Public Hearing Scheduled to Discuss Raising Montana Dairy Fees


Montana dairy producers will have another opportunity to discuss their concerns and offer solutions to the proposed changes to the Montana dairy inspection fees during a formal public hearing to be held in the auditorium at the Scott Hart Building in Helena, MT, on January 28, 2016 starting at 10 AM. 


According to the official notice sent out, the date of the official public hearing regarding ARM 32.2.406 Licensee Assessments was pushed back two weeks from the originally announced date of January 14 to give the public more time to consider and prepare comments, ideas, and solutions. 


Earlier in December, the Montana Department of Livestock hosted a town-hall style meeting to hear from Montana dairy producers, many who fear that the dramatic increase in inspection fees could put them out of business.   The proposal would nearly double the monthly fees for milk producers and add a minimum $725 fee per month for dairy processors, such as cheesemakers, who aren’t being charged under current rules. 


According to the department, they are required to cover the cost of inspections through the dairy inspection fees, and the current fee structure has resulted in a $130,000 budget shortfall that needs to be recovered.  There were, however, some questions though as to the exact amount of the budget deficit, which will hopefully be answered at the public hearing.  Questions were also raised during the town-hall meeting as to why inspections are not considered a public health issue and funded as such through the state government general fund as it is in some other states, like North Dakota.    


The official Notice of Hearing is attached and can be found at  


For more information:

Proposed Inspection Fee Increase Worries Montana Dairy Farmers

Montana Dairy Industry Tackles Proposed Inspection Fee Increase

Lane Nordlund’s Look at Agriculture – Lane's report from the Bozeman Town Hall meeting




© Northern Ag Network 2015



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