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24 March 2021
Online Testing Now Available for Montana Pesticide Applicators

Online Testing Now Available for Montana Pesticide Applicators

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is providing a new opportunity for pesticide applicators to take exams online through the Metro Insititute Centers

"We are excited to provide Montana's applicators with a new opportunity to take their tests online," said Rory Ruffner, Pesticide Licensing, Registration & Training Program Manager at Montana Department of Agriculture. "The Department aims to provide services that are efficient and easy to use and this new online option does exactly that. The challenges of the last year have shown that our applicators are willing to utilize technology and see it as a solution that can help them succeed."

The exams are computer-based and allow for instant exam results and analysis. The cost for online exams taken through Metro Institute is $58. MDA will continue to proctor tests in person and applicators are encouraged to work with staff at their local MDA Field Office to arrange a testing time. 

Click here to sign up for an online pesticide exam through Metro Institute. Currently, testing facilities are available in Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, and Glendive with more cities to be added in the near future.

25 February 2021
How to Determine Farm Status for FSMA Produce Safety Rule

How to Determine Farm Status for FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The Montana Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program encourages all produce growers to submit the status of their farm in relation to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Produce growers can determine the status of their operation by completing the Farm Status Determination form. 

Click here to complete the Farm Status Determination Form.

Click here to visit the Produce Safety Program and learn more about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Produce Safety Rule (PSR).

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.

27 July 2020
MDA Asks Public to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds

MDA Asks Public to Report Receipt of any Unsolicited Packages of Seeds


 Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received multiple reports from Montana residents that have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have been shipped from China. Individuals are urged to contact the department if they receive a package matching this description. Please contact the Seed Program at (406) 444-3950 or bballensky@mt.gov.  
 

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.

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

 

27 November 2018

Most recent update from the FDA on the Romaine E. Coli outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities, continues to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of romaine lettuce in the U.S. As of Nov. 26, 2018, this outbreak has resulted in 43 people becoming ill in 12 states, with the last reported illness onset date being Oct. 31, 2018. An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill, and the FDA and our partners are also coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities.

Click here to read the full announcement from the FDA.

22 February 2018
Produce Safety Rule technical assistance available to farmers

Produce Safety Rule technical assistance available to farmers

Hello Montana Growers!

The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule is in place (and was adopted by the Montana legislature) and is being implemented. The Montana Department of Agriculture has received a grant to provide support and technical assistance regarding produce safety to farmers. Food safety regulations are changing, and we want to ensure you have the information you need to be successful.

In coming weeks, we will be conducting brief phone calls to gain a better understanding of the number and scale of produce growers in the state. If you would rather submit your information through an online form, please go to www.foodsafety.mt.gov and click on “Submit Info for the Food Safety Modernization Act Inventory”, or, if you are unsure if the Produce Safety Act applies to you and your farm, click on "Determine if the Produce Safety Rule Applies to You" to answer a few questions and automatically see if you are exempt or if the law applies to you.

If you have questions, please call 406-444-0131 or email foodsafety@mt.gov.

Thank you from the Montana Department of Agriculture Food Safety Program

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