Helena, Mont. -- The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) is holding a town hall meeting to discuss proposed fee restructuring for the dairy industry from 10 am until noon, Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Holiday Inn, 5 East Baxter Lane, Bozeman.

“The fees are used to fund inspections of dairies, dairy processors and the milk laboratory in Montana,” notes Marty Zaluski, DOL interim executive officer. “The DOL Milk & Egg section protects consumers by inspecting facilities and testing milk to ensure it is safe and wholesome. The inspection program also allows producers in the state of Montana to sell their milk out-of-state, which maintains sustainable prices for dairy operators.”

Current fees are insufficient to maintain the program, so finding an alternative to keep the program funded is crucial. The inspection and licensing program ensures the availability of high quality dairy products in the state.

“Public input is needed to balance the need for additional revenue while addressing concerns from dairy producers, processors and other individuals,” says Zaluski. “This town hall meeting is a great opportunity for the public to provide comments.”

Comments made during the meeting will become part of the official record. An official public hearing will be held January 14 in Helena. For more information on the meetings, please contact the Department of Livestock at 406-444-2043.