Montana Public Radio

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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.

Montana Sen.Steve Daines at a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee meeting in April 2018.
Courtesy Sen. Steve Daines

Senator Steve Daines put out a press release Tuesday saying he’s "building momentum" for the U.S. to re-join negotiations for the trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

In a White House meeting with Daines and other farm state lawmakers on April 13th President Trump made remarks that some interpreted as a potential policy change towards re-joining TPP talks. Pulling out of the trade agreement was one of Trump’s first actions after being elected, and he spoke strongly against it during his campaign.

Shortly after the April 13th meeting though, Trump tweeted that he would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the one offered to President Obama.

A Forest Service helicopter near Missoula, MT.
Lane Lamoreaux (PD)

The State of Montana’s fleet of firefighting helicopters remains unable to to fight some fires on federal land, and Wednesday a state legislative council asked for action. It’s been a years-long struggle.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Three months after a predator-killing cyanide trap sickened a teenage boy in Idaho and killed his dog, the federal government is launching an expanded review of the devices.

"We're not going to roll over every time someone says 'boo' about us wanting to harvest timber to make a healthy forest," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said at a agriculture summit in Great Falls, MT July 1, 2017.
Eric Whitney

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Great Falls Thursday for an “agriculture summit” hosted by Senator Steve Daines. Perdue promised big changes at the U.S. Forest Service, which his department oversees. 

Ag Secretary Calls For SNAP, Farm Subsidy Reforms

Jun 1, 2017
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.

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.” 

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake. When triggered they propel one gram of lethal sodium cyanide into an animal's mouth.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program announced today that it would stop using predator-killing cyanide traps in Idaho, at least temporarily according to the Idaho Statesman.

This after a cyanide trap killed a dog in Pocatello and sickened a 14-year-old boy on March 16

David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, MT.
Mike Albans

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber joins MTPR's Nora Saks to talk about his paper's reaction to President Trump's gag-order covering several federal agencies like EPA and USDA. McCumber talks about how his newspaper plans to hold government agencies accountable.

The Senate passed the farm bill on Dec. 11, 2018.
(PD)

Montana grain growers should be keeping an eye on more than who President-elect Trump appoints as agriculture secretary. That’s what an industry expert told them at their conference in Great Falls Wednesday.

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