Producers’ Panel: Partnering with Hospitals to Diversify your Market

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 as their work with the Human Service Departments of St. Pats, St Luke’s, and St. Joe’s to provide CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares to employees. Jenny Scott of Montana Highland Lamb talks about their partnership with the Hillcrest Senior Living in Bozeman. Again, there will be time for questions after the panel. The panel took place at the Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference in Livingston on November 7, 2014.