Montana’s wheat and barley industry is taking center stage this week as farmers from across Montana meet in Great Falls for the Montana Grain Growers Association annual convention.
The new farm bill is a big priority. As farm bill discussions heat up Montana has a big voice at the farm bill discussion table because Outlook, Montana farmer Gordon Stoner is the acting president of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
“Well, certainly crop insurance is number one. With Ag’s risk, we need crop insurance to help protect us from the weather events we see in states like Montana. Keeping the safety net programs like ARC and PLC in tack are also important and of course conservation.” says Stoner.
A strong farm bill isn’t just important for farmers; it’s also important for Rural American and our main street businesses.
Stoner says, “Agriculture is Montana’s number one industry. When agriculture does well, main street does well.”
A lot of people are now saying that a new farm bill might not be possible in 2018 but Stoner disagrees.
“We never know for certain. The house bill is written and we should see it in January and the Senate should have theirs written by summer. So, we may very well have a new Farm Bill by next fall,” says Stoner.
A special event at this year’s convention is the 50-year anniversary celebration of the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, the producer-funded checkoff organization whose mission is to foster the health and prosperity of the Montana wheat and barley industry.