National Agriculture Day Emphasizes Importance of Agriculture in Montana
National Agriculture Day is celebrated every year on March 15th. Montana Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Jayson O’Neill says agriculture’s economic impact has been fairly good the last few years in Montana.
“We are sitting this year with an estimated evaluation of 5.25 billion dollars in agricultural production in this state,” said O’Neill. “To put that in context, tourism generates just around 4 billion dollars, so 5.2 billion dollars agriculture is definitely a big part of what we do here in Montana.”
O’Neill explained what Montanans can expect this spring.
“Snow pack averages are looking good,” O’Neill said. “I still try to remind folks out there that we are still at a water deficit for a year. We are going to have to see how spring plays out. I know they are calling for a switch from an El Nino patter already back into a La Nina pattern which typically means more moisture for Montana which I think we could use this summer.”
There are a total of 27,500 farms and ranches in Montana. Nearly all of them are family farm and ranch operations. Montana ranks second in the nation for the most acres of land used by farms and ranches at 59.7 million acres.