HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte says he wants the state of Montana to do a better job of serving the needs of the state’s 27,000 farms and ranches.
Gianforte spoke in Helena Thursday to mark “Montana Agriculture Week.” Earlier in the week, he visited a potato farm near Ronan, and he held a roundtable with groups like the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Stockgrowers Association to hear from agricultural producers what the state could do to assist them.
“Our producers drive our state’s number-one industry,” he said. “Despite that, they haven’t always felt like they’ve had their voices heard in Helena. We’re committed to changing that.”
Gianforte pointed to several of his priorities that he says will help Montana’s agricultural businesses. One is his “Red Tape Relief Task Force,” headed by Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras, which will make recommendations for amending or removing some state regulations.
“We heard loud and clear that Montana’s regulatory schemes burden them,” he said. “Too many unnecessary, burdensome regulations cost them time and money.”
Gianforte also highlighted several bills moving through the Legislature: one which would exempt a greater percentage of businesses’ equipment from being taxed, and one which would support training in meat cutting as part of a broader tax credit for trades education. He also said he wants to work with lawmakers to find ways to highlight the “Montana brand” for wheat, beef and other agricultural commodities produced in the state.