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Jan 24, 2018

Tester Fights to Increase Agriculture Opportunities in Indian Country

Senator: Native Communities Have Been Left Out For Far Too Long

(U.S. Senate)-With the Farm Bill reauthorization due this year, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is fighting to increase agriculture opportunities in Indian Country.

During a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing, Tester pushed his colleagues to ensure that the next Farm Bill includes provisions that will help advance agriculture in Native American communities and boost economic development in rural areas.

"Native communities have been left out for far too long and the Farm Bill presents a key opportunity to enhance the good work on the ground and allow Tribal participation to create self-sustaining communities," Tester said. "We can create new opportunities for Native American farmers and ranchers, and help expand the agriculture economy on tribal lands to create more jobs and spur more economic growth."

The current Farm Bill is set to expire early next year. Over the coming weeks and months, Congress will host hearings and begin drafting the Farm Bill, which sets agriculture, conservation, and nutrition policies for the country.

Tester will specifically push for the next Farm Bill to increase tribal access to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, strengthen the USDA's Office of Tribal Relations to ensure Native American producers have access to technical assistance and training, and provide incentives to first generation farmers and ranchers.

Tester, the Senate's only working farmer, has held a series of Farm Bill listening sessions and is encouraging Montanans to share their Farm Bill priorities by emailing FarmBillComments@tester.senate.gov.

According to the U.S. Census, the number of Native American farmers and ranchers has increased by five percent since over the past decade. Native American producers sold more than $1.8 billion in crop and livestock sales in 2012.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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