Mike Phillips, Senior Vice President, Little Horn State Bank
Agriculture is Montana’s leading industry with gross revenue of $4.60 billion. Montana has 28,000 farms and ranches representing 59.7 million acres of production. One out of every 6 workers is employed in an agriculture related field.
The Billings Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is committed to Inform, Advocate, and Promote Agriculture by performing the following:
Convene and Inform
The Ag Committee meets monthly with the normal, following agenda:
- Billings Chamber Update
- Speakers providing area economic and business updates
- Roundtable discussion among committee members
The Ag Committee advocates for agriculture by meeting with government officials and legislators regarding key issues such as transportation, commodity prices, government policies, and key environmental issues. This also includes representatives from the Senate and House of Representatives who attend our monthly meetings to provide an update on national issues affecting Agriculture.
Examples this past year of how the Ag Committee promoted agriculture was the annual Adventures in Ag Tour and the Flood Awareness Tour.
Each year the Ag Committee promotes agriculture by inviting those to attend a bus tour of area farms, ranches, ag-related small businesses. This is an excellent way for area producers and businesses to relate their challenges and successes as food producers.
This past year, area communities suffered a “one in a thousand year” flood that damaged crops, feedlots, homes, pastures as well as community main streets. The Ag Committee put together an informative tour for state and national government officials to see the damage and determine how to assist those affected by the flood.
The USA is the largest economy that includes the most respected ag industry in the world. Consumers spend less of their disposable income for food here than in any other country. This is never to be taken for granted. A stable society starts with a highly productive agricultural industry, which is reason enough for the general public to care about agriculture. The Billings Chamber Ag Committee is a small part of that support system for agriculture.