Sen. Jon Tester gathering input for 2018 Farm Bill - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Sen. Jon Tester gathering input for 2018 Farm Bill

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Senator Jon Tester is gathering input for the 2018 Farm Bill. Tester this afternoon made a stop in Billings to hear what local farmers and ranchers would like to see happen.

There were three, what seemed to be, 'hot topics' brought up at the meeting. Funding for research, predator protection for livestock, and animal feed.

Sen. Jon Tester says in the middle of a drought, there needs to be food for animals. He says it's important Montana State University has the money it needs for farming research.

Of particular concern is the introduction of Brazilian beef into the U.S. The AG community argues Brazillian food standards are not on par with what we use in the states.

Because of that, there is a concern diseases like Hand, Foot and Mouth can find their way into our native cattle populations.

He adds: there should also be programs and funds to protect livestock.

Farmers and ranchers say they are struggling with bears and other predators attacking and killing their flocks of sheep.

"I think if we can take these kind of ideas back to Washington, D.C., introduce them early into the conversation, I think it'll be a very positive impact for the producers and the final product that'll come out sometime in 2018," he said.

Tester says food programs like SNAP will be a part of the equation as well.

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