Baylen Linnekin on Montana's Efforts to Loosen Food and Agricultural Regulations


Farmer's market
Public Domain

Montana is looking to loosen some food regulations in the state. By passing a 2013 law, HB 630, Montana legislators required regulators there to find ways to streamline and loosen the state's tangled web of food regulations. How complex are some of the state's overlapping livestock, produce, and health regulations? At one of the listening sessions, Joel Clairmont, the deputy director of Montana's Department of Agriculture, explained how in one instance he and several existing businesses were forced by his fellow regulators to wait more than five years to cut through the red tape necessary to establish a dried beef business. In short, writes Baylen Linnekin, there's no shortage of areas of food and agricultural regulation that Montana's legislators can't work to improve.