Sidney Herald: State Briefs

Rosendale initiates process for 2022 service academy nominations

Representative Rosendale initiated the application process for Montana’s service academy nominations. Each year, members of congress have the privilege of nominating top-talent to pursue this prestigious opportunity.

Our service academies are esteemed institutions; being afforded the opportunity to attend one is a distinct honor. As a member of congress, Representative Rosendale has the privilege of assisting in this process by nominating our state’s most qualified applicants. Four of the five U.S. service academies require congressional nominations: U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, MD; the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, CO; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, NY. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), New London, CT, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment.Given the competitive nature of the service academy appointment process, candidates are encouraged to submit a comprehensive application that highlights their academic, civic, and athletic accomplishments, along with their commitment to the military service. A complete list of required documents can be found at qualify for a potential nomination, applications must be sent to Rep. Rosendale’s Helena District Office and received by Nov. 1, 2022.

USDA Expands Disaster Assistance for Ranchers

Following a bipartisan push led by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would offer expanded drought relief to ranchers through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to cover above normal costs of hauling livestock to forage.

“I’m glad the USDA will be increasing the flexibility on this critical relief for ranchers who had much higher costs than usual through no fault of their own,” said Tester.

Soon after the Farm Service Agency announced the assistance for hauling feed to livestock in September 2021, stakeholders were quick to point out that producers were also hauling the livestock to the feed source but that they were not eligible for ELAP. Tester and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) led a bipartisan group of senators in urging FSA to address a gap in coverage.”We continue to hear from producers who have been severely affected by drought this year and have incurred costs related to transporting their livestock to feed sources instead of hauling feed to their livestock,” the Senators wrote. “Under current regulations, these producers are not eligible for ELAP transportation assistance. We respectfully request that FSA exercise its authority to further improve ELAP by providing payments to producers for a portion of the costs they have incurred from transporting their livestock to feed sources.”

Gianforte urges streamlining educator licensing

Ahead of the Montana Board of Public Education’s (BPE) next meeting, Governor Greg Gianforte today urged the board to streamline educator licensure to improve recruitment of more high-quality teachers for Montana students. The licensure reforms will eliminate barriers highly qualified educators face as they seek to teach Montana kids.

“Montana is facing a critical shortage of K-12 educators. While we take a comprehensive approach to recruiting and retaining high-quality individuals into the teaching profession, we must eliminate barriers to licensure for those who are interested in teaching,” Gov. Gianforte wrote in a letter to BPE. “I support the Superintendent’s proposed revisions. I believe they will attract more Montanans to the teaching profession

while making us competitive to high-quality, out-of-state educators who want to make Montana their home.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen has proposed revisions to ARM 10.57 “Educator Licensure” to eliminate the barriers for employment for high-quality, highly qualified teachers. The deadline to submit public comment on proposed licensure rules is April 8.

BPE is scheduled to meet April 28 to address educator licensure rulemaking.