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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.


It is Pollinators Week in Montana!

Pollinators are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply, and that’s why Governor Greg Gianforte proclaimed June 21-27th Pollinator Week in Montana!

Bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, bats, and even some small mammals, all pollinate plants that promote our agricultural economy and help sustain our ecosystems. Without the help of pollinators, our grocery stores would lack much of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we rely on for healthy diets and would also greatly diminish the feed available for much of the world’s livestock.

Although all pollinator species are important, the Montana Department of Agriculture Apiary Program is focused on maintaining the health of two pollinator species in the state: the honeybee, and the alfalfa leafcutting bee.

Click here to learn more about the department’s apiary program

Pollinator Week is celebrated internationally in coordination with the Pollinator Partnership. Head over to pollinator.org to learn more and click here to check out USDA’s free Pollinator Week Webinar Series.

Governor's Proclamation for Pollinator Week


Montana Agriculture Resiliency Program Grant - Information

Silo a Todd Klassy Photo

Program Grant Information

Click Here
to subscribe to receive
MT Ag Resiliency Program updates

Additional information and application guidelines will be posted soon.


 

WRASAP: Agriculture Producer Baseline Survey

The Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP), led by MSU, is looking for feedback from Montana farmers and ranchers about various stressors they face and what kinds of information would be most helpful to them.

Please see the link to their survey (open until June 30th) below and consider sharing it with producers through your networks. Survey respondents will also qualify to register for a $50 online gift card raffle upon completion.

https://farmstress.us/wrasap-agriculture-producer-baseline-survey/ [click.icptrack.com]

For more information on WRASAP or MSU’s Montana Ag Producer Stress Resource Clearinghouse, please contact Michelle U. Grocke-Dewey, PhD, at (406) 994-4711 or michelle.grocke@montana.edu

Raising Wheat and Barley in Montana video linkMontana Wheat and Barley Video Series

Get a glimpse into what it takes to raise world-class commodities like wheat, barley, and pulse crops through this new video series brought to you by the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Montana Pulse Crop Committee, and Specialty Crop Block Program. From planting to harvest, you can check in with Montana farmers in fields across the Big Sky State throughout this year’s growing season.

To see Montana wheat and barley checkoff dollars at work, head over to the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee’s Virtual Experience webpage and check out all of their videos that are being shared with prospective buyers around the world!

 

COVID-19 RESPONSE

WorkingFromHome

In order to protect our staff and the public, most of the Montana Department of Agriculture’s staff are currently working from home, but can still be reached during normal business hours. The department is conducting in-person business by appointment only. Per the Governor's Directivemasks or face coverings are required for individuals ages five and older in counties with four or more confirmed and active cases of COVID-19.

In order to streamline your request, please consider using the “I want To” tab to find out who to contact directly, view our staff directory, or email your question to agr@mt.gov.

The latest COVID-19 information and resources are available at https://covid19.mt.gov/. Please call 1-888-333-0461 or email covid19info@mt.gov.

Click to view Interim Guidance from the CDC and US Dept. of Labor for Agricultural Workers and Employers. More information related to COVID-19 is available here.


In the Spotlight...

USDA Disaster Assistance is Available for 2021 Livestock Forage Losses in 14 Montana Counties

Affected producers are encouraged to contact local FSA offices for more information

USDA Disaster Assistance is Available for 2021 Livestock Forage Losses in 14 Montana Counties

Livestock producers in 14 Montana counties are eligible to apply for 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) benefits on small grain, native pasture, improved pasture, annual ryegrass, and forage sorghum.

The following Montana counties have triggered the 2021 LFP drought criteria: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley and Wibaux. Producers must complete a CCC-853 and the required supporting documentation no later than January 31, 2022, for 2021 losses.

For additional information about LFP, including eligible livestock and fire criteria, producers should contact their local FSA office.

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Meeting - July 28th

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will meet July 28th in Phillipsburg

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Meeting - July 28th

The Montana Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will meet on July 28, 2021 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in Phillipsburg, MT. An agenda will be posted soon. 

For more information, please contact Greta Dige, Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Coordinator, at (406) 444-7882 or Greta.Dige@mt.gov.  

 

Gov. Gianforte Issues Executive Order Declaring Disaster in Five Eastern Counties

Disaster declared in five Eastern MT counties: Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Richland, and Roosevelt

Gov. Gianforte Issues Executive Order Declaring Disaster in Five Eastern Counties

Governor Greg Gianforte issued an executive order declaring a disaster in five Eastern Montana counties: Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Richland, and Roosevelt.

On June 10, 2021, a series of severe thunderstorms – with hail as large as three inches in diameter, recorded wind speeds of 70-90 mph, and winds up to 115 mph – caused damages to over 800 power poles and lines across the East Central portion of Montana.

With the disaster declaration issued, the State of Montana will proceed with requesting federal disaster assistance on behalf of the affected counties and electric cooperatives.

The governor’s executive order may be found here.

Documents to download

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 22nd

MT Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually on Tuesday, June 22nd at 2:00 PM

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 22nd

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, June 22nd beginning at 2:00 p.m.

To receive meeting information, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@.mt.gov.

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 14th

MT Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually June 14th at 9:00 AM

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 14th

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on Monday, June 14th beginning at 9:00 a.m.

To receive meeting information, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@.mt.gov.

Governor Gianforte Proclaims Noxious Weed Awareness Week

June 6 - 12, 2021 is Noxious Weed Awareness Week in Montana

Governor Gianforte Proclaims Noxious Weed Awareness Week

Governor Greg Gianforte proclaimed June 6 - 12, 2021 to be Noxious Weed Awareness Week! 

Established through a joint resolution (HJ17) during the 2021 legislative session, the first full week in June is an opportunity to highlight the important work taking place across the state to protect the integrity and productivity of Montana’s precious lands and resources from noxious weeds.

The Montana Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Program assists with weed identification and education, compiles annual statewide coordination reports, administers the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program, certifies forage and other materials as weed-free, and collaborates in statewide noxious weed prevention and management iniatives. Learn more at agr.mt.gov/weeds.

Documents to download

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban and innovative production projects

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture. 
USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2021. A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.   

Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" in Helena, MT August 11 - 12, 2021

Registration is open for the MT Farm to School Summit

Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" in Helena, MT August 11 - 12, 2021

The Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" will take place August 11 - 12, 2021 in Helena, MT. 

Anyone interested in farm to school activities is encouraged to attend! Attendees will learn and share hwo Montana school programs are cultivating success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inpsiration and skill building for all. The conference will feature national and Montana farm to school champions and Harvest of the Month successes and resources.

Click here to view the summit agenda and here to learn more about the keynote speaker, Mariah Gladstone, owner of Indigikitchen. 

Click here to visit the MT Farm to School Summit website.

 

MT Dept. of Agriculture Reminds Producers to Cover Crops with State Hail Insurance

State hail insurance policies are available for purchase until August 15th

MT Dept. of Agriculture Reminds Producers to Cover Crops with State Hail Insurance

In light of recent moisture, and with severe weather events on the horizon, the Montana State Hail Program is reminding producers to make sure their crops are covered. As spring plantings are wrapping up, staff are ready to assist producers with acquiring state hail insurance.

Producers can insure crops against hail damage at the maximum coverage rate of $75 per acre for dryland and $114 per acre for irrigated land. Rates charged are a percentage of the insured amount and vary by county. A detailed list of rates by county and crop is available on the MDA website. State policies are available for purchase until August 15, 2021.

State hail insurance application forms are available online or by calling the office. Staff are available to accept policies, file claims, and to answer any questions producers might have regarding coverage options. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, or faxed to the department, or used as a reference when contacting the office by phone. Loss forms must be submitted within two weeks of the hail damage occurrence. Loss claim forms are also available online and are due to the office by October 1, 2021.

Contact Information:

Montana State Hail Insurance Program

P.O. Box 200201

Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-5429

Toll Free: 1 (844) 515-1571

 

Email: agrhail@mt.gov

Fax: (406) 444-9442

The Montana State Hail Insurance Program was created at the request of producers in 1917 to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in Montana. The program is directed by a five-member board consisting of the department director, state insurance commissioner, and three producers.

Documents to download

Montana Approves Use of Hemp in Commercial Animal Feed

Hemp and substances derived from hemp now approved for use in commercial feed for pets, specialty pets, and horses in Montana

Montana Approves Use of Hemp in Commercial Animal Feed

As established in House Bill 396 signed during the 2021 legislative session, hemp and substances derived from hemp are now approved for use in commercial feed for pets, specialty pets, and horses in Montana, so long as they do not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The Montana Department of Agriculture will regulate these new parameters for feed, feed ingredients of hemp, and substances derived from hemp in accordance with Montana’s Commercial Feeds Act and the Hemp and Cannabidiol Policy for Use in Animal Feed that is now available on the MDA website. Because the use of hemp or hemp-derived products in animal feed or feed supplements is not yet approved at the federal level, there are some important stipulations to abide by.

Currently, hemp and substances derived from hemp are not yet generally recognized as safe (GRAS) or approved as food additives under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This means that livestock fed hemp in Montana cannot enter interstate or intrastate commerce as the animals and meat are considered adulterated under the FD&C.

In addition to pets and specialty pets, horses are the only livestock species approved for hemp in animal feed. Approval for hemp in animal feed for other livestock, such as cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry, is contingent on approval from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

No CBD products, including CBD oil and industrial hemp seed oil containing CBD are allowed in pet, specialty pet, and horse feed in Montana. Only hemp or substances derived from cannabis with no greater than 0.3% THC, including but not limited to hemp seed, hemp seed meal, and hemp seed oil are permitted for use following the signing of HB 396.

Documents to download

Gov. Gianforte Urges DOJ to Continue Investigation into Anti-Competitive Practices in Meatpacking Industry

Governor Gianforte signs joint-letter with governors from South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Iowa urging the Dept. of Justice to continue their investigation into anti-competitive practices in meatpacking industry

Gov. Gianforte Urges DOJ to Continue Investigation into Anti-Competitive Practices in Meatpacking Industry

In a joint-letter with governors from South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa, Governor Greg Gianforte today urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to continue their investigation into serious allegations of anticompetitive behavior in the meatpacking industry.

“Decades of consolidation in meatpacking has significantly limited the options that producers have to market their cattle and has created a situation where one segment of the beef industry has near total control over the entire market,” Governor Gianforte and other governors wrote to U.S. Attorney General Garland. “We urge you to continue to investigate this matter with the urgency it calls for.”

In May 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the nation’s four largest meatpackers whose anticompetitive behavior is threatening Montana cattle producers.

Governor Gianforte was joined in signing the letter by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Read the letter here.

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Welcome!Mike Foster Portrait

Here at the Montana Department of Agriculture, we are honored to support the state’s #1 industry. With over 30 programs ranging from market and business development to licensing and regulating services that protect agricultural producers, consumers and the environment, our website features an abundance of information. We encourage you to explore our programs and contact us if you have ideas about how to improve our department, our services, or our website.

Department Contact Information

Main Phone: (406) 444-3144
Email: Agr@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-5409


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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.

$4.6

Billion Industry

26,900

Farms & Ranches

58

Million Acres

1

State Rank in
Organic Wheat
Production