MTPR

Montana Farmers Union

Bills Aimed At Montana’s Hemp Industry Move Forward

Feb 19, 2019
Hemp plant.
iStock

HELENA -- The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production and Montana lawmakers are considering the best ways to integrate it into the state’s agriculture economy.

Sen. Tom Jacobson, D-Great Falls, is sponsoring two hemp-related bills. Senate Bill 176 would allow the Montana Department of Agriculture to create a hemp certification program plan. Senate Bill 177 would eliminate the criminal background check requirement to grow hemp. The Montana Senate passed both bills this week and they now head to the House of Representatives.

Montana Bill Would Distinguish 'Real' From Lab-Grown Meat

Feb 8, 2019
Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A state lawmaker wants to make sure meat products produced from a cultured cell can't be labeled the same as steaks, burger and other items that come from livestock and poultry.

Hay field. File photo.
PD

The U.S Department of Agriculture reopens all of its Farm Service Agency offices starting Thursday, Jan. 24. Nearly 10,000 FSA employees will come back to work, but won’t get paid until after the shutdown ends.

Beef cattle born in other countries can still be labeled a product of the USA. Some Montana ranchers take issue with that.

A seminar tonight in Lewistown will address current and past labeling regulations.

Hemp plant.
iStock

The 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Trump this week ushers in a new era for American agriculture; one in which industrial hemp is legal to grow again after a decades-long hiatus. And Montana farmers are taking notice.

The U.S Senate Monday confirmed Sonny Perdue as secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture . USDA oversees ag and forest policies directly affecting rural states like Montana.

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.

Hay field. File photo.
PD

One easy way to start an argument these days is to bring up climate change. Yet when several dozen farmers and researchers gathered to talk about it last Friday in Great Falls, there was virtually no argument. That’s because the group that sponsored the event, the Montana Farmers Union, accepts climate change as a fact and because the event, called Plowing Forward, was not focused on placing the blame for it, but rather on its effects, especially on agriculture.

Wheat field.
(PD)

Montana farmers will have to take the changing climate into account, even planting different species to accommodate warmer temperatures. That was part of the message delivered at a gathering in Great Falls Friday, sponsored by The Montana Farmers Union. 

USDA

Hundreds of Montana farmers are in Great Falls discussing issues that affect not only their bottom line, but our food supply.

The 99-year-old Montana Farmers Union is holding its annual meeting and convention that lasts through tomorrow. Farmers face challenges that go far beyond crop yields and market prices.

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