Montana Governor Greg Gianforte today launched his third annual 56 County Tour as governor, to meet with Montanans across the state and hear from them directly.

“The best and most important part of my job is meeting with Montanans where they live and work,” Gov. Gianforte said. “After kicking things off in southeast Montana last year, it’s good to be back in northwest Montana to get our 2023 tour started.”

Beginning the tour in Superior, Gov. Gianforte toured Western Montana Specialty Foods, Inc., which produces Bitterroot zucchini relishes. With encouragement from her family and friends, Mary Ippisch founded the company to market her homemade zucchini relish recipe after making it for 30 years.

Gov. Gianforte added, “Mary took a great recipe and made it into a business, and government shouldn’t stand in the way of her success. We’ll continue to cut red tape and lower taxes to support small business owners like Mary.”

Delivering on his promise to make Montana a better place to do business, the governor eliminated the business equipment tax burden for 5,000 small businesses, farms, and ranches by increasing the exemption from $100,000 in 2021 to $1 million.

While in Superior, the governor also recognized U.S. Marine Corps veteran Christopher Kemp with the 2022 Montana Governor’s Veteran Commendation.

Nominated for the award, Kemp served eight years in the Marine Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and CTF 151 counter piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden. Today, he serves as operations manager for the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative.

“Chris’ life is defined by service, to his country and now also to our state and communities. It’s an honor to meet Chris and let him know how thankful we are for his service,” Gov. Gianforte said.


Continuing the tour in Sanders County, the governor joined small business owners and local officials for lunch at The Butcher’s Nook. There, the group discussed strategies to increase the supply of affordable workforce housing, the importance of active forest management, and historic income and property tax relief for Montanans.

“Whether in a big town like Bozeman or a small town like Plains, housing is a top priority for Montanans. We’ll continue to deliver solutions to make housing more affordable and attainable for hardworking families,” the governor said.

Marking the first of four stops today in Lincoln County, the governor this afternoon recognized an employee with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks with his Outstanding Service Award.

The governor’s Outstanding Service Award recognizes state employees who go above and beyond to support the citizens of Montana, whether with exceptional customer service, strong leadership, or a commitment to excellence. Nominations are open year-round. Montanans can learn more about the governor’s Outstanding Service Award at

KEYZ AM 660 logo
Get our free mobile app

Rock's Forgotten Supergroups

Here's a rundown of would-be supergroups that the world at large has forgotten over the years.

More From KEYZ AM 660