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23 September 2020
Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Steve Bullock today announced $4.2 million in additional funds have been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG) program to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

“The meat processing infrastructure grant program received an incredible amount of interest, which goes to show just how crucial these investments are for Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “Our hardworking producers need to have viable markets for selling their livestock. These grants allow meat processors to expand their capacity to meet increased demand for local meat and protect consumers from future supply chain disruptions.”

The grant program previously awarded $7.5 million to 62 different processors across the state in early August, making the total awards for meat processing nearly $12 million.

Click here to view the full MT Meat Processing Infrastructure Program award recipient list.

17 September 2020
Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

The Montana Department of Agriculture would like to remind producers that the Hay Hotline, an online portal where they can donate, buy or sell hay, as well as pasture available or pasture wanted, is available. This online tool can be especially helpful for those responding to damages from recent wildfires.
The department maintains the Hay Hotline as a service to the agricultural industry, making it available with the expectation that all buyers and sellers will treat each other in an equitable and lawful manner. 

Click here to access the Hay Hotline. Please call (406) 444-2402 with any questions.

08 September 2020
USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

On September 4, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue named the following counties as Disaster Designation Areas in Montana:

  • Powder River (primary)
  • Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Rosebud (contiguous)

Affected producers should work with their local FSA offices to apply for emergency loans and other assistance programs. Click here to visit the Montana FSA website to learn more.

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

 

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