Daines Secures Critical Montana Priorities in 2018 Farm Bill

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced the 2018 Farm Bill will include critical priorities for Montana farmers and ranchers and forestry provisions to help prevent catastrophic wildfire.  

The final compromise must now be passed by the House and Senate before moving to the President’s desk to be signed into law. You can find the text of the Farm Bill here.

“I’m glad to see that we’re moving forward with the 2018 Farm Bill and helping our farmers and ranchers get the certainty they deserve. As Montana’s lone voice on the Senate Ag Committee, and as the Chairman of the Senate Western Caucus, I fought hard to ensure we got it done. I look forward to sending this final compromise to the President Trump’s desk and getting it signed into law,” Daines said.


 Smieja farm

Click HERE to download video from Smieja Farm in Belgrade, Trapper Creek Ranch in Melrose on the importance of the Farm Bill

Priorities for Montana Agriculture:

  • Protected crop insurance, a critical part of the safety net for Montana farmers to mitigate risks inherent to agriculture.
  • Secured funding for land grant universities, including MSU, specialty crops, and agriculture research stations across Montana.
  • Secured provisions to expand broadband access in rural Montana, promote precision agriculture, and prioritize funds to areas that are unserved with no access.
  • Included an amendment to help the ARC-County program, an important commodity support program, better reflect actual growing conditions in many of Montana’s large counties.
  • An important vaccine bank to help better respond to animal disease outbreaks
  • Protected the sugar program, which is critical to ensure our farmers are able to compete on a level playing field
  • Fought to support important conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) that help farmers and ranchers improve the best practices on their land.
  • Inclusion of the Hemp Farming Act, which allows states to regulate hemp production and research and make hemp eligible for crop insurance.

As a steadfast champion of Montana’s number one economic driver, I’m glad that under this Farm Bill, our farmers and ranchers are finally receiving the certainty they deserve,” Daines said.

Priorities to Help Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires:

  • Daines worked to empower states to manage national forests
    • Improved the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) by allowing the Forest Service to enter into agreements with counties and tribes to carry out timber sales and other work on national forest.
    • Clarified that excess funds from GNA projects can be used to carry out additional restoration work on the national forests.
    • Established Forest Service program to that improves water quality and wildlife habitat, reduces wildfire risk or provides other benefits.
    • Daines’ bipartisan bill with Senator Klobuchar that sets funding aside to span ownership boundaries on Federal, State, county, tribal, private or other non-Federal land particularly in areas identified as a priority by the state.
  • Daines fought to reduce red tape
    • Extended the authority for the Forest Service to expedite treatment in areas on the national forest experiencing insect and disease epidemics.

“I’ve fought to successfully give Montana and other states and counties more power to actively manage national forests, increase fuels reduction efforts on and off federal lands, protect communities from wildfires, and maintain an authority allowing expedited management of lands damaged by insects and disease,” Daines said. “I’m disappointed that liberal extremists blocked other much-needed reforms to cut red tape and combat fringe litigation but I will continue fighting for those until they’re signed into law.”

 Sun Mountain Lumber

Click HERE to download video from Sun Mountain Lumber in Deer Lodge on the importance of the Farm Bill