Welcome to the Montana Department of Agriculture Nursery Program.

The Nursery Program oversees the import and export of nursery stock for the state of Montana to exclude invasive pests, as well as to maintain the quality of all nursery stock in the state.

Please use the panels to find more information, or feel free to contact us using the information below.

Attention Importers: 

All plant material brought into the state of Montana must follow quarantine regulations to exclude invasive pests, particularly Japanese Beetle. Please see our active quarantines here.

Carson Thomas
Nursery Program Specialist
Phone: (406) 444-3428
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601



Frank Etzler
Natural Resources Section Supervisor
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Ask a Question : Nurseries

Nursery Program News

Montana Department of Agriculture Reminds Montanans to Sow Safe Seeds

Buying and planting seed from licensed dealers protects Montana from invasive species

Montana Department of Agriculture Reminds Montanans to Sow Safe Seeds

As people across the state gear up to plant their gardens this spring, the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding growers about the importance of buying and planting seeds from licensed seed dealers to protect against invasive species and plant diseases.

“Spring is such an exciting time for agriculture in Montana, from our farmers and ranchers out in the field to the folks planting gardens in their backyard,” said Director Mike Foster. “Along with this excitement comes a responsibility to look after our state by purchasing seeds from trustworthy sources. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Department to ensure that your seeds are safe before planting them.”

Last year, residents in all 50 states received unsolicited “mystery seeds” through the mail that originated in China causing federal and state agencies to urge recipients not to plant them, and to contact their state regulatory officials to submit them for testing or dispose of them instead. Close to 150 seed packages were received in Montana and sent to USDA’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) for testing. A mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb and weed species were discovered and fortunately determined not to be severely hazardous. In this case, the unsolicited seeds appear to have been sent as part of a brushing scam designed to boost e-commerce rankings for companies by shipping items to unknowing individuals and then creating false profiles and fabricated positive reviews.

Whether it be as part of a brushing scam or otherwise, planting unknown or unsolicited seeds can introduce harmful pests and/or diseases. To ensure your seeds are safe, please:

  • check to confirm the seed species information is printed on the seed package
  • do not plant any seeds of unknown species or origin
  •  verify seed suppliers are licensed in MT at mtplants.mt.gov or call MDA at (406) 444-3144.

The Federal Seed Act and Montana Seed Laws require seed sellers and distributors to plainly label their packages. The MDA Seed Program ensures that seeds offered for sale in Montana are truthfully labeled for identity, purity, and viability. To learn more, visit the Montana Department of Agriculture’s web page at agr.mt.gov/SeedProgram.

Documents to download

Ventenata Added to Montana Noxious Weed List

Learn to identify ventenata in the field

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.

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

The application deadline is March 22, 2019

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.