Senate panel approves more than $7 million to boost Montana agriculture

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Senate Appropriations Committee has agreed to set aside more than $7 million in federal funding to boost Montana’s number one industry.

Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester worked with the Appropriations Committee to include the money in a measure that funds agricultural outreach, support and research projects across the country.


“Agriculture is the lifeblood of Montana’s economy,” Baucus said.  “From disease research to predator control to outreach, it’s important to make sure Montanans have the resources they need to be competitive and ready for the future.  That’s why Jon and I worked hard to get these projects included.”


“This funding is an important first step toward boosting Montana agriculture,” Tester said.  “These are projects that’ll go a long way for folks who make a living off the land.  That’s why Max and I are going to work closely with our colleagues to keep these dollars where they are as this measure moves through Congress.”


The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the following Montana projects:

  • BOZEMAN: $1,870,000 to help build Montana State University’s new Animal Bioscience Facility.
  • BOZEMAN: $547,000 for MSU’s Barley for Rural Development project, which researches better methods of growing barley for malt, livestock feed, cellulosic ethanol and food.
  • BOZEMAN: $200,000 for MSU’s Sustainable Beef Supply project, which helps Montana ranchers raise and market their beef and cattle.
  • BUTTE: $2,774,000 for the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s ATTRA service, which provides free technical information about sustainable agriculture to farmers and ranchers
  • STATEWIDE: $986,000 for the Tri-State Predator Control program to help manage and control wild animals that threaten Montana livestock.
  • STATEWIDE: $692,000 for the Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee.

The Appropriations Committee also set aside funding for the following national projects that will impact Montana:

·        $1 million for combat wheat stem rust, a disease caused by fungus that harms wheat crops.

·        $9,584,000 to fight brucellosis nationwide

·        $983,000 for the Joe Skeen Institute for Rangeland Management, a partnership between Montana State University, Texas A&M University, and New Mexico State University.


Baucus’ and Tester’s funding requests for Montana agriculture now go to the full Senate for approval. The bill must also pass the U.S. House of Representatives before going to the White House for the President’s signature.