Agriculture

Agriculture is Montana’s top industry, and the hard work of our farmers and ranchers puts food on the table for families across the country and the world. Protecting and promoting Montana agriculture is one of my top priorities in Congress.

On the Senate Agriculture Committee, I worked hard to pass the 2018 Farm Bill for our farmers and ranchers. It includes Montana agriculture priorities such as protecting crop insurance, expanding broadband access in rural Montana, securing funds for land grant universities, and supporting important conservation programs such as EQIP and CSP. The 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2018.

President Trump Signs Daines, Gianforte Bill to Save Sidney Kinsey Irrigation Districts into Law

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte today celebrated their bill to save the Sidney Kinsey Irrigation Districts being signed into law by President Trump. The bill ensures irrigators in the communities continue receiving affordable power that enables irrigation for farm and ranch land. “This is a great day for Montana’s farmers and ranchers in Sidney and Kinsey who depend on affordable power and reliable irrigation access,” Daines said. “This bill protects Montana ag jobs and ensures Montana irrigators in Sidney and Kinsey can sleep soundly at night knowing they won’t be faced with unreasonable price increases this December and in the future. Thank you to

Daines Announces $14 Billion in Second Round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, All Wheat Farmers Now Eligible

U.S. SENATE –U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that President Trump and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be providing an additional $14 billion through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) that will be made available to Montana farmers and ranchers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs due to COVID-19. Producers can apply for assistance through this program beginning September 21st through December 11th, 2020. More information on CFAP and how to apply can be found at farmers.gov/cfap or your local FSA office. “This is great news for our agriculture producers, especially our wheat farmers across Montana,”

Daines, Gianforte Successfully Secure Update to EIDL Program for Montana Farmers, Ranchers

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte announced that the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) will be modifying criteria for its Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which placed additional burdens on agricultural producers. This action follows Daines’ and Gianforte’s direct request to the SBA. “I’m pleased the SBA listened to the concerns of Montana farmers and ranchers and modified the EIDL loan criteria to reflect the way agricultural businesses operate. I’ll continue fighting to make sure COVID-19 relief programs are providing help, not additional hardship,” Daines said. “Montana ag producers shouldn’t have to jump

Investigation into Conservation Easement Scandal Underscores Importance of Daines’ Bipartisan Bill

U.S. SENATE – The U.S. Senate Finance Committee today concluded an investigation into the abuse of conservation easement tax benefits, further highlighting the need for reform and Daines’ bipartisan bill. Daines has been a leader on this issue, introducing bipartisan legislation to crack down on bad actors abusing the system. “The abuse of the charitable conservation easement tax incentive must be put to an end. In light of the conclusions of the Finance Committee’s report, I am urging the Senate to take up my legislation and put a stop to this fraudulent behavior once and for all,” Daines said. “My bipartisan

Daines, Gianforte Urge Administration to Streamline COVID-19 Relief for Montana Ag

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) asking it to clarify the rationale behind its lien criteria and loan processes for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. “It is our understanding that SBA is requiring loan recipients to send physical checks via certified mail from Montana to Fort Worth, Texas in order for SBA to endorse purchases made by agricultural producers in the daily course of their business operations,” Daines and Gianforte wrote. “This process imposes excessive burdens on Montana’s agricultural producers. In addition to the hassle,

Daines, Gianforte Call on DOJ to Investigate JBS Acquisition of Lamb Processing Facility

U.S. CONGRESS – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation on JBS USA Holdings’ acquisition of a Mountain States Rosen (“MSR”) lamb processing facility in Greeley, CO. This acquisition could have a major impact on sheep ranchers in Montana and their ability to get lamb to market, as well as result in an increase in lamb imports. “We urge you to immediately open an investigation into this acquisition and demand that JBS cease from any irreversible actions that might harm the ability of American sheep ranchers to

Daines’ Bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act Passes Senate Committee

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today secured passage of his bipartisan bill, the “Montana Water Rights Protection Act,” out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, clearing the way for a Senate vote on the bill. “For decades, the CSKT water dispute has gone unresolved in Montana, leading to uncertainty for thousands of Montanans across our state. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Montana Water Rights Protection Act which permanently settles the CSKT water dispute, protects the water rights of all Montanans, creates jobs, modernizes critical infrastructure needs in Northwestern Montana, protects Montana agriculture, avoids costly litigation and has the Trump administration’s

Daines to USDA: Cattle Market Investigation Update is an Important Step Forward, More Works Needs to be Done

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today issued the following statement following the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releasing a report and update on the ongoing investigation into allegations of price-fixing and market manipulation within the cattle market and the meatpacking industry. Daines has been urging the USDA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate this issue in a quickly and thorough manner. “USDA’s findings are an important step forward in the ongoing investigation and provides much needed details on the impacts of COVID-19 on cattle markets and beef prices,” Daines said. “But more works needs to be done and I will continue

Daines Leads Ag Roundtable with USDA Under Secretary, Montana Ag Leaders on Montana Ag Issues

GREAT FALLS, MT – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today led a roundtable discussion with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and Montana’s ag leaders on important Montana ag issues including market manipulation in cattle markets and available USDA resources for farmers and ranchers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.   At the roundtable, Daines urged the USDA and the Department of Justice to actively coordinate efforts between the two agencies in the ongoing investigations into allegations of market manipulation and anti-competitive behavior by meat packers in the cattle industry. Daines request was sent in a letter to