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24 September 2020
Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

The Montana Potato Advisory Committee is seeking proposals for the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Proposals should relate to demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry.

Visit https://funding.mt.gov/index.do to apply. All applications must be submitted through the Montana Webgrants system by October 28, 2020. Questions on applications should be directed to the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201 or by contacting Dani Jones at (406) 444-2402 or via email at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov.

18 September 2020
USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP) for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for CFAP 2 will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

Producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

 

03 August 2020
FDA Investigates Outbreak of Salmonella Newport: Red Onions (July 2020)

FDA Investigates Outbreak of Salmonella Newport: Red Onions (July 2020)

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections. FDA’s traceback investigation is ongoing but has identified Thomson International, Inc. of Bakersfield, CA as a likely source of potentially contaminated red onions. Although the investigation has determined that red onions are the likely source of this outbreak, Thomson International, Inc. has notified FDA that it will be recalling all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. This recall would include red, white, yellow, and sweet onions from Thomson International, Inc. Recall information will be made public as soon as it is available from Thomson International, Inc.

Click to learn more and see recommendations.

Click to view map of reported cases.

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.

24 July 2019
Ventenata Added to Montana Noxious Weed List

Ventenata Added to Montana Noxious Weed List

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture has updated its noxious weed list to include ventenata (Ventenata dubia). The Noxious Weed Listing Workgroup recommended adding ventenata to the Priority 2A list at its meeting on March 21, 2019. The amendment was adopted on June 21st, 2019. Priority 2A weeds are common in isolated areas in the State and require eradication or containment where less abundant. Management can be prioritized by the local weed districts.

16 March 2019
USDA is Still Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

USDA is Still Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

Are you looking for a thriving market to grow your food and agricultural exports?

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a trade mission to Bogota, June 4-7, 2019, and learn how the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) is opening doors, creating new opportunities and helping U.S. ag exports flourish to record levels.

08 March 2019
Join USDA Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

Join USDA Trade Mission to Colombia, June 4-7

Join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a trade mission to Bogota, June 4-7, 2019, and learn how the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) is opening doors, creating new opportunities and helping U.S. ag exports flourish to record levels.

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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