Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky


Montana Department of Agriculture Mission Statement

Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky.
- Montana Department of Agriculture Mission

Montana Department of Agriculture Guiding Principles

  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Sustainability

Agriculture 2025 Biennium OGSM

Agricultural Development Division Goal

To enhance, expand and diversify Montana's agricultural economy, thereby improving the general economy of the state of Montana by providing services which include market and agri-business development, Growth Through Agriculture grants and loans, wheat and barley research and marketing, agriculture loans, beginning farmer/rancher loans, hail insurance, grain grading and inspection, agriculture literacy and outreach, and administration of agricultural commodity research and market development programs.

Division Objectives
Marketing Objectives:
  • Assist in increasing sales, profitability and overall success of Montana's agriculturally-based businesses operating in domestic and global markets.
  • Provide technical assistance and decision-making information to Montana’s farmers and ranchers, helping them capture more value from their crops, livestock and land.
  • Work with other service providers, community groups, and other agencies to improve opportunities to expand agriculture and agriculture related businesses in Montana.
  • Support the Agriculture Development Council and administer the Growth Through Agriculture program which provides financial assistance to entrepreneurs for the startup and expansion of agriculturally-based businesses.
Development Objectives:
  • Provide basic hail insurance coverage through the State Hail Insurance Program on crops grown in Montana so producers have an affordable hail loss protection option.
  • Provide financial assistance to Montana agriculture by administering the Agriculture Finance program.
  • Administer the producer funded Commodity Research and Market Development Programs.
  • Administer the USDA, Agriculture Marketing Service, Specialty Crop Block Grant program to enhance Montana’s specialty crop industry.
  • Increase agriculture literacy in Montana through educational outreach to teachers and schools.
State Grain Laboratory Bureau Objectives:
  • Provide timely, official, objective and accurate test results to buyers and sellers of Montana grain under standards set by the USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service.
  • Provide timely, official, sampling services and testing of other Montana commodities.
  • Maintain USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service designation and provide official sampling services to Montana.
Wheat & Barley Bureau Objectives:
  • Fund research that improves profitability of Montana’s wheat and barley growers.
  • Develop and maintain international and domestic trade relationships that drive sales of Montana wheat and barley.
  • Monitor, create and disseminate information about Montana’s wheat and barley production.
Pulse Crop Committee Objectives:
  • Invest in and deliver support for marketing, research, education and policy development programming that improves return on investment for the pulse producers in the state of Montana.

Central Services Division Goal

Assist management and staff of the Montana Department of Agriculture in meeting the department’s mission by providing efficient, knowledgeable, and cost-effective customer service.

Division Objectives
  • Develop, interpret and maintain policies and procedures that are responsive to the needs of the department and which comply with state and federal regulations and legislative intent.
  • Monitor recruitment and selection of employees to ensure a professional, diverse, and responsible workforce.
  • Provide timely and accurate financial information consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and State accounting policy.
  • Communicate, support and provide clear goals to employees for purposes of retention and performance management.
  • Provide systems analysis, software development, networking, GIS support, data management, cybersecurity, and business informatics expertise necessary to meet current and future information technology needs.

Agricultural Sciences Division Goal

To provide agricultural producers and consumers, commodity and environmental protection through the administration of the Montana laws and rules in the areas of pesticides, groundwater monitoring, noxious weed control, feeds, fertilizers, seed, anhydrous ammonia, grain commodity dealers, commodity warehousemen, nurseries, produce, mint, honey bees, alfalfa leafcutting bees and other services including organic certification, pest management consulting, laboratory analysis, pest surveys, export certification and quarantines.

Agricultural Services Bureau Objectives by Program
Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Registration and Certification Program
  • Provide timely and efficient laboratory services to alfalfa seed growers.
  • Register alfalfa leafcutting bee beekeepers to protect producers.
Apiculture Program
  • Protect the apiary and pollination industry by minimizing the spread of pests and diseases of honeybees.
  • Protect the nectar and pollen supply through registration and inspection of apiaries.
Education and Assessment Program
  • Provide training and certification for pesticide applicators.
  • Provide technical assistance for vertebrate pest management issues faced by producers and land managers on a local, regional and statewide scale.
Groundwater Management Program
  • Monitor groundwater and the environment for adverse effects from the use or misuse of agricultural chemicals.
  • Provide for education and training of agricultural product applicators and the public regarding groundwater protection, agricultural chemical use, and the use of alternative agricultural methods.
Licensing and Registration Program
  • Provide application and licensing assistance to pesticide applicators.
  • Provide registration of pesticide products.
Noxious Weed Management Program
  • Assist county weed districts, local governments, tribes and landowners in halting the spread of listed weeds through management of the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund and other weed funds.
  • Provide technical expertise and general assistance on noxious weed information and noxious weed management techniques.
  • Work with university researchers, educators and others to expand weed control options and coordinate biological weed control efforts.
Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Program
  • Prevent the spread of noxious weeds by coordinating efforts to grow and certify forage that is free of regionally designated noxious weeds and seeds.
  • Promote forage products that are free of Montana designated noxious weed seeds and regionally designated noxious weeds and seeds.
Nursery Program
  • Protect consumers by inspecting and assuring the quality of nursery stock.
  • Minimize the risk of interstate and intrastate movement of pests and diseases on nursery stock.
Pesticide Management Program
  • Ensure that pesticides are available for agricultural production and public health needs.
  • Ensure compliance with the Montana Pesticides Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Pesticide Disposal and Pesticide Container Recycling Programs
  • Provide opportunities for applicators and the public to dispose of waste pesticides.
  • Conduct a pesticide container recycling program to reduce landfill demand.
  • Provide a means for recycling of container types for which an acceptable disposal method is not otherwise available.
Commodity Service Bureau Objectives by Program
Agricultural Commodity Dealer and Commodity Warehouse Program
  • Mitigate possible financial loss for agricultural producers when marketing commodities.
  • Ensure compliance with the Montana Agricultural Warehouse Standards Act.
  • Ensure the security of Montana grown commodities held in safekeeping for Montana producers and owners.
Anhydrous Ammonia Program
  • Promote the effective and safe use of anhydrous ammonia by persons handling the product and for surrounding communities.
  • Review and approve new sites for anhydrous ammonia facilities.
Commercial Feed Program
  • Promote the safety and effectiveness of commercial feeds and feed ingredients for livestock and companion animals.
  • Ensure that consumers receive only quality feed products made from safe and approved feed ingredients and that nutritional claims are met.
  • Ensure that commercial feeds are properly labeled so that consumers are adequately informed.
Commercial Fertilizer Program
  • Promote the safety and effectiveness of commercial fertilizers.
  • Ensure that consumers receive only quality fertilizer products made from safe and approved ingredients and that nutrient claims are met.
  • Ensure that commercial fertilizers are properly labeled so that consumers are adequately informed.
Organic Program
  • Provide professional, efficient and objective certification services to producers and handlers of organic products.
  • Facilitate the growth and success of organic agriculture in Montana.
  • Disseminate appropriate information to Montana organic growers and handlers.
Produce Program
  • Protect consumers by assuring that produce is properly labeled and graded.
  • Facilitate the export of Montana grown produce.
Seed Program
  • Protect purchasers of seed by ensuring that seed is truthfully labeled and meets germination and purity standards.
  • Resolve disputes in cases of non-performance of agricultural seed.
  • Prevent the spread of restricted and noxious weed seeds when agricultural seeds are sold.
License and Registration Program
  • Provide assistance and ensure entities license, register products and pay assessments as statutorily required for the feed, fertilizer, produce and seed programs.
Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program
  • Protect Montana agriculture from invasive pests.
  • Preserve markets and facilitate the marketing of commodities.
  • Prevent economic loss through monitoring and detection of pests.
Export Certification Program
  • Minimize the risk of international movement of pests by providing export certification services.
  • Facilitate the export of Montana agricultural commodities.
Laboratory Bureau Objectives
Agricultural Commodity Dealer and Commodity Warehouse Program
  • Provide reliable, efficient analytical testing services in support of Montana agriculture.
  • Serve the analytical testing needs of the department's feed, fertilizer, pesticide enforcement and agriculture chemical ground water programs and Montana State University Agriculture Experiment Stations.