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Local Food Systems

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell discusses how his local farmers market in San Antonio, TX has adapted to a drive-thru farmers market format to provide local, sustainable food to the public under a shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Colin Mitchell
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
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Today's episode – Part 4 of our "Direct Marketing Meat" series – features a question-and-answer session with Dave and Jenny Scott. Linda Coffey asks questions submitted by listeners, and Dave and Jenny provide great answers. You will hear some innovative marketing ideas, as well as more information about production practices and nutrition. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. Be sure to check...

In this episode – part 3 of our "Direct Marketing Meat" series – Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, join Linda Coffey to talk about aspects of working with customers, planning pricing, assessing profitability, and deciding on the scale of the enterprise. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny also are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. During the discussion, Dave and Jenny emphasize the challenges and rewards of...

In this episode, Felicia Bell, sustainable agricultural specialist at NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, interviews Wendell Paris about the history of food cooperatives in the South and his involvement in this movement, specifically in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Mr. Paris is the Chairman of the Board for Panola Land Buyers Association and has been involved in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives since its inception, which took place during the Civil Rights movement. In this episode, he describes the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the food cooperative model in the South. For more information on...

Today’s episode is the second in an ATTRA: Voices from the Field ongoing series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing her colleague, NCAT ATTRA Livestock Specialist Dave Scott and his wife and partner, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave works out of NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana. In the previous episode, Dave and Jenny shared their farm story, and we focused on the marketing aspect of their business. In this episode,...

This episode is the first of an occasional ATTRA: Voices from the Field series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing fellow NCAT ATTRA livestock specialist Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave is on the staff at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana. Although the listener was asking about lamb, and both Dave and Jenny produce lamb, this series will be useful for anyone direct marketing meat. Dave...

In this podcast, Al Kurki, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West Regional Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Rachel Jones, Executive Director of Farm to School of Park County. With a USDA Farm to School grant, Rachel turned one of the school's greenhouses into an aquaponics laboratory. Middle- and high-school students of Park County now raise trout and vegetables for food for their schools. In this episode, you'll hear about the challenges and triumphs using an aquaponics system in a school setting. For more information on this topic, you can contact Al Kurki directly at akurki@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Aquaponics...

In this episode, airing on National Farmers Market week (August 4 -10), Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, talks with Ben Feldman, interim director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a national organization representing farmers markets. Tammy and Ben discuss the important role that farmers markets play as business incubators and their economic impact in rural and urban communities. They also discuss some of the resources available to help farmers and farmers markets be successful. For more information on this topic, you can contact Tammy Howard directly at tammyh@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Tips for Selling at Farmers...

In this video, Michael McCormick, executive director of the Food Resource Center in Livingston, Montana, talks about the center's philosophy of focusing on hunger as a part of poverty; supporting local growers by using the center's commercial kitchen to prepare and preserve food; offering culinary classes; focusing on traceability of local foods and more. With the center's philosophy, the food bank becomes a central force in the community to address positive social change on a local level....

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialist Justin Duncan shows step-by-step how to use cultivation techniques to turn land overrun with grass and weeds into a field ready for planting. Learn more about the SOAR Partnership: http://portal.utpa.edhttps://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_home/cose_home/biology_home/biology_research/agroecology_home/soaru/utpa_main/daa_...

In this episode, Nina Prater, an agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program talks with farmer Janet Bachmann about Janet's production practices at Riverbend Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nina works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, where Janet, who also is a former NCAT agriculture specialist, has been farming since 1989. They talk about specialty cut flower production and marketing and how Janet makes it all work as a one-woman operation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Nina Prater directly at ninap@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide Farmers Markets: Marketing and...

Three guest speakers from across the U.S. talked about the work they are doing to create more just and accessible food systems in their communities: Scarlett Kaplan, S.A.V.E. Club at Hellgate High School in Missoula, MT; Ayisah Yusef, Rural Coalition in Washington, DC; Phil Nguyen, The Food Project in Boston, MA. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum...

Do you market lamb directly to consumers? Learn to use your hands to tell when a lamb is finished! Companion fact sheet available at https://attra.ncat.org/product/putting-a-hand-on-them-how-to-tell-when-your-lamb-is-finished/ Learning to master correct live-animal evaluation of fat lambs will help you provide a superior, differentiated product to your customers. It also can reduce the overall cost of producing a premium lamb by more accurately determining when the animal is finished, thereby better controlling feed costs. Whether you're a producer or you raise lambs for your own consumption, this video will answer the question, "When is my lamb ready to be butchered?"...

Jim Adkins, founder of the International Center for Poultry (ICP), located in Old Fort, North Carolina, addresses that question and others during a March 2013 workshop in Great Falls, Montana. The workshop was presented by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, and Salish-Kootenai College. It was funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency. For the past thirty years, Jim has raised over fifty breeds and varieties of standard bred poultry (that includes chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys). In 1994, he received his poultry judging license from the American Poultry Association which has taken him to thirty...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Dave Prather, General Manager of Western Montana Growers Cooperative, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Mark Branovan, Hospitality Services Director at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is a USDA initiative to promote sustainable local and regional food systems that will support small and mid-sized farms and ranches, promote healthy communities and protect our natural resources....

Grass-finished beef can command higher market prices and help a rancher's bottom line. During this webinar you'll learn how ranchers are using more pasture and less grain to produce high quality beef, and how ranchers who raise grass-finished beef find ways compete in the market place. Several challenges in grass-based meat production exist, especially for small-scale producers who have a hard time finding access to processing plants and penetrating local markets. Presenters for this webinar were NCAT agriculture specialists Jeff Schahczenski and Lee Rinehart. Jeff Schahczenski, an agriculture economist in NCAT's Montana office, has expertise in agricultural public policy and alternative...

In this episode, Felicia Bell, agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tracy Galloway, of Galloway Family Farm near Ocean Springs, Mississippi, about how to add value to an existing farm through agritourism. Tracy is a third-generation family farmer who began to transition his farm to a tourist destination three years go with tours, education, special events, and products for sale. Felicia Bell is located at NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi. Related ATTRA Resources: Entertainment Farming and Agritourism Agritourism Promotes Local-Goods Purchasing Tips for Selling With: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own" Other Resources: Iowa State University resources and risk-management for agritourism Galloway Family...

In this second half of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan, or ARMP. They take a closer look at a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat-processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. In this episode, Loren and Steve have a conversation...

In this first part of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan or ARMP. They talk about a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. They also talk about the landscape, culture and history of land...

In this episode, Al Kurki, a program specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, interviews Karla Buck, co-owner of Bear Paw Meats in Chinook, Montana. Al, who works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks with Karla about how the Bucks raise, process, and market meat to school districts in the area surrounding their business. For more information on this topic, you can contact Al Kurki directly at akurki@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Farm to School Sales. Profiles of Ranches Making it Work Other Resources: Bear Paw Meats Bear Paw Meats Facebook Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or...

In this episode, Andy Pressman, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire, and a specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with two farmers with differing experiences in offering Community Support Agriculture – or CSA – subscriptions to their customers. Sam Humphrey, director of the NCAT Demonstration Farm at Piney Woods School near Jackson, Mississippi, joins in the discussion along with Christine Doherty Pressman, of the Foggy Hill Farm near Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Christine, who is married to Andy, has nearly 20 years worth of experience with CSAs. By contrast, the most recent...

In this episode, Sue Beckwith and Mike Morris, co-authors of the new workbook Beyond Fresh: a Food Processing Guide for Texas Farmers, discuss the book and the issues it addresses. The book, a workbook, is focused mostly on Texas farmers, helping them decide whether they should move beyond just selling fresh and whole fruits and vegetables by trying to create and sell value-added food products. Beyond Fresh isn’t a how-to book for creating particular products. Rather, it looks at product development, storage and distribution, regulations, labeling, market trends and more – as part of determining whether a product will be profitable for...

In this podcast, Tammy Howard, a horticulture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Anna Elbon and Kim Gilchrist about their low-income local-food access work with farms and farmers markets in Montana. Anna Elbon owns Glacier Tilth Farm in Dixon, Montana, with her husband Matthew Whyatt. They started accepting SNAP cards for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program last year. Kim Gilchrist is a food access program manager at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition in Missoula, Montana. She helped start the Double SNAP Dollar program which is a SNAP incentive program for farms, farmers markets, and some retail locations throughout Montana. Tammy works at...

In this episode, John Wallace, manager of NCAT/ATTRA's SIFT farm – which stands for Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training – talks with Victorian Tilley about the farm's shift from growing food to sell to growing food to help meet the nutritional needs of the community through donating to local charities. The SIFT farm is located at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, where John and Victorian both work. Victorian is an Energy Corps member with AmeriCorps and is currently NCAT's Farm Energy Educator. The farm's goals in the past were focused on proving economic viability; now it has transitioned toward donating to charitable organizations...

In this episode, Rock Woods, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, talks with Dr. William Evans concerning Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards. Dr. Evans is the director of horticulture with Up in Farms LLC. Up in Farms is a food hub located in Jackson. Up in Farms coordinates production schedules with farmers based upon the demand by regional buyers, such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and commercial distributors. It also provides support and training necessary to deliver high-quality products on time and at a sustainable price. Additionally, the hub aggregates produce directly from...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, an agriculture specialist with  NCAT's ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks about the process NCAT followed to build two new high tunnels on its SIFT demonstration farm at the Butte office. The high tunnels were supported in part by a grant from the USDA NRCS's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP). For information on this topic, or about applying for the EQUIP program, you can contact Andrew directly at andrewc@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: High Tunnels in Urban Agriculture High Tunnel Fruit and Grape Production for Eastern Growers High Tunnels for Vegetable Production in...

In this episode, we talk with Margaret Krome, the Policy Program Director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, New York. She is also a board member of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Margaret talks about the impact of the ATTRA program – which is managed by NCAT through a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service – and the important sustainable-agriculture issues she sees going into the future. ATTRA resources on issues Margaret mentions in the episode – soil health, urban agriculture, cover crops, internships, and more – can be found on our website. Please call ATTRA with...

In this episode, award-winning cheesemaker Veronica Baetje of Baetje Farms LLC in Missouri continues her conversation with NCAT Specialists Linda Coffey and Daniel Prial, including how to find the balance production and sales. To learn more, you can contact Linda and Daniel directly at lindac@ncat.org and danielp@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products Dairy Sheep Beef and Dairy Sheep and Goats Other Resources: Baetje Farms Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from farm planning to pest management, from produce...

In this episode, award-winning cheesemaker Veronica Baetje of Baetje Farms LLC in Missouri talks with NCAT Specialists Linda Coffey and Daniel Prial about the history of the operation -- which started with a goat named Cookie -- and marketing small-ruminant dairy products. To learn more, you can contact Linda and Daniel directly at lindac@ncat.org and danielp@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products Dairy Sheep Beef and Dairy Sheep and Goats Other Resources: Baetje Farms Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from farm...

In this episode, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Linda Coffey talks with Kourtney Ross and Audrey Hollis of the United People’s Community Organization Market and Farm in North St. Louis City, Missouri. The mother and daughter discuss how their organization came to be after they observed how getting involved with gardening created interest in food among neighborhood children and how much the children enjoyed taking part in gardening tasks. For more information on this topic, you can contact Linda Coffey directly at lindac@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Community Gardening Community Orchards Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide Other Resources: American Community Gardening Association Please call ATTRA with any and all of your...

In this episode, NCAT's Daniel Prial has a conversation with Cary Junior of the Southeast Michigan Producers Association. SEMPA is a cooperative of black, rural farmers outside Detroit. Its focus is getting the cooperative's produce into urban areas, especially areas with high food insecurity. For more information on this topic, you can contact Daniel Prial directly at danielp@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Local Food Systems Low-Income Local Food Access podcast Other Resources: SE Michigan Producers Association Facebook Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics,...

This episode features an Interview with Aldo Andres Marega, organic farmer from Gauchito Hill Farm in Yolo County, California. The interview includes: biography, first years of experience, farmers markets and restaurant sales, challenges or challenges of fertilization and pest control, and advice for beginning farmers. With Martin Guerena, NCAT agriculture specialist. Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from farm planning to pest management, from produce to livestock, and soils to aquaculture. For more information on this...

The farmer/rancher share of the food dollar has shrunk dramatically in the last century. The processing, marketing, and distribution sector reaps the majority of the profit in our food system these days and at smaller scales, more growers are turning to direct marketing to increase the viability of their operations. Not only does direct marketing enhance the farmers’ position in a competitive economic environment, but it creates personal connections that allow farmers, consumers and communities to unite around increasing access to good quality, locally grown food. Making the most of your time as a producer is critical if you’re trying to...

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews organic famer Luis Guevara of Rancho La Familia from Santa Maria California. It includes his biography; 38 years of farming experience; early years and markets; reasons for diversification; current markets; production challenges; climate change challenges; pest control techniques; fertilization practices; compost; cover crops; rotations and advice to new and beginning farmers....

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews Martin Barnes of Capy Organics in Yolo County, California. The interview touches on the farm's early years and starting the Davis farmers market; its first crops; diversification of crops; the transition from markets to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture); the expansion to Southern California and the Pacific Northwest; technological innovation; expanding its CSA to 50,000 customers; its pest challenges then and now; its fertilization program with compost and foliar applications; and Martin's advice to beginning farmers on land and markets....

Entrevista con Luis Guevara agricultor orgánico del Rancho La Familia de Santa María California. La Entrevista incluye: biografía, experiencia de 38 años como agricultor, principios, mercados, diversificación de productos, expansión de mercados, desafíos de producción, cambio climático, control de plagas, fertilización, rotación de cultivos y consejos para agricultores principiantes....

This webinar features pertinent information on the status of nutrition programs in the state of Montana. Presenters discuss ways to make farmers markets more accessible to all demographics and increase sales and traffic to markets through programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Farmers Market WIC (Women, Infant, and Children program), and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. It also includes creative ideas to bring the culture of health to your market with fruit and vegetable incentive programs and how to fund raise for them. The following resources with the archived Farmers Market Nutrition Program webinar: 1. Montana Farmers Market SNAP manual https://www.ncat.org/downloads/EBT-Manual-062614.pdf 2. Farmers...

In this episode, NCAT Local Food Specialist Demetrius Fassas talks about the challenges and opportunities of introducing a local food Harvest of the months in Plevna, a small town in rural eastern Montana. The school's two food-staff members, Connie Long and Bertie Reger, talk about the challenges of finding the food; the importance of having a supportive school administration; and the positive impacts of the program on the students. Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics,...

In this episode, Dave Prather of the Western Montana Food Growers Cooperative talks about the challenges that were overcome when the cooperative was created....

In the this episode, Michael McCormick, executive director of the Food Resource Center (FRC) in Livingston, Montana, talks about how the FRC grew from a more typical food pantry to a more active role in addressing poverty and its effects in the community. FRC now has a commercial kitchen, where it conducts vocational classes, and offers a lot of healthy food produced by local and Montana ag operations. The philosophy is to help people improve their lives, not simply feed them for a day....

In this episode, Demetrius Fassas, a Local Food Program Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Aubrey Roth, the Montana Food to School Coordinator with Montana Team Nutrition, discuss the producers' role in the "Harvest of the Month" program in Montana. The program features a different Montana agricultural product in participating schools each month. Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from farm planning to pest management, from produce to livestock, and soils...

In this episode, Kevin Ellis, a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, visits with two presenters at the 2017 Texas Hispanic Farmer and Rancher Conference. Farmer Juan Raygosa of the Terra Preta Farm and Deputy Director of the Sustainable Food Center Joy Casnovsky talks about marketing strategies for working directly with hospitals and other institutions as well as work-site CSAs....

In this episode, Demetrius Fassas, a Local Food Program Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Aubrey Roth, the Montana Food to School Coordinator with Montana Team Nutrition discuss the "Harvest of the Month" program in Montana. The program features a different Montana agricultural product in participating schools each month and engages students through preparation of the food and "Don't Yuck My Yum" taste tests. Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or e-mail us at askanag@ncat.org. Our two dozen specialists can help you with a vast array of topics, everything from...

This podcast features excerpts from a panel discussion on marketing that took place during an NCAT workshop on vegetable production and business management held at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, 1n May 2017. NCAT’s Southeast Regional director Margo Hale facilitated the discussion, and the panelists were (in order of appearance) Mary Bone of Lighthouse Produce Farms in Fargo, AR; Ben Maddox of New South Produce Cooperative in Little Rock, AR; and Paul Chapracki of Ozark Alternatives in Lowell, AR. In this segment the panelists discuss successful strategies for selling at the farmers market and through CSAs. They also offer...

Robert Maggiani, a horticulture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, talks with Larry Butler, co-owner of Boggy Creek Farm in Austin, Texas. They talk about the farm and the value added products it has sold over the years. The farm's website is available here. There is a short description of the farm here. The conversation is part of the Beyond Fresh project, a SSARE-funded project with the following objectives: 1. Research opportunities for value-added processing of sustainably grown fruits and vegetables in Texas, with special attention to the appropriate scale of production. 2. Increase the sales and profitability of value-added products...

For many farmers and ranchers, branching into institutional sales alone might seem daunting. Some producers may rely on independent distributors or co-ops to engage with these markets. We want to open our toolkit for successful relationships with institutional buyers to all those that attend this webinar. The subjects of importance that will be covered include developing partnerships, direct marketing, wholesaling, forward contracting, utilizing MOU’s, and briefly, food safety. Join us for this hour long webinar and hear from other producers that have developed successful relationships with institutional buyers....

Presented on March 31st, 2016, this webinar provides information about the Montana Harvest of the Month program and how to get your local products served in Montana schools. If you are interested in selling your veggies, whole grains, lentils, beef or apples in schools, now is a great time as schools across Montana will be joining this statewide program that features a Montana-grown food item every month in classroom activities, taste tests, and school meals. This webinar is geared towards producers who would like to sell their products in schools, as well as anyone interested in learning about this great...

For Texas growers who want to sell to grocery retailers and major distributors, a written farm food-safety plan is mandatory. This webinar, "Food Safety for Organic Growers in Texas," addresses the basics of a farm safety plan and how to get GAP certified. It also provides an update on revisions to the Food Safety Modernization Act. Presenters are Susie Marshall, President of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) and Dr. Juan Anciso, Extension Specialist in Vegetables and Citrus, Texas A & M University. The webinar was being funded by USDA-Rural Development....

Urban farmers face many risks in producing safe and affordable food. Some of the risks are common to all types of farming; however, many are unique to the urban setting, including zoning regulations, access to water, and managing contaminated soils. While many cities in the U.S. are working to address some of the needs of urban farmers, profitability remains a challenge. This webinar focuses on the risk management strategies of two urban farms – City Roots Urban Farm in Columbia, S.C., and Newton Community Farm in Newton, M.A. – and how they have overcome several of the barriers facing urban farmers...

Juan Raygoza of Terra Preta Farm shares his thoughts on an innovative new partnership with Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance (in McAllen, Texas), explaining what this means to the community and to him as a small organic farmer. Learn more about the SOAR Partnership Like the SOAR Partnership on Facebook Visit Terra Preta Farm Like Terra Preta Farm on Facebook Funding to develop this video was provided by the Organic Transitions Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2013-51106-20970....

Jessica Wilcox, the Food and Nutrition Services Manager at Livingston Healthcare, and Dr. Alison Harmon, Associate Professor of Foods and Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems present on recent research done on sustainable foodservice in rural hospitals in the state of Montana. The title of their presentation is “Sustainable Hospital Food Service: Restoring Health and Prosperity to Rural Montana.” This presentation took place at the Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference in Livingston, MT on November 7, 2014....

Seth Bostick, the Executive Chef at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, describes how he has worked with Thomas Cuisine Management to procure healthy and local foods for the hospital’s patients and staff. Emily McKey, a dietician at Village Health Care in Missoula, speaks to the specific needs and opportunities for serving local, fresh food in the setting of a skilled nursing facility. This presentation took place at the Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference in Livingston, MT on November 7, 2014....

This panel highlights a few producers and processors who are working to diversify their market through partnering with institutional buyers such as hospitals and senior living facilities. Shay Farmer discusses the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC), a federally-inspected food processing facility, and the strategic planning involved with foodservice directors, growers, and distributors to increase the amount of minimally-processed, season- extended, regional food served in public institutions. Dave Prather, General Manager of the Western Montana Growers Cooperative illustrates the partnerships the Growers Cooperative has working on the wholesale level with the foodservice departments of three hospitals in Montana, as well...

Members of the Park County Food System Council discuss ways they collaborate to ensure access to healthy, local food for all residents. The Council is made up of representatives from the school, hospital, food bank, MSU Extension, the county sanitarian, and local producers. The panel took place at the Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference in Livingston on November 7, 2014....

Jan Tusick, Director of the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, discusses GAP, HAACP, and other food safety regulations during the "Entering the Institutional Food Market" conference at the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, Montana, on April 25, 2014....

Aubree Roth, Farm to School Coordinator with Montana Team Nutrition discusses USDA guidelines for selling local food to schools during the "Entering the Institutional Food Market" conference at the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, Montana, on April 25, 2014....

Local food was once considered to be in the purview of consumers and small-scale producers. Recently, policymakers, including those residing in cities, began embracing local food systems as a solution to a myriad of urban problems, including lack of green space and a dearth of healthy food availability. As part of this shift in policy, cities and other jurisdictions have embraced production in the urban environment. But at the local and state levels, such policies are often based on a vision of how food might be grown in a city, and do not consider the feasibility or viability of such ventures....

FoodCorps Montana service members have worked to source local beef in school lunches in order to invest money in the local economy and feed our children healthier meals. FoodCorps is a national non-profit organization that places emerging leaders in communities across the nation to connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. We do this by placing these leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service where they conduct hands-on food education, build and tend school gardens, and facilitate getting high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. Every community and state brings unique opportunities and challenges. In Montana,...

ATTRA Program Specialist Hannah Lewis gives a brief overview of Local Foods Systems....

This video follows a farm family as they grow hydroponic tomatoes from seed all the way to selling at the Fayetteville Farmers' Market....