Montana Department of Agriculture logo

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.

Use the tabs below to find out more about these boards, councils and committees.

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

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

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

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 Noxious Weed Trust Fund 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

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

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

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.

Member List & More Information

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

«June 2019»
  • Montana Food Show Buyer Registration Opens
    Montana Food Show Buyer Registration Opens

    Montana Food Show Buyer Registration Opens

    The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the third annual Montana Food Show September 27, 2019 at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman.

    Early bird registration for vendors will open March 7th and run until regular registration begins May 16th.

    Final deadline for vendor registration is July 24th.

    Buyer registration will open June 3rd.

    Let’s get more Montana foods on Montana plates!

    In 2019 you can expect:

    • International trade groups from Canada and Mexico
    • Public will be allowed for the trade show

    At the second annual Montana Food Show in 2018:

    • $9,933 in reported sales from the day of the show
    • 64 Montana companies showcased
    • 166 buyers from more than 55 companies
      • Hotels & resorts
      • Restaurants & bars
      • Gift shops
      • Catering services
      • Distributors & wholesalers
      • Grocery stores & markets

    Interested in being a 2019 Vendor? Click here for online Vendor Registration.

    Wondering if this show is for you? Click here for the 2018 Vendor List.

    If you have any questions about the show, please contact Marketing Officer Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-2402,

    Read more

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Ag Board, Committee & Council News

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Meeting July 2, 2019

Public Meeting Notice:  Agriculture Development Council Meeting July 2, 2019

Helena, Mont. – The Agriculture Development Council will meet Tuesday, July 2nd at 8:00 am in Room 225 at the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena (302 N. Roberts).

Join Skype Meeting      

Trouble Joining? Try Skype Web App

Join by phone:  406-444-4647, 574988# 

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

Now Hiring Commodity Services Bureau Chief

Position Based in Helena

Now Hiring Commodity Services Bureau Chief

The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently hiring a Commodity Services Bureau Chief based in Helena. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Visit the Employment page for more info and other job openings with the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit and for more information on how to apply.​

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


Department of Agriculture Current Board Vacancies