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Here's some business news in the Missoula area:

Beginning in the fall of 2020, University of Montana students interested in studying business will have a faster route into UM’s College of Business.

Traditionally, students who wish to declare a business major had to be first fully admitted to UM and then formally apply to the College of Business during their sophomore year.

Now, first-year UM students entering the fall semester in 2020 may be invited to the Direct Admit Program within the business college. The new program will allow UM freshmen to declare business as their major rather than waiting until they are sophomores, a move that UM says can save students time and resources and offer earlier access to required coursework.

“The Direct Admit Program provides students with numerous opportunities to engage more fully with their education through mentorship, networking and leadership development activities,” said Kathleen Tarkalson, director of student success and internships in the College of Business. “For students interested in maximizing their time at UM, this program will jump-start the process.”

Direct Admit business students will still need to complete lower-division course requirements so they will be prepared for upper-division coursework. But they won’t need to apply for admission to the business college.

The College of Business considers a number of factors when making direct admission decisions of applicants, including high school GPA, strength of academic coursework, test scores and a person’s ability to enhance diversity.

UM’s College of Business is the only business school in the state and one of the few in the region to offer a Direct Admit Program. More information on applying to UM is online at https://www.umt.edu/admissions/.

Green Ridge Biosolutions in Ronan recently announced that it received a hemp processing license for Montana. The company recently expanded to its 15,000-square-foot location in Ronan, Montana, where it extracts CBD (cannabidiol) from hemp grown in Montana.

The company manufactures, tests, and labels in strict accordance with the standards of all FDA regulations.

“We are excited to continue to scale our operations and support the farmers in Montana while doing so,” said Sam Belanger, chief operations officer for Green Ridge Biosolutions. “We are proud to make hemp-derived CBD products in Montana. It is an honor to be officially granted a Hemp Processor License by the Montana Department of Agriculture.”

The Montana Department of Agriculture created a hemp processing license to provide consistency and comply with new USDA oversight established in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The rules allow companies and persons wanting to process hemp plants or plant parts to apply for a Hemp Processor License. The processor license allows licensees to produce derivatives for use in products for food, fiber, oils, supplements, or drugs (excluding THC) for the wholesale or ingredient market. Hemp processors must comply with city, county, and tribal ordinances and laws.

"Green Ridge Biosolutions is one of only a few hemp CBD product manufacturers capable of producing high-quality hemp extract in volumes that can meet significantly increasing market demand," said Belanger. “We want to congratulate Socati, a hemp processor located in Missoula, on receiving their Hemp Processing License as well. We look forward to working with them to the benefit of Montana farmers and the industry. "

Belanger said the 100% Montana-grown hemp is processed through proprietary extraction methods to create full-spectrum hemp extract is used in Green Ridge Biosolutions products for sale throughout the United States.

University of Montana President Seth Bodnar will speak Wednesday, Nov. 20, as part of the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

This year’s Dreamforce speaker lineup includes former President Barack Obama, Apple CEO Tim Cook, World Cup soccer player Megan Rapinoe and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among many others. A crowd of 170,000 has tickets to attend Dreamforce, which will include 2,700 information sessions.

Since 2003, Dreamforce has gathered together worldwide users of Salesforce, a cloud computing service that helps businesses connect with customers, partners and potential customers.

Bodnar will present a session titled “How to Build Your Salesforce Army” with LeeAnne Rimel of Salesforce and Sonia Flamm of Advanced Technology Group, a Cognizant Company. They will highlight collaborative education programs created in Missoula to grow Salesforce expertise for local corporate partners.

UM, ATG and Salesforce developed a course for UM’s College of Business — Information Infrastructures: A Strategic Perspective — as well as a 12-week training program titled “All In Missoula (AIM),” which was offered through Missoula College. Both will serve as case studies for the Dreamforce presentation.

Last month, UM launched its Tech Skills for Tomorrow Initiative, an effort aimed at providing education and training to address the high-tech workforce needs of Montana businesses.

“Our collaboration with ATG Cognizant and Salesforce is one embodiment of Tech Skills for Tomorrow,” Bodnar said in a UM press release. “Universities have an important role to play in addressing workforce demands and preparing students for success."

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