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The Montana Department of Agriculture manages more than 30 programs, from marketing and business development to licensing and regulating activities to protecting agricultural producers, consumers and the environment. Explore our featured programs below, or use the main menu to browse all MDA programs and services.

In the Spotlight...

Now Hiring Chemist at the MSU Analytical Lab

Position Based in Bozeman

Now Hiring Chemist at the MSU Analytical Lab

The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently hiring a Chemist based at the department Analytical Lab at MSU in Bozeman. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2019. Visit the Employment page for more info and other job openings with the Montana Department of Agriculture.

USDA is Still Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

The application deadline is March 22, 2019

USDA is Still Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

Are you looking for a thriving market to grow your food and agricultural exports?

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a trade mission to Bogota, June 4-7, 2019, and learn how the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) is opening doors, creating new opportunities and helping U.S. ag exports flourish to record levels.

From Montana Public Radio: New Montana Hemp Advisory Committee Will Hold Inaugural Meeting

From Montana Public Radio: New Montana Hemp Advisory Committee Will Hold Inaugural Meeting

Now that industrial hemp is legal to produce, thanks to the federal 2018 Farm Bill, the Montana Department of Agriculture has set up a committee to help producers research and market the crop. The first ever Montana Hemp Advisory Committee is set to hold its inaugural meeting April 3 in Helena.

That announcement Thursday from Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas.

“When I held listening sessions in Sidney and Helena we had very good attendance and there was actually a 100-percent vote at both meetings to proceed with forming this committee. There definitely is a lot of interest out there and I’m excited about it.” 

Click here to read the full article on the Montana Public Radio website.

MDA Announces Appointments to Montana Hemp Advisory Committee

First Meeting Set for April 3rd in Helena

MDA Announces Appointments to Montana Hemp Advisory Committee

Helena, Mont. – After receiving significant interest from producers and stakeholders throughout the state, Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Ben Thomas announced today that nine individuals have been appointed to the Montana Hemp Advisory Committee.

“We are grateful that so many folks were interested in serving on the Hemp Advisory Committee, and the selection process wasn’t easy,” said Director Thomas. “The appointees represent Montana hemp growers both large and small, and also reflect the diverse growing regions of Montana’s ag industry. I look forward to working with the committee to shape the future of Montana’s hemp industry.”

USDA Celebrates National Ag Day with New Youth Website

USDA Celebrates National Ag Day with New Youth Website

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture joins the nation in celebrating National Ag Day, which highlights agriculture’s crucial role in everyday life, and honors the farmers, foresters, scientists, producers and many others who contribute to America’s bountiful harvest. As part of this effort, USDA is launching a new Youth and Agriculture website to connect young people and youth-serving organizations with Department-wide resources that engage, empower, and educate the next generation of agricultural leaders.

USDA Announces Launch of the Start Simple with MyPlate Campaign

Start Simple with MyPlate is a new initiative to reduce confusion surrounding healthy eating and help people start with the basics

USDA Announces Launch of the Start Simple with MyPlate Campaign

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2019 -- In a continuing effort to help Americans make healthy food choices, and in honor of National Nutrition Month®, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced a new campaign to help simplify the nutrition information that surrounds us each day.

Montana Food Show set for September 27th in Bozeman

Vendor Registrations are now open

Montana Food Show set for September 27th in Bozeman

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the third annual Montana Food Show September 27, 2019 at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman.

Early bird registration for vendors will open March 7th and run until regular registration begins May 16th.

Final deadline for vendor registration is July 24th.

Buyer registration will open June 3rd.

Let’s get more Montana foods on Montana plates!

In 2019 you can expect:

  • International trade groups from Canada and Mexico
  • Public will be allowed for the trade show

At the second annual Montana Food Show in 2018:

  • $9,933 in reported sales from the day of the show
  • 64 Montana companies showcased
  • 166 buyers from more than 55 companies
    • Hotels & resorts
    • Restaurants & bars
    • Gift shops
    • Catering services
    • Distributors & wholesalers
    • Grocery stores & markets

Interested in being a 2019 Vendor? Click here for online Vendor Registration.

Wondering if this show is for you? Click here for the 2018 Vendor List.

If you have any questions about the show, please contact Marketing Officer Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-2402, MEarnheart@mt.gov.

Public Meeting Notice: State Hail Board Meeting Tuesday, March 26th

Public Meeting Notice: State Hail Board Meeting Tuesday, March 26th

Helena, Mont. – The Montana State Hail Board will meet at 9:30 am on Tuesday, March 26th at the Yogo Inn (211 E Main St) in Lewistown. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

From USDA: FSA Guaranteed Loan Collateral Questions and Answers

From USDA: FSA Guaranteed Loan Collateral Questions and Answers

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) National Office conducted online webinar sessions about collateral requirements for FSA guaranteed loans in October 2018. The webinar reviewed the collateral requirements for loan making, the collateral requirements for loan servicing, and collateral documentation requirements. All of the questions that were submitted by participants have been compiled in the attached document along with their respective answers. Please feel free to keep these questions and answers for future reference in your work with FSA guaranteed loans!

Click here to view/download USDA FSA Guaranteed Loan Collateral Questions and Answers.

Join USDA Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

The application deadline is March 22, 2019

Join USDA Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a trade mission to Bogota, June 4-7, 2019, and learn how the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) is opening doors, creating new opportunities and helping U.S. ag exports flourish to record levels.

Varietal March Madness from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee

The MWBC website is showcasing Montana grain varieties throughout March

Varietal March Madness from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee

Welcome to Varietal March Madness from the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee!

Producers were surveyed on grain varieties, and based on planting popularity, we "seeded" the bracket into four conferences: Winter Wheat, Spring Wheat, Durum Wheat, and Barley. Survey results were based on statewide popularity to reach a Finest Four, to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Click here to view the latest bracket updates on the MWBC website.

USDA Press Release: Federal Agencies Release Framework for Advancing the Bioeconomy

USDA Press Release: Federal Agencies Release Framework for Advancing the Bioeconomy

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 5, 2019 - The federal Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Board today unveiled a multi-agency strategy to accelerate innovative technologies that harness the nation’s biomass resources for affordable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. The Bioeconomy Initiative: Implementation Framework (PDF, 2.3 MB) was developed by the B&RD Board – an interagency collaborative which is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - to guide such efforts.

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Helena, Mont. – Young people active in rural youth organizations like 4-H and FFA may be eligible for loans up to $8500. More than 65 Montana farm and ranch youths currently participate in the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Junior Agriculture Loan Program.

“With the average age of farmers and ranchers being nearly 60 years old, its important we do what we can to encourage the next generation to stay involved in agriculture,” said Department Director Ben Thomas. “The Junior Ag Loan Program is a great way for those folks to access financing for a project they are passionate about.”

USDA Press Release: USDA to Release Complete Set of Tables for Agricultural Projections to 2028

USDA Press Release: USDA to Release Complete Set of Tables for Agricultural Projections to 2028

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2019 — On Feb. 14, 2019 at 12 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release the complete set of tables prepared for the upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028 report. The new tables will include projections for farm income, U.S. fruits, nuts, and vegetables supply and use, and global commodity trade. Tables containing long-term supply, use, and price projections to 2028 for major U.S. crops and livestock products as well as supporting U.S. and international macroeconomic assumptions were released on Nov. 2, 2018. Short-term projections from the Oct. 11, 2018 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report are used as a starting point.

World Pulses Week

February 10 marks the start of World Pulses Week 2019!

World Pulses Week

It’s World Pulses Day Week!  Celebrate by cooking up something like Apple-Lentil Cake or Green Lentil Stew. Timeless Seeds, Inc., based in Ulm, MT, has a lot of recipe ideas: https://www.timelessfood.com/recipes/.  

Find more info on pulses, and more recipes, at the Half-Cup Habit website: https://pulses.org/nap/.

Learn more about pulse crops in Montana at our Pulse Crops page.

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Montana Department of Agriculture
Phone : (406) 444-3144
E-mail : agr@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-5409
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Montana Ag by the Numbers

In a state where cattle outnumber people, agriculture is our business. In fact, it is Montana’s number one industry and growing.

$4.4

Billion Industry

28,008

Farms & Ranches

59.7

Million Acres

1

State Rank in
Organic Wheat
Production