This fall, I have shared my story with many people who farm and ranch in rural and frontier Montana. My Montana family roots started in farming. My grandparents and great-grandparents homesteaded Blaine and Judith Basin Counties. I am proud that my cousins still farm and ranch on both homesteads. It has been my honor to support Montana agriculture during the last three legislative sessions as a member of the House and Senate Agriculture committees.
In return, they have shared their stories and their struggles keeping their families fed, and their bills paid. The weather has not been kind to them. Commodity markets have humbled them. Government regulations have hurt their ability to be competitive. At the end of our conversations, I am always asked, “As governor, how will you support the family farmer and rancher?” My answer is always clear. I will be Montana agriculture’s best champion and best salesman because it is personal to me.
I will fight for the preservation of rural communities and traditional family farms and ranches. I will support all programs that encourage and assist our young farmers and ranchers to make their start in Montana. I will work with our farmers and ranchers to remove burdensome regulations that are destroying their ability to make a good living off of their land. My administration will reverse the ongoing consolidation of agricultural resources and programs into the Helena area and redistribute them back into the rural counties and closer to the producers who need and use them.
As your next governor, I will continue to defend your private land and water property rights. I will direct State government to defend its rights and constitutional authority over the water of Montana against any third party. I will support farmer’s rights to save seed for their own production.
I will continue to support fair compensation for loss of livestock due to predation. My administration will acknowledge and enforce the Taylor Grazing Act. I will sign legislation into law that defines wild bison and that relocation of wild bison within our state requires an environmental impact assessment and county commissioner approval. As your next Governor, “fake meat” will not be marketed in Montana as “meat.”
In my administration, Montana will not regulate the success of agriculture. We will promote its success. I will personally promote Montana to buy local and the rest of the world to buy “Produced in Montana” agricultural products. After we “Save the Cowboy” we are going to “Promote the Cowboy!” I will make sure that Montanans know that they can find good paying jobs, affordable housing, great schools and safe communities in rural and frontier Montana. As your next governor, I will be Montana Agriculture’s best salesman ever!
Al “Doc” Olszewski, MD
Candidate for Governor 2020
State Senator, SD 6