MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced nearly $100,000 has been awarded to 12 applicants through the Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program, which was created to encourage Montana’s college-educated youth to pursue a primary career in farming or ranching.
The program also seeks to reduce financial stress on farm and ranch operators and promote succession planning to preserve interest in the state’s agricultural future.
“With the average age of producers in Montana at nearly 60 years old, it’s critical we invest in young folks and ensure there’s a path to a sustainable career in agriculture,” Governor Bullock said. “This program is vital to the future of Montana’s ag industry and supports our young producers by removing financial barriers and encouraging younger Montanans to pursue careers in farming and ranching.”
The Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program originated during the 2019 legislative session as House Bill 431 sponsored by Representative Zach Brown. This is the first round of awards made through the program and determined by the Agriculture Development Council. Successful applicants will receive loan assistance for up to five years for qualified education loans. The next funding cycle will open in the Spring of 2021. For more information, visit agr.mt.gov/Student-Loan-Assistance-Program.
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 www.agr.mt.gov.