The Montana Farm Bureau Convention is underway in Billings, Montana as we speak. The convention is taking place in the same building as our radio studios, so we've been lucky enough to catch up with several folks in town for the convention.

Several Montana Farm Bureau leaders just took part in a trade delegation visit to Taiwan led by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT).

MT Farm Bureau President Cyndi Johnson is a Conrad, Montana farmer. She says the delegation was able to meet with the Taiwan Flour Millers Association. During their trip, Taiwan committed to purchasing an additional 69 million bushels of U.S. wheat.

As we mentioned earlier in the week, wheat has overtaken rice in Taiwan.

Cyndi Johnson: We enjoyed the opportunity to visit one of the several baking schools that they have in Taiwan where they are teaching people from all over the the Asian communities- they'll come Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea- they're coming to Taiwan to learn what to do with American wheat. And they made some amazing bread...

Nicole Rolf heads up government affairs for the MT Farm Bureau. She said the Farm Bill is taking a lot of their attention at the federal level. One of the policies being discussed at the local level is how to tax land that isn't being used for production agriculture, but is enjoying agricultural tax benefits.

She was also on the Taiwan trade mission and highlighted the beef exports to Taiwan.

Nicole Rolf: They love high quality meat, beef, that we know that we raise here in Montana. Their beef consumption has actually doubled in the last 10 years. Now, it's still only about seven kilograms, about 14 pounds per person per year, but a doubling over 10 years is significant, and they do prioritize American beef.

 

We also caught up with the Executive Vice President of the MT Farm Bureau. Melrose rancher JM Peck also joined us and highlighted a water conservation project that he has undertaken on his ranch on the Big Hole River.

Full audio of all of those conversations is below.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley

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