Calling on the Capitol campaign puts Montana agricultural concerns front, center

Young farmers and ranchers converge on Montana's state capitol | MFBF
The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) made their concerns heard at the state capitol in their "Calling on the Capitol" campaign Jan. 24 and 25.

During the trip to Helena to discuss adding value to the state's agricultural industry, the group visited the state's Livestock and Agriculture departments and Gov. Steve Bullock, MFBF said on its website. MFBF and YF&R said the discussions led to talks about keeping more agricultural products in the state to benefit Montana residents.

“During our meeting with the governor, he addressed value-added agriculture as a smart way for young farmers and ranchers to stay profitable,” MFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Chair Gil Gasper said in the posting. “We ship out so much of our raw materials, like peas, that could be processed into, say, pea flour right here in the state. There are a lot of opportunities to develop those ag resources and sell directly back to the consumer.”

Shay Richter, a young farmer from Fort Benton said the discussions with the Department of Agriculture were productive.

“Walt Anseth at the Department of Agriculture explained many ways they are working to get our products overseas, but he also talked about ways to add value to products to keep the money and products in our state," Richter said in the posting. "Whether we add value to our beef or to our crops, developing with new ways to produce end-products in state can help young farmers and ranchers.”

Jenny Stovall, who ranches with her husband near Billings, said adding value will keep new generations of young farmers engaged in the industry. Young farmers and ranchers want to stay in agriculture and adding value to agricultural products can help our bottom line, Stovall said in the posting.

Calling on the Capitol was a campaign that targeted the involvement of the legislative process. The group was impressed by the access to elected officials.

Members of the Collegiate Farm Bureaus at Montana State University and UM-Western were also impressed. They said the process and the availability of Montana’s elected officials was impressive, the posting said.

Todd Lackman, a student at Montana State University from Hysham, is one of those from a new generation of people in Montana interested in the industry.

“Calling on the capitol made me interested in the whole political process," Lackman said in the posting. "It showed that one person can make an impact.”

Organizations in this story

Montana Farm Bureau 502 South 19th, Ste 104 Bozeman, MT 59718

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