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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.



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 Grants Available to Spur Innovation Technologies in Montana

Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants due April 23, 2021

USDA Grants Available to Spur Innovation Technologies in Montana

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for grants until April 23, 2021, to fund Montana projects that could stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) generally fund pilot projects, field demonstrations and on-farm conservation research.

$225,000 is available for the state-component CIG and applicants can request up to $75,000 for projects lasting one to three years.

Applications must be submitted electronically through grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2021. In addition, a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to jerry.shows@usda.gov.

Click here to learn more about USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants.

How to Determine Farm Status for FSMA Produce Safety Rule

Produce Safety Program requests growers complete the Farm Status Determination Form

How to Determine Farm Status for FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The Montana Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program encourages all produce growers to submit the status of their farm in relation to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Produce growers can determine the status of their operation by completing the Farm Status Determination form. 

Click here to complete the Farm Status Determination Form.

Click here to visit the Produce Safety Program and learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Produce Safety Rule (PSR).

Montana Wheat & Barley Committee will Host Research Review Panels in Cooperation with Montana State University

“The Future’s Promise in Agriculture” research review panel scheduled for March 3, 2021

Montana Wheat & Barley Committee will Host Research Review Panels in Cooperation with Montana State University

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee will host a series of research review panels on March 3, 2021 in cooperation with the Montana State University College of Agriculture and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES).

The event, titled “The Future’s Promise in Agriculture,” are open to the public and will take place via Zoom. MAES Associate Director Mary Burrows will moderate the three 40-minute panels, including:

What Innovations are on the Horizon in Montana Agriculture?

Featuring Lovreet Shergill and Kent McVay, Southern Agricultural Research Center; Perry Miller, Dept. of Land Resources & Environmental Sciences

10:30 a.m.

What is the Future of Plant Breeding in Montana?

Featuring Jason Cook, Jennifer Lachowiec, and Mike Giroux, Dept. of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology

11:10 a.m.

What Pests are on Our Horizon and How Can we Work Now to Mitigate Them?

Featuring David Weaver, Dept. of Land Resources & Environmental Sciences; Alan Dyer, Dept. of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology; Frankie Crutcher, Eastern Agricultural Research Center

11:50 a.m.

To receive Zoom meeting information, please contact Tammy Suek, Administrative Assistant at Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, by email at TSuek@mt.gov.

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - March 10, 2021

Deadline for market development proposals is fast-approaching: Proposals due March 1, 2021

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - March 10, 2021

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually through Zoom on March 10, 2021 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The committee is currently seeking proposals to fund market development projects and educational projects designed to promote and enhance Montana’s pulse industry. All funding awards will be determined by the Montana Pulse Crop Committee and proposals are due March 1, 2021 by 5:00 pm MST.

An agenda will be posted soon. To receive information to join the committee’s Zoom meeting on March 10th, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 22-26, 2021

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread.

These simple measures can help us stay informed, attentive, and accountable for preventing the spread of terrestrial and aquatic noxious species:

  1. WATCH FOR NOXIOUS WEEDS. If you spot some, notify your county weed coordinator https://www.mtweed.org/weeds/weed-districts/ or report to EDDMapS West. eddmaps.org/west/
  2. USE CERTIFIED WEED FREE. Make sure to use weed-free forage, hay and mulch. mt.gov/Noxious-Weed-Seed-Free-Forage
  3. PLANT ONLY NON-INVASIVE PLANTS. Keep your garden free of known invasive plants. Many invasive species introductions come from the ornamental trade. mtnativeplants.org/
  4. CLEAN YOUR GEAR. Always wash and dry your boots, bikes, waders, boats, trailers, and off-road vehicles between uses. playcleango.org/
  5. CLEAN.DRAIN.DRY. Aquatic invasive species are often inadvertently spread by boats. Clean. Drain. Dry. every time you use your boat. http://cleandraindry.mt.gov/
  6. DON’T LET IT LOOSE. Dispose of unwanted pets, aquarium plants and water, and live bait the proper way, and not into waterways. Be a responsible pet owner. dontletitloose.com/state/montana/
  7. DON’T MOVE FIREWOOD. Buy it where you burn it or gather it on-site. Firewood can harbor pests and disease, and Montana depends on it

Montana Fertilizer Advisory Committee Funds 2021 Projects

Nine new projects have received funding from the Montana Fertilizer Advisory Committee

Montana Fertilizer Advisory Committee Funds 2021 Projects

Nine new projects have received funding from the Montana Fertilizer Advisory Committee to explore the science and best practices of various aspects of agricultural fertilizer.

“The MFAC is a critical part of research and advanced understanding of fertilizer use, especially across the diverse landscapes we have in Montana,” said Mary Burrows, associate director of MAES. “The partnerships this committee facilitates and the incredible potential of the field of soil sciences are evidenced by the fantastic array of projects that the committee has made possible this year." 

Click here to veiw the full list of research projects funded by the MFAC for the 2022 fiscal year.

New BIPOC Organic Farmer Micro-Grant Program Available from Rodale Institute & Organic Farmers Association

Applications due March 31, 2021

New BIPOC Organic Farmer Micro-Grant Program Available from Rodale Institute & Organic Farmers Association

Rodale Institute & Organic Farmers Association have partnered to launch a new BIPOC Organic Farmer Micro-Grant Program which is accepting applications now until March 31, 2021.

This program is specifically targeted to support small-scale BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) farmers, whether organic, transitioning to organic, or an aspiring organic farmer. The goal of this program is to grow BIPOC farmers in the organic movement and help them succeed.  

Click here to learn more and apply.

Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana’s Export Markets

Montana Wheat & Barley Committee reminds growers to ensure grain exports are buckwheat-free

Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana’s Export Markets

As farmers prepare for spring planting, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is reminding producers to ensure that wheat shipments destined for export are buckwheat-free. In light of the ongoing global pandemic, food safety has become one of the most important factors for purchasers of ingredients. Montana exports 60-80% of its wheat to countries located in the Pacific Rim. Since Asian countries are large importers of Montana wheat, it is important that producers and handlers understand the serious health risk and potential economic impact posed by buckwheat.

  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from cover crops plantings in rotation or adjacent to fields with wheat production or abstain from growing wheat as a commodity for 2 calendar years after planting buckwheat.
  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from pollinator plantings in rotation with or adjacent to fields currently planted or that will be planted to commodity wheat within the next 2 calendar years.

To protect and foster the health and prosperity of the Montana’s agricultural industry, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is committed to educating producers about the dangers of buckwheat in a small grains rotation and surveying cover crop mixes across the state, including volunteer situations. Click here to learn more about the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. Contact Sam Anderson, Industry Analyst & Outreach Coordinator, (406) 76-7732 or Samuel.Anderson@mt.gov.

Documents to download

USDA Value-Added Producer Grants Available - Applications due March 22, 2021

Workshop and Open Office: February 17, 2021

USDA Value-Added Producer Grants Available - Applications due March 22, 2021

The USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on Grants.gov.

Click Here to learn more and apply. Applications are due no later than March 22, 2021. Please refer to the Federal Register Notices for more information on the deadline and various ways the Agency will accept applications.

Documents to download

Registration for March Initial Core Pesticide Training Webinar is Now Open

Initial Core Training Webinar on Pesticide Safety, Regulations & Requirements Scheduled for March 16-17, 2021

Registration for March Initial Core Pesticide Training Webinar is Now Open

Registration for the Montana Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Initial Core Training is now available. This webinar course will take place from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on March 16-17th and cover pesticide safety, regulations and requirements for certified applicators. The course fee is $75 and those interested in attending should register thorugh MTPlants before March 1st.

This course will provide initial certification training only. Recertification credits are not available through this course. 

Click here to visit the Pesticide Trianing & Recertification webpage.

Please contact Lisa Dorrington, MDA Pesticide Educaiton Specialist, with any quesitons at (406) 444-3732 or LisaDorrington@mt.gov.

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Meeting / NWTF Grant Hearings

March 8 - 12, 2021

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Meeting / NWTF Grant Hearings

The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will hold their buisiness meeting and the 2021 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant hearings virtually March 8 -12, 2021.

A business meeting agenda and grant applicant hearing schedule is attached.

To receive information to join the virtual meeting, please contact Carol Bearden, Noxious Weed Program Specialist, at (406) 444-7880 or cbearden@mt.gov. 

Click here to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council.

Documents to download

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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

26,800

Farms & Ranches

58

Million Acres

1

State Rank in
Organic Wheat
Production