MTPR

agriculture

Hay field. File photo.
PD

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during an agriculture conference in Great Falls, MT, June 1, 2017.
Courtesy @SecretarySunny Twitter feed

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke in Great Falls Thursday. Perdue suggested reforms for a couple of big safety net programs important to farmers.

Perdue has only been on the job as ag secretary since the end of April, and part of his job is to help President Trump push forward a budget that calls for big cuts in the Department of Agriculture.

Wheat field.
(PD)

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Montana today and tomorrow for an agriculture summit being put on in Great Falls by Republican Senator Steve Daines.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
PD

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.” 

Sen. Daines hand-carried four Montana steaks and a photo of Fred Wacker of Miles City and his cows to China and presented them to Premier Li Keqiang to underscore the importance of opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef imports.
Courtesy Senator Daines

U.S. Senator Steve Daines says he thinks American beef is almost back on the menu in China.

"We’re now engaged at the highest levels in their government and telling them this is a very important issue for the United States," Daines says.

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An undated image from Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Co-op page
Flathead Lake Cherry Growers

With the Trump administration working toward tougher enforcement of America’s immigration laws, some cherry farmers in Montana wondering what that may mean for this year’s harvest.

There are some 6oo to 800 acres of cherry orchards on the eastern shore of Flathead Lake. Marilyn Bowman owns one of the biggest and oldest. Each year is different, she says. 

Bill Would Reduce Taxes For MT Farmers, Ranchers, Business Owners

Mar 13, 2017
Hay field. File photo.
PD

Supporters of a bill aimed at reducing property taxes in Montana say the agricultural industry needs help because of dropping commodity prices.

Threshold Episode 06: Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Mar 9, 2017
Part of the American Prairie Reserve near Malta, Montana.
Amy Martin

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

Bison being released at Fort Peck Reservation, November 2014.
Courtesy of the Defenders of Wildlife

Tribal members and wildlife groups were among those asking lawmakers today to consider a bill to change how bison can be moved and sold. The bill proposed by Rep. Willis Curdy, a Missoula Democrat, would remove an existing requirement for wild bison be cleared as free from brucellosis before being transferred.

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