Concerns Over Montana Board of Livestock Budget


On February 19, four Montana agriculture groups—the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Woolgrowers and the Montana Association of Livestock Auction Markets sent a letter to the Montana Board of Livestock (BOL) regarding BOL budget issues. The organizations’ comments were not addressed or considered at the recent BOL/Department of Livestock (DOL) meeting.


“We understand that the BOL/DOL is planning to again raise the brand inspection fees by .25 cents per head, and in all likelihood raise the per capita by the maximum again this fall. We have supported  hese increases in the past and feel the DOL needs this support,” noted Bob Hanson, president, MFBF; Tucker Hughes, president, MSGA; Brent Roeder, secretary/treasurer, MWGA and Bill Cook, president, MALAM in the letter to the BOL. “However, given the current budget situation in the DOL, we have concerns.” 


In the letter, the associations made the following comments: 


They agreed the priorities for spending earmarked for review should be brand enforcement, animal health and predator control. However, they did say they would not support another increase in brand inspection fees for programs other than the Brands Division, nor do they support supplementing any programs by transferring per capita money from Brands to any other division requiring a brand fee increase. 


They asked for a strategic plan from BOL/DOL relating to operation of the above-mentioned programs as well as the Animal Diagnostic Lab. They also asked how BOL intends to deal with the current issue about the failure to invest re-recorded funds and make up the associated deficit. 


Bob Hanson, president, MFBF, said, “I am deeply disappointed that the BOL at their meeting in Helena earlier this week didn’t even discuss the very serious concerns raised by the leaders of Montana’s livestock organizations.  This suggests to us that they aren’t in tune with the very folks they are supposed to represent.  That needs to change.”



(Northern Ag Network Note:  The above article was originally posted to NorthernAg.NET on March 24, 2014.)


Source:  Montana Farm Bureau Federation News Release

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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