Working for You

Working for You

Each month we provide some key areas where MGGA leaders and staff have been working on your behalf. Here is a sampling of important issues and activities for December 2019:

 

  • MGGA President Vince Mattson and Executive Vice President Lola Raska attended the annual budget meeting of the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee in Great Falls where the producer directors of the MWBC considered grant proposals and allocated checkoff monies for the 2020 calendar year. Roughly half of each year’s budget is awarded to scientific research while 25% is used for market development and the remainder supports educational and informational programs and operations.
  • A successful 64th annual MGGA Convention and Trade Show was enjoyed by over 800 producers, agribusiness representatives and guests. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us!
  • MGGA Past President Lyle Benjamin and President Vince Mattson attended a three day strategic planning session of the National Association of Wheat Growers in Denver. In-depth discussion focused on new, creative ideas for reaching financial security moving forward, including continued engagement of our industry partners. Action items for the immediate timeframe include establishing an overall legislative vision with clear priorities for 2020, evaluating and restructuring how information is communicated to member states, working with partners to identify possible new member states, and establishing a bylaws committee to develop concepts for revisions by the board of directors.
  • The fiscal 2020 federal government spending package passed in December included an amendment to allocate $1.5 billion increase for WHIP+ and to specifically include quality losses and those from excessive moisture and drought as eligible losses. (See article this issue). A big thank you goes to Senators Tester and Daines and Representative Gianforte and to Montana State FSA Director Mike Foster for supporting our efforts.
  • MGGA President Vince Mattson served as a panelist at the Farmer2Farmer conference in Omaha where he talked about the effects of recent tariffs and trade conflicts. Additionally, Mattson was invited to a private dinner with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue where he took the opportunity to discuss potential inclusion of quality losses in the WHIP+ program along with other items important to Montana grain producers.