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Financial aid offered to CRP land owners

News from the USDA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to agricultural producers and private landowners enrolled in its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to improve the health of their forests. 

The Forest Management Incentive, available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), can help participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning. 


Chamber seeks host for 2024 Cherry Festival

News from the Polson Chamber of Commerce

POLSON — The Polson Chamber of Commerce is asking that people/businesses with a minimum of five years of experience in hosting large events, submit their application and portfolio for the 2024 Flathead Cherry Festival on July 26, 27, & 28. 

This opportunity to subcontract for the Chamber includes but not limited to the following responsibilities: marketing plan beginning 2-10-24; filing and permitting; insurance; registered business, experience with large events, experience with artist events, fluent in social media platforms, fluent with online support/registration for sales and vendors; organizing sanitation, tenting for 5000+ people; plan for vendor loading/unloading; layout, mapping for event; security; other duties. 


Approximately $11.5M invested in composting, food waste reduction projects 

News from the USDA

BOZEMAN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing approximately $11.5 million in 38 cooperative agreements that support innovative, scalable waste management plans to reduce and divert food waste from landfills. This includes three projects in Montana.

The Composting and Food Waste Reduction cooperative agreements, which are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture. The program is jointly administered by USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The recommended projects will be implemented between now and 2026.   

“These Composting and Food Waste Reduction projects help reduce food waste, produce compost for soil health, and even supplement the community food bank,” said Tom Watson, State Conservationist of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Montana.

Added Maureen Wicks, State Executive Director for Farm Service Agency: “Local strategies and tools like these are important climate solutions and also contribute to food security at the community level here in Montana.” 

USDA prioritized projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners. The collaboration between NIFA and the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is part of USDA’s framework to transform the U.S. food system to benefit consumers, producers and rural communities by providing more options, increasing access, and creating new and better markets for small and mid-size producers.

Three projects in Montana are included:  one in the city of Helena; one in Gallatin County and one in the city/county of Butte Silver Bow.

For a complete list of these recommended cooperative agreement recipients and project summaries, These new agreements build on USDA’s $12 million investment in 82 agreements since 2020. 



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