Priority Ag Legislation Awaiting Governor’s Signature
March 31, 2017
The Montana Farm Bureau leadership and members are strongly urging Governor Steve Bullock to sign SB 155 sponsored by Sen. Mike Lang (R) SD 17. SB 155 is what Farm Bureau calls the "Seed Bill." Simply put, it would prohibit local government from regulating agricultural seeds. The bill showed up on the governor's desk today.
"Although it might seem like a minor deal, it's huge for agriculture," says Montana Farm Bureau Director of State Affairs Chelcie Cargill. "We need the governor to sign this to protect farmers and ranchers from a potential patchwork of regulations. This bill is a proactive, positive measure that protects property rights, provides consistency and helps preserve and protect our ag industry."
Cargill explains many farms cross county lines, and trying to deal with different regulations in each county would be burdensome and prohibitive. Additionally, she says, Montana agriculture is a net exporter of raw commodities. To continue to grow our industry and add value to our agricultural products in-state, we need to protect farmers and ranchers from burdensome regulations.
"Every major agricultural organization in the state supports SB 155. This bill leaves it to the choice of the farmer and rancher to make the best business decisions for themselves and their resources," Cargill said. "The bill sailed through the Senate and passed the House on a strong 70-30 bipartisan vote. The Montana Legislature recognizes how important this legislation is to our state's industry and we hope Governor Bullock will as well. If there is any bill the governor needs to sign promptly to support the state's number-one industry, agriculture, this is the one."