Working for You

Each month we provide some key areas where MGGA leaders and staff have been working on your behalf. Here is a sampling of important issues and activities for January 2017:

  • The 65th session of the Montana Legislature convened January 2, 2017. In addition to representation on specific bills that address MGGA policy, the association participates in weekly meetings of the Montana Ag Coalition throughout the session.
  • MGGA President Tom Butcher, Treasurer Lyle Benjamin, Executive Vice President Lola Raska and Helena Lobbyist John Semple manned the MGGA booth and visited with legislators at the 2017 Treasure State Resources Association Legislative Reception and Showcase.
  • MGGA sponsored and participated in an ‘Ag Kickoff Lunch’ at the Capitol. The luncheon, organized by the Montana Department of Ag, introduced members of the Montana Ag Coalition and Department staff to legislative members of the Ag Caucus.
  • MGGA Vice President Michelle Erickson-Jones testified before the Montana House Ag Committee in opposition to HB 158, a bill that seeks to exempt companies from paying the fertilizer assessment on product delivered into and stored in Montana but intended for final sale out of state. Jones, who represents MGGA on the Fertilizer Advisory Committee that awards grants from fertilizer assessments to MAES and MSU Extension research and educational projects, spoke to the increasingly competitive requests for funding and how erosion of these funds could negatively affect important Montana ag research.
  • MGGA sponsored and attended an Ag Coalition Welcome Reception in Helena where Treasurer Lyle Benjamin gave an overview of the organization and noted key bills MGGA is following this session to the many legislators in attendance.
  • EVP Raska participated in several conference calls with the National Association of Wheat Growers to discuss possible changes in how quality losses are determined by Federal Crop Insurance and to hear a briefing from the Senate Agriculture Committee Chief Economist on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) farm bill baseline.
  • MGGA sponsored a soil health workshop organized by NRCS and Montana Soil & Water Conservation Districts and held in Great Falls, Billings and Sidney.
  • MGGA staff participated in a pulse feast luncheon held at Columbia Grain in Great Falls in celebration of Global Pulse Day.
  •  MGGA was a day sponsor and exhibitor at the 2017 Montana Agricultural Industrial Expo (MAGIE) in Great Falls. Directors and staff manned the association’s booth, visiting with members and the public about agriculture.
  • MGGA sponsored and attended the annual Young Ag Couples Conference in Helena.
  • All MGGA officers, Director Dan Kidd and EVP Raska traveled to Washington, DC for winter meetings of the National Barley Growers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers.