MFBF comments on Department of Livestock funding shortage | TSLN.com

MFBF comments on Department of Livestock funding shortage

Chelcie Cremer, Director of State Affairs, Montana Farm Bureau Federation. Courtesy photo

MFBF comments on Department of Livestock funding shortage

The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) has expressed its concern regarding the Montana Department of Livestock budget shortfall and questionable accounting practices. However, MFBF commends the DOL for taking a step in the right direction by appointing a budget subcommittee to review and solve the budget problems.

"This is a serious problem for the Department and the industry. Steps need to be taken quickly to provide solutions to this budget crisis and Farm Bureau wants to be a part of the solution," said Chelcie Cremer, director of state affairs, MFBF. Cremer spoke at the Board of Livestock meeting earlier this week. "We need a tangible solution to this budget crisis to take back to our members. It's the livestock producers in this state who through fees, contribute to the coffers of the DOL. The fact that there is a budget shortfall, and has been for some time, is a real concern to them."

Farm Bureau, which is a member of the Montana Agriculture Coalition, agrees there must be compliance with the Legislative Audit Division's recommendations that includes controls to monitor contract organizations; funds disbursed from state treasury are backed by proper authority; ensuring compliance for calculating per capita fee increases and ensuring compliance on deferred revenues to fund current year DOL operations.

"We believe the Department is on the right track by appointing board members John Scully (Ennis/cattle), Brett DeBruycker (Denton/cattle) and John Lehfeldt (Lavina/sheep) to the subcommittee for budget oversight, guidance and planning," noted Cremer.

Cremer said despite the DOL difficulties, Farm Bureau does not support combining the DOL and Montana Department of Agriculture, but supports transparency and effective communications between BOL members, DOL and industry as the key to ensuring a successful path forward.

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–Montana Farm Bureau

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