Tester Holds Public Farm Bill Listening Session in Havre

Senator was joined by Ag producers and local leaders in Havre to discuss priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today held a public in-person listening session in Havre to hear directly from Montana Ag producers, local leaders, and members of the public in preparation for negotiating the 2023 Farm Bill. After the panel, Tester took questions and comments directly from the audience.

“As a third-generation Montana farmer, I know firsthand how important it is that we deliver a Farm Bill that works for Montana’s farmers and ranchers,” said Tester. “Agriculture is the backbone of Montana’s economy, and hearing directly from our producers is the best way for me to advocate for their needs back in Washington. I look forward to bringing the feedback I heard in Havre with me to D.C. to ensure we do right by Montana producers with this bill.” 

As a third-generation farmer, Tester is committed to ensuring that the Farm Bill works for Montana’s farmers, ranchers, and small businesses. Last month, Tester held three in-person public listening sessions in eastern Montana to hear from producers and stakeholders in Sidney, Glasgow, and Plentywood about their priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.

Leading up to the 2018 Farm Bill, Senator Tester held seven public listening sessions across the state in Billings, Missoula (2), Kalispell, Glendive, Lewistown, and Great Falls. These forums focused on a variety of topics covered in the Farm Bill, including agribusiness, conservation, timber, and nutrition. Tester took this feedback to Washington D.C. and was responsible for securing significant wins for Montana in the legislation, including:

  • Reauthorizing and keeping intact both Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) insurance.
  • Amending the Environmental Quality Incentive Program to better work for Montana producers. Increasing the maximum acreage of the Conservation Reserve Program.
  • Directing the USDA Secretary to more actively fight the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease.
  • Protecting the Sugar Program, which provides support to Montana beetgrowers.
  • Reauthorizing the Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, which is vital to the mission of the Northern Plains Research Lab in Sidney.
  • Mandating funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program.
  • Removing hemp from the list of controlled substances, enabling it to be sold as a commodity.
  • Reauthorizing critical USDA Rural Development Grants that are used to rebuild and construct water and wastewater infrastructure and expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas.

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