The Art of Drying and Milling Botanicals

Technical Workshops

AHPA regularly presents in-person technical workshops to train the herbal products industry on the latest tools and methods that help ensure high-quality products and compliance with federal and state regulations.

Given the current travel restrictions, no workshops are currently scheduled.

Want to make a suggestion for a future technical workshop? Contact

Past Workshops

The Art of Drying and Milling Botanicals

Convened July 2018

Published: Monday, April 30, 2018


Event Details

Dates: July 16-17, 2018

Bighorn Botanicals, Inc.
113 Pilgrim Creek Road
Noxon, MT 59853 

Members - $800
Non-Members - $1,000

Capacity: 10 people


Bighorn Botanicals, Inc. was founded in 1991 by Rus Willis with a contract to harvest and process Pacific Yew bark (Taxus brevifolia). Bighorn Botanicals then began developing specially selected botanicals which have been historically documented as significantly beneficial to Native Americans and pioneers in the Pacific Northwest. As a bulk raw material supplier to the herbal, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries for almost 20-years, Bighorn Botanicals has supplied over 500,000 pounds of various dried and milled botanicals that are native, naturalized and cultivated in Montana. As one of the foremost experts in the industry on drying and milling botanicals, Willis manages a 10,000-square foot bulk processing and storage facility that operates with custom designed milling and drying equipment. Bighorn Botanicals is the only company in Montana with the knowledge and capability to mill and dry tonnage of herbs and morel mushrooms. 

Attend this workshop to learn from one of the industry’s top drying and milling experts. Willis will take you on a tour of his facility and provide an up close and personal view of Bighorn Botanicals drying and milling process. 

Attendance is limited to 10 people


  • Milling equipment and operations
  • Various milling methods for individual botanicals
  • Dryers and how to construct them
  • Drying methods for various botanicals


  • Rus Willis, President, Bighorn Botanicals, Inc.
  • Tom McDowell, Bulk Production Manager, Bighorn Botanicals, Inc.


Registration does not include lodging. Bighorn Botanicals is located in northwestern Montana near the rural town of Noxon, a pristine environment of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and wildlife. The Amber Bear Inn Lodge in Heron, MT is a 10-minute drive from Bighorn Botanicals. Lodging is limited, as this is a rural area, so please do not delay in making your lodging arrangements. It is recommended you check-in to the Amber Bear Inn Lodge on July 15 and check out on July 18. Please identify the Bighorn Botanicals Workshop when booking your reservation. Prices range from $89/night to $150/night based on room type and availability.

  • Rooms at the Amber Bear Lodge – $125-$150/night + tax
  • Bungalow beside the Amber Bear Lodge – $89/night + tax
  • Three-bedroom house within walking distance of the Amber Bear Inn Lodge – $89/night + tax

Amber Bear Inn Lodge

23 Amber Bear Lane
Heron, MT 59844
P: 406.847.8627

Other lodging options that can be pursued by you include a private campground nearby with hook-ups, as well as Forest Service land where you can camp for free.

Workshop Materials

  • All workshop materials will be provided, including a lab coat, hair net, disposable gloves and shoe covers.
  • Willis suggests you provide your own note pad and camera.
For further inquiries, please contact Natasha Weaver at or via phone at 301.588.1171 x109.

2022 Annual Fund Sponsors

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