It’s appropriations time!  The appropriations process is happening in Washington DC and Senator Tester needs to hear from you about the programs that make a difference here in Montana.

Appropriations means funding for sustainable ag programs that matter to you and to farmers. Now is the most important time to make our asks.  All requests must be in by April 4th and Montana is a priority state so let Tester know what we need!  Call him at  (202) 224-2644 today!

Here are a couple of key issues we recommend asking for:

  • Fund Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) at $2.5M: IDAs are matched saving programs that allow beginning farmers to leverage their savings.  If fully funded, the program could help roughly 3,200 new farmers get established!
  • Funding Food Safety training (Food Safety Outreach Program) at $5M: There are a lot of changes coming down the pipe with the new FSMA rules and we want to make sure farmers know what’s going on and are able to prepare!
  • Stop bad anti-competition GIPSA riders: Do not include any legislative riders that curtail implementation of the Packers and Stockyards Act, designed to prevent unfair, discriminatory, and deceptive practices in the livestock and poultry industries!
  • Increase rural development funding through RMAP – no limitation on mandatory funding and $3.3M on discretionary funding for a total of $6.3M: The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program is one of the only USDA programs targeted specifically at small business development, providing loans and grants to organizations that train and assist new entrepreneurs!
  • Fund the SARE program at $30M: The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program funds sustainable agriculture research by farmers, ranchers, businesses, nonprofits, and institutions around the region – this is a great funding source and needs our support!
  • Support funding for ATTRA at $2.5M: ATTRA, a service of NCAT, is a one-stop shop for producers and ag professionals across the US seeking info, educational resources and technical assistance.