Montana has been without a congressional representative on any federal Agriculture Committee since Senator Max Baucus became Ambassador to China, but that is about to change. The Montana Grain Growers Association applauded this week's news that Montana Senator Steve Daines has been appointed to serve on the U.S. Senate Ag Committee. MGGA Executive Vice President Lola Raska says this decision will play a large role in the upcoming farm bill.

"We are looking at renegotiating the next farm bill, that is already underway and this gives us a seat at the table," said Raska. "Every detail of the farm bill goes through the Ag Committee. To have our senator on the Senate Ag Committee and at the table is really very important for our growers and for Montana agriculture."

According to Raska, discussions have already begun with determining what has worked in the current farm bill and what direction they hope to take moving forward.

"We don't have anything firm that we are asking for except support and he has been a strong advocate for us with his position on the Senate Ag Appropriations Sub Committee," Raska said. "He has already proven himself as a very good spokesman and a very good supporter of Montana agriculture. He is a strong advocate for us so we are looking forward to more of the same."

Last year, MGGA presented Daines with a Wheat Advocate Award, which is given to members of Congress who have shown outstanding support of the wheat industry. Raska says it took three years to negotiate the last farm bill and it is suppose to be reauthorized every five years. It is due for an update before the end of 2018.