My name is Tonya Shellnutt, and I am the new state director for Concerned Women for America of Montana. I was born and raised in Montana. In my younger years, I spent summers farming in North Dakota on my grandfather’s farm and ranching on our family friend’s cattle ranch. I was brought up in a law enforcement family and grew up a deputy sheriff’s kid. I guess you could say that prepared me for being in the public eye. I was blessed to be a part of a generation that knew the meaning of hard work.
I have been married to my wonderful husband, Rich for 18 years. We have five kids – three boys and two girls, ranging in age from 17-6. We are a sports-oriented family and love football, basketball, softball, and really any kind of competitive sport!! We enjoy the outdoors and enjoy hunting and fishing. We have been business owners for over fifteen years. Rich and I are actively involved in our local church serving in the Married Adult Ministry. We are passionate about strengthening families and marriages. I have spent much of my time volunteering and working with women in crisis situations and equipping them with coping skills to adequately face life’s difficulties. I am a mentor mom with our local MOPS group and frequently teach our young girls life skills classes with Biblical application. Over the years, I have coached softball and basketball and take seriously the importance of being a positive role-model in the lives of young impressionable youth. In my spare time, I enjoy speaking at various events and writing.
I came to CWA in the summer of 2012 as a result of a book I had written. One afternoon I was searching the web looking to see who was carrying my book, Woman Power Revolution. I came across Concerned Women for America. I honestly had never heard of them before so I looked them up on the internet. I was glad to see that we were like-minded, so I signed up to receive their e-alerts. About two weeks later, I received a post card in the mail inviting me to their She Votes 2012 bus tour rally. I knew I had to meet these ladies. I have been blessed ever since. I decided to join them in the work they are doing. I started off as a field director for the She Votes 2012 project, and after the election, I was asked to become the Montana state director.
What an encouragement it is to be part of an organization that works so hard to educate our communities about the importance of being engaged in public policy that affects our family and future generations. I spent many years being busy raising a family and investing in my kids and husband; I was nae about the dangerous agendas happening around me. As I began to educate myself, I knew I had to become involved and give everything that I had to such important issues affecting my family and our future generations. My great-grandmother shared stories of her days during the Great Depression. They were so grueling and oppressive. I knew that my great-grandmother worked so hard for our future generation that I couldn’t ignore what was happening in my country and in our culture. I know I need courage and tenacity to face a very uphill battle, but one that is worth fighting to preserve what many of our ancestors have worked so hard to defend and protect.
It is our time to make a difference and be the voice for women that speaks of hope, meaningful legacies, and intentionality. Our future generations are counting us to be the light in darkness. Join me as we band together in Montana and across the nation to be the conservative voice that doesn’t waver, compromise, or succumb to apathy. Together, our voice will be one of courage and purpose.
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be STRONG and of good COURAGE, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
In the last three months as the state director for CWA of Montana, I have been working diligently to build relationships with many groups and our legislators. I have met with the Montana Attorney General, Tim Fox, and am fostering relationships with legislators who are like-minded and concerned about protecting our conservative values. I have been up to Helena every week testifying on bills. I have been working on the following bills;
HB239; Define scope/boundaries of human sexuality/reproduction education K-12
HB478; Revise laws regarding human trafficking
HB104; Criminalize offenses involving death to an unborn child
HB521; Referendum requiring parental consent for an abortion for a minor
HB619; Constitutional referendum to specify no right to abortion or its public funding
You can see we have hit the ground running. We are making great strides, but the opposition is intense. We covet any and all prayers, involvement and financial support you can provide to continue to help us “fight the good fight”!
Please be on the look-out for future e-alerts and events as we bring the message of education and equipping conservatives to build bridges and becoming an educated effective populous!