Eastern Montana House district Dems debate farm issues

Democrats running in Montana’s eastern U.S. House district squared off in Havre on Thursday night for a debate on agriculture issues.

Former Billings City Council member Penny Ronning, state Senator Mark Sweeny and Skylar Williams of Billings took questions for an hour on federal agriculture politics, and rural issues. The debate was organized by the Montana Farmers Union and Montana Cattlemen’s Association. The event was televised and livestreamed. 

Sweeney, a Miles City native who lives in Philipsburg, said it was crucial that Eastern Montana had a representative in the next Congress who understood the importance of the farm bill to Montana. The candidates were asked what they would do to assure farmers had the right to repair their own equipment. Sweeny said he would include right to repair in the next farm bill.

“I believe in 2023, we probably have the opportunity to have the most important piece of legislation for Montana, and I think right to repair could be a part of that,” Sweeney said. “The farmers and ranchers that I know are probably the most independent, resourceful people I’ve met and to think that they don’t have the right to repair their equipment is absurd. So I absolutely would support or

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