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Montana Ag Network: Get educated about ag checkoff during tax season

Posted: 2:08 PM, Apr 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-09 17:46:48-04

BILLINGS – It’s tax season and if you haven’t done your taxes yet, some Montana agriculture leaders are asking you to donate to ag literacy.

Rikki Swant with the Montana Farm Bureau Federation said checking line 69c on the long tax form or 18c on the EZ form can help keep ag in Montana schools.

“It’s important now more than ever because the average American is more than three generations removed from the farm or ranch,” said Swant. “You know we’re lucky to be here today and a lot of folks in Montana know about agriculture, but a lot don’t. So it’s important that we start with school children and make sure that our largest industry is represented in the classroom.”

She said the Montana Farm Bureau Federation is working with the Montana Farmers Union, Montana Department of Agriculture, and Montana Office of Public Instruction.

“So the voluntary checkoff asks for a minimal amount, $5, $10, $20 or any other amount for folks to give on top of their taxes that will go to help fund this program,” said Swant.

She said whether they live in town or the country, many kids love to learn about agriculture.

“Aside from being awesome and learning about the farm and ranch, it’s just really important that we dive into that and let folks know at an early age what’s going on around them,” said Swant. “A lot of these kids see agriculture from a school bus window, but they’re not directly involved at home. So it’s important that we give them that opportunity.”

If people would like more information on how to support ag literacy through the voluntary tax checkoff, they can contact the Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Farmers Union, or their accountant.

-Reported by Russell Nemetz/MTN News