Washington – The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed a measure from Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) to ensure the Sidney and Kinsey Irrigation Districts continue receiving affordable power that enables irrigation.
“This critical legislation ensures many family farms in eastern Montana have access to reliable irrigation, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law,” Gianforte said. “Agriculture is Montana’s top industry, and I’ll continue working hard to protect it.”
“This is about protecting Montana ag jobs and Montana family farms,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) who introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate in June 2019. “I’m glad to see my bill which ensures the 130 family farms in Kinsey and Sidney are able to continue use of Pick-Sloan power pass the U.S. House today. I thank Congressman Gianforte for his leadership in the House, and I look forward to President Trump signing it into law.”
Sidney and Kinsey serve more than 130 family farms that irrigate nearly 12,000 acres of farmland in eastern Montana. These fields produce hay, corn, potatoes, soybeans, and peas, and nearly 4,800 of the acres are sugar beets produced for Sidney Sugars, Inc. The operations from Kinsey also helps feed more than 20,000 cattle a year.
The measure passed as part of a Senate bill, S.3758. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
Celebrating the bill’s progress, Doug Martin, Kinsey Irrigation Company Board President, said: “On behalf of Kinsey Irrigation Company I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Congressman Gianforte, Senator Daines, and the entire Montana delegation for diligently pursuing a Legislative solution to non-renewal of our contract with Bureau of Reclamation that ended a 75-year relationship. Congressman Gianforte heeded our call after all other remedies had been exhausted. This legislation will allow over 80 families to continue to draw a livelihood from agriculture by providing affordable electricity to irrigate 6600 acres in the Yellowstone River valley. The dollars generated from these acres are circulated many times over and are important to the economy in our county of 12,000.”
In June 2019, Gianforte introduced H.R. 3471 to make available the continued use of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program project use power by the Kinsey Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District.