Tester Secures More Than $3 Million to Strengthen Montana’s Food Supply Chain

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure funding will connect producers and small businesses with markets

Continuing his efforts to support Montana’s agricultural producers and lower costs for consumers, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today secured a Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) award of more than $3 million to strengthen Montana’s food supply chain. The funding will support a cooperative partnership between the Montana Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Under this partnership, the Montana Department of Agriculture will make subawards that support the middle of the food supply chain, allowing Montana farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to tap into new markets and expand their economic footprint. Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for this funding.

“Food security is national security – and working towards a strong and secure supply chain that supports small producers is a critically important piece of the puzzle,” said Tester. “I was proud to secure this funding to bring down costs for consumers and create expanded opportunities for rural producers, and I will keep working to ensure Montana’s farmers and ranchers have the tools and resources they need to thrive.”

The RFSI was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which also delivered $7.8 million to 30 Montana ag small businesses in March of 2022 to improve local food systems.

As the Senate’s only working farmer, Tester has long been a champion for investing in Montana’s producers. In 2022, Tester secured six Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grants totaling $1,968,000 for Montana organizations to improve food distribution networks across the state.

Tester has also introduced his bipartisan Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Actto increase market transparency by establishing minimums for negotiated sales and requiring clear reporting of marketing contracts, and his Meatpacking Special Investigator Actto combat anticompetitive practices in the meat processing industry by appointing a USDA special investigator with subpoena power to enforce the nation’s anti-trust laws. And in January, Tester introduced his bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act  to reinstate mandatory country of original labeling (MCOOL) for beef.


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