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08 April 2021
Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

The Montana Department of Agriculture's marketing team is looking forward to connecting with Montana food and ag businesses as they schedule virtual marketing consultations for the week of April 19th. Our marketing officers are taking this opportunity to learn more about different companies across the state and explore how the department can help them reach their goals. 

If you are interested in setting up a virtual marketing consultation, please contact Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-9126 or mearnheart@mt.gov

Click here to learn more about the Agricultural Marketing & Business Development Bureau at Montana Department of Agriculture. 

08 April 2021
Early Bird Registration for Montana Farm to School Summit Open Until May 31st

Early Bird Registration for Montana Farm to School Summit Open Until May 31st

The Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" will take place August 11 - 12, 2021 in Helena, MT. 

Attendees will learn and share hwo Montana school programs are cultivating success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inpsiration and skill building for all. The conference will feature national and Montana farm to school champions and Harvest of the Month successes and resources.

Discounted early bird registration is open until May 31st. Click here to register.

Scholarship applications are now open until May 6th. Click here to apply. 

Click here to visit the MT Farm to School Summit website.

 

05 April 2021
USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The funding was made possible by USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, an effort to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic. Today also marks the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications

The cooperative agreements will support participation in programs offered by FSA, including those that are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Interested organizations must submit proposals by May 5, 2021.

Click here to read the full news release.

29 March 2021
Oilseed Crop Checkoff Proposed to Montana Growers

Oilseed Crop Checkoff Proposed to Montana Growers

Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 0.5% checkoff for canola, camelina, flaxseed, mustard, safflower, soybeans, and sunflower crops. If passed, the Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee will advise the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) on how to invest the funds for research, market development, and education.

“Checkoff programs have a long history of improving and expanding markets for growers,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “Montana’s oilseed production has grown significantly in recent years, and I share the committee’s excitement for establishing a state checkoff program to continue advancing the industry.”

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana oil crops added over $54 million in value to the U.S. economy in 2019, more than a 25% increase from 2018. Montana ranks second in the nation for production of canola, flaxseed, and safflower.

Ballots are due back to MDA April 16, 2021. Any current producer of canola, camelina, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or email at danielle.jones@mt.gov.

23 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Greg Gianforte has proclaimed March 22 - 26, 20201 Montana Agriculture Week!

Click here to view the full proclamation.

19 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

In honor and support of all MT farmers and ranchers that feed Montana, the nation, and the world, Governor Gianforte proclaimed March 20, 2021 to be "Montana Meat Day."

Click here to view the full proclamation.

08 March 2021
Growth Through Agriculture Program Awards Over $830,000 in Grants and Loans

Growth Through Agriculture Program Awards Over $830,000 in Grants and Loans

Governor Gianforte and the Agriculture Development Council announced the recipients of $834,646 in grants and loans awarded through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.  

“Expanding value-added agriculture helps Montana businesses thrive,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “The investments made through the Growth Through Agriculture program make it possible for producers and businesses across the state to grow their operations, create jobs, and access new markets. These value-added projects play an important role in promoting Montana’s high-quality commodities and boosting our economy.” 

The application process was highly competitive with projects aimed at creating robust markets for Montana’s agricultural producers. Successful projects ranged from a feedlot development to allow for more in-state livestock finishing, to increasing processing capacity for Montana crops and meat, and expanding value-added food and beverage products, such as fermented foods. Click here to view the full list of funded projects. 

05 March 2021
USDA Announces Availability of an Additional $35 Million for Value-Added Producer Grant Program

USDA Announces Availability of an Additional $35 Million for Value-Added Producer Grant Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is making an additional $35 million available this year in the Value-Added Producer Grant Program to support agricultural producers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is made possible through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In total, $76 million is available.

The Department has also extended the application deadline to May 4, 2021. USDA originally opened the application window on Dec. 21, 2020, with an application due date of March 22, 2021.

Click Here to learn more and apply. Applications are permitteed via Grants.gov and must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2021; Paper applications must be postmarked by May 4, 2021. Please refer to the Federal Register Notices for more information on the deadline and various ways the Agency will accept applications.

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

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

18 February 2021
Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana’s Export Markets

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.

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