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11 May 2021
USDA Soil Health & Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Signup Period is Open for Montana

USDA Soil Health & Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Signup Period is Open for Montana

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that agricultural producers can now sign up for the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), which provides a short-term option to plant cover on less productive agricultural lands while improving soil health and carbon sequestration.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made improvements to this pilot program which allows for a maximum of 50,000 acres to be enrolled in the praire pothole states of Montana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The signup period ends July 16, 2021.

Improvements to SHIPP include:

  • Boosting rental rates: A change to the rental rate calculation method to use a rate equivalent to 50% percent of the county average rental rate for every offer in the county, regardless of the soil productivity in the offer. This removes the current practice of adjusting the rate by soil productivity factors, which may reduce the soil rental rate further.
  • Changes to offer selection for producers: Producers can now self-certify that the acres they want to offer are less productive or prone to drought or flood damage. Additionally, they can now use field boundaries and straight lines to delineate the offers. This is a change to the previous policy, which required using soil map unit boundaries and the associated soil productivity values, which created difficulty for producers by generating unusual and impractical sizes and shapes of land.

Producers interested in SHIPP can learn more at fsa.usda.gov/crp [fsa.usda.gov] or by contacting their local USDA Service Center [farmers.gov]. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools.

10 May 2021
USDA Announces Garfield County as Primary Natural Disaster Area due to Drought

USDA Announces Garfield County as Primary Natural Disaster Area due to Drought

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Garfield County as a primary natural disaster area due to a recent drought. This announcement comes nearly a week after 13 other Montana counties were declared as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. 

Other MT counties previously named primary disaster areas: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley & Wibaux.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered fromm a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks, or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme, or 4) D4 Drought-Exceptional.

Seven additional counties were named as contiguous disaster areas in the announcement for Garfield County: Custer, McCone, Petroleum, Phillips, Prairie, Rosebud & Valley.

Other MT Counties previously named contiguous counties: Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum, Powder River & Rosebud.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguos to such primary counties eligible for assistance provided through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Producers in affected areas are encouraged to work with their local FSA office to receive more information and apply. Click here to view Montana FSA offices map. Click here to visit the USDA Disaster Assisance Programs website.

06 May 2021
Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

The Made in Montana Tradeshow for food and gifts will take place in Helena at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds on September 10 - 11th, 2021--all Grown in Montana members are encouraged to apply!

On Friday, September 10th, exhibitors will have the opportuntity to connect with wholesale buyers. Saturday, September 11th, the public is invited to attend and exhibitors will sell directly to consumers at retail prices. 

Exhibitor registration opens up on May 19th. Click here to learn more and apply to participate as an exhibitor. 

05 May 2021
USDA Announces Primary Disaster Designation for 13 Montana Counties due to drought

USDA Announces Primary Disaster Designation for 13 Montana Counties due to drought

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 Montana counties as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. 

Primary Counties: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley & Wibaux.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered fromm a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks, or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme, or 4) D4 Drought-Exceptional.

Six additional counties were named as contiguous disaster areas. Contiguous Counties: Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum, Powder River & Rosebud.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguos to such primary counties eligible for assistance provided through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Producers in affected areas are encouraged to work with their local FSA office to receive more information and apply. Click here to view Montana FSA offices map. Click here to visit the USDA Disaster Assisance Programs website.

22 April 2021
Public Meeting Notice: MT Oilseed Advisory Committee

Public Meeting Notice: MT Oilseed Advisory Committee

The Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee will meet via Zoom on Thursday, May 13th beginning at 1:00 p.m.

To receive Zoom meeting information, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov or (406) 444-2402.

22 April 2021
Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

Montana State University Extension Pondera County and Purdue Extension – Bartholomew County are teaming up to provide a webinar series dedicated to helping agricultural producers improve their agriculture communication skills. Adriane Good, from MSU Extension, and Cora Carter, from Purdue Extension, noticed that many farmers and ranchers want to engage with the public and share their story but have difficulties doing so. This webinar series aims to help producers with that, giving them the skills to communicate effectively and present themselves professionally online when engaging with a non-agricultural based public.

  • May 13: Media Literacy & Critical Thinking - Beth Forbes, Purdue University
  • May 20: Communication & Engagement - Linda Pfeiffer, Purde University
  • May 27: Communicating Controversial Topics - Group Discussion
  • June 3: Crafting Your Story - Carrie Mess (@dairycarrie)
  • June 10: Presenting Yourself Professionally Online - Sara Hollenbeck, High Five Meats
  • June 17: Practice Telling Your Story - Group Discussion

Each week’s class will begin at 5 PM MST and last until 6 PM. The webinar series will be hosted via Microsoft Teams, which will allow class participants to interact with each other between sessions. If you are unfamiliar with teams, a video will be distributed to familiarize you with the software. The webinar series is free of charge. Registration can be accessed at puext.in/comm4farm. For more information about the webinar series, contact Adriane Good at 406-271-4054.

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.

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.

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