Tester urges lawmakers to pass a Farm Bill fit for Montana growers, ranchers

by MISSOULA CURRENT, Martin Kidston

Senator Jon Tester is urging fellow lawmakers to unite and pass a strong Farm Bill that provides Montana’s family farmers and ranchers the certainty they need going into harvest.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Tester said he’d use the Farm Bill to strengthen the safety net for agricultural producers and to defend Montana farmers and ranchers from the “devastating impact of retaliatory tariffs” from Canada, China, and other nations.

“This bill provides a safety net when Mother Nature deals us a drought and helps when prices are low in the market,” Tester said. “This bill is particularly important right now because of the tariffs that are causing uncertainty and driving down prices at the farm gate.”

Tester is scheduled to speak on the Senate floor on Wednesday to outline critical provisions within the Farm Bill.

He is the Senate’s only working farmer.

“I sat down with farmers and ranchers across Montana, looked them in the eye and heard their Farm Bill priorities,” Tester said. “The bill we are debating this week reflects those priorities and does right by the folks who make a living off the land.”

Tester said he’d offer a bipartisan amendment to the Farm Bill on Wednesday to strengthen the ARC crop insurance initiative, ensuring it works better for large, rural states like Montana.

The current Farm Bill is set to expire at the end of September