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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.

 

07 April 2021
Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council is Recruiting for Open Positions

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council is Recruiting for Open Positions

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is currently recruiting for open positions on its Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council (NWMAC). The following council terms expire June 30, 2021:

  • Livestock Production Representative
  • Herbicide Dealer or Applicator
  • Biological Research and Control Interests Representative
  • Western County Weed District Representative
  • Agriculture Crop Production Representative

Click here to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council and apply. 

07 April 2021
Hail Insurance Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Hail Insurance Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Applications for the State Hail Insurance Program are now available through the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Producers can insure crops against hail damage at the maximum coverage rate of $75 per acre for dryland and $114 per acre for irrigated land. Rates charged are a percentage of the insured amount and vary by county. A detailed list of rates by county and crop can be found online by visiting the MDA website. State policies are available for purchase until August 15, 2021.

Producers who previously purchased state hail insurance will receive applications in the mail. Application forms are also available online or by calling the MDA office. Staff are available to process policies, file claims, and help answer any questions producers may have regarding coverage options. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, faxed, or used as a reference when contacting the office by phone.

Loss claims are due to the office by October 1, 2021, and must be submitted within two weeks of the hail damage occurrence. Forms are available online or by request.

29 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Lifts Regulations for Fertilizer Delivery to Support Montana's Ag Industry

Governor Gianforte Lifts Regulations for Fertilizer Delivery to Support Montana's Ag Industry

Governor Greg Gianforte issued an executive order that temporarily suspends hours of service regulations for certain carriers to facilitate and expedite the delivery of fertilizer to Montana’s farmers.

Agriculture producers regularly face a compressed spring planting schedule due to late snowfalls and wet conditions which increase the demand for anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers across the state. Waiving hours of service requirements ensures that fertilizer haulers can meet the needs of the industry by delivering greater volumes in a short timeframe.

The order pertains only to carriers actively involved in transporting anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers requires haulers to operate safely and prudently.

The order is effective from April 1 to June 6, 2021 and can be found here.

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.

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.

23 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Celebrates National Ag Day at Multi-Generational Potato Farms

Governor Gianforte Celebrates National Ag Day at Multi-Generational Potato Farms

Governor Greg Gianforte celebrated National Agriculture Day today by visiting the Lake Family farms, potato farms in operation for more than eighty years in the Mission Valley.

“We’re celebrating Montana agriculture today and the farmers and ranchers that drive our state’s number one industry,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “Our commodities like potatoes, wheat, barley, beef, and pulse crops and recognized throughout the world for their superior quality, and family farms like the Lake’s serve as the cornerstone to rural communities across our state.”

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.

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. 

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