Great Falls Tribune: Officials set sights on agricultural development

Increased agricultural processing in the Golden Triangle region would grow the area’s economic base and create jobs, according to area economic development officials who spoke at a panel discussion on agriculture Thursday hosted by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

“Obviously agriculture is what built this area,” said Brett Doney, president of the Great Falls Development Association, which is working to build an agri-tech park in eastern Great Falls.

Agricultural processing is a base industry for northcentral Montana, Doney said.

“But we still send the vast majority of our agricultural product out of the area without any value added,” he said.

Even if Montana processed 5 to 10 percent of what it produces, whether by cleaning it, crushing it or color separating it, it would hugely benefit the regional economy, according to Doney.

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