Montana State Legislature

Department of Livestock

DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK

Agency Leadership

Mike Honeycutt, Executive Officer

Agency Website

liv.mt.gov

Agency Overview

The Department of Livestock is the only Montana agency that retained an old-style governance method after state government was restructured in the early 1970s. That governance method puts the department under the auspices of the Board of Livestock, which is appointed by the Governor. The Board of Livestock then names the Board's executive officer, who oversees the department. The Board is statutorily created under 2-15-3102, MCA. Various commissions dating back tot he late 1800s preceded formation of the current board. The mission of the department is to control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals.

  • The Executive Office is responsible for day-to-day operations of the department and human resources, and represents the Board of Livestock to the Governor's office, Legislative, other government agencies and industry stakeholders.
  • The Centralized Services Division is responsible for all business administration activities needed to help the department function effectively, including: budgeting, finance, payroll, human resources, information technology, risk management and contract administration.
  • The Animal Health & Food Safety Division is responsible for the prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases, and responsible for the prevention of transmission of livestock diseases to humans. Within the division are three bureaus and the diagnostic lab:
    • Animal Health Bureau: Regulates the import and export of livestock; manages the Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area
    • Meat & Poultry Inspection Bureau: Ensures that meat and poultry products slaughtered, processed or stored in Montana meet state and federal requirements
    • Milk & Egg Bureau: Ensures dairy producers and dairy processing plants meet all requirements for shipping raw milk and finished milk products out of state; meet requirements for the USDA; investigate complaints and disease outbreaks associated with dairy and egg products
    • Veterinary Diagnostic Lab: The only accredited, full-service veterinary laboratory in Montana. Provides disease diagnostic support to veterinarians, livestock producers, companion animal owners, and the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks as well as other State and Federal agencies. Operates an FDA-certified mild products laboratory.
  • The Brands Enforcement Division performs professional law enforcement activities and investigations to solve and prevent livestock-related criminal activities, conducts field and market inspections of livestock to ensure proper ownership records and legal movement, records ownership of all legal brands and maintains records for proper livestock identification, and regulates and licenses all livestock markets and dealers doing business in Montana.

Board of Livestock

Name Location Industry Represented Term
Gene Curry, Chairman Valier Cattle 3/2021 - 3/2027
Nina Baucus Wolf Creek Cattle 3/2015 - 3/2023
Susan Brown Belgrade Dairy/Poultry 3/2016 - 3/2023
Jake Feddes Belgrade Cattle 3/2021 - 3/2027
Greg Wichman Hilger Sheep 3/2021 - 3/2027
Alan Redfield Livingston Cattle 3/2021 - 3/2027
Ed Waldner Chester Swine 1/2011 - 3/2023

Administratively Attached Agencies

  • Livestock Crimestoppers Commission, created under 2-15-3104, MCA
  • Board of Milk Control, created under 2-15-3105, MCA
  • Livestock Loss Board, created under 2-15-3110, MCA

Legislative Audits

  • Montana's Milk Industry: An Analysis of the State-Regulated Market, 20P-03; one recommendation
  • Financial-Compliance Audit, 19-22, July 2020; five recommendations

Required Reports

  • 9/1/2022: Livestock Loss Reduction Report (2-15-3113, MCA)

July 2021:

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