Mission Statement

Invest in and deliver support for marketing, research, education, and policy development programming that improves return on investment for the pulse producers of Montana.

Montana Pulse Crop Committee from left to right: Ben Thomas, Director, MT Dept. of Agriculture(Ex officio), Jillien Streit, Roger Sammons (former member), Ryan Bogar- Chair, Ron Williams, Columbia Grain(Ex-officio) Kim Murray, Paul Kanning-Vice Chair not pictured: Dr. Charles Boyer.

Click here to jump to committee agendas and minutes.

Pulse crop production has grown in significance in Montana, which became the leading lentil producing state in 2010. Acreage of pulse crops more than tripled between 2009 and 2011. Pea, lentil and chickpea crops provide additional revenue for farmers and fix nitrogen that can be used to boost grain crops following pulse crops in a rotation.

The Montana Pulse Crop Market Development Program was created by a vote of pea, lentil and chickpea producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act (MCA 80-11-10).

The Pulse Crop Market Development Program is administered by the Montana Department of Agriculture under the Montana Pulse Crop Committee. The committee invites proposals to fund market development projects to address Montana's pulse industry needs and opportunities.

Research funding will be available through the US Dry Pea & Lentil Council (USADPLC). For more information, contact Dr. Susan "Evy" Jaconis, Director of Research at ejaconis@usapulses.org .

Visit the Pulse Crops page for more information on the benefits of pulse crops and the pulse industry in Montana.

Montana Pulse Committee

Board Members

Name Contact Info Term End Qualifications District
Ryan Bogar, Chair 153 Vida East Road
Vida, MT 59274
6/30/2021 Producer Eastern
Paul Kanning, Vice-Chair Mail Route Road
Flaxville, MT 59222
6/30/2020 Producer Eastern
Colby Johnson 11317 US Highway 91 N
Conrad, MT 59425
6/30/2021 Producer At-Large
Jillien Streit PO Box 465
Chester, MT 59522
6/30/2020 Producer Western
Gordon Stoner 74 Grants Rd
Outlook, MT 59252
6/30/2021 Producer At-Large
Ben Thomas, Ex-Officio Dept. of Agriculture
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 59620-0201
  Director, Montana Dept. of Agriculture MDOA
Sreekala Bajwa, Ex-Officio PO Box 172860
Bozeman, MT 59717
  Dean of Agriculture MSU
Matt Franks, Ex-Officio 225 E Northern Ave
Plentywood, MT 59254
6/30/2022   Pulse Industry

Pulse Crop News

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

Like other farmers, trade wars and tariffs are hurting pulse crop farmers financially. And now pulse growers and some pet food companies are also losing business because of a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report linking pulse crops in dog food as a possible cause of enlarged heart disease in some dogs.

The FDA has been looking for more than a year into dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM which is effectively an enlarged heart disease. However, pulse growers like Chester’s Jillien Streit say FDA overstepped its bounds in drawing a direct link to specific pet food ingredients in a sample size of 560 cases out of a dog population of roughly 77 million.

“The issue that we take with this as pulse growers in Montana is as we continue to look into this, because, of course, you know, everyone's concerned” said Streit. “You don't want anyone's dog to have any issues and we don't want our products to be hurting anything. So, we start looking into this and we see that there's some really questionable issues with this particular report.”

She says the FDA’s report is hurting the market for pulses like peas and lentils which has already been damaged by ongoing trade wars.

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

Montana continues to lead the nation in pulse crop production. And as demand grows for food products made with pulses like peas, lentils and chickpeas, finding new international markets is important for Montana pulse growers. And an emerging market for Montana pulses in Colombia.

“The Spanish word for it is 'ritmo' which is rhythm and vibe and Colombia is really good,” said Montana Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Officer Weston Merrill. “They love American made products and American grown products.”

He says the South American country is an exciting opportunity for Montana pulse growers.

"How to Apply for a Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant" Webinar Now Available

"How to Apply for a Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant" Webinar Now Available

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program is a grant and loan program to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes. Click here to view and listen to a recording of the webinar on the Montana Department of Agriculture YouTube channel, or click here to download a PDF of the GTA Webinar Powerpoint Presentation