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May 24, 2019

Tester Introduces Bill to Halt Ag Mergers, Combat Corporate Consolidation

Senator’s efforts will protect family farmers and ranchers from reduced competition

(Big Sandy, Mont.) - As Montana farmers and ranchers fight off negative impacts from President Trump's trade war, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is taking a major step forward to protect competition in the agriculture marketplace.

Tester is sponsoring the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act to enact a temporary moratorium on mergers and acquisitions by agriculture businesses. Tester's bill will strengthen the agriculture marketplace and reverse the cycle of consolidation that is killing small towns in Montana and across the country.

"Consolidation is one of the greatest threat to rural America," said Tester, the Senate's only working farmer. "Less competition means higher prices and fewer choices for small family farmers as they struggle to make ends meet. This bill will help put family farmers back in control of their futures by improving access to a competitive marketplace. Rural America cannot afford to see multi-national corporations put family farms out of business."

In the 1960's, 70 pesticide manufacturers provided chemicals for U.S. farmers. Today only four companies control the majority of pesticide production, a number that shrinks as companies like Bayer and Monsanto merge and consolidate. The new Bayer-Monsanto company also now owns 25 percent of the world's seeds.

Now four companies control 85 percent of the beef market and 71 percent of the pork market.

The moratorium would be in place until Congress passes comprehensive legislation addressing market consolidation for both input and output agriculture markets.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, 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

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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