$7 million one step closer for Montana’s farmers, ranchers

Tester and Baucus secured investment in Montana agriculture

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The full U.S. Senate has approved a bill that would send more than $7 million to Montana for agriculture projects, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced.

The money –  $7,472,000 – is part of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Act which Tester and his colleagues on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee passed on July 7.

“This is an investment in Montana’s farmers and ranchers,” said Tester, who secured Montana’s funding in the Agriculture Appropriations Act.  “These are smart initiatives that will help keep our way of life sustainable for future generations. They are exactly the kinds of projects I’m proud to support, and I’ll vote for them every step of the way.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and these projects play a vital role in ensuring that our farmers and ranchers have the best resources available,” said Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding.  “Montanans from all walks of life will benefit from these projects, and I will always fight to support the right projects for the Treasure State."

The projects for Montana include:

  • $2.8 million to provide technical assistance for farmers and ranchers through the National Center for Appropriate Technology, based in Butte.
  • $2.5 million for construction of an Animal Biosciences Research Facility on Montana State University’s Bozeman campus that will house research to improve beef production.
  • The Senate also instructed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to give special consideration to grant applications that may be submitted by the Fort Belknap Buffalo Program and the Montana Food and Agriculture Innovation Centers.

In addition to this funding, the Agriculture Appropriations Act includes an amendment by Tester and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that would cut in half funding for the controversial Animal ID program.  Tester, like many Montanans, is a longtime opponent of Animal ID.

The Agriculture Appropriations Act now goes to a conference committee to work out differences between the House’s bill and the Senate’s bill. 

Below is a complete list of Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill:

Montana projects secured by Tester and Baucus
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill

MONTANA TOTAL:  $7,472,000

National Center for Appropriate Technology – based in Butte: $2.8 million provide technical assistance for farmers and ranchers.

Montana State University: $3.822 million

  • $2.5 million for construction of the Animal Bioscience Research Facility.
  • $305,000 to continue work on developing an effective vaccine to reduce the risk of brucellosis infection in cattle.
  • $547,000 to further development of quality barley varieties at the Barley for Rural Development Center
  • $270,000  to develop and implement new management strategies for livestock and land managers to control non-native plants through the Targeted Grazing for Managing Invasive Plants Program
  • $200,000 to help ranchers manage cattle herds and beef production to ensure Montana beef remains the highest quality through the Montana Beef Network.

Brucellosis Management for Montana's Greater Yellowstone Area through the Montana Department of Livestock: $650,000 to conduct brucellosis prevention and development and implement brucellosis herd management plans for area ranchers. 

Watershed Restoration Coalition – Upper Clark Fork Landowner Outreach Initiative: $200,000 to conserve and restore the upper Clark Fork River Valley.


Tri-State Predator Control: $926,000 – The  Montana Wool Growers will participate in this multi-state program to manage and control predators affecting livestock herds and wildlife.