Helena, MT – Today Governor Steve and First Lady Lisa Bullock joined young farmers in Montana in taking the pulse pledge. The pledge is part of a greater effort, in conjunction with the International Year of Pulses, to introduce more consumers to nutritious, low-cost, protein-packed pulse crops.
Pulses are crops such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. Montana leads the nation in pulse production with over $150 million in total production value in 2014, with pulse crops acreage growing nearly 25 percent in the last three years. Montana farmers’ grow lentils, dry peas, Austrian winter peas, dry beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas from the pulse crop family.
“Montana’s farmers and pulse growers are part of what makes our state great,” said Governor Bullock. “I am excited to join the agriculture community in expanding awareness and ultimately increasing domestic consumption of Montana’s pulse crops and creating more jobs in Montana. Agriculture is an important piece of our state’s diverse economy, and I urge others to join me in supporting our local famers by taking the pulse pledge.”
Governor Bullock plans to eat pulse foods once a week for 10 weeks and post photos on his social media accounts under the hashtags #pulsepledge and #MTag. He’s encouraging other Montanans to join him in taking the pulse pledge.
Pulse crops have nitrogen-fixing properties, which lessens farmers’ agricultural inputs by reducing the need for fertilizers. Montana Farmers have been increasing their use of pulse crops as a rotational crop for wheat.
More information on pulses and the pulse pledge can be found at www.pulse.mt.gov or www.pulsepledge.com.