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Gov. Gianforte Brings Together Ag Leaders for Roundtable on National Ag Day – the State of Montana NewsRoom

Welcome to the State of Montana newsroom, where breaking news in Montana State Government is posted for various state agencies.
HELENA, Mont. – To mark National Agriculture Day, Governor Greg Gianforte today convened a roundtable of Montana ag leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the industry. 
“Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry, and during Montana Agriculture Week, we’re promoting and advocating for our producers as well as those who assist their work. We’re looking for new, innovative ways to support Montana’s farming and ranching families,” Gov. Gianforte said. “There’s no better way to do that than by sitting down with industry leaders to discuss what’s working, what’s a challenge, and how we can better partner to strengthen Montana ag.”
National Ag Day
Gov. Gianforte hears from Jim Steinbeisser of the Montana Stockgrowers Association during today’s discussion
Among the top challenges identified by participants in today’s roundtable discussion were inflation and drought conditions.
Speaking to a recent report by the American Farm Bureau Federation, John Youngberg of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation shared that farm production expenses have increased 6% from 2021 to 2022, after a 12% increase in 2021 from 2020.
“Inflation is making that fine bottom line even finer for folks, and to exacerbate that is the drought,” Youngberg said. 
The state is currently in the process of updating the state’s decades-old drought management plan to increase preparedness to meet current and future drought-related challenges. Through that process, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is also conducting a thorough review of water rights. 
“I think it’s a very critical and very timely analysis that is being done,” Krista Lee Evans of the Montana Ag Business Association said.
While discussing solutions to address these challenges, the group highlighted the importance of investing in value-added ag supply chains, including by increasing processing capacity in Montana.
On Monday, the governor announced Montana finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making Montana only the tenth state in the nation where state-inspected meat and poultry processors can ship their products across state lines.
The group also discussed the importance of predator control and how vaccine requirements for truck drivers are impacting producers.
Participants in today’s roundtable discussion included leaders from the Montana Farm Bureau Association, the Montana Agricultural Business Association, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Grain Growers Association, the Montana Wool Growers Association, and the Montana Cattlemen’s Association, as well as the Montana Departments of Agriculture and Livestock. This is the second time the governor has convened ag leaders for a roundtable on National Ag Day.
Last week, Gov. Gianforte proclaimed March 20-26 Montana Agriculture Week to recognize the state’s agriculture industry, farmers and ranchers, and their contributions to the Montana way of life and the world.
The governor kicked off the week on Sunday by celebrating Montana Meat Day and encouraging all Montanans to mark the day with some world-class beef, chicken, lamb, or pork from Montana ranchers. Yesterday, the governor promoted Montana’s cattle industry with a visit to the Sieben Ranch.     
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