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(1) Organization of the department:

(a) The Department of Agriculture, as directed by the 1889 and 1972 Montana Constitutions, was implemented under the authority of the Executive Reorganization Act of 1971 by executive order of the Governor on December 9, 1971.

(b) The department has three divisions, each headed by an administrator:

(i) Central Services Division;

(ii) Agricultural Development Division; and

(iii) Agricultural Sciences Division.

(c) The Director of Agriculture is appointed by the Governor subject to Senate confirmation, and is responsible for the administration of the department and its divisions.

(d) The board, committees, and councils attached to the department, for administrative purposes only, are the following:

(i) The Agriculture Development Council consists of seven members, including the directors of the departments of Agriculture and Commerce and is appointed by the Governor.

(ii) The Alfalfa Seed Committee consists of eight members including the Director of Agriculture and is appointed by the Governor.

(iii) The Montana Pulse Crop Committee consists of 5 members appointed by the Governor, the Director of Agriculture is an ex officio of the board.

(iv) The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee consists of seven members and three designated ex officio nonvoting members, which includes the Director of Agriculture and is appointed by the Governor.

(v) The Board of Hail Insurance consists of five members which include the State Auditor and Director of Agriculture, who also serves as the secretary of the board and is appointed by the Governor.

(e) The following committees and councils are created to advise the Department of Agriculture with respect to their respective subject matter:

(i) The Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council consists of ten members and is appointed by the Director of Agriculture.

(ii) The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council consists of 11 members and is appointed by the Director of Agriculture.

(iii) The Organic Commodity Advisory Council consists of eight members including the director and is appointed by the Director of Agriculture.

(iv) The Pesticide Advisory Council consists of not more than 12 members and is appointed by the Director of Agriculture. This council is currently not active.

(v) The Potato Advisory Committee consists of seven members and is appointed by the Director of Agriculture.

(2) The functions of the department divisions are as follows:

(a) The Central Services Division provides support services essential to the effective operation of the department, including financial, human resource, information technology, public information, and administrative support activities. Included in this division is the director's office, which provides overall policy development for the department and provides legal support to all programs within the department.

(b) The Agricultural Development Division provides assistance to Montana’s agricultural industry by providing services which include market and agribusiness development, Growth Through Agriculture grants and loans, wheat and barley research and marketing, agriculture loans including beginning farmer/rancher loans, hail insurance, grain grading and inspection, agriculture education and outreach, and administration of agricultural commodity research and market development programs.

(i) The Agricultural Development Division consists of the following three bureaus:

(A) The State Grain Laboratory Bureau;

(B) The Wheat and Barley Committee; and

(C) The Agricultural Marketing and Business Development Bureau.

(c) The Agricultural Sciences Division provides agricultural, public, and environmental services and protection through administration of the Montana laws and rules in the areas of pesticides, agricultural chemical ground water, noxious weeds, feeds, fertilizers, seed, grain commodity dealers, public warehousemen, nurseries, produce, mint, apiculture, alfalfa leaf-cutting bees, pest management survey, quarantines, and organic certification.

(i) The Agricultural Sciences Division consists of the following three bureaus:

(A) The Commodity Services Bureau;

(B) The Analytical Laboratory Bureau; and

(C) The Agricultural Services Bureau.

(3) General inquiries regarding the department may be addressed to the director. All requests for hearings, declaratory rulings, and for the participation in rulemaking may be addressed to the director unless the notice in the Montana Administrative Register makes specific provision for submission or requests.

(4) The address of the director is as follows:


Department of Agriculture

Ben Thomas, Director

Agriculture/Livestock Building

302 N. Roberts Street

P.O. Box 200201

Helena, Montana 59620-0201


(5) An organizational chart of the Department of Agriculture is attached as the following page of this rule, and is incorporated by this reference.



History: 2-4-201, 2-15-112, 2-15-121, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 2/4/74; AMD, Eff. 11/3/75; AMD, Eff. 3/7/76; AMD, Eff. 8/4/76; AMD, Eff. 8/3/77; AMD, Eff. 6/30/79; AMD, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, Eff. 6/30/84; AMD, Eff. 3/31/88; AMD, Eff. 12/31/89; AMD, Eff. 9/30/90; AMD, Eff. 7/1/91; AMD, Eff. 4/1/94; AMD, Eff. 5/2/95; AMD, Eff. 6/12/95; AMD, Eff. 6/30/98; AMD, Eff. 9/30/99; AMD, Eff. 12/31/01; AMD, Eff. 9/30/04; AMD, Eff. 12/31/04; AMD, Eff. 6/30/05; AMD, Eff. 3/31/08; AMD, Eff. 12/31/17.

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