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USDA announces assistance program

News from the USDA

You can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 28, 2020.

 There is now an application form and a payment calculator available on Providers can also reach out to the call center at 877-508-8364 set up to help you with your questions.

 The USDA knows that producers are facing a tough time now, and are making every effort to provide much needed support as quickly as possible. Producers of all eligible commodities can apply through their local FSA office. FSA is available over the phone and virtually to walk you through the application process.

Update: Online portal

USDA’s Farm Service Agency will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. 



Big Arm holds July 4th event 

News from West Shore Community Church

BIG ARM — On Saturday, July 4, from 8-9:30 p.m. (weather permitting) the Big Arm historic one-room school house will hold a free outdoor patriotic/gospel concert featuring Charles Lutz and friends. Bring your own lawn chair and practice social distancing. This event is sponsored by West Shore Community Church. Call 406-849-5522 for more information.


Tester announces $150,000 for CSKT response

From the Office of Senator Jon Tester

U.S. Senate – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $150,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act funds for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ pandemic response efforts.

“This pandemic has been hard on Indian Country, and the federal government has an obligation to make sure Montana’s Tribal communities have the resources they need to keep folks safe,” said Tester. “These funds will help make sure the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes can implement effective pandemic response efforts, and I’m going to keep pushing aggressively to make sure Washington lives up to our trust and treaty responsibilities in Indian Country.”

The CARES Act provided the Economic Development Administration with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. These are for the Tribes to use for one of the following activities:

—  The development of an economic recovery and resilience plan, tied to the Tribes’ approved Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic

—  The deployment of disaster recovery coordinators to orchestrate the region’s response to the pandemic

—  The provision of technical assistance, as necessary, to local governments, businesses, and other stakeholder organizations

—  The funding of appropriate technology and staff support for these pandemic-response activities.



SKC golf canceled

News from SKC 

PABLO — The 29th Annual Golf Scramble held at the Silver Fox Golf Course on the grounds of Salish Kootenai College has been cancelled.


FLBS announces virtual ‘Data & Donuts’ series 

News from the FLBS

The Bio Station’s Data & Donuts seminar series is offered every summer during a four-week period beginning in June. The seminars are free to the public and offer students, interns and the public a chance to hear speakers give presentations that cover a wide variety of topics. 

This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, the 2020 Data & Donuts Seminar Series will be offered to the public virtually through the use of Zoom online video conferencing. Those interested in attending simply need go to: on the date and time of the desired presentation. 

 —  Monday, June 29, (10-11 a.m.): Erin Sexton, FLBS researcher — “A Tale of Two Rivers: The Transboundary Flathead and Kootenai Watersheds”

—  Monday, July 6, (10-11 a.m.): Jim Elser, FLBS director — “Life on an Unbalanced Diet: Causes and Consequences of High N:P Ratios in Flathead Lake”

—  Monday, July 13, (10-11 a.m.): Rachel Malison, FLBS researcher — “Ecology of River Floodplains and Adaptations of their Hidden Groundwater Stoneflies”


Elks veteran shoot held

News from Elks Lodge 1695

POLSON — A free trap shoot, including a free lunch and a free box of shells, will be held for all veterans from Elks Lodge 1695 on July 17 at Big Sky Sporting Clays, 42295 Irvine Flats Road. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and firing starts at 10 a.m. For more information, call 406-883-2000. Lodge veterans are encouraged to attend even if they don’t shoot. 


Local appointed to Board  of Public Accountants

News from the Office of Governor Bullock

HELENA — Governor Steve Bullock announced local Cindy Willis of Polson will be on the Board of Public Accountants. Willis is a real estate agent and broker with Real Estate Solutions. 


Program helps officials  stem flow of meth

News from Senator Tester

U.S. Senate — U.S. Senator Jon Tester today delivered a $1 million U.S. Department of Justice grant to help communities combat meth use and trafficking in Montana.

The Community-Oriented Policing Service Anti-Meth Task Force funding will help stem the flow of meth and other dangerous drugs into Montana communities and help local officials prevent the manufacture of dangerous drugs in across the state.

“Methamphetamine use is a serious problem in Montana, and we need to pull out all the stops to keep it from causing further harm to families across our state,” Tester said. “This funding will help make sure local officials have the tools and resources they need to keep meth and other dangerous drugs off the streets, keeping families safe and communities secure.”


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