COOL Bill

Montana Farm to School: Harvest of the Month

Farm to School focuses on three areas of implementation: procurement, education, and school gardens. One way that Farm to School education is implemented in Montana is through the Montana – Harvest of the Month Program. Harvest of the Month is an easy to follow framework that provides educational resources to early care facilities, K-12 Schools, Health Care, and Business & Community Organizations. Registration is required, but the program and materials are free. Each month, a Montana grown or raised food item is featured through promotional materials, recipes, and educational videos. Harvest of the Month is a grant funded program that helps provide educational resources to accompany the procurement practices of schools. The Farm to School Bill, supported by Grow MT, would help schools with funding to purchase of many of the local fruits and vegetables that are featured through Harvest of the Month. To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit https://www.montana.edu/mtharvestofthemonth/

Learn more about Double Snap!

House Bill 235 requests appropriation of $200,000 to support the statewide nutrition incentive program, Double SNAP Dollars, at farmers markets, community supported agriculture sites and grocery stores throughout Montana. Double SNAP Dollars is a nutrition incentive program that helps food-insecure Montanans afford more local fruits and vegetables, while directly supporting Montana farmers Currently offered at 23 farmers markets, 2 Community Supported Agriculture (farm share programs), and 1 retail grocery store across 13 Montana counties SNAP customers have spent $500,000 on local foods through Double SNAP Dollars, since 2015. To learn more about HB 235 check out the fact sheet: https://mfbn.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DSD-Advocacy-Fact-Sheet-2021.pdf

Soil Health Subcommittee Bill Language is Here!

The Soil Health Subcommittee Bill draft, sponsored by Sentor Pat Flowers (SD32), is available for review on the session’s website here. Find your representatives here and contact them about supporting the soil health bill, and consider asking your agricultural organization to actively support legislation for soil health. You can also find the bill fact sheet on our website at https://growmt.org/policy/.

The Country-of-Origin Labeling Bill

The Country-of-Origin Labeling Bill, or also known as the COOL Bill, will allow consumers to know where their beef and pork was born, raised and harvested. There is a federal effort underway to address provisions within the federal “Product of USA” bill to address definitions for beef and pork that are born, raised and harvested in the United States. Grow Montana supports the COOL bill because consumers have the right to know where their meat comes from and ranchers deserve a fair market price for their products.

The COOL Bill is sponsored by Rep. Frank Smith of HD31 and you can find the draft of the bill on the session’s website here. To keep up to date with any news on the COOL Bill, please sign up for our legislative updates and action alerts at https://growmt.org/action-alerts/.