Helena – May 18, the Montana Department of Agriculture announced that over $1.5 million in funds have been awarded across the state to develop and implement noxious weed management programs.
“We know noxious weeds cost agriculture millions each and every year, and there are new threats that could cost Montana agriculture even more. Through sound cooperative management at all levels and early detection, we can stave-off the proliferation of new invaders such as yellow starthistle and rush skeletonweed,” explained Director Ron de Yong.
The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council reviewed 93 grant applications requesting more than $2.2 million in funds. Through the review process, the council recommended awarding $1.5 million for activities that include noxious weed education, research, and cooperative projects.
“The level of grant applications is a great indication that providing these funds is very important to managing noxious weeds in the state. The advisory council was focused on making the most of the resources available to combat noxious weeds,” said State Weed Program Manager Dave Burch.
The advisory council met the first week of March to review applications and make selections to assist counties, local communities, tribes, researchers, and educators. In total, 82 grant proposals were awarded funding, including 57 local cooperative projects, 14 research projects, and 11 education projects. Each of Montana’s 56 counties and seven reservations are eligible to receive $7,500 per year for this effort and an emergency noxious weed fund is maintained if a noxious weed emergency occurs.
The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1985. The advisory council review applications, hears applicant testimony, and provides funding recommendations to the director for final approval. A compiled list of award recipients is available at agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Weeds/TrustFund/.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.