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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 Pesticide Program Manager, Executive Assistant, and Agricultural Technician

Positions Based in Helena, Great Falls

Now Hiring Pesticide Program Manager, Executive Assistant, and Agricultural Technician

The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the following open positions:

To view and apply for all current State of Montana openings, visit the State of Montana Careers website.

CHS Inc. Recalls Payback® Feeds Because of Excess Magnesium Health Risk

CHS Inc. Recalls Payback® Feeds Because of Excess Magnesium Health Risk

St. Paul, Minnesota—Nov. 13, 2019—CHS Inc., based in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, is voluntarily recalling 67 tons of Payback® Feeds listed below due to potentially high levels of magnesium.

Cassidy Marn Selected as New Wheat and Barley Bureau Chief

Cassidy Marn Selected as New Wheat and Barley Bureau Chief

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture is excited to announce that Cassidy Marn has accepted the Bureau Chief position for the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.  Cassidy has served as the bureau’s Trade and Marketing Manager since 2010.

“We’re thrilled Cassidy will be leading the Wheat and Barley Committee.  She’s highly experienced in world grain markets and is committed to advancing Montana’s #1 industry,” said Director Ben Thomas.  “I’m confident she’ll serve the state well.”

Public Meeting Notice: MT Hemp Advisory Committee Conference Call

November 21, 2019

Public Meeting Notice: MT Hemp Advisory Committee Conference Call

The Montana Hemp Advisory Committee will hold a conference call on Thursday, November 21st at 1:30 p.m. to discuss and receive feedback on the USDA's Proposed Hemp Rule.

You may join the call using the following infomration:  Conference Call Number: (406) 444-4647; Conference ID: 8877127#

 

Click to learn more about the Montana Hemp Advisory Committee

Documents to download

Public Meeting: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting

January 13th in Great Falls, MT

Public Meeting: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting

The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Heritage Inn (1700 Fox Farm Rd.) in Great Falls on January 13, 2020.  An agenda will be posted soon.

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

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

Like other farmers, trade wars and tariffs are hurting pulse crop farmers financially. And now pulse growers and some pet food companies are also losing business because of a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report linking pulse crops in dog food as a possible cause of enlarged heart disease in some dogs.

The FDA has been looking for more than a year into dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM which is effectively an enlarged heart disease. However, pulse growers like Chester’s Jillien Streit say FDA overstepped its bounds in drawing a direct link to specific pet food ingredients in a sample size of 560 cases out of a dog population of roughly 77 million.

“The issue that we take with this as pulse growers in Montana is as we continue to look into this, because, of course, you know, everyone's concerned” said Streit. “You don't want anyone's dog to have any issues and we don't want our products to be hurting anything. So, we start looking into this and we see that there's some really questionable issues with this particular report.”

She says the FDA’s report is hurting the market for pulses like peas and lentils which has already been damaged by ongoing trade wars.

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Meeting set for December 3, 2019 in Great Falls

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a verified petition from 25 Montana oilseed growers to create an advisory committee.  MDA will hold a listening session to receive additional grower input regarding the proposal in Great Falls on December 3rd.  Meeting information is provided below.​

Oilseed Listening Session

  • December 3, 2019 – Great Falls, MT
  • 10:00 am – Heritage Inn, Room 201 (1700 Fox Farm Rd.)

Growers will have the opportunity to learn about the process for creating a commodity advisory committee and provide input regarding its composition, crops to be included, and rate of assessment.  Based on feedback received during the meeting, MDA will decide whether to propose an oilseed research and market development program for adoption by administrative rule.

Montana is a leading producer of oilseeds including canola, flaxseed and safflower. Canola production is forecast to total more than 210 million pounds in 2019 which is a 62 percent increase from Montana’s 2018 crop according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

MDA currently administers the Montana Potato Advisory Committee and the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee along with the statutorily enabled Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and Montana Pulse Crop Committee. In total, these programs annually contribute over $8 million in checkoff funds towards research, marketing, and education.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

Montana continues to lead the nation in pulse crop production. And as demand grows for food products made with pulses like peas, lentils and chickpeas, finding new international markets is important for Montana pulse growers. And an emerging market for Montana pulses in Colombia.

“The Spanish word for it is 'ritmo' which is rhythm and vibe and Colombia is really good,” said Montana Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Officer Weston Merrill. “They love American made products and American grown products.”

He says the South American country is an exciting opportunity for Montana pulse growers.

USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

Safety Net Program Payments for 2018 Have Started

USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2019 – Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.

“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. 

ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. 

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 

For more information, visit the USDA website.

Notice: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Info for Animal Food

Notice: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Info for Animal Food

Deadline for Eligible Animal Food Facilities to Submit Qualified Facility Attestations Approaching - visit the Feed page for complete details and important forms and dates.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings

Upcoming Trainings in Livingston and Lewistown

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings

Do you grow, harvest, pack or hold fruits and vegetables? Do you want to learn more about produce safety practices and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? Attend an upcoming training:

  • Livingston December 4, 2019 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Travelodge Hotel— 102 Rodgers Lane
  • Lewistown December 12, 2019 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The Calvert Hotel— 216 7th Ave South

Click here to visit the Food Safety Education page for complete training details and registration info.

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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