MTPR

agriculture

Sen. Steve Daines.
Courtesy photo

U.S. Senator Steve Daines says one of the main points he and other Republican members of Congress expressed to Russians during a visit to that country last week was, "Don’t interfere in our elections."

Daines returned from his trip to Russia last Wednesday. During the trip, Daines said he was told by the United States Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, that US - Russia relations are at a post-Cold War low.

The Senate has started debating its version of the Farm Bill, and both of Montana’s Senators, Jon Tester and Steve Daines, say their chamber’s version of the Farm Bill is good news for Montana farmers and ranchers. But they disagree on at least one important aspect of it.

First, Yellowstone Public Radio's Jackie Yamanaka reports on what they agree on.

People gather in Missoula to protest the Trump administration's policy of separating families attempting to enter the country illegally at the southern border, June 20, 2018.
Clare Menahan

  

Several hundred people rallied in Missoula and Kalispell Wednesday to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating families attempting to enter the country illegally at the southern border.

Though President Trump overturned that policy through an executive order Wednesday afternoon, many in Missoula remained skeptical.

Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento runs through basic bear identification during a community meeting in Fort Shaw, MT, April 4, 2018. Sarmento and other bear managers are preparing locals for more grizzlies moving into the area.
Corin Cates-Carney

This week on the Rocky Mountain Front, state wildlife officials trapped one grizzly bear and killed another when the bears, separately, killed a calf and attacked sheep. Wildlife managers expect more conflicts like this as the number of bears in the region grows.

Grizzly bears have started walking back into their historic territory on the eastern plains, and many farmers and ranchers who haven’t seen the bear in generations are scared for what this revival means for their own way of life.

Congressman Greg Gianforte addresses a Montana Association of Counties meeting in Missoula Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Congressman Greg Gianforte says some changes to public lands management he’s been pushing for have made it into the draft of the Farm Bill Congress is expected to take up in couple of weeks.

The Farm Bill helps direct the U.S. Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture.

Roughly 300 people attended an event Saturday Night in Great Falls organized by Great Falls Area Concerned Citizens opposing the proposed Madison Food Park
Corin Cates-Carney

As a Canadian company decides how to proceed with its stated plans for an industrial slaughterhouse in Great Falls, which could provide thousands of new jobs, an opposition movement is trying to keep it away from town.

Former Montana senator and U.S. Representative John Melcher. Melcher died at age 93 on April 12, 2018.
PD

Former Montana Democratic U.S. Senator John Melcher died Thursday.

Melcher’s daughter Joan, says her dad died peacefully at his home in a chair overlooking Missoula’s Rattlesnake Creek.

His 35-year political career included seven years in the House and two terms in the U.S. Senate.

Cattle.
(PD)

A group opposed to a proposed large livestock processing facility in Great Falls is hosting a public meeting about it this weekend.

Some ranchers in state say the slaughterhouse would add jobs and save them the expense of shipping their cattle out of state.

Chinese Ambassador Chui Tian Kai (left) and Republican Senator Steve Daines spoke to the press after a meeting at a ranch near Belgrade, Montana in Sept., 2017
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines says he’s encouraged that President Trump appears interested in the US returning to negotiations to become part of Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. And Daines said he told the President farmers and ranchers prefer access to international markets to subsidies that would protect them from tariffs.

How might the trade sanctions President Donald Trump is proposing for China affect Montanans? We put that question to former Montana Senator Max Baucus, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to China in the Obama administration. In October, Baucus joined former Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana to form an advocacy group called Farmers For Free Trade, which represents the National Wheat and Corn Growers Associations, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation, among others. 

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