Port of Raymond to remain open

by Bill Vander Weele, Sidney Herald

Montana and the agriculture industry received a major victory late last week when U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced that a proposed reduction in hours of service at the Port of Raymond will not go into effect.

“They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease and I know we’ve been squeaking for a while on this, so I am pleased to see the folks of northeastern Montana will continue to have a 24-hour port at Raymond,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said. “This is a huge victory for our economy, northeast Montana, and producers who will continue to be able to move their quality products to market.”

The Port of Raymond is one of three 24-hour ports along Montana’s northern border.

“We thank Jon for his efforts to protect farmers and ranchers in northeast Montana. Protecting the 24-hour status at the Port of Raymond allows producers to continue receiving seed and other essential products without being forced to travel long distances,” said Gordon Stoner, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers and a farmer from Outlook.

Both Tester and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont, have worked hard for more than a year to keep the port open.

“The announcement that the Port of Raymond will remain open 24-hours is welcome news for Montana farmers and ranchers who need to get their goods to market,” Daines said. “I’m pleased that the CBP heard my frustration and that of Montanans and reversed their misguided decision to reduce their hours.”