Farmers

A close-up of industrial hemp,  July 16, 2013.
Marcia O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)


The Montana Department of Agriculture received the green light late last week on its hemp plan after outlining how it would meet stricter federal regulations, including testing and sampling. Some farmers may experience more stringent regulations in 2021.

A sign advertises American beef in a Japanese grocery store during a U.S. Department of Agriculture trade mission in June, 2018.
Oregon Department of Agriculture/FLICKR (CC-by-NC-ND-2.0)

The new trade deal between the U.S. and Japan went into effect Wednesday. Montana’s Farm Bureau vice president says it will give the state’s farmers and ranchers more certainty and a competitive edge in the new decade.

A close-up of industrial hemp,  July 16, 2013.
Marcia O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester said in a press call Thursday new federal regulations for hemp could create more certainty for farmers and boost job growth in the state.

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester announced legislation today he says addresses rising suicide rates among farmers.

A cow looks up on a farm near Bridger, Montana.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

A new federal bill co-sponsored by Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester proposes temporarily stopping large food and agribusiness corporations from consolidating. It aims to increase competition in the market to support better prices for farmers and ranchers.

There are a lot of women managing Montana farms and ranches. It's often thought of as a sector long dominated by men, but that's changing as women enter the state's agriculture industry.

There's a conference underway in Billings this week where women ranchers and farmers are gathering to learn more about making their businesses profitable.

Rancher Anita Brawner stands in line waiting for lunch. Her family runs a cattle calving operation in Nebraska, but the Brawner Ranch Company is headquartered south of Livingston, Montana, where she was born.

Fire drought
Nate Hegyi / YPR

State climatologist Kelsey Jencso says what folks are seeing this summer -- extreme fires, sudden droughts, snowpacks melting quickly -- may be a vision of Montana’s future.

Tim Mueller has raised corn and soybeans on 530 acres near Columbus, Neb., for decades, but now he is planning to take a huge gamble.

The big-box retailer Costco is building a new chicken-processing plant in Fremont, Neb., about an hour away from Mueller's farm. The company plans to slaughter 2 million birds per week. To raise all those chickens, Costco is recruiting about 120 farmers to sign on as contract poultry farmers.

Mueller wants in. But to do that, he plans to take out a massive $2 million loan to finance the construction of four chicken barns.

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

World leaders have called President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord “regrettable” and “disappointing.” But for Honduran farmers, climate change is personal.

Pages