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GRASS ROOTS F E E D I N G T H E F U T U R E T H R O U G H F A R M E R S U N I O N E D U C AT I O N A P U B L I C AT O N B Y M O N TA N A F A R M E R S U N I O N

MEMBER profile

MEET THE HEINERT FAMILY B Y LY N D S AY B R U N O C O M M U N I C AT I O N S D I R E C T O R

PAID

GREAT FALLS, MT PERMIT NO. 93

NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE

In this edition of Montana Grassroots we profile Shawn and Jackie Heinert. Jackie is the Local Foods Systems Coordinator for the Alternative Energy Resources Organization known as (AERO) in Helena. Jackie is a Griz at heart having attended and received a degree in Forest Resources Management from the University of Montana. For a decade, she worked for the forest service in various divisions.

Jackie and Shawn met while working for the forest service in South Dakota. Shawn is a Rangeland Management Specialist. They have lived in South Dakota, Wyoming, and now Montana After Jackie had her second child she decided to cut back to part time work to be home with her kids. In addition to her work with AERO she is also involved with Helena Community Gardens.

Shawn and Jackie Heinert with sons Tyler(8) Cash (5)

tions around the state. We especially value the work MFU does supporting farmers, and appreci“Collaboration has been very ate the learning and networking important since AERO’s incepopportunities our membership tion in 1974, and whether it be brings.” nurturing and guiding new organizations, or lending support to As the Local Food Systems Coothers, AERO encourages colordinator Jackie has worked on laboration,” said Jackie of AEmany projects including the coRO’s partnership with Montana ordination of the Helena Food Farmers Union. “Each executive Collaborative, which brings todirector and staff member makes gether agencies and organizations a point of being active members around the community to identify of many of our partner organiza

PAGE 17 PAGE 18 PAGE 2 Montana Co-op National Women Making Expansion Means Campaign Raises Strides in a Man’s Greater Awareness of World Opportunity for Farm Crisis Producers

and try to fix the gaps of local food chains. Jackie currently manages the Abundant Montana Directory which is a directory of all the sustainable agriculture, local food, farmers’ markets, and agritourism opportunities in the state. One of her duties is to maintain the directory by contacting prodCONTINUED PG. 13


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IN THIS ISSUE A Message from the President Page 4 Legislative Wrap Up   Page 5

Farmers Union Insurance Agent Highlight   Page 6 Showing Gratitude for the Family Farm Page 7 Information on Pulse Crop Survey/Food Safety Training Page 8 2017 Scholarship Recipients Announced Page 9 MFU to Host Farm Bill Session Page 10 Messages from the Montana Delegation Page 14 Washington Corner, National Farmers Union Page 15 Co-op Expansion Page 17 Farm Crisis Campaign Raises Awareness Page 19

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WOMEN MAKING STRIDES IN A MAN’S WORLD B Y S U Z A N N E WA R I N G S I G N AT U R E M O N TA N A T H I S A RT I C L E , W R I T T E N B Y S U Z A N E W A R I N G , W A S O R I G I N A L LY PUBLISHED IN THE SPRING EDIT I O N O F S I G N AT U R E M O N TA N A M A G A Z I N E . P E R M I S S O N WA S G R A N T E D TO M F U TO R E P U B L I S H T H I S A RT I C L E .

Although in the minority, women have always been involved in Montana’s agriculture. When the early 20th Century homestead acts opened up land for occupancy, women who were heads of households took up land. Up to 18 percent of all homestead- Jan Tusick, on the family farm near Polson; Photo courtesy of Kim Owen, k.rae Creations Phoers in Montana were women. To- tography. day nearly one million women are versity, San Luis Obispo, Califor- among other issues. “We reach out working America’s lands, which nia, as the foundation for fulfill- to our 1500 farm family members is nearly a third of our nation’s ing her responsibilities as a direc- to learn what we should be supfarmers. tor of a food center, as a farmer, porting,” said Tusick. She feels and as a board member.When Tu- that it is important to use creative College women are majoring in sick joined the Board of Direc- thinking during board meetings, agriculture in growing numbers. tors in 2006 as the representative especially when they engage in They have become specialists in from Region Six, which covers strategic planning.We seek to find various agricultural careers. For the western counties of the state, ways to explain what agriculture example, they have become vetthere was another woman on the and the family farm mean to our erinarians, researchers, conserboard of nine members. That country. We strive to be the voice vationists, foresters, and econowoman left the board and Tusick for families who work so very mists. They are serving on boards did too when another person won hard on Montana farms.” of directors, and they have taken the Region Six seat in 2008. Tuup corner offices and become sick decided to put her name in CEOs in agricultural businesses. the selection process in 2013, and An Expert in Sales and Women continue to make strides she won the Region Six seat that Marketing at Hodgskiss Seed in agriculture, a career field that year and then again in 2016. Preshas traditionally appeared to be ently, she is the only woman on Chrissy Cook assists customers made up of men. the board. Her daily work at the who come into Hodgskiss Seed Food Enterprise Center puts her in Choteau. Ninety-nine percent A Montana Farmers Union Board in contact with individuals who of them are men. The majority of Directors Member Jan Tuare enthusiastic about starting up of the people she works with sick, who is the Director of Lake a line of food for retail distribu- are men. It’s easy to say that she County’s Mission Mountain Food tion. This spirit is also prevalent works in a man’s world. Enterprise Center in Ronan, is the at the Montana Farmers Union, a only female member on the Mongrass roots organization support- Out of high school Cook was a tana Farmers Union Board of ing farm families through legisla- snow safety and ski guide in the Directors that meets in Great tion, cooperation, and education. winter and a fishing guide in the Falls. She and her husband live Topics that have currently come summer for a number of years. near Polson and care for 150 ewes to this board’s attention are cli- As a non-traditional student, she on an 80-acre farm. She uses her mate change, agri-tourism that went to Colorado State UniversAgricultural Science degree from can be value added for farm famiCalifornia Polytechnic State Uni lies, and sustainable agriculture, CONTINUED PG. 13

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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!!!

Member

Recruited by

Member

Patrick Hickey, Malta Frank Nies, Ekalaka Callahan Belling, Richland Roger & Bonnie Sprague, Forsyth Crosswind Properties, LLC Anchorage AK Poppe Land & Livestock, Fallon Enoch & Dixie Schaffer, Broadus Kochivar Family Trust, Stanford Terry McCranie, Auburn WA Arnold Breck, Big Timber Gary & Glennis Rath, Broadview Lankutis Ranch LLC, Lewistown Bee & Thee LLC, Bozeman Hicks Family Farm LLC, Harrison Dale Nerlin, Bozeman Jennifer Davies, McAllister Megan Spring, Belgrade Barry & Nicola Klingaman, Bridger Aasheim Farms C P, Reserve Jaime Larios, Hardin Joy Grosserode, Belgrade James & Loretta Vitt, Fairview Michael & Rori Miner, Conrad Kirby & Kelli Lohr, Shelby Wild Rose Farms, Dutton Legacy Acres Corporation, Fairfield Simon Ranch LP, Cardwell William Hedstrom, Kalispell Hoagy Carmichael, Whitefish Bruce & Loretta Todd, Trego Douglas & Diane Page, Hot Springs Spencer’s Hackles Inc., Plains Martin Williamson, Troy Ronald & Tricia Brooks, Libby Lauretta Olsen, Kalispell William & Donna Kyle, Darby Dennis & Susan Black, Arlee Shannon Wagner, Ravalli Austin Miller, St Ignatius Arlyn Simms, Arlee Christopher Neher, Stevensville Gary & Sharon Jacobsen, Ovando Gary & Rosemary Page, Trout Creek Joel Rattey, Dillon Burke & Holly Hansen, Dillon Joseph & Linda Nottingham, Sheridan Alana Green, Great Falls Barry Francis, Manhattan Patrick Mangan, Stevensville Rosanna Learn & Robert Molloy, Whitefish

Shane Anderson Tayler Kennedy Del Hansen Watts Insurance Watts Insurance Jesse Fleming Jesse Fleming Tom McKenna Jim Mathews Jim Mathews Jim Mathews Raleigh Heitzman Dean Derby Dean Derby Dean Derby Craig Parker Craig Parker Wes Schwend J R Johnson Melissa Wacker Trenton Leintz Aeric Reilly Gordon Elings Gordon Elings Mathew Luedtke Mathew Luedtke Mathew Luedtke Randy Bloom Rial Gunlikson Rial Gunlikson Sally Miller Sally Miller Colleen Wood Colleen Wood Charles Monroe Bryan Jones Andrew Luedtke Andrew Luedtke Andrew Luedtke Andrew Luedtke Andre Marcure Andre Marcure Andre Marcure Judith Siring Judith Siring Judith Siring MFU Office MFU Office MFU Office MFU Office

Andrea & Sean Hoven, Great Falls Lacy & Larry Lorang, Great Falls Michelle & Brian Bebbington, Great Falls Jill & David VanSon, Great Falls Margie & Paul Johnson, Great Falls Robin & Phillip Allen, Great Falls Ragan & Kirk Donsbach, Roy April Greenwood, Great Falls Tasia & Scott Ellison, Great Falls David & Denyse Vanek Jr, Laurel Rachael & Brandon Kerkes, Sand Coulee Jennifer Rask, Great Falls Tom Dane & Amy Severson, Great Falls Tyler & Jenni Starman, Carter Dale & Jeanne Pugh, Great Falls Klay & Koni Johnston, Great Falls Cory & Colleen Johnson, Great Falls John & Mackenzie Salotti, Great Falls Dustin & Kristin Lehman, Fort Benton

Recruited by MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU MFU

Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp Camp

In Memoriam R. Gordon Elings, Conrad Phyllis Kleppin, Glasgow Allan Pearson, Big Sandy Ross Peace, Fairfield Douglas Peterson, Brady/Great Falls

LEGISLATIVE FUND Bryan Jones FU Insurance Hamilton

YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Rial Gunlikson FU Insurance, Whitefish Kaylen Lehner FU Insurance, Circle Charles Monroe FU Insurance, Kalispell Daryl Hansen, FU Insurance, Livingston

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

In June I will have the opportunity to attend the 2017 World Farm Organisation General Assembly in Helsinki, Finland. The WFO is an international organization of farmers with the ultimate goal of bringing together all the national producers and farm cooperative groups from around the world. Presidents of the five Farmers Union Enterprise states including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and Dave Velde, CEO of Farmers Union Enterprises, will be attending the WFO General Assembly. Mr. Velde will be the voting delegate for the group. WFO strives to improve global food security, enhance the position of producers on the food chain, support and encourage farmers’ involvement in rural development, and address issues of climate change, next generation farming and gender equality. There will also be an election at the assembly to select the next WFO President. Nearly every country in the world attends the WFO General Assembly, and although there are differences between the countries in terms of agriculture practices and challenges, we share many of

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MSU EXTENSION SPECIALIST OFFERS FERTILIZER MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

the same struggles. The diversity of attendees and their organizations is what makes for great dialogue and adds dimension to the WFO policy that comes out of the general assembly each year. B Y M S U N E W S S E R V I C E In the next edition of Montana BOZEMAN – With commodGrassroots I will provide a recap ity prices at about a 10-year low, of my visit. Montana State University Extension soil fertility specialists sugAlso on the horizon is the Farmgest steps for small grain producers Union Enterprise Leadership ers to optimize fertilizer dollars. Couple summer retreat in June. These include determining corThe couples will hold their gathrect rates and selecting the apering at the Grouse Mountain propriate fertilizer source, time Lodge in Whitefish, MT. Repof application and placement to resenting Montana is the curoptimize fertilizer use. rent FUE couple Scott and Misty LeFurgey who will complete the “When commodity prices are low, program with a presentation it is a good time to take a close at MFU’s annual convention in look at fertilizing practices,” said Great Falls in October. Clain Jones, soil fertility specialist with MSU Extension and the Succeeding the LeFurgeys as the MSU College of Agriculture’s incoming FUE couple are Walter Department of Land Resources Schweitzer and Cindy Palmer of and Environmental Sciences. Helena. All Farmers Union Enterprise presidents will attend the “Protein content can become even summer retreat along with Dave more important when grain prices Velde, CEO of Farmers Union drop, and we encourage producEnterprises. ers to not skimp on nitrogen, especially when there is a high penI want to congratulate the incomalty for low-protein grain, called a ing Farmers Union Enterprise protein discount,” Jones said. couple, and thank Scott and Misty LeFurgey for their dedication and Based on regional research by time to the FUE Couples LeadMSU scientists, including Jones ership Program. We look forward and Perry Miller, MSU professor to hearing about their experience of cropping systems, fertilizing at with the program at the conventhe full suggested nitrogen rate is tion and hope they will continue more important for the bottom their leadership and involvement line when protein discounts are with Montana Farmers Union. high rather than low. MSU Extension’s web-based economic nitrogen rate decision tool for small grains can help producers determine the amount of nitrogen to apply for maximum net revenue, according to Jones. The calculator is available for winter wheat, spring wheat and barley produced after fallow. Users enter yield goal, soil nitrate level and organic matter, as well as anticip4

MONTANA FARMERS UNION PO BOX 2447 300 RIVER DRIVE NORTH GREAT FALLS MT 59403 PHONE: (406) 452-6406; 1-800-234-4071 FAX: (406) 727-8216 mfu@montanafarmersunion.com www.montanafarmersunion.com Board of Directors: Alan Merrill, President Rollie Schlepp, Vice President, Conrad Erik Somerfeld, District 2, Power Bill Courtnage, At-Large director, Geraldine Brett Dailey, District 4, Jordan William Downs, District 5, Molt Ben Peterson, At-Large director, Judith Gap Kelly Rutledge, District 1, Big Sandy Sig Rudie, Fairview, At-Large director Paul Kanning, Distric 5, Flaxville Jan Tusick, District 6, Ronan State Office Staff: Jan Johnson, Office Mgr., Assistant Secretary/ Treasurer Lyndsay Bruno, Communications Director Chris Christiaens, Legislative & Project Specialist Violet Green, Youth Education & Camp Coordinator Justin Loch, Membership Director Dave Snuggs, Facility Director Maggie Shane, Continuing Education Copyright © Montana Farmers Union, 2017. Montana Grassroots is the official publication of the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America, Montana Division. MFU reserves the right to reject any advertisements. Third Class bulk postage paid at Great Falls MT 59401. Membership: $50.00 per year Montana Grassroots is published 10 times each calendar year with two combined issues. Article submissions are requested by the 15th of the month. Advertising space is available. Copy Editor: Jan Johnson Editor/Designer: Lyndsay Bruno

ated wheat price, nitrogen fertilizer cost and protein discount and premium. The MSU Extension soil fertility website has many resources, including bulletins and presentations that provide detailed information on how to determine correct fertilizer rates and management practices to ensure the fertilizer gets to the plants rather than into the air or ground water. For more information, contact Jones at (406) 994-6076 or clainj@montana.edu.


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BY CHRIS CHRISTIAENS P R O J E C T & L E G I S L AT I V E SPECIALIST

65TH LEGISLATURE WRAPS UP The Montana legislature’s 65th regular session adjourned Sine Die on April 28th, once again returning home without addressing infrastructure funding for buildings and repair of state owned structures as the funding included bonding. The body had been urged to deal with this early in the session and once again it remained actively debated on the last day. Over the course of the session Montana Farmers Union actively worked on those issues set forth in policy adopted at the annual convention in October of 2016. When there are bills introduced in which our organization does not address, we remain neutral on the subject or the board of directors make a decision of dealing with action during the session. It remains critical for members get actively involved in their local meetings and bring forth resolutions to be introduced at the convention and even more important to show up and participate in the floor debate where decisions are made. It is where your voice is heard and your interests are addressed in the policy adopted each year. There were a couple of bills during the session that split membership and calls concerning why our lobbyist took the position he did was questioned. This only underscores the need for membership involvement. Our lo-

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Montana State Capitol, Helena

bying team was lead in a bill draft, sponsoring HB284. This bill revised funding for the Food and Agriculture Development Centers and started in House Appropriations Committee. This was not successful as the monies were short. Through continued work over the entire session the final funding was received in the Senate where it was a part of HB2. This bill contained the entire budget funding programs over the next two years. Since part of the funding is in Statute and the rest comes from the Department of Commerce, the future funding will be in the Department Commerce Budget rather than Department of Agriculture. The funding goes to four centers located at Ronan, Joliet, Butte and Havre where great work occurs in economic development.

and vacations occurred. This addition should make inspectors more accessible for producers of meat and poultry.

We worked with Ag Coalition members to cover bills in both House and Senate to assure our voice was heard when either supporting or opposing water bills , taxation, dairy, beef and sheep operations and budgets for Department of Agriculture where pesticide act rules abide for training and safety, Department of Livestock where board members were appointed, wool lab, lab fee increases, Brucellosis and the brands enforcement division are located. We also monitored the budget of the Montana Department of Commerce because that is where the funding for the Food and Ag Development Centers is located. Areas of water rights, noxious and aquatic weed program, The Agritourism bill HB342 was drafted by livestock loss reimbursement, fencing laws, Montana Farmers Union and carried by Rep- greenhouse regulations, net metering issues resentative Ross Fitzgerald of Power.This along with various other agricultural issues added agritourism and on-farm educational were followed and lobbied by full-time lobopportunities to a list of other activities in byist, Levi Ostberg, assisted by Eric Bergman which the inherent liability is an obligation and myself. of the participant rather than the farmer/ rancher. The legislation was signed into law At of the timing of this article many bills are on March 31st by the Governor. still pending following the sessions adjournment. The legislature held off sending bills to Our Lobbying efforts were successful in get- the governor as an attempt to stay his ability ting two positions added in HB2 for meat to return bills back with amendments. As of and poultry inspectors. These positions were May 3rd there were 260 bills pending for signsorely needed as there was a shortage of in- ing or veto, one of which was the budget bill, spectors as they were having to back fill other HB2. employees in the department when sick leave CONTINUED PG 14 5


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AGENT SPOTLIGHT Beginning in this edition of Montana Grassroots is the first Agent Spotlight column that will feature Farmers Union Insurance agents from across the state. In this edition we profile Judy Siring and Andre Marcure.

JUDY SIRING, DILLON

best for my customers, but beyond that I believe in volunteering to make my community a great place to do business and live, always with a smile!

4.)Are there any new/popular products or benefits of Farmers Union Insurance that you would like to share with our readers ? We are a Montana based company that has been around for over 100 years. I think that is very important and somewhat unusual.

5.)Can you share with us a fun fact that not many know about you? I love the beach and warm weather. I’m not sure why I have lived in Montana all my life.

6.)What do you like to do in your spare time?

1.)Can you tell us about your background? I was born and raised in Cut Bank MT. I attended Flathead Valley Community College and worked in retail management in Kalispell for many years before moving to Dillon in 1997. From 1999-2005 I was the Executive Director of the Beaverhead Chamber of Commerce where under my leadership the chamber thrived. Working for the chamber gave me a taste of every aspect of business. In 2005, I left the chamber and became an agent with Farmers Union Insurance. My vast business background helps me understand all aspects of my agency and my customers’ needs.

Enjoy the beautiful area we live in. I like to hike, bike, raft and camp. I also enjoy spending time in California with my two grandchildren and traveling to beaches.

ANDRE MARCURE, MISSOULA

I enjoy helping people and solving their problems in regards to their insurance.

3.)What should someone look for when choosing an agent?

4.)Are there any new/popular products or benefits of Farmers Insurance that you would like to share with our readers?

I love working with people, it’s very rewarding to help them every day.

I work very hard in my agency to do what is

2.)What do you like best about being in the insurance industry?

People should look for an agent with experience and knowledge. As a certified insurance counselor with over 28 years of experience I know that my understanding of the insurance industry and how that relates to my clients and their protection is just as important as an affordable premium. Any dumb schmuck can sell you an insurance policy, however it takes a knowledgeable professional to correctly insure your home, family farm/ranch or business.

2.)What do you like best about being in the insurance industry?

3.)What should someone look for when choosing an agent?

I was raised on a family ranch in Frenchtown, MT. My brother and I are the fifth generation of Marcures on the ranch. Our children are the sixth generation. I started working in this insurance agency for my parents while attending the University of Montana (GO GRIZ!). After graduating from the university I became an insurance agent. I am a second generation Farmers Union agent. Our agency has been continuously operated by the same family for 50 years. We were recently awarded as the Montana and National Farmers Union agency of the year for 2016.

1.)Can you tell us about your background? 6

Yes, Farmers Union Mutual Insurance ComCONTINUED NEXT PG.


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GRATITUDE FOR THE FAMILY FARM RUNS DEEP

BY JUSTIN LOCH M E M B E R S H I P D I R E C TO R

With the passing of Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day coming up, it has me thinking about my parents when growing up. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today, and have the appreciation for the family farm that I do. In 5th grade I got my first taste of growing up on a small country home just outside of Dutton, MT. It was a small farmstead with 10 acres. It was here that I had my first experience with livestock. We raised chickens, a few bottle calves, a horse, bum lambs and about 50 pigs. Coming from town life, this was a big change to say the least. Some days it was fun other days it was work taking care of the livestock, one thing was for sure it wasn’t what I wanted to be spending my time doing.

farm and helping my parents keep things going would be something I would enjoy. I have to say “Thank You” to my mom. She got me involved in 4-H at a young age. She was always the one who helped us with our projects and helped push us to get the most out of being an active member. Without her I would not have had the success I did in projects, nor the opportunities or experiences I had in 4-H. As a kid, sometimes it just seemed like 4-H was just one more thing I had to do. Today, I look back and see what it has done for me. My involvement in 4-H made me a better public speaker, taught me the importance of helping my community, where I learned the importance of starting and finishing a quality project, and how I came to understand that there is more to a livestock project than just feeding and selling it. My mom wasn’t pushing me just to do things because she wanted to annoy me, she wanted to make me do my best and strive for success. Thanks to my mom, I use these skills each day to succeed.

I have to say “Thank You” to my dad as well. My dad gave me access to livestock and ranching skills. I learned so many skills in raising quality livestock that you can’t read in a book. My dad showed me how to feed, manage, market, build and improve your program. For years I felt like the constant livestock chores were a burden. But after going to college, and not being as active on my parent’s farm, I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved today and what my parents have built for me and my siblings. What seemed like a burden years ago, I am now truly grateful for and look forward to being a part of the farm. Today, my dad has scaled back on hog production immensely due to falling markets, but has really A few years later my parents sold that small put more time into building a quality cowherd farm and purchased a larger one. Our small consisting of mostly Red Angus. It’s fun to livestock operation expanded largely to 50 work side-by-side with him to do the handscows, some chickens, and bigger yet, a hog on work and help him accomplish some of his operation of almost 500 farrow. They also goals. There is no greater feeling when you had some crop land they leased out to another get to work with your dad and he asks for your farmer. My father works as a full time agrono- opinion on things and actually takes them into mist for the co-op on top of keeping the farm consideration. Thanks to my dad for carrying going. My family was busy to say the least as on the family farm for another generation and there was always something to be done. Most letting my siblings and I be part of that legacy. of the time, I hated always having things to do. I thought a life in town was more appeal- In closing, my point in writing this article was ing and what I wanted. Little did I know that not only to say “Thanks” to my parents but later in life would I have a strong interest also to show great appreciation for the opin agriculture and find that going out to the portunities they have given me. I hope there 7

are others who have had the privilege of living on, learning and contributing to a family farm. I graduated high school and left for college thinking at the time that I am so lucky to get off the farm and that I would never go back. But today after some time away, I am so thankful for my parents and the farm to bring me back. The farm wasn’t the burden I made it out to be. It helped make me who I am. Each time I get to go out to the farm is a blessing and I can’t say thanks enough to my mom and dad. I am already following in their footsteps. Currently my wife and I have a little six acre country home with a few animals just like the way my parents started out. We will see what the future holds. Maybe one day I will write a similar story as my parents.

AG E N T S P OT L I G H T C O N T I N U E D

pany is always updating and expanding their policies, but the most important thing to stress is that they are a Montana based insurance company that has been committed to in suring Montanans from right here in Montana since 1915. They are not going to leave you when you need them the most.

5.)Can you share with us a fun fact that not many know about you? Everyone knows that I am a die-hard Grizzly fan, but most don’t know that I am also a Miami Dolphins fan. If the Cubs can win the World Series, why not the Dolphins?

6.)What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy camping, football and spending time with my family whenever I can.


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PULSE CROP SURVEY

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The survey will ask Montana’s growers if they want to temporarily increase the assessment from 1 percent to 1.5 percent for a period of 3 years. The additional funds would be used to expand market opportunities domestically by making consumers aware of the benefits of these superfoods, helping consumers identify food products which contain pulses, and advancing research in pulse nutrition. Growers in Idaho have already voted to increase their assessment to 1.5%. Washington growers are currently running a referendum to do the same, and North Dakota will soon poll their growers. Surveys in Montana must be postmarked by June 2nd. The Department of Agriculture will tally and verify the survey results and provide them to the Montana Pulse Advisory Committee for their consideration.

B Y PA U L K A N N I N G M F U B O A R D O F D I R E C T O R / M O N TA N A P U L S E A D V I S O RY B O A R D

As Montana Farmers Union policy states, we believe farmers can best attain their aims through individual and cooperative action in Montana pulse production has exploded democracy. This survey is our opportunity over the past 20 years. What was once about to do just that. Please look for your survey 50,000 acres in the mid-1990s has grown to in the mail, fill it out, and get it returned by over 1.2 million acres as Montana rose to be- June 2nd. come the nation’s leading producer of pulse crops. The industry growth was also aided by the development of new pulse varieties which increased yield and improved disease FOOD SAFETY TRAINING AND resistance. Market opportunities also surged RESOURCES FOR MONTANA through initiatives like the 2016 International Year of Pulses and the introduction of 1,150 FARMERS new food products with pulse ingredients. B Y DAV I D W I S E

Now Montana’s pulse growers face a very important question. Do we wait to see what happens next with our markets? Or should we seize on recent accomplishments and advance our markets even more? The answer will be determined through a Montana Department of Agriculture survey which will be sent to all pulse producers in early May. In 2005, following a vote of all Montana pulse growers, a pulse assessment of 1-percent was established. This check-off program is grower-funded, organized at the request of growers, to advance the grower’s industry. It helped fund 15 years of increases in exports, new provisions for pulse crops in the farm bill, and expansion of pulse research, production, and processing.

Public awareness about food safety concerns has been increasing and will continue to influence the public’s perception of the agricultural systems which service them. Local agricultural producers, processors, and markets in Montana have maintained a wide base of trust among consumers. This trust will continue to the extent that we are able to maintain the best products both in quality and in safety and these standards will ensure the resiliency and viability of Montana agricultural products in local as well as national and international markets. The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently hired Betsy Miller to lead their Food Safety education, training and outreach efforts. MDA is committed to providing technical support to growers as compli8

ance dates get closer for the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Produce Safety Rule. Additionally, David Wise, who works as a Food Safety Educator, will provide opportunities for farmers to learn about and write Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Food Safety plans for their farms. In March, David led GAP food safety plan writing workshops for 50 farmers in Billings, Corvallis and Kalispell. “As someone who is generally antagonistic toward such regulations [On Farm Food Safety], the presenters were engaging and articulated the necessity for such protocol,” said one workshop attendee. An additional training is being planned for Bozeman this fall. The spring workshops were funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and the Montana Farmers Union. Wondering if your farm will meet one of the FSMA exemptions? Take 5 minutes to complete the following survey/decision tool. Answering the questions should help you determine if your farm will be exempt or not from the Produce Safety Rule. The survey also gives you a chance to provide input on resources, training, and other information that you need to build a food safety program for your farm.Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFCT8HJ (or find it on the www.foodsafety.mt.gov page) Even if you qualify for one of the exemptions under FSMA your buyers may still request specific food safety measures. Be sure to communicate with them about what they will require in the future. Though similar, FSMA is not the same as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Successfully passing a GAP audit does not ensure your compliance with the FSMA Produce Rule and vice versa. However completing a GAP food safety plan is a great step toward meeting FSMA requirements. Betsy will be coordinating many of the statewide Produce Safety Rule projects for the Department. You can find more information on the MDA webpage, www.foodsafety.mt.gov. Upcoming training opportunities, guides and federal updates will be posted there.


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CONGRAULATIONS TO THE 2017 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS! Montana Farmers Union is proud to announce this year’s scholarship recipients. MFU offers seven scholarships each year totaling $3,000. This year’s winners were selected because of their outstanding contributions to the organization as youth leaders. The 2017 scholarship recipients are: Alana Green of Great Falls; Ally Poindexter of Geraldine; Cory Kelly of Chester; Annie Shane of Floweree and Violet Green of Great Falls. All of the recipients have served as deans for MFU’s Arrowpeak Summer Leadership Camp and are members of Montana Farmers Union.

Cory Kelly (Chester) Awarded: MFU & John Korsbeck Memorial Scholarships Attending: Montana Tech Majoring: Environmental Engineering

Violet Green (Great Falls) Awarded: MFU & Headquarters Local of Cascade County Scholarships Attending: Great Falls MSU Majoring: Elementary Education

Alana Green(Great Falls) Awarded: Cascade County Farmers Union Scholarship Attending: Great Falls MSU Major: Physical Therapy Assistant

Annie Shane (Floweree) Awarded: Bud Daniels Memorial Scholarship Attending: Loyola Marymount University Majoring: Health, Human Science, & Psychology Ally Poindexter (Geraldine) Awarded: Chouteau County Farmers Union Scholarship Attending: State University of New York at Oswego Majoring: Graphic Design & Creative Writing F O O D S A F E T Y C O N T.

Please contact Betsy or David with any questions regarding these new food safety rules or if you are interested in attending future trainings or to request help developing a GAP food safety plan for your farm. Betsy Miller Phone: 406-444-0131 or email: bemiller@mt.gov or contact David Wise Phone 406-396-1723 or email: dave.w.wise@ gmail.com.

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A.W. Baack Farm celebrates centennial

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FARM BILL SESSION: THE FACTS & A FORECAST OF WHAT’S TO COME

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR BUSINESS BOOSTERS!

IDENTITY SCREENPRINTING & ENGRAVING, GREAT FALLS

The Farm Bill is set to expire in September of 2018. In anticipation Montana Farmers Union is holding an informational listening session in Great Falls, Wednesday June 28 from 1:30-3:00. The event will be held at the Montana Cooperative Development Center(MCDC) located at 12 3rd St NW #110, Great Falls.

SUNBURST UNLIMITED GREAT FALLS

The session will feature a panel moderated by MFU and will include a representative from National Farmers Union, a crop insurance specialist with Farmers Union Insurance and a representative from the Farm Service Agency. To register contact the office 452-6406 or 1-800-234-4071.

Steve Yanuszka/Amy Strom

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF YOUR FARM OR RANCH? Let us honor you as a centennial family! Centennial families who are current memers of MFU are eligible to be recognized as a centennial family. This includes recieving a plaque at the annual convention in October at the members’ banquet, publicity through our newsletter and local media. If you are interested in being recognized as a centennial family please submit a family biography & pictures to Lyndsay Bruno at lbruno@montanafarmersunion. com or mail the information to the state office at 300 River Drive North, Suite 1, Great Falls, 59403. Submissions are due September 15.

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MEET OUR JUNIOR DEANS! We are proud to announce this year’s Arrowpeak Summer Camp Junior Deans. Deans are responsible for helping the camp coordinator and camp counselors. They lead discussion groups, interact with campers and help keep organization in groups. This year’s deans have been selected because of their enthusastic and positive attitudes and their ability to be role models to our campers! Enroll today as space is limited!

LEADERSHIP & COOPERATION

MONTANA FARMERS UNION 2017 SUMMER YOUTH CAMPS

Rooted

Matt Mendenhall Great Falls, MT Great Falls Central Catholic

Donna Arganbright Fort Benton, MT Fort Benton High School

David Shane Great Falls, MT Great Falls Central Catholic

Tori Girard Great Falls, MT CMR

of COOPERATION • EDUCATION • LEGISLATION

Lilly Green Fort Benton, MT Fort Benton High School

REGISTER TODAY FOR ARROWPEAK SUMMER CAMP! It’s that time of the year again to register for the 2017 camp season! This camp season continues our longstanding cooperative and leadership programs, as well as archery, fly fishing, agriculture, bees and more!! Here are this year’s camp dates: Junior I Camp: June 18th- June 23 Ages 8-11 Registration Deadline is June 4

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Teen Camp Ages 12-15 Registration Deadline is June 11 Junior Camp II: July 9th- July 14 Ages 8-11 Registration Deadline is June 25 Senior Camp: July 16th- July 21 Ages 15-19 Registration Deadline is July 2 Visit montanafarmersunion.com to register. We’ll see you there!!!


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MFU KICKS OFF MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN For the summer months Montana Farmers Union is running a multimedia membership campaign. The campaign features radio spots with testionials from members. As inspiration for the campaign we contacted a few of our members and asked them to share their reason for membership in Montana Farmers Union!

“ We enjoy being members of Farmers Union because it’s a grassroots organization that believes in the family and farm and gives everyone a voice.” - Misty LeFurgey, Loma

“I joined MFU because of the educational opportunities provided to new farmers. I stayed because of the legislative, advocacy, cooperative support, fellowship, and more.” - Paul Kanning , Flaxville

“ The opportunities for personal growth through Montana Farmers Union are life changing! I’m proud to be a member of an inclusive organization that promotes every facet of agriculture and I look forward to my growing future through the Montana Farmers Union.”

“ I am a member of Montana Farmers Union because they look out for farmily farmers, not big business.” - Erik Somerfeld, Power

To learn more about membership benefits visit our website at montanafarmersunion.com or contact Membership Director Justin Loch at the state office at 800-2344071.

- Amanda Schaub, Havre

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M E M B E R P RO F I L E C O N T I N U E D F RO M F RO N T PG.

ucers and encouraging them to list in the directory. Jackie also does outreach and markets smaller farms and businesses such as apiaries, also known as bee yards, market gardeners, and places offering local foods to eat. Jackie and colleagues presented on the Abundant Montana Directory at the Montana Farmers Union Women’s Conference in Chico. When asked why Jackie chose AERO and agriculture to put her passion and time behind her answer stems from her interest in locally grown food. “I’ve always been interested in agriculture, and particularly connecting people to the food that can be grown nearby. When the position was announced, it was working part time with Helena Community Gardens, and I felt it was a great fit for me. I enjoy working for a state-wide organization, and meeting producers and individuals from throughout Montana who are working on creating sustainable food systems and communities.” She says in her position at AERO she has many conversations with producers struggling to keep up with new regulations and market demands. “Agriculture is the foundation of Montana’s industry and economy, and our state’s relationship with it is changing so quickly--from young people starting small farms to the increased interest in agritourism and supporting the “local” concept. I would encourage anyone who believes in the value of open space, natural resources and locally grown and produced foods to get involved in agriculture by becoming educated about what agriculture means for society.” Jackie and her husband have two sons, Tyler who is eight and Cash who is five. Jackie said the boys keep them busy with sports and school activities. The family spends quality time in the outdoors fishing, hiking, biking, and taking care of their chickens and ducks. “One of my joys is to make meals entirely from food we have harvested or preserved, and some years we have greater success with that than others! Everyone can be a big or small influence by simply gardening, supporting local farms and ranches, and being informed of the sources of their food.”.

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of Science degree with an Accounting Option and then became a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Her first job was sity in Fort Collins when she decided on in the accounting department with Farmers a major. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Union Mutual Insurance Company (FUMIC) Ag Business and Animal Science and then in Great Falls, and she has been there since in a master’s degree in Agriculture Integrated several capacities. Serving as the Chief FinanResource Management. These credentials cial Officer (CFO) for the prior ten years, she landed her the County Extension Agent po- was ready to move forward when the presisition in Judith Basin County. This job gave dent/CEO indicated that he would be retirher experience in communicating in both ing. After landing the position, she attended small and large groups. She enjoyed her meetings and worked directly with the CEO work so immensely that she turned down during 2016. She was prepared to take over the first offer for a job with Hodgskiss Seed. the reins of this Montana domiciled insurance Six months later when the owner called company on January 1, 2017. again, she accepted the offer. That’s when she started learning in depth about seed and This organization is made up predominately crop diseases. In the beginning, she had the of men. All but one of the FUMIC Board of responsibility of writing reports, and when Directors are men and approximately 80 percustomers came in, she could tell that they cent of the agents are men. As a woman CEO, thought she was there to answer the tele- Bekker brings her background as the CFO phone or do the cleaning. As she gained plus distinct leadership qualities to her posiknowledge and became acquainted with the tion, as well as a little humor and light heartcustomers, she took on the responsibilities edness. “Before the addition of Nancy Jensen of sales, marketing, writing contracts with to our Board of Directors this past October, farmers, and also writing the reports. The I used to joke when we would check in with Hodgskiss brothers included her when they the hostess at restaurants by saying ‘I’m Kerri checked on farmers’ fields to determine from Farmers Union Insurance and this is my what might be problems with crop growth. entourage’ as ten official-looking men would In time she was able to do it herself. At a re- fall in behind me!” said Bekker. cent extension service meeting on chickpeas at Fort Benton and Conrad, Cook was a fea- FUMIC interacts with and provides sponsortured speaker, and farmers had many ques- ships for the Montana High School Assotions that they knew she could answer. “My ciation and the Future Farmers of America. employers are farmers themselves, and they “We feel that it’s important to encourage know what farmers need. I set about devel- students—both boys and girls— to develop oping my knowledge and relationship with their talents, skills, and knowledge. As the farmers so they would also trust my recom- first woman CEO of FUMIC in its hundredmendations.” As a woman, Cook feels that year history, I feel that it is also important to she puts the customer first, pays attention lend a hand in empowering girls to develop to detail, multi-tasks, and uses good organi- a vision for themselves and to allow confizational skills. “I realize that agriculture is dence in their skills and knowledge to shine a tough business on a good day, and people through,” said Bekker. are trying to live out a good life by working on the land. I respect that,” said Cook. To- Numbers of Women in Agriculture day, when customers stop at Hodgskiss Seed, Careers Grow they are as likely to be looking for Cook as for any of the other personnel. Cook feels Women are still in a minority, but they are comfortable working in a man’s world, and it increasingly moving into agricultural careers is obvious that farmers look to her expertise that capture their interests. At first it may be as a means for getting on with their work. surprising to those who are accustomed to what is traditional, but as qualified women The CEO with Farmers Union Insurance take their places, it is certain that the agricultural industry will gain immeasurably from A Havre native, Kerri Bekker attended Mon- their knowledge and skills. tana State University and earned a Bachelor WOMEN MAKING STRIDES C O N T I N U E D F RO M P G 2

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A MESSAGE FROM SENATOR JON TESTER

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vantaged when selling high-quality wheat in Canadian markets. My resolution also calls on the Trump Administration to determine whether Canada’s wheat grading laws adhere to existing trade agreements like NAFTA. Protecting access to Canadian markets is incredibly important to our state’s economy, but the rules must be fair. When farmers don’t receive a fair price, local communities feel the impact. That is why I think this is as much a jobs issue as a trade issue. At a time when it is critically important to expand access to international markets for Montana producers, it is just as critical that our traditional trade partners are playing by the rules..

Farmers need access to fair markets, but despite harvesting the best wheat in the world, Montana farmers are still seeing their wheat downgraded when it is sold across the border in Canada.

A MESSAGE FROM SENATOR STEVE DAINES

Like so many other farmers, I find it ridiculous that Canada is automatically grading American wheat as “feed wheat” because we all know that Hard Amber Wheat Durum is not feed wheat.

This will be a great opportunity for Secretary Perdue to see Montana’s number one industry firsthand and talk with our hardworking farmers and ranchers. Additional keynote speakers will include U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee; Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; United Grain’s President and CEO Augusto Bassanini; Northwest Farm Credit Services CEO Phil DiPofi; and other leaders in agriculture. Key topics that will be covered during the summit include: strengthening international relationships for Montana agriculture, showcasing technological advancements, promoting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and discussing the challenges Montanans face today because of federal policies and regulations. To register or for more information, please visit www.agsummitmontana.com..

Since that date this bill funding the operations of State Government has been signed for operations during the upcoming biennium. Our organization is now actively working to hear your voices as the next farm bill starts hearings this spring. Senator Tester is holding several across the state.

To ensure that Montana farmers are getting a fair shake, I have been putting pressure on U.S. and Canadian trade officials to strike a deal, and I even personally contacted President Trump to help address this issue.

This legislation will bring Canada’s unfair trade practices to the surface so we can ensure Montana farmers aren’t automatically disad-

I am also excited to announce that Secretary Perdue will deliver a keynote address at the Montana Ag Summit, which will be taking place May 31st and June 1st at the Montana ExpoPark in Great Falls.

L E G I S L AT I V E W R A P C O N T I N U E D F R O M P G . 5

This trade discrepancy unfairly punishes Montana farmers who sell their grain in Canada, but does not reciprocate that punishment for Canadian producers who export their products to the U.S.

To add more urgency to this debate, I’ve introduced a Senate Resolution that demands Canada change its wheat grading procedure to be equivalent and fair to Montana farmers.

impacted Montanans who rely on agriculture to support their families and implement common sense policies that will expand opportunities for Montana agriculture.

Montana Farmers Union urges you as a member to let the organization know your wishes as the new Farm Bill hearings take place. Late last month, I had the honor of casting my vote to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as our next Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Perdue has extensive experience in advocating for agriculture and I know he will prioritize Montana’s number one economic driver. I look forward to seeing Secretary Perdue roll back regulations that have 14

Let staff know of your interest in holding a listening session or education in your community as we are ready to assist you regarding maintaining your livelihood.


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RO G E R J O H N S O N N AT I O N A L F A R M E R S U N I O N

NFU has long emphasized the importance of science-based research to fight climate change. This past month, the organization participated in two events in support of the cause, the March for Science and the People’s Climate March, at which NFU addressed the challenges climate change places on agriculture and the threat it poses to national food security. Unfortunately, climate change is not the only potential hazard family farmers and ranchers face. Access to affordable and effective health care has consistently been a concern of farmers and rural communities. After the House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it appears the issue won’t be fixed any time soon. If the bill were enacted, it would cause an estimated 24 million Americans to lose coverage by 2026. To add insult to injury, the ChemChina-Syngenta merger was officially approved, further contributing to the ongoing issue of corporate consolidation within the agribusiness sector. Fortunately, family farmers and rancher finally have representation in D.C. following Sonny Perdue’s confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture; he wasted no time getting to work on behalf of food producers and rural communities.

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NFU Calls on Senate to Reject even fewer protections for famAHCA ily farmers and rural Americans, especially those with preexistIn late March, the U.S. House of ing conditions. A new provision, Representatives was scheduled known as the MacArthur Amendto vote on the American Health ment, has several weak points. Care Act (AHCA), a bill intended For one, it allows states to opt to replace Obama's signature leg- not to cover essential health benislation, the Affordable Care Act efits, such as mental health and (ACA). Prior to the vote, NFU maternity care, and to change the came out in strong opposition to community rating provision, thus the bill. President Roger Johnson allowing insurers to charge higher sent a letter to the House to urge premiums to those with preexthem to vote against the proposed isting conditions who let their legislation, highlighting NFU's coverage lapse. This would force concerns with the inclusion of a many farmers into high-risk pools cap on Medicaid, reforms to the and leave individuals with preexhealthcare marketplace, and the isting conditions to contend with proposed system of basing pre- increased premiums, higher demium subsidies on a person's age ductibles, and longer waiting perather than their income. Lack- riods for coverage. The amended ing the necessary support to pass AHCA would also disproportionthe bill, Congressional leadership ately affect rural hospitals that are withdrew the bill shortly before more dependent on Medicare and the scheduled vote. Medicaid payments than their urban counterparts. More than a month later, the House proposed and passed of NFU has long advocated for the a new version of AHCA, which right to affordable, high-quality had been amended to garner the health care for all Americans. approval of Republican mem- Because the AHCA would both bers of Congress who had op- hinder access to health insurance posed the previous iteration of for millions of people as well as the bill. Many of the issues from drastically impair the effectivethe original legislation persist; ness and affordability of rural the bill would still cap Medicaid, healthcare, NFU was dismayed by disproportionately affecting rural the passage of this bill and urged Americans who enroll in Medicaid members of the Senate to defeat at higher rates, and whose hos- the flawed legislation. pitals rely more on the program than their urban counterparts. NFU Advocates for ScienceThe bill would also base subsi- Based Policy dies on a person’s age, adversely affecting younger farmers, while On Earth Day, April 22, Nadramatically easing restrictions on tional Farmers Union joined the what companies can charge older first-ever March for Science, orfarmers. The amended bill is even ganized to celebrate science, more troubling, as it now provides call for science that upholds the

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common good, and demand evidence-based policies in the public interest. NFU President Roger Johnson addressed the crowd at the flagship event in Washington, D.C., emphasizing the importance of science-based policy for the success of America's farmers and ranchers. He also voiced support for publicly funded, independent, and peer-reviewed research to inform both farmers and policymakers. Johnson was joined by farmers and agricultural leaders, both in D.C. and at satellite marches across the country. The following weekend, Tom Driscoll, NFU's Director of Conservation Policy, spoke at a climate science and solutions forum hosted by Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Driscoll discussed why farmers care about climate change, and presented many practices that farmers can implement to both mitigate and adapt to its effects. One day later, on President Trump’s 100th day in office, NFU joined 200,000 people at the People’s Climate March in the nation’s capital to demonstrate the importance of addressing climate change for our nation’s family farmers and food security. Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary After significant delay, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (USDA). CONTINUED NEXT PG.


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W A S H I N G T O N C O R N E R C O N T.

Nominated just days before inauguration, Perdue was the last of Trump's cabinet members to be named and among the last to be confirmed. The confirmation process continued to be postponed as the White House took several extra weeks to submit his ethics paperwork and the Supreme Court confirmation tied up the Senate in the days leading up to April's congressional recess. The absence of agricultural leadership in Washington concerned and dismayed farmers and ranchers, who have endured months of the current farm crisis and drastic policy changes in Washington without representation in the Trump administration. NFU expressed relief and optimism about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new leader, and urged him to work immediately to address the depressed farm economy, assist struggling dairy producers, and review and approve the Farmer Fair Practices Rules. Perdue did not waste any time diving into his new role. In the weeks since his swearing in

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ceremony, he has already taken the lead on a rural task force "to examine the concerns of rural America and suggest legislative and regulatory changes to address them," as described in an executive order issued by the President. He has also visited several major agricultural states, including Iowa, Kansas, and Arkansas. During those visits, he has committed to providing disaster relief to struggling farmers, opening up beef exports to China, and supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally, Perdue announced plans to reorganize the USDA, a move that would create a position for an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs and eliminate the undersecretary for rural development. Instead, the Rural Development division will report directly to the Secretary. FTC Approves Merger

ChemChina-Syngenta

genta in early April. The approval is contingent upon ChemChina divesting production of three pesticides. In the following days, the merger received the green light from the European Commission, the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica in Mexico, and China's Ministry of Commerce. Brazil's Administrative Council for Economic Defense and Canada's Competition Bureau had previously approved the deal, leaving India as the only holdout as of early May. At that time, it had also won the support of 82 percent of Syngenta’s shareholders, far more than the 67 percent needed for the acquisition to occur. Continuing NFU's long tradition of advocating for competitive marketplaces for family farmers and ranchers, President Roger Johnson submitted public comments to FTC Secretary Donald S. Clark, asserting that the deal further consolidates the highly globalized agricultural inputs sector.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which, along with the U.S. Justice Department, is re- To read the Washington Corner in its entirety sponsible for eliminating and preventing an- visit nfu.org/corner. ticompetitive business practices, approved ChemChina's $43 billion acquisition of Syn-

Combine Basic Mini Burger ingredients in medium bowl, adding desired Flavor Variation ingredients and mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties.

Recipe for a Spicy Drowned Beef Sandwich Total Recipe Time: 40 minutes Makes 4 servings. INGREDIENTS 12 ounces thinly sliced low-sodium deli Roast beef, cut into 1/2" strips 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 cup thinly sliced onion 1/2 cup thinly sliced jalapeño pepper (about 1 jalapeño pepper) 3/4 cup salsa verde, divided 1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 tablespoon lime juice 8 whole wheat slider buns

grilling, combine 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce. Set aside. Place burgers on bottoms of 12 split small dinner rolls. Top evenly with thinly sliced celery, shredded carrots, as desired, and some of the hot sauce mixture. Close sandwiches. Place patties on grid over medium, ash-cov- Serve with blue cheese dressing, as desired, ered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes and remaining hot sauce mixture. (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes) until instant-read Taco: Add 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seathermometer inserted horizontally into center soning mix to Basic Mini Burger mixture. registers 160°F, turning occasionally. While patties are grilling, combine 1/2 cup Serve mini burgers as directed in desired Fla- dairy sour cream and 2 teaspoons fresh lime vor Variation. juice. Set aside. Cut burgers in half and place both halves in each of 12 taco shells. Top Smoky BBQ Cheddar: Add 1 cup shredded evenly with shredded lettuce, chopped toCheddar cheese to Basic Mini Burger mixture. mato, shredded Cheddar cheese or Mexican Halfway through grilling, baste patties with cheese blend, salsa and sour cream mixture, 1/4 cup hickory barbecue sauce. Place burg- as desired. ers on bottoms of 12 split small dinner rolls. Top evenly with 24 sweet or dill pickle slices Test Kitchen Tips and 3/4 cup prepared coleslaw. Close sand- Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly wiches. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, thawed Ground Beef. Color is not a reliable as desired. indicator of Ground Beef doneness. Buffalo Style: Add 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper and 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese to Basic Mini Burger mixture. While patties are 16

(recipe brought to you by the beef checkoff)


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MOUNTAIN VIEW CO-OP EXPANDS IN FORT BENTON AND COLLINS B Y LY N D S AY B R U N O C O M M U N I C AT I O N S D I R E C T O R

This past fall Mountain View Co-op completed a much anticipated construction project, a fertilizer plant in Fort Benton. According to Emile Briggs, Project Manager with Mountain View, Fort Benton is Mountain View’s largest agronomy location in volume and dollar sales. Briggs says roughly 40% of Mountain View’s fertilizer sold goes through the Fort Benton site. Because of this demand Briggs says it was necessary to update the location’s size and technology. to create a more efficient location for our customers and employees. The site is an 16,500-ton facility with chemical impregnation capabilities, and micro-bins to handle special use products. “The upgraded Fort Benton site provides a high level of service for our customers,” said Cal Hankins, Fort Benton Agronomy Manager. “It will allow Mountain View Co-op to meet customer needs during high demand without depending on ‘just in time’ methods when ordering crop nutrients.” Now that the Fort Benton facility is completed, Mountain View has expanded to include a pulse crop facility in Collins. According to Briggs the Collins pulse crop receiving facility will have a 24,000-bu. capacity located on MVC’s loop track. The pulse crop receiving facility will be on the rail loop in Collins between our fertilizer plant and the grain elevator and will act as a receiving facility for Mountain View Co-op to buy, market, and ship pulse crops for producers with the benefit of returning patronage to its customers.

Mountain View Co-op fertilizer plant in Fort Benton; photo courtesy of Mountain View Co-op

“As a locally owned ag cooperative, it is our responsibility to meet and change with the needs of our growers,” said Art Schmidt, General Manager. “As specialty crop acres such as pulses have increased, our patrons asked us to provide additional market opportunities. This is the first step in this process.” This project began mid-March and will be completed this summer.

MONTANA FARMERS UNION LAUNCHES RADIO SEGMENT

“We see this radio show as a way to reach farmers, ranchers and consumers,” said Alan In May Montana Farmers Union kicked off Merrill, President. “It’s for the dedicated the weekly radio segment, the Rural Advocate. farmer in the field and yet also appeals to the The three minute segment, which airs Thurs- average listener by increasing awareness of days on KMON-AM during the noon hour what Montana Farmers Union is and what we and then again Saturday morning during the do to help support Montana agriculture.” morning show Haines at the Reins from 8-9 am on KMON-AM. The segment provides We want to hear from you! If you have an idea a unique perspective on issues important to for a segment email lbruno@montanafarmerMontana farmers and ranchers amd highlights sunion.com. projects and events of MFU.

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“Mountain View Co-op understands that the traditional wheat market has been challenging over the last couple of years,” said Briggs. “As a farmer-owned cooperative, we need to shift with our customer. This location will act as a facility where customers can work with the faces they already know and trust to buy, sell, and market a large commodity that is now in our area.”


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TRANSPORTATION REPORT

starting point will be to view that rate increases from the northern origins will generally mirror the southern increases.

MSU SUMMER FIELD DAYS

The UP, last October 1, 2016, raised the southern rates to Gulf $150/car and it is unclear if they will match the BNSF current increases with additional increases from Southern Origins to southern destinations.

The public is invited to attend free annual field days across Montana to tour and learn about the people, places and projects involved with agricultural research at Montana State University’s College of Agriculture and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station or MAES. Five research stations will each host a field day this summer.

STB APPROPRIATIONS HITS SIGNIFICANT INCREASE UP TO $37 MILLION IN FY17. T E R RY W H I T E S I D E W H I T E S I D E & A S S O C I AT E S

BNSF RATE INCREASES ON JUNE 1 IN THE SOUTHERN ORIGINS TO GULF Look for general tariff rate increases in the Southern origins by BNSF effective June 1, 2017. The BNSF just issued notice on their web-site of the pending increases, confirming rumors from the grain trade that have been circulating for a couple of weeks. They are raising all rates by $100/car – 1-23, 25-48 and 110-120 cars. W&A has always waited until the tariff rates are actually published before announcing and providing analysis. W&A will prepare rates this week. The BNSF usually increases their southern rates from origins on the southern half (destined for the Gulf) of their system on June 1 in order to catch the harvest of grains in June - August. Similarly, BNSF usually provides increases to tariff rates on the Northern origins effective August 1, to catch the grain harvested in the northern starting in late July into September and moving to market in the fall. While the BNSF has not yet published the Northern rates, a good

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At long last, it appears likely that the STB will be receiving a significant increase in appropriations levels to $37 million when the FY17 Appropriations bill is signed into law,thanks in part to the advocacy efforts from the Alliance for Rail Competition and the Rail Customer Coalition. THE RAILROADS ARE TRYING AGAIN TO THWART EFFORTS TO PROVIDE MORE EFFICIENCIES IN TRUCKING INDUSTRY There has been recent federal activity on creating a pilot program for a safer and more efficient trucking industry through increased GVW limits – to 6 Axle and 91,000 pounds. Many state salready have these GVW weight limits but many do not. Shippers can participate in this effort by pledging their support to the effort. An organization called SHIP has been formed to support this effort. THE S.H.I.P. COALITION includes Anheuser- Busch, American Forest and Paper Association, Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), Cambell’s, Coca Cola, Dairy Farmers of America, GMA, International Paper, Miller Coors, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, OldCastle Materials, Smithfield, Tyson, Washington Potatoes, and Westrock.

B Y M S U N E W S S E RV I C E

ner at 5 p.m. and a tour following. WARC is located at 580 Quast Lane, Corvallis. For more information about the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, visit ag research.montana.edu/maes. html.

SWING FOR A GOOD CAUSE!

Summer 2017 field days include: Northern Agricultural Research Center, Thursday, June 29: The field day begins at 4 p.m. with tours before and after dinner. The center is located about seven miles southwest of Havre on U.S. Highway 87. The MSU Arthur H. Post Agronomy Farm, Thursday, July 7: The Post Farm will begin tours at 8:30 a.m. followed by lunch. The Post Farm is located eight miles west of Bozeman on U.S. Highway 191. Central Agricultural Research Center, Wednesday, July 12: The field day starts at 9 a.m. and includes a free lunch. The center is located 2.5 miles west of Moccasin on U.S. Highway 87. Northwestern Agricultural Research Center, Thursday, July 13: The field day begins at 2 p.m., with dinner following the tour. NWARC is located near Creston on State Highway 35. Eastern Agricultural Research Center, Wednesday, July 19: The field day begins at 9 a.m. The center is located one mile north of Sidney on State Highway 200. Western Agricultural Research Center, Thursday, July 27: The field day starts at 4 p.m. with din18

The 25th annual Ralph Parker Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 17, 2017 in Fairfield The event is open to teams of four. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with a shot-gun start at 10 am. A barbecue and prize presentation will follow the tournament. The $55 entry fee includes the barbecue and green fees. Flights will be arranged by handicap. All proceeds go to scholarships. In the 24 years of existence the benefit tournament has raised $126,000 for students enrolled in the Co-op Curriculum at Montana State University. The annual event is held in memory of Ralph Parker, a longtime Sun River farmer and dairyman who was instrumental in establishing electric, telephone, marketing and supply cooperatives in Central Montana. The event is organized by NW Farm Credit Services, Farmers Union Insurance Co., Jim Parker, Karl Dorr, Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) and the Montana Farmers Union.


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NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CONFRONTS FARM CRISIS TO RAISE AWARENESS Times are tough for American farmers and ranchers. This year, net farm income is forecast to be just half of what it was four years ago, and the lowest it has been in well over a decade. This steep decline, which is not projected to improve any time soon, leaves many farming operations vulnerable and forces farmers to make tough decisions. If you or someone you know has been affected by the current farm crisis, you aren’t alone. Visit https://farmcrisis.nfu.org/ for more information about the farm crisis and to find resources for financial and legal assistance. NFU also launched a new online resource center today, the Farm Crisis Center, to help farmers find the information and services they need to get through financial and personal emergencies. “We encourage producers to utilize the resources available through the Farm Crisis Center,” said Alan Merrill, Montana Farmers Union

President.“We know times are hard. We are pleased to partner with NFU to help farmers and ranchers find solutions and navigate through the tough times.” To access the Farm Crisis Center visit https://farmcrisis.nfu.org/.

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Anaconda Stefanie Thompson 563.5991 Belgrade Craig Parker 388.6774 Billings Jim Mathews 656.2323 Billings Steve Plaggemeyer 294.9491 Billings Judd Long 252.9391 Bozeman Dean Derby 556.0893 Bozeman Trent Leintz 551.2163 Bozeman Art Hoffart 586.6230 Bridger Wesley Schwend 662.3930 Chester Gordon Elings 271-7047 Choteau Mathew Luedtke 466.5146 Circle Kaylen Lehner 485.3303 Dillon Judy Siring 683.2365 Dutton Matt Luedtke Agency 476.3444 Fairfield Matt Luedtke Agency 467.3444 Fort Benton Robert Nelson 622.5053 Froid Austin O’Dea 766-2205 Glasgow Del Hansen 228.2284 Great Falls Eric Hinebauch 453.8413 Great Falls Aeric Reilly 570-5853 Great Falls Scott Walsh 761.2087 Great Falls Jeff Thill 452.7283 Hamilton Bryan Jones 363.6583 Hardin Melissa Wacker 665.1867 Havre Cindy Schubert 265.2693 Helena Todd Crum 443.4630 Kalispell Randy Bloom 257.1252

Kalispell Charles Monroe 756.7720 Laurel Dallas Hagfeldt, Jr. 628.6649 Laurel Jeff Seborg 628.6649 Lewistown Tom McKenna 538.8736 Lewistown Raleigh Heitzman 538.8736 Libby Colleen Wood 293.6228 Livingston Daryl Hansen 222.7151 Malta Shane Anderson 654.1589 Miles City Tayler Kennedy 874.2560 Miles City Ron Watts 874.1804 Missoula Brad Bowman 721.2540 Missoula Pam Jacobsen 721.0599 Missoula Andre Marcure 543.7184 Plains Sally Miller 826.4633 Plentywood JR Johnson 765.2051 Ronan Andrew Luedtke 676.0173 Ryegate Audrey Stoican 568.2336 Sidney Cathy Hintz 488.8326 Terry Blayne Watts 635.5782 Thompson Sally Miller 827.3221 Falls Whitefish Rial Gunlikson 862.4700 Wolf Point Jesse Fleming 653. 2200

May/June edition of Montana Grassroots  

The May/June issue features a member profile, a legislative wrap up, Farmers Union Insurance agent spotlight and more!

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