Montanans for Tester: Rehberg’s attack on Montana agriculture ‘insulting’

BILLINGS, Mont. – Preston Elliott, campaign manager of the U.S. Senate campaign of Montana farmer Jon Tester, today released the following statement after Congressman Dennis Rehberg ridiculed Montana farmers on the Laura Ingraham radio show, saying farm work is limited to “sitting around on a tractor.”

“Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s attacks on Montana agriculture producers are insulting to all Montanans who make a living off the land. We remind Congressman Rehberg that agriculture is Montana’s top industry, and all farmers and ranchers are a critical part of the economy that Dennis Rehberg has ignored during his 12 long years in Congress.

“If Congressman Rehberg cares about Montana jobs and the men and women who drive our economy, he should pass the bipartisan Farm Bill he blocked instead of golfing and campaigning on radio shows. Congressman Rehberg irresponsibly turned his back on the Farm Bill, which provides a critical safety net for farmers and ranchers during this record drought.”

When questioned about the fact that Rehberg no longer ranches the land he inherited from his family, the Congressman told the Associated Press last week that ranching amounts to “sitting around… trying to keep the cows in the fence and putting water in front of them and such.”

Rehberg golfs in Columbia Falls, Montana, on Monday August 20, 2012

Insulted by Rehberg’s out-of-touch characterization of ranching, real Montana ranchers criticized Rehberg on Facebook. Ranching and farming organizations also criticized Rehberg for failing to pass the Farm Bill.

Elliott added that Tester’s agenda is “Montana’s agenda”—creating jobs and economic opportunities for Montana.

  • Tester on June 21 worked across party lines to support the Senate’s bipartisan Farm Bill. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rehberg voted to reject a 5-year Farm Bill on August 2.
  • Tester voted repeatedly in favor of a responsibly built Keystone XL oil pipeline. Rehberg voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline the first opportunity he had—on Dec. 20, 2011.
  • Tester worked with Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to delist Montana’s wolves and return their management to the State of Montana. Rehberg voted against the proposal.
  • Tester worked across party lines to write groundbreaking legislation to create jobs in Montana’s forests by guaranteeing timber supply and recreation opportunities. Rehberg admitted he “worked to keep” Tester’s bill from a vote.
  • Tester authored the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a bipartisan bill that encourages private businesses to hire veterans.