In 85% of all cases, the internet was the primary form of advertising humans for sale (2020 Human Trafficking Report.)As a whole, the internet remained the top reported recruitment location. To Read more visit

Courtesy of Enough is Enough

Raise Awareness for Missing Children

Courtesy of Montana

Department of Justice


We’re accepting submissions for the National Missing Children’s Poster Contest. Your Montana fifth grader can help us raise awareness of the issue of missing children and have a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C.

Follow the link for more information on how to participate:…/


Photo Courtesy of Montana Department of Justiec

Inflation, Recession, Labor Markets and a New Wave of In-Migration to

Montana the Focus of the 48th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar   

Submitted by

Shannon Furniss


Inflation, recession, strained labor markets and a new wave of in-migration to Montana are the focus of the 2023 Economic Outlook Seminar, which launches next week and continues through mid-March in nine Montana cities.

Montana’s economy turned in another blistering growth performance in 2022, but the rapid rise of interest rates, the continued pain of raging inflation and falling global commodity prices are shifting the sands beneath the foundation of that strong growth, according to Patrick Barkey, director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

One of the first to feel those changes will be the state’s housing industry, Barkey said. Conventional 30-year mortgage rates exceeding 7% have cut the flow of loan applications to a trickle and sent sales of existing homes sharply downward.

“With the winds of economic change all about, the question for Montana increasingly becomes, what kind of recession is in our future? Montana will not escape the slowdown that is now underway,” Barkey said.

In addition to an in-depth look at Montana’s economy, the seminar also will feature a keynote presentation by Bryce Ward, economist and founder of ABMJ Consulting, titled “The Future of Montana: What the New Wave of In-Migration Means for the State.”

The COVID-19 pandemic sent plenty of people from congested urban areas around the country to live in places like Montana and other Mountain West states, said Ward, adding that the promise of keeping their jobs in the big city while enjoying the lifestyle of the West has had a powerful appeal.

“The pandemic has changed Montana: more people, different people, more expensive housing,” Ward said. “In economics jargon, the demand for Montana has increased.”

The half-day seminar also will provide expert insights on Montana’s largest industries, including real estate, agriculture, wood products, and health care.

Another Montana’s industry – tourism – has had a noteworthy year. Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” the popular TV series filmed in Montana, has sparked the interest of a worldwide audience, bringing an estimated 2.1 million visitors and $730 million in spending to the state in 2021.

“The ‘Yellowstone’ TV show has demonstrated the power of Montana’s American West image to influence people to visit the state,” said Melissa Weddell, the director of UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. Weddell will present the tourism outlook at the seminar.


The seminar will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the following cities: 


  • Great Falls – Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Hilton Garden Inn
  • Helena – Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Delta Hotels Helena Colonial
  • Missoula – Friday, Jan. 27, at the Hilton Garden Inn
  • Billings – Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Northern Hotel
  • Bozeman – Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Commons
  • Butte – Thursday, Feb. 2, at the NorthWestern General Office
  • Kalispell – Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Hilton Garden Inn
  • Sidney – Tuesday, March 14, at the MSU Richland County Extension Office
  • Miles City – Wednesday, March 15, at the Sleep Inn & Suites


Webcast streaming live from Bozeman is available in addition to in-person options. Continuing Education credits are offered for both the webcast only and in-person options. For more information and access to the online seminars visit or call 406-243-2782.