Tester Statement on Montana Farm Service Agency State Committee Appointees

Members responsible for oversight and administering of USDA programs in Montana

Senator Tester today issued the following statement in response to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) appointing five members to the Montana Farm Service (FSA) State Committee. 

“I’m pleased to see such a strong group of Montana farmers and ranchers named to our FSA State Committee,” said Tester. “These individuals will play a key role in carrying out programs and functions administered by the USDA in Montana, and I’m looking forward to working with them to keep production agriculture strong in the Treasure State.”

Montana FSA State Committee appointees include:

  • Committee Chair Ryan Lankford – Chinook
  • Casey Bailey – Fort Benton
  • Steve Carney – Scobey
  • Sarah Degn – Sidney
  • Jake Merkel – Whitehall

The Farm Service Agency serves farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural partners through the effective, efficient, and equitable delivery of federal agricultural programs. The Agency offers producers a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs. Additionally, through conservation programs, FSA continues to preserve and protect natural resources and provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit, including targeted loan funds for beginning, underserved, women and military veterans involved in production agriculture.

As the Senate’s only working farmer, Tester has long been Montana’s leading champion for family farmers and ranchers. His two bipartisan anti-consolidation bills – the Meat Packing Special Investigator Act and the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act passed the Senate Agriculture Committee in June after a continued push by the Senator. 

Earlier this year, Tester introduced his Agriculture Right to Repair Act to finally guarantee farmers the right to repair their own equipment and end current restrictions on the repair market. Last year, he introduced his bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act, which would ensure that only beef raised in the United States is labeled as a product of the USA, and his bipartisan New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act, which would allow meat and poultry products inspected by Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) approved state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines.


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