The Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) is applauding the confirmation of Ryan Zinke as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Zinke was confirmed this morning in the Senate chambers, with six MFBF Farm Bureau members watching the process on a closed-circuit TV in the former Congressman’s office. The Farm Bureau members are in the nation’s capital for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Agriculture Advocacy Conference and Issues Advisory Committee Meetings.

“We were pleasantly surprised and honored to be in D.C. and witness Montana history being made as Congressman Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of the Interior by Senator Daines,” noted MFBF District 5 Director Gary Heibertshausen. “We had met with Senator Daines to present him with his Friend of Farm Bureau Award just before he left to confirm Congressman Zinke. It was truly exciting and a real honor to be in Washington for this event.”

The Alzada rancher, who serves on the AFBF Environmental Regulations Advisory Committee, says Zinke will do an excellent job. “He is familiar with issues regarding public lands, and he has hands-on experience with those issues. I believe he will continue to be a good friend to farmers and ranchers who rely on public lands to make their living and produce food for our country.”

Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson expressed his satisfaction with the confirmation. “First, it’s exciting to have someone from Montana in a cabinet position,” McPherson said. “Secondly, Ryan Zinke was raised and lives in an area where pristine beauty and natural resource extraction take place together. He has witnessed that natural resource use can and does happen responsibly. I am excited because he is not a career bureaucrat but a career commander. He knows how to get things done.”

The Stevensville diversified farmer added, “I look forward to the time when America grows it, digs it, farms it, refines it, ships it, manufactures it and sells it. That’s where true wealth is generated. Zinke has been a friend of Montana Farm Bureau for a long time and I know he won’t forget where he comes from.”