Montana Governor Salutes Growers

Published online: Nov 28, 2018 News Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana
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Source: Sidney Herald

With harvest 2018 in the books, Montana agriculture is looking back on a solid year with much thanks to the folks who do good work day in and day out to support Montana’s most important industry. With production up nearly across the board, the backbone of Montana’s economy remains strong.

Although early spring moisture and some severe hail storms complicated things for some, there were many bright spots. We remain the leading pulse-producing state in the nation and among the leaders for our world-class wheat and barley. Add in a good year for sugar beets and oilseeds, and our producers can be proud of their efforts over the past year.

While this year’s weather gave us much better growing conditions than last year, other forces have only added to the uncertainty facing our producers. The current trade wars have left many producers out in the cold and could threaten our premier market access for years to come. 

I was fortunate to visit with industry and community leaders in eastern Montana and along the Hi-Line this fall. It was made abundantly clear in these discussions on the many important issues facing rural Montana that we must preserve the foreign market access our producers have worked hard to gain over the past several generations.

At the state level, we have been working hard to preserve that market access. Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas, and representatives from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee recently returned from a barley trade mission to Mexico.

Mexican brewers have become some of Montana’s largest barley buyers and with Montana barley estimated to make up well over 50 percent of Mexico’s barley imports, it’s vitally important that we reaffirm and build these trade relationships.

We also continue to host folks from around the world, particularly from Pacific Rim countries, to tout the quality of our grains and to further maintain and create new and longstanding trade relationships. 

Rest assured that we will continue to do all we can at the state level to ensure the preservation of our market access.

My office always welcomes feedback and new opportunities for collaboration, so if you’ve got an issue or an idea, you can reach us at (406) 444-3144 or send us a note at governor@mt.gov.