Tester Talks Farm Bill and Trade with Montana Farmers and Ranchers in Great Falls

Senator Hears from Montana Producers Face-to-Face to Gather Feedback on the Farm Bill

(Great Falls, Mont.)- U.S. Senator and Big Sandy farmer Jon Tester hosted his 7th Farm Bill Listening Session in Great Falls today. Tester was joined in the public, face-to-face forum by producers from across the Golden Triangle who voiced their concerns about shifting trade policies and their hopes for the upcoming Farm Bill.

“Whether it’s shipping grain from Fort Benton or beef from Shelby our producers need to be able to get their product to market and the Farm Bill plays a crucial role in that,” Tester said. “The Administration’s policies on trade have many Montana producers concerned, so I wanted to hear from them about how the changes taking place with our international trading partners impact their operations. Montana grows and raises the finest Ag products in the world and I’m partnering with our farmers and ranchers to get a Farm Bill that works for Montana and strengthens access to markets.”

Tester heard feedback from local producers on the current Farm Bill, ways the trade provisions could be improved, and about the importance of trade deals for Montana producers. The Farm Bill expires in September.

Montana farmers and ranchers praised Tester for holding this listening session and applauded his efforts to improve trade for Montana producers in the next Farm Bill.

“Thank you Senator Tester for listening to Montana producers about what we need out of a Farm Bill and ensure our trade deals are working for Montana,” said Michelle Erickson-Jones, President of the Montana Grain Growers Association. “Grain growers across Montana know we need to have strong export markets for our product in order to be successful.”

“Here in the Golden Triangle and across Montana we grow the best wheat and barley and we need trade deals to sell our products around the globe,” said Mike O’Hara with the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. “I want to thank Senator Tester for hosting this event and I appreciate his willingness to hear from farmers and ranchers across the state.”

Tester previously hosted Farm Bill Listening Sessions in Billings, Missoula, Glendive, Lewistown, and Kalispell.

Montanans interested in sharing their feedback with Senator Tester can e-mail him their Farm Bill comments at FarmBillComments@tester.senate.gov.