Montana Public Radio

agriculture

Angela Hsieh / NPR

With mail-ballots for the upcoming June 2 primary election hitting mailboxes this Friday, candidates are taking advantage of online forums to get their message out to voters. This weekend, the Montana Farmers Union, Northern Plains Resource Council, Montana Cattlemen Association and the United States Cattlemen Association, hosted candidates for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat in a virtual debate. It focused on agriculture and rural issues.

MTPR's Corin Cates-Carney spoke with Yellowstone Public Radio's Nicky Ouellet about how the candidates tried to stand out from the pack.

The Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primary candidates debated virtually Saturday on agriculture and rural issues, each facing off against their respective party members.

The debate was hosted by the Montana Farmers Union, state and national cattlemen’s associations, and Northern Plains Resource Council.

Ranching can be an isolating profession in a good year. But the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the few staples of social contact women ranchers rely on. A program led by a woman in Garfield County, Montana is forging new ways of connecting that will likely outlast the pandemic.

A landowner advocacy group in Montana filed a complaint this week against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks saying that the department has not thoroughly explored the consequences of allowing free-roaming wild bison in the state.


The Montana Department of Agriculture received the green light late last week on its hemp plan after outlining how it would meet stricter federal regulations, including testing and sampling. Some farmers may experience more stringent regulations in 2021.

 

Regional economists say Montana farmers are in a good position to recover from setbacks caused by international trade tensions last year. This spring they’ll be watching to see if Mexico, Canada and China follow through with their promises, how commodity markets react and if the overall uncertainty over future trade relations starts to fade.

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. 

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