NBC Montana: $1.5 million in federal grants will help train beginning farmers, ranchers in Montana

U.S. Senator Jon Tester has announced federal grant recipients that will receive$1.5 million to train beginning farmers and ranchers in Montana.

Senator Tester says it’s critical the next generation of producers have resources and education to succeed in the evolving world of agriculture.

The federal government is divvying this money up between the following organizations for the following purposes:

$145,535 for Bar 88 Enterprises LLC in Ennis

  • Bar 88 Consulting & Livestock will leverage its experience with three Montana State University Extension partners to create an educational, training, and support program for Montana goat producers called GoatMT. Through coordinated workshops, webinars, on-farm training events, and mentoring, GoatMT will build a lasting educational network of producers, educators, and cohorts. GoatMT will provide beginning farmers and ranchers production, marketing, and financial information to enhance their knowledge and skills to make educated decisions to start, expand, or diversify their ranching operations and achieve financial sustainability.

$564,862 for the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition in Missoula

  • The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition will start its ‘Sustaining On-Farm Success: Building Resilience through Farmer-Led Training’ project and will build capacity for training, mentorship and support in Montana’s farmer communities. This integrated set of activities will provide beginning farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to access land, business plan, and establish successful farms. All projects will be farmer-led and include farmers in the planning and execution.

$599,740 for the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte

  • The National Center for Appropriate Technology will partner with the Montana Organic Association to educate and support beginning farmers and ranchers seeking to explore organic field crop farming in the Northern Great Plains. The project will work with over 300 beginning farmers and ranchers, including military veterans, limited resource, Tribal and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

$319,440 for the Stone Child College in Box Elder

  • The Stone Child Cattlemen’s College will deliver a comprehensive agricultural education program to members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe who are seeking to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to begin a career in farming and/or ranching.