Current Montana Lieutenant Governor and gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney released his “Growing Montana” plan today which heavily focuses on the state’s number one industry.
Cooney’s plan claims it will create good-paying jobs in the agriculture and manufacturing industries, reinstate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork products, and invest in renewable fuels and hemp as crops.
In a press release, Cooney laid out his five tier “Growing Montana” plan:
Supporting Good-Paying Manufacturing Jobs
- Increase the percentage of funding for the Growth Through Agriculture Program through the Coal Severance Tax Fund to help Montana producers and manufacturers create more good-paying jobs through value-added agriculture.
Country of Origin Labeling
- Reinstate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef and pork products to give Montana producers an edge and give consumers more information about Montana’s world-class products.
Grown in Montana: Montana Meat
- Encourage and support the development of local and regional state certified meat processing facilities.
- Provide for an extension of the Made in Montana and Grown in Montana brand to meat products.
Supporting Hemp as a Crop
- Invest in a diversified processing infrastructure, which adds value to every part of the plant: the cannabinoids, the fiber, and the grain.
- Work with the federal government to open up the feed market for hemp.
- Make sure banks, regulators, and other service providers treat hemp producers like the legal businesses they are.
Supporting “Right to Repair” Legislation
- Push to allow Montana’s farmers and ranchers the right to repair their own equipment, saving them time and money.
The democratic gubernatorial candidate was also joined by U.S. Senator Jon Tester during his noon press conference.
“Montana’s farmers and ranchers grow the best crops and raise the best cattle in the world, and we need a strong advocate in Helena who will fight for us,” said Tester. “Mike Cooney understands production agriculture and the unique challenges family farmers face, particularly after years of Republicans’ disastrous trade policies, and as Governor he’ll work tirelessly to ensure a bright future for our state’s number one economy.”
Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney added, “As governor I am going to stand up and fight for producers from Sidney to Dillon and make sure they have the certainty and support they need to stay in business, continue the critical work of feeding America, and eventually pass their operations down to their kids and their grandkids.”
Mike Cooney Press
Northern Ag Network – 2020
Sooooo . . . how does this help us young farmers and ranchers compete with the big corps and afford the multi-million dollars ranches, equipment, and stock it takes to get into the game as we either try to return to the industry or try to stay in it when the ranch is passed to another family member? How about creating succession plans/groups/communities for retiring farmers and ranchers who, not having family, would love to mentor and pass on their assets to the younger generation, and just need really creative financing plans?