(MTN News-HELENA)  2016 marks the second anniversary of the 2014 Farm Bill being signed into law helping Montana farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

The bill helped create Montana’s Forests in Focus Initiative to protect public lands and create healthier forests.  The bill also includes permanent livestock disaster assistance, support for beginnings farmers and ranchers and saving 23 billion dollars.

Senator Jon Tester released a statement saying:

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“From my farm in the heart of the Golden Triangle to food banks across our state, Montanans understand the importance of the Farm Bill in keeping our economy strong and our families fed. Congress must build upon this success if we are going to reverse the exodus of folks from rural America and protect our economy from a changing climate.”

Governor Steve Bullock also issued a statement regarding the forest initiative saying:

“The Farm Bill helped create Montana’s Forests in Focus Initiative, which brings Montanans together to protect our public lands, create healthier forests, and build a stronger economy.  Because of the Farm Bill, we have invested in forest restoration projects to improve wildlife habitats, reduce the threat of fire danger, and protect jobs in the woods on our national forests. There is more work to be done to support and restore our national forests and I look forward to building on the successes that the Farm Bill provided Montana through the Forests in Focus initiative.”

Reporter: Mikenzie Frost