Daines honors farmers and ranchers on National Ag Day

Montana is known for many great things, our national parks, skiing in the winter, fishing in the summer, beautiful mountains, incredible wildlife… and our rich agricultural heritage.

Agriculture is the number one economic driver in Montana. From sugar beets, to wheat, to cattle and sheep, Montana relies on its ranchers and farmers. In many parts of Montana, especially eastern Montana, there is farm and ranch land as far as the eye can see. There’s even nearly three times more head of cattle than there are people in Montana.

It’s undeniable. Ag is ingrained in the fabric of Montana. We rely on agriculture for jobs, income, and our way of life.

In fact, Montana is home to almost 27,000 farms that cover 58 million acres of land. We are the number one pulse crop producing state and rank near the top for wheat and cattle production. Agriculture has a multi-billion dollar impact on Montana. These are all things to be proud of, and a reputation worth protecting.

Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our communities. They deserve policies that help, not hurt, their businesses.

That’s why I’ve been working to cut red tape and open overseas markets for Montana ag, including for Montana beef and pulse crops farmers. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the U.S., it’s critical that Montana farmers and ranchers are able to compete on a level playing field in important markets like Japan, India, and others.

It’s also been a tough year for ag. Between devastating natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, many folks are struggling. It’s important we continue to support programs that help farmers recover so that Montana ag remains a driving force in our state.

As a fifth-generation Montanan, I know the importance ag plays in our heritage. My great-great-grandmother homesteaded in Montana and created a life for my family in our beautiful state. In Montana, owning a ranch or operating a farm is more than just a job. Oftentimes it’s a family business, it’s how you raise your children and teach the lessons of hard work and responsibility. Ag is a fundamental aspect of the Montana way of life.

As Montana’s U.S. Senator, I will always fight for our state’s farmers and ranchers.