Bozeman, Mont., Sept. 8, 2016 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies will hold town hall meetings at 18 locations across Montana to discuss opportunities to maximize access to USDA programs and services.

Montana USDA: USDA Announces Town Hall Meetings to Gather Local Input

Bozeman, Mont., Sept. 8, 2016 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies will hold town hall meetings at 18 locations across Montana to discuss opportunities to maximize access to USDA programs and services.

In early 2016, 13 Montana counties and the seven tribal nations were designated as “StrikeForce” areas, a rural growth and opportunity initiative launched by USDA in 2010 in economically challenged areas to improve USDA services by building partnerships to help challenged communities shape a future based on local assets and regional strengths.

Montana leaders from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Rural Development (RD) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will listen to feedback from local citizens and community leaders at 18 town hall meetings:

Sept. 12, 2016: Golden Valley County Fire Hall located at 107 Kemp Street in Ryegate at 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 13, 2016: Little Big Horn College Library located at 8645 South Weaver Drive, Crow Agency at 3:00 p.m.
Sept. 14, 2016: Rosebud County Library located at 201 North 9th Ave., Forsyth at 9:00 a.m. and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council Chambers located at 600 Cheyenne Ave. in Lame Deer at 3:00 p.m.
Sept. 15, 2016: Terry American Legion Hall located at 112 Logan Ave. in Terry at 9:00 a.m. and Big Horn County Extension Office located at 317 N. Custer Ave. in Hardin at 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 19, 2016: County Building located at 317 Broadway Ave. in Culbertson at 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 20, 2016: Fort Peck Community College Greet the Dawn Building located at 605 Indian Ave. in Poplar at 9:00 a.m.
Sept. 27, 2016: Glacier County Extension Office located at 1210 E. Main St. in Cut Bank at 9:00 a.m. and Blackfeet Tribal Chambers located at 640 All Chiefs Rd. in Browning at 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 28, 2016: Mission Valley Power located at 36079 Pablo West Rd. in Pablo at 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 29, 2016: Anaconda Local Development Corporation located at 118 East 7th Street in Anaconda at 2:00 p.m.
Oct. 3, 2016: Chippewa Cree Tribal Chambers located at 31 Agency Square in Rocky Boy Agency at 8:30 a.m. and Big Sandy Senior Citizens Center located at 224 2nd St. in Big Sandy at 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 4, 2016: Chinook Wallner Hall located at 112 4th St., Chinook at 9:00 a.m. and Fort Belknap Red Whip Gym located at 118 Chippewa Ave. in Fort Belknap Agency at 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 5, 2016: Havre Northern Ag Research Center located at 3710 Assinniboine Road in Havre at 9:00 a.m. and Liberty County Senior Center located at 618 E Adams St. in Chester at 2:00 p.m.

“Our goals and motivations are simple,” said Lisa Coverdale, NRCS state conservationist for Montana and chair of the USDA Food and Agriculture Council. “We want to gain a better understanding of the current needs and challenges faced in rural Montana, while also exploring how to improve access to USDA’s broad spectrum of program and technical assistance.”

To request reasonable accommodations or for more information on StrikeForce in Montana, contact John George at jonathan.george@mt.usda.gov or 406-449-5000 ext. 101.

The USDA Montana StrikeForce Coordinators and Agency Meeting Contacts are: FSA Coordinator Jennifer Cole, jennifer.cole@mt.usda.gov, 406.654.1333, ext. 117; NRCS Coordinator: John George, jonathan.george@mt.usda.gov or 406.449.5000, ext. 101 and RD Coordinator: Janelle Gustafson, janelle.gustafson@mt.usda.gov or 406.585.2508.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.