Jon Tester

In one week Veterans are supposed to get improved access to healthcare in the private sector via the Mission Act, which Montana Senator Jon Tester wrote. But there are still some big unanswered questions about whether it will work.

The Mission Act is Congress’ second attempt since 2014 to make it easier for vets to use their benefits to pay for healthcare in the private sector if nearby VA facilities don’t offer what they need, or if they’d have to wait weeks to get it.

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.

Happy news for Montana ranchers Friday as the United States and Japan reached an agreement on beef exports.

The new agreement lifts age restrictions and opens the door to an estimated $200 million annual increase of U.S. beef and beef product exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester spoke on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday urging his colleagues to pass a handful of federal bills aimed at addressing what’s been called a crisis of missing and murdered Native American women and girls.

Wheat and barley fields south of Manhattan, Montana, April 27, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Farming is always a gamble in Montana, but this year a new tariff on wheat and an undefined trade deal with Japan means more uncertainty for farmers as they plant this spring. President Trump discussed agricultural trade negotiations last week with the prime minister of Japan — Montana’s largest importer of wheat. The talk comes two years after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr


Legislation re-introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to strike what some consider a more reasonable balance between the needs of livestock and those who drive them across country.

The U.S. Capitol building
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


 President Donald Trump and a dozen Democratic lawmakers have agreed to work together on a $2 trillion dollar infrastructure package. But they put off for later the difficult questions of how to pay for it.

A border entry sign in a field
m01229 / Flickr

U.S. Customs and Border Protections has set a new round of town halls meetings for feedback concerning its plan to cut the hours of operation at four ports of entry between Montana and Saskatchewan in the northeast corner of the state.

Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

The bipartisan advocacy group Farmers For Free Trade has spent the past two weeks driving across the midwest rallying farmers behind the new trade plan between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They’re pushing for Congress to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, replacement.

On Friday, almost 20 people shared a meal of meat, rolls, beans, and pasta at the 11th and final stop of Broadview, just north of Billings. They were on the property of Michelle Erickson-Jones, farmer and past president of the Montana Grain Growers Association.

The U.S. Capitol building
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s Congressional delegates are drawing a range of conclusions from the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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