MTPR

Farm Bill

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
PD

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.” 

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

Local environmental groups, timber industry representatives, and state and federal agencies will meet in Missoula this week to talk about collaboration. The two-day workshop is put on by the Western Governors' Association.

Gov Bullock and U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie after the Good Neighbor Agreement signing.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock signed an agreement today with the U.S. Forest Service aimed at speeding up the work targeted at reducing fire danger and disease on federal land.

A logging proposal just north of Whitefish seems to have widespread local backing. It’s also raised a few quality-of-life related concerns.

Live and beetle killed trees in the Helena National Forest.
Steve Jess

State officials say the new kinds of forest management tools the Farm Bill gave them are good for both Montana’s forests and the state’s economy. But some environmentalists say those claims are dubious at best.

Montana Farmers Union

The Farm Bill is now the law of the land, garnering unanimous support from Montana Senators Baucus and Tester and Representative Daines. We thought we'd take a few moments to get local reaction to the measure that was years in the making.

Chris Christiaens is lobbyist and Projects Specialist for the Great Falls-based Montana Farmers Union.
      Christiaens tells Edward O'Brien the Agricultural Act of 2014 isn't perfect, but provides certainty to farmers and ranchers as they head into this next year of planning, planting and applying for those all-important operating loans.