Montana Department of Agriculture logo

Montana cattle feeding at the trough. MDA administers programs for the management of feed products.

The program licenses and regulates commercial feed manufacturers and dealers to ensure the quality of feed products distributed in Montana.


  • Safeguard the health of humans and animals
  • Promote safe and effective nutrition for livestock and companion animals
  • Ensure truth in labeling
  • Ensure standardization and uniformity of terms and definitions used in the feed industry

The feed program samples feed products at manufacturing sites, storage areas, distribution and transit points, retail stores, and on-farm feed mixing areas. Samples are analyzed at the department's Analytical Laboratory for compliance with labeling claims. Test results are reported to manufacturers. All feed products must be properly and accurately labeled. (Unprocessed hay is not regulated by the program).

Safeguards for BSE

The program inspects feed for prohibited substances to ensure compliance with regulations to prevent the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a feed-borne illness that could be transmitted to other animals or humans.

Commercial Feed Label Requirements
  • Brand Name
  • Product Name
  • Purpose Statement
  • Medicated Claim (if required)
  • Drug Guarantee (if required)
  • Guaranteed Analysis
  • Ingredient Statement
  • Use Directions
  • Precautionary Statement (if required)
  • Responsible Party’s Name and Address
  • Quantity Statement
Customer Formula Feeds must be accompanied by a label, invoice, delivery slip or other shipping document containing:
  • Name and address of the manufacturer or guarantor;
  • Name and address of the purchaser;
  • The date of delivery;
  • The specific agreed to composition of the feed or a list of the ingredients, but not necessarily the percentage of each ingredient;
  • Adequate directions for use for all customer formula feeds containing drugs;
  • Precautionary statements that the department by rule determines are necessary for safe and effective use of the feeds;
  • In cases when a drug-containing product is used in a customer formula feed:
    • The purpose of the drug in the form of a claim statement; and
    • The established name of each active drug ingredient and the level of each drug used in the final mixture, expressed in accordance with the Association of American Feed Control Officials Model Feed Regulations, as published in that organizations Official Publication and adopted by department rule.

Follow the link below to access the Animal Feed Labeling Guide written by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Animal Feed
Labeling Guide
from AAFCO

Please contact MDA Feed staff if you have questions or require assistance.

Any person or business that manufactures, distributes or acts as a guarantor for commercial feed. Distributors of pet food do not require a dealer license. Refer to the tab below for more information on licensing requirements.


Download the
Feed License
Application Form

All commercial feed distributors, feed manufactures and those whose name appears on the label of a commercial feed as guarantor, must obtain a license before conducting business in or into Montana. Each place of business, manufacturing facility, distribution point or point of invoicing must have a license. Annual licensing must be obtained before January 1st of each year.

Manufacturers of pet foods and specialty pet foods must register all products by January 1 of each year. Product labels are subject to review upon request by the department. Other commercial feeds are not required to be registered but manufacturers must obtain a Feed License. For more information use the registration tab below.

Manufacturers and guarantors of Pet Foods and Specialty Pet Foods, including complete feed, treats and snacks, must register all products by January 1 of each year. Other commercial feeds are not required to be registered.

Download the
Pet & Specialty Pet Food
Registration Form

Product labels are subject to review upon request by the department. Under Montana law, all pet food products must be labeled in accordance with Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) model regulations. This provides uniform labeling for all pet foods and treats on the market, enabling consumers the ability to compare and contrast different products with ease.

Label Requirements

  • Product name and brand
  • Medications (if any)
  • Statement specifying species of pet
  • Guaranteed analysis
  • Ingredient statement
  • Statement of nutritional adequacy
  • Feeding directions
  • Name and address of the manufacturer or guarantor
  • Net weight or quantity statement


Annual Product Registration

  • Pet food: $50.00 per product

What is a veterinary feed directive (VFD)?

A veterinary feed directive is a written statement issued by a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian's professional practice that orders the use of a VFD drug in or on an animal feed.

What is a VFD drug?

In September of 2015, FDA revised Guidance for Industry #120, Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation to reflect the VFD final rule. A VFD drug is intended for use in animal feeds, and such use of the VFD drug is permitted only under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

What is meant by VCPR?

The veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is the basis for interaction among veterinarians, their clients, and their patients and is critical to the health of your animal(s).

Veterinary Feed Directives

The Federal Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 (ADAA) amended the Act to establish a new category of drugs, veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs. A drug approved for use in or on animal feed as a VFD drug is limited to use only under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

The VFD process is straightforward in practice. A veterinarian, operating within the confines of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR), examines and diagnoses animal conditions and determines whether a condition warrants use of a VFD drug. If it does, the veterinarian will issue signed VFD order containing information specified by regulation.

Extra-label use of a VFD drug (or any drug) in or on an animal feed is strictly prohibited, i.e., not permitted by anyone, including the veterinarian. The veterinarian keeps a copy of the VFD order and provides the completed and signed original and a copy to the client. The client keeps the copy and gives the original VFD to the feed manufacturer or distributor issuing the VFD feed. The VFD order allows the VFD feed to be issued to the client for feeding to the animals.

Anyone intending to distribute VFD feeds must notify CVM prior to beginning distribution. Distributor includes the VFD feed manufacturer or anyone in the distribution chain who ultimately supplies VFD feed to an animal producer upon receiving a valid VFD order. The veterinarian could be a distributor of VFD feed. A VFD feed may not be distributed to a client without a signed, valid VFD. However, VFD feed may be sent down the distribution chain if the consignee, i.e., another distributor, provides the distributor with a signed acknowledgment letter affirming that it will only issue the VFD feed to a client upon receiving a valid VFD order holder or to another distributor upon receiving the acknowledgment letter.

It is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for drugs to be added for uses or at levels not specified in the regulations. Any individual authorizing the violation, as well as the individual illegally mixing the feed may be subject to regulatory action. Additionally, the feed itself may be subject to seizure. Off-label use of drugs is tolerated in the feed of minor species provided certain conditions are met, including the involvement of a licensed veterinarian. Compliance Policy Guide 615.115 covers the Extra-label Use of Medicated Feeds for Minor Species. Minor species are defined by exclusion as animals other than cattle, horses, swine, chickens, turkeys, dogs and cats.

  1. FDA/CVM VFD Main Page: This link provides all information FDA has to offer on the VFD rule.
  2. Veterinary Feed Directive Brochures: The following four brochures target specific entity obligations and requirements that apply during the VFD process:
  3. FDA Guidance #120 for Industry: This guidance serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide with questions and answers to aid industry in complying with the requirements of the VFD final rule.
  4. Listing of Veterinary Feed Directive Distributor Notifications: The following link will take you to a list containing distributors of all states who have notified FDA of their intentions to distribute VFD feeds. You will be able to scroll through this list and find Montana distributors. As new distributors notify FDA the list will be updated.
  5. VFD Drugs: This link provides a list of antimicrobial drugs that transitioned from Over-the-Counter (OTC) to Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) status that are approved for use in or on animal feed.

Food Facility Registration: Does your feed business require FDA Registration as a Food Facility?

Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF)

PCAF Compliance Dates
Qualified Facility
  • A business that meets the definition of a “qualified facility” is subject to modified requirements in § 507.7 of the Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule . These modified requirements require the business to submit a form to FDA, attesting to its status as a qualified facility.
  • Draft Guidance for Industry: Qualified Facility Attestation Using Form FDA 3942a (for Human Food) or Form FDA 3942b (for Animal Food)
  • Draft Instructions for Submitting Your Attestation: Qualified Facility Attestation Using Form FDA 3942a (for Human Food) or Form FDA 3942b (for Animal Food)


Feed Program News

USDA is Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to West Africa October 28-31, 2019

Application deadline is August 2, 2019

USDA is Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to West Africa October 28-31, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will lead a trade mission to Accra, Ghana, October 28-31, seeking to unlock new export opportunities in several West African countries where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products.

Now Hiring Chemist

Position Based in Bozeman

Now Hiring Chemist

The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently hiring a Chemist based in Bozeman. Applications will be accepted until August 10, 2019. Visit the Employment page for more info and other job openings with the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit and for more information on how to apply.​

Falina Hutchinson
Feed/Fertilizer Program Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-5415
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493


Bob Church
Feed/Fertilizer Program Manager

Phone : (406) 444-5410
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493


Kay Deskins
Licensing & Registration Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-0510
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493


Commodity Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-3950
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


Feed Forms & Files

To download a file in the table below, click on a file Title to highlight it, then click on the Download File Download Icon or Get URL File Link URL Icon icons at the top right of the table, OR click directly on a file Name.
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