Montana Public Radio

agriculture

Herford cattle.
USDA

A Wyoming rancher was awarded nearly $340,000 last month after disputing wildlife managers’ initial offer to pay for several livestock killed by grizzlies and wolves. 

While the large payout is unusual, Montana ranchers say it’s calling attention to funding issues for livestock losses on this side of the border.

Brigitta Miranda-Freer
Courtesy of Brigitta Miranda-Freer

Imagine pulling out a new board game's instructions and discovering that the normally skinny pamphlet runs thousands of pages and spells out the rules of the game from soup to nuts. That's what an international trade agreement looks like: it's comprehensive, it's years in the making, and millions of people's livelihoods depend on it.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced Friday that farmers in more than a dozen counties will be eligible for federal assistance after significant crop losses from excessive rain and snow last year.

Farming and ranching have always been considered risky. But more extreme weather events, low prices and uncertainty have led to higher rates of bankruptcy and suicide across the U.S. Recently 700 women ag producers gathered in locations across six western states to learn about ways to reduce stress on farms and ranches. 

A subadult male grizzly bear was euthanized after it repeatedly broke into a chicken coop and killed several chickens off Farm to Market Road between Kalispell and Whitefish, August 21, 2019.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

State and Federal wildlife managers are offering a first-of-its-kind summit on grizzly bear education in Helena this week.

Some Montana lawmakers are applauding the U.S.-China trade agreement signed Jan. 15, saying it’s a big win for the state’s agricultural producers. Critics say a trade war with the world’s second largest economy should not have happened in the first place.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this week released a document nearly eight years in the making that outlines how bison could be restored in the state as publicly managed wildlife. 

 

As more extreme droughts and floods and other climate effects threaten food production and the survival of rural communities, there’s a debate about whether sustainable agriculture can be achieved through new federal policies or shifting markets. 

Hay bales in a field.
iStock

The U.S. Agriculture Department predicts American net farm income this year will be about 10% higher than in 2018.

Great news, right? Not so fast, say some Montana farmers.

Trucks wait at a Canadian border crossing.
iStock

Beltway Democrats and Republicans are both claiming victory over this week’s announced overhaul of the 25-year-old NAFTA trade agreement. Back home in Montana, farmers and ranchers are still sifting through the pact’s details with a fine-toothed comb. 

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