MT Agriculture Business Association Announces Compact Support as SB 262 Heads to House for Hearing


March 24, 2015

Shelby DeMars

MT Agriculture Business Association Announces Compact Support as SB 262 Heads to House for Hearing

(Helena, Mont.)—After being passed by Montana State Senate with strong bi-partisan support and the endorsement of major agriculture and water use groups, the CSKT Water Compact begins its journey through the Montana State House with a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee. As the Compact moves through the legislative process, support for the Compact continues to grow. The momentum behind the Compact, which began with an outpouring of support from agriculture and water use groups, and irrigators, has continued as Montanan’s learn more about the benefits of the Compact. The Montana Agriculture Business Association (MABA) is the latest group to announce its support of the Compact.

“Our members, and their customers, rely on a healthy agriculture industry, and that hinges on water certainty,” said Marty Lundstrom, President of the MABA. “The Compact provides that certainty through a contractual agreement that protects existing water rights and access to irrigation water at levels of historic use.”

The MABA is comprised of more than 230 retailers, distributers, seed companies, and fertilizer suppliers that support Montana’s agriculture industry.

“We’re speaking out in support of the Compact to make sure our elected officials in Helena know that if the Compact fails, the impacts will spread far and wide through our economy,” explained Arleen Rice, Board Member of the Montana Agriculture Business Association. “The Compact doesn’t just impact the Flathead—it protects and strengthens all of Montana. Without it, farmers and ranchers face decades of expensive litigation and the retailers that provide our agriculture community with the products that they need will also suffer and face the same uncertainty.”

The Compact has received support from Montana’s largest and most influential agriculture and water use groups—including the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Montana Water Resources Association, and now, the Montana Agriculture Business Association.

“The support the Montana Agriculture Business Association has shown for the Compact shows that there is an overwhelming amount of support for the Compact,” said Shelby DeMars of Farmers and Ranchers for Montana (FARM). “This vote is about recognizing the misinformation that has been spread about the Compact, considering the facts, and seeing the Compact for what it is—an agreement that will make our agriculture industry, and our state, stronger.”

The support of the Montana Agriculture Business Association comes as the House Judiciary Committee schedules the bill for its hearing in the House. The bill hearing will be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at 10:00 AM at the Montana State Capitol in Room 303, the Old Supreme Court Chambers.

Farmers And Ranchers for Montana (FARM) is a coalition of hundreds of farmers and ranchers, united with local leaders, tribal governments, businesses, water-users, and other Montanans who support the approval of a Water Compact.

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