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The Montana Department of Agriculture operates 30 programs ranging from marketing and business development to pesticide licensing, seed labeling and organic certification. Several of these programs have advisory councils to assist the Department on policy issues or to supervise the expenditure of industry fees on research and promotional efforts.


Ag Development

The Agriculture Development Council establishes policies and priorities to enhance the future development of agriculture in Montana including the award of loans and grants offered through the Growth Through Agriculture program.

Member List & More Information


Alfalfa Seed Committee

The Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee provides direction for research and marketing toward the continued growth of the alfalfa seed industry of Montana. The Alfalfa Seed Program is administered by the department's Rural Development Division under the Alfalfa Seed Industry Act.

Member List & More Information


Hail Board

The Montana State Hail Insurance Program was created in 1917 to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in Montana. The program continues to provide a valuable service to the agricultural producers. View or download the 2018 Hail Report.

The program is directed by a five-member Board of Hail Insurance consisting of the department director, the state auditor, and three other members appointed by the Governor. The program is assigned to the department for administrative purposes, and is self supporting through a trust and reserve established with premiums paid by participating producers.

Member List & More Information


Hemp Advisory Committee

After receiving significant interest from producers and stakeholders throughout the state, Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Ben Thomas appointed nine individuals to the Montana Hemp Advisory Committee, all for terms of one year.

Member List & More Information


Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council

Members are appointed by the department director. The Council provides guidance on the Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program that assists counties, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators in efforts to combat the most serious weed problems in Montana.

Many hours are dedicated to reviewing grant applications and attending the four to five day grant hearings held annually in March. Grant funding recommendations are made by the Council at the conclusion of the hearings and presented to the Director for approval.

Member List & More Information


Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council

The council advises the Department on Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage issues regarding the forage certification program, forage advertising, and the use of Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage on federal/state lands.

The Council is made up of 10 members including the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. Council members represent different groups such as producers, guides and outfitters, weed districts, and pellet manufacturers. The Council recommends inspection fees and marker costs which are regulated by program Rules. The Rules provide a mechanism to standardize fees, inspection procedures, enforcement actions, marking and tracking systems.

Member List & More Information


Organic Council

The eight-member Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Committee advises the department on the operation of the state's Organic Certification Program. Under Montana administrative rules, the department director serves on the committee, along with certified organic producers, a certified organic handler, and a consumer representative.

Member List & More Information


Potato Advisory Committee

The Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program was created by a vote of Montana potato producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act.

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Pulse Crop Committee

The Montana Pulse Research & Market Development Program was created by a vote of Montana pea, lentil and chickpea producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act.

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Wheat & Barley Committee

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC) is the producer-funded and directed checkoff organization for wheat and barley growers in the state. The MWBC is attached to the Montana Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes.

Director List & More Information


Upcoming Meetings: Ag Boards, Committees & Councils

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Ag Board, Committee & Council News

Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

Proposals due October 28, 2020

Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

The Montana Potato Advisory Committee is seeking proposals for the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Proposals should relate to demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry.

Visit https://funding.mt.gov/index.do to apply. All applications must be submitted through the Montana Webgrants system by October 28, 2020. Questions on applications should be directed to the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201 or by contacting Dani Jones at (406) 444-2402 or via email at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov.

MT Dept. of Agriculture Recruits for Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council

Interested persons can submit a letter of interest and apply to MDA

MT Dept. of Agriculture Recruits for Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is currently recruiting for open positions on its Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council. The following council terms are currently vacant:

  • Certified Weed Seed Free Forage Producer (Eastern Region)
  • Certified Weed Seed Free Forage Producer (Any Region)
  • Outfitter’s or Guide’s Organization
  • Certified Weed Seed Free Forage Producer (Central Region)
  • Western County Weed District Representative
  • Eastern County Weed District Representative
  • Forage Product Processor

Click here to visit the NWSFF Advisory Council website and apply.

Documents to download

Governor Bullock Announces $100,000 Awarded Through Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program

Program Encourages Young Montanans to Pursue Careers in Agriculture

Governor Bullock Announces $100,000 Awarded Through Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced nearly $100,000 has been awarded to 12 applicants through the Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program, which was created to encourage Montana’s college-educated youth to pursue a primary career in farming or ranching.

The program also seeks to reduce financial stress on farm and ranch operators and promote succession planning to preserve interest in the state’s agricultural future.

“With the average age of producers in Montana at nearly 60 years old, it’s critical we invest in young folks and ensure there’s a path to a sustainable career in agriculture,” Governor Bullock said. “This program is vital to the future of Montana’s ag industry and supports our young producers by removing financial barriers and encouraging younger Montanans to pursue careers in farming and ranching.”

Click to read the full article

Department of Agriculture Current Board Vacancies

  • Currently there are no board vacancies.

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