MACo’s Agriculture Committee focuses on the importance of agriculture to Montana citizens and the state’s economy.

Committee Policy Statements

Committee policy statements are a compilation of various issues and/or beliefs, which members have identified as major concerns and goals of county government. A “policy statement” provides guidance to staff, legislators, and the public on MACo’s position regarding possible legislation and/or issues that may arise during a legislative session and/or the Interim.

Agriculture Committee Policy Statements

The importance of agriculture to Montana citizens and the state’s economy can’t be emphasized enough. Agriculture is Montana’s economic underpinning as the largest basic sector of Montana’s economy. MACo is committed to supporting legislation and policy that will positively influence the economic preservation of family-owned and operated farms and ranches.

  1. MACo supports federal and state legislation directed at increasing overall economic stability for producers of raw materials (food and fiber) who are entitled to a fair share of America’s prosperity.
  2. MACo supports country of origin labeling for fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foodstuffs entering the United States.
  3. MACo encourages innovative ways to add value for the producers of agricultural products as a means of economic development.
  4. MACo supports uniting all levels of government to combat the spread of noxious weeds, which is rapidly increasing and having a statewide impact on agricultural crop production and is diminishing forage capacity for livestock and wildlife as well.
  5. MACo supports research regarding the proper use and application of biocontrol, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers as well as research into alternative crop production and innovative uses of technology.
  6. MACo encourages efforts to ensure that the quality of Montana grain and livestock is preserved when marketing that product abroad.
  7. MACo encourages overall expansion of production and taxing agricultural land based on the value of production.
  8. MACo supports promoting land use policies and programs which reinforce private property rights of agricultural landowners and preserve property values. Agricultural management should be the primary land use in areas where operational factors such as productivity, adjacent land uses, and landowners’ objectives are viewed to be conducive to the viability of agricultural production.
  9. MACo supports Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission to set harvest quotas and regulate the harvest of wildlife in a manner that represents biologically sound management of big game population.
  10. MACo supports the de-listing of the Gray Wolf as an Endangered Species.
  11. MACo believes that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service be required to provide the State of Montana with sufficient funds to properly manage the wolf population in Montana.
  12. MACo supports the completion of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to reflect the unanticipated consequences of the re-introduction of Gray Wolves.
  13. MACo opposes any action creating artificial boundaries, holding/quarantine facilities, or a “split state” status, which could and likely would threaten the health of the Montana Cattle industry.
  14. MACo supports the United States Department of Interior managing the bison population within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.
  15. MACo opposes the creation of a buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park for the migration of animals.
  16. MACo supports that local governments in the counties adjacent to Yellowstone National Park be formally recognized as participating members on the IBMP Committee.
  17. MACo supports the maintenance of all the Farm Service Agency offices in Montana.
  18. MACo supports expanded scientific data collected from county weather monitoring stations in addition to National Weather Service data for determining disaster declaration and the implementation of Farm Service Agency programs.
  19. MACo supports increased funding for advanced degrees and programs in veterinary science throughout Montana’s institutions of higher learning.
  20. MACo supports protecting communities, local businesses, and government from unnecessary restrictions due to listing of the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as MACo believes that the listing of the Greater Sage Grouse has absolutely no merit.
  21. MACo believes that the petitioning of species for listing or removing and revising critical habitat can be done only by the state recognized wildlife management agency in which the native species in question exists or strong documentation that it historically existed in such state.  Quantifiable recovery levels for delisting must be identified at the time of listing.
  22. MACo supports the creation of local Drought Advisory Committees in every county.
  23. MACo supports adequate funding for essential cooperative extension service positions.
  24. MACo supports a permanent fund for the control of aquatic invasive species that does not divert terrestrial noxious weed funding.
  25. MACo supports legislation that ensures adequate funding for county weed districts and reservations to enhance their terrestrial noxious weed management programs.
  26. MACo supports the biocontrol of noxious weeds as well as a timely and reasonable review system for the biological weed control agents to help reduce the negative impacts of invasive weeds in Montana and North America.

Committee Members

  • Larry Hendrickson, Co-chair, Liberty County Commissioner
  • Tom Rice, Co-chair, Beaverhead County Commissioner
  • Scott Blain, Carbon County Commissioner
  • John Bolstad, Sheridan County Commissioner
  • Kevin Braun, Fallon County Commissioner
  • Ross Butcher, Fergus County Commissioner
  • Bruce Christofferson, Phillips County Commissioner
  • Jerry Collins, Garfield County Commissioner
  • Donna Giacometto, Powder River County Commissioner
  • Keith Holmlund, Custer County Commissioner
  • Dan Huls, Ravalli County Commissioner
  • Miles Hutton, Blaine County Commissioner
  • John Jackson, Beaverhead County Commissioner
  • Christine Keltner, Prairie County Commissioner
  • Tom Kuka, Pondera County Commissioner
  • Jim Larson, Cascade County Commissioner
  • Robert (Bob) Lee, Rosebud County Commissioner
  • Mikel Lund, Daniels County Commissioner
  • Rem Mannix, Powell County Commissioner
  • Scott Miller, Carbon County Commissioner
  • Darin Miske, Wibaux County Commissioner
  • James Moos, McCone County Commissioner
  • Jim Morren, Pondera County Commissioner
  • Mark Peterson, Hill County Commissioner
  • Sigrid Pugrud, Petroleum County Commissioner
  • Lee Randall, Powder River County Commissioner
  • George Real Bird III, Big Horn County Commissioner
  • Roy Rost, Fallon County Commissioner
  • Dan Sager, Powell County Commissioner
  • Dale Seifert, Pondera County Commissioner
  • Jessica Shackelford, Sheridan County Commissioner
  • Rodney Tauck, Carter County Commissioner
  • Terry Tomsheck, Toole County Commissioner
  • William (Bill) Wallace, Sweet Grass County Commissioner
  • Chris Westergard, Sheridan County Commissioner
  • Sandy Youngbauer, Fergus County Commissioner
  • Amy Adler, MT Weed Control Association Rep., Rosebud County