Montana Department of Agriculture logo

To protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.

Montana Department of Agriculture Mission

Programs & Background

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) operates more than 30 programs, many funded entirely through user fees. These include regulatory programs that protect producers, consumers and the environment, as well as development and marketing programs to foster growth in Montana agriculture.

The Director's Office also serves as an advocate for Montana agriculture in national and international forums and works to make the department's programs accessible to the public. We encourage you to explore this site to learn more about what MDA offers (the Topics page is a great place to get started), or contact the department for more information.

Ben Thomas is the new Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture for 2017, pending confirmation from the Montana Legislature.

From the Governor's Office: Governor Bullock has selected Ben Thomas to serve as the Director of the Department of Agriculture. Ben has served in several departments within the US Department of Agriculture throughout his career, most recently serving as the Deputy Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs. He received his undergraduate degree from Austin College and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate at Washington University School of Law and a Masters of Laws from the University of Arkansas School of Law in food and agricultural law. He served as legislative aide and counsel for Senator Max Baucus, where he played a lead role in developing the Farm Bill. Ben was raised on his family’s farm which is still in production today.

Currently, Kim Mangold is serving as Interim Director pending the arrival and confirmation of Mr. Thomas.

Our Divisions

The Montana Department of Agriculture operates more than 30 programs, many funded entirely through user fees. These include regulatory programs that protect producers, consumers and the environment, as well as development and marketing programs to foster growth in Montana agriculture. The Director's Office also serves as an advocate for Montana agriculture in national and international forums and works to make the department's programs accessible to the public.
  • Agricultural Development Division
    The Agricultural Development Division is responsible for administering programs that promote and enhance Montana agriculture. Within the division are four bureaus: the Rural Development Bureau, the Wheat and Barley Bureau, the Agricultural Marketing and Business Development Bureau, and the Montana State Grain Laboratory Bureau.

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  • Agricultural Sciences Division
    The Agricultural Sciences Division provides agricultural, public and environmental services and protection through administration of the Montana laws and rules. Cooperative agreements with the USDA, Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency provide services and jurisdiction in areas of interstate and international movement of plant materials, produce and feed; enforcement of FDA rules to prevent transmission of BSE disease in cattle; and the regulation of pesticide sales, use and production in Montana.

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  • Central Services Division
    The Central Services Division provides accounting, budgeting, computer programming, fiscal management, human resources, payroll and benefits, public information, purchasing, property control, records management, systems analysis, training, website administration and legal support to all programs within the department.

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