Farmers & Ranchers Praise Tester's Work as President Signs 2018 Farm Bill

"Montana Farmers Owe Jon a Hearty Thank You for His Leadership"

(U.S. Senate) – Local farmers and ranchers praised U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s work on behalf of Montana’s number one industry after President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill into law today.

“After holding more than half a dozen listening sessions with farmers and ranchers across the state, we worked hard to make sure this Farm Bill gives Montana producers the certainty they need to keep their operations successful,” Tester said. “The new Farm Bill protects crop insurance, preserves conservation initiatives, and invests in rural communities. At a time when there is so much uncertainty in agriculture, this bill will strengthen producers.”

Over the last two years, Tester has held seven Farm Bill listening sessions across the state to gather feedback from producers-feedback that he used to secure dozens of critical provisions in the final Farm Bill package.

“Montana farmers owe Jon a hearty thank you for his leadership in adding language to the Farm Bill that meets our specific needs in Montana,” said Gordon Stoner, former President of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “Jon’s tireless efforts in passing the Farm Bill helps bring certainty to the nation’s farmers in these uncertain times”.

“This farm, food and nutrition bill will help to provide the stability our growers need to weather difficult economic times and periods of trade uncertainty and will continue to provide food assistance to families who have fallen on hard times,” said Lyle Benjamin, President of the Montana Grain Growers Association. “MGGA appreciates that Senator Tester routinely sought input from Montana grain producers throughout development of this important piece of legislation and supported final passage. We look forward to working with him as we move into the implementation phase.”

“We are extremely pleased with passage of the Farm Bill,” said Alan Merrill, President of the Montana Farmers Union. “It provides certainty for Montana farmers and ranchers through support of programs like PLC and ARC and preservation of the CRP Program and the Crop Insurance Title. One provision with great potential to impact Montana agriculture is the removal of Industrial Hemp as a Schedule 1 drug. This action will break down the barriers to the production, sale and transport of Industrial Hemp. We applaud Senator Tester’s work on the Farm Bill which provides great certainty for Montana farmers and ranchers.”

“We would like to thank Senator Tester for his work to pass a Farm Bill,” said Fred Wacker, President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “This bipartisan legislation keeps intact programs that provide certainty for Montana ranchers while also providing funding for grants that promote economic growth in rural Montana.”

“The number and significance of Native American-related provisions in the new Farm Bill is unprecedented,” said Ross Racine, Executive Director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Co-Chair of the Native Farm Bill Coalition. “Congress has listened to Indian Country as never before and delivered on many of our requests. We would like to commend Senator Tester on his work on the farm bill”.

“Montana Food Bank Network is grateful to Senator Tester for his dedication to passing a Farm Bill that helps all Montanans keep food on the table,” said Lorianne Burhop, Chief Policy Officer of the Montana Food Bank Network. “This Farm Bill affirms our national commitment that no one should go hungry by protecting SNAP, our nation’s most important and effective anti-hunger program. SNAP, TEFAP, and the other programs included in the Nutrition Title strengthen our communities and support the health and well-being of tens of thousands of Montana households. We look forward to continuing to work with Senator Tester and his colleagues to keep our nation’s anti-hunger programs strong.”

“We appreciate Senator Tester’s unwavering support of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Hans McPherson, President of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s fantastic when Senator Tester and the Farm Bureau agree on what’s best for Montana’s farmers and ranchers. This Farm Bill is indeed great for farmers and ranchers because its timely passage provides certainty and an essential safety net, and it’s also good for consumers and hungry folks nationwide.”

“The 2018 Farm Bill preserves the important agriculture, forestry, and nutrition programs that help to feed, clothe, and fuel nearly 330 million Americans,” said Leo McDonnell, Director Emeritus of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. “The United States Cattlemen’s Association would like to thank Senator Tester and his staff for providing the certainty ranchers need in severe weather conditions, by ensuring much needed disaster-assistance resources. The bill also modernizes the EQIP program to help improve grazing economics and practices on pastures.”