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08 September 2020
Governor Bullock Declares State of Fire Emergency -  suspends livestock brand inspection permit fee requirement and brand inspection requirement prior to removal

Governor Bullock Declares State of Fire Emergency - suspends livestock brand inspection permit fee requirement and brand inspection requirement prior to removal

Governor Steve Bullock yesterday evening issued an executive order declaring a state of fire emergency due to extremely hazardous wildland fire conditions throughout Montana.  

This declaration allows Governor Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and the Montana National Guard to combat the fires to protect life, health, and property, and to expend funds to meet the contingencies and needs that may arise from them.

The emergency order also suspends hours of service regulations for drivers of commercial vehicles while providing support to fire suppression activities and temporary fuel permits normally required for vehicles providing supplies to help support response to the emergency. Commercial motor vehicle carriers cannot require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a motor vehicle.

Additionally, the emergency order suspends the brand inspection permit fee requirement and the brand inspection requirement prior to removal, as well as allows the Montana Department of Livestock to issue transportation permits by phone when necessary to cope with the emergency.

Click to view the executive order.

10 August 2020
Governor Bullock Announces $100,000 Awarded Through Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program

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

26 June 2020
Governor Bullock Announces over $1 Million of Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program

Governor Bullock Announces over $1 Million of Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program

Governor Steve Bullock and the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced that over $1 million in grant funding has been awarded from the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP). The grants are designed to provide relief to small and medium-sized food and agriculture businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Agriculture drives our economy in Montana, and the COVID-19 crisis has shed new light on the importance of our local food systems,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “The adaptability grants directly support producers and value-added food and ag businesses affected by the pandemic. From Missoula, to Two Dot, to Scobey, Montanans across the state are finding innovative ways to strengthen and expand our access to local foods at a time when we need it most.”

 

 

Click to view all award recipients.

08 June 2020
Montana Invests in Meat Processing and Infrastructure - MT Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant

Montana Invests in Meat Processing and Infrastructure - MT Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant

Helena, Mont. – Small and medium-sized meat processors in Montana have an opportunity to receive funding to support and expand processing infrastructure and capacity through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant. Governor Steve Bullock announced the availability of these grants last week as part of additional funding to aid businesses recovering from economic impacts of COVID-19.

“With increased demand on both the national supply chain and our local food systems, it’s time to invest in in-state meat processing,” said Ben Thomas, Director of Montana Department of Agriculture. “These grants give our producers an opportunity to shift their operations, so they can access new markets, and we can keep quality Montana raised meat here in Montana.”

Click to learn more and apply.

22 May 2020
Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee Board Virtual Meeting

Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee Board Virtual Meeting

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Summer Meeting will take place on a virtual meeting format, on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, and last until 12:00 p.m. 

To receive call-in information please contact the MWBC office with and provide your email address. As always, the public is invited to participate virtually in the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee board meeting.

For more information, please visit https://wbc.agr.mt.gov/, call (406) 761-7732, or email wbc@mt.gov.

22 May 2020
Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee Zoom Conference Call

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee Zoom Conference Call

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet via Zoom teleconference at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9th. For more information, please contact Weston Merrill, at (406) 444-3407.

Zoom Meeting Information

To join by computer: https://zoom.us/j/91650348866 [zoom.us]

To join by phone: (877) 853-5247; Meeting ID: 916 5034 8866

Click to learn more about the Montana Pulse Crop Committee.

11 May 2020
Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program

Click Here to Apply


Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID 19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID 19 pandemic. Total funding available is $500,000, with a maximum application amount of $10,000.
mtaap@mt.gov

 

01 April 2020
USDA NASS Prospective Plantings - March 1, 2020

USDA NASS Prospective Plantings - March 1, 2020

As of March 1, Montana growers intend to plant 135,000 acres of corn for all purposes in 2020, up 20,000 acres, or 17 percent from last year's plantings, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The area expected to be seeded to oats, at 75,000 acres, is up 5,000 acres from a year ago. Growers intend to plant 1.01 million acres of barley in 2020, up 90,000 acres from last year's actual plantings. If realized, this would be the highest barley planted acreage since 2003 when 1.15 million acres were planted.

All wheat acreage is expected to total 5.47 million acres for 2020. Winter wheat seeded last fall for harvest in 2020 is estimated at 1.60 million acres, down 400,000 acres from the 2019 crop. Growers intend to seed 570,000 acres of Durum wheat this year, up 20,000 acres from last year. Growers intend to seed 3.30 million acres of spring wheat this year, up 400,000 acres from last year. If realized, this would be the highest spring wheat planted acreage since 2002 when 3.75 million acres were planted. Hay producers in the State intend to harvest 2.80 million acres this year. This is down 200,000 acres from the acreage cut for hay in 2019. Montana canola producers intend to plant a record high 175,000 acres in 2020, up 25,000 acres from 2019. Flaxseed producers intend to plant 80,000 acres in 2020, down 19,000 acres from last year.

The area planted to sugarbeets is expected to be up 700 acres from last year's actual plantings to 42,500 acres. All garbanzo beans (chickpeas) area planted is expected to total 139,000 acres, down 60,000 acres from 2019. The acreage of small chickpeas is expected to total 56,000 acres and the acreage of large chickpeas is expected to total 83,000 acres this year.

Lentil acres planted for 2020 are expected to total 315,000 acres, up 20,000 acres from last year. All dry edible pea area planted, which includes Austrian winter peas, is expected to total 495,000 acres, down 35,000 acres from last year.

30 March 2020
Mini-Grants Available through Growth Through Agriculture Program

Mini-Grants Available through Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced mini-grant funding is now available through its Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program. All projects will need to demonstrate how they expand Montana agriculture, but given the current public health situation with COVID-19, special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure.

“We’re excited to revive our mini-grant program, and now more than ever we need to invest in our food and ag companies,” said Director Ben Thomas. “In particular, we are hoping to see applications that will strengthen and diversify local food options in communities across Montana."

Click to learn more about GTA mini-grants.

27 March 2020
Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

On March 26, Governor Bullock issued a directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily close all nonessential businesses and operations to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28 and will be in effect through April 10, identifies essential businesses and operations related to food and agriculture, as included in the sections shown below:

Click to view the  the Governor’s Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.

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