The Beartooth Food and Agricultural Development Center, based in Joliet, is operated by Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development Area. They offer assistance with value-added businesses including farm-derived energy and food projects and efficiency testing of seedstock cattle.
Established in 1969, the Beartooth RC&D serves as a regional entity for the cooperative efforts of five counties in Southcentral Montana in rural and economic development. Leadership is composed of elected officials and community leaders from the counties, incorporated towns and cities, conservation districts and tribal reservations in the region.
Meet Joel Bertolino, a fourth-generation Montanan who grew up on a "typical Montana ranch" just south of Roberts. He has continued his family’s tradition of agriculture by working for the USDA Farm Service Agency for seven years, then becoming director of the Food and Agriculture Development Center at Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development in 2009. Joel specializes in the business, marketing, and financial aspects of running a business. With his background in production agriculture, he is able to assist businesses in a variety of ways. He has a solid knowledge of the tools and opportunities available to start-ups, as well as expanding businesses.
Joel enjoys working with many diverse and innovative ag-related industries. "It’s never the same. Every project is different and we all learn a lot." Joel encourages his clients to ask him for help regardless of their situation. "Our Food and Ag Development Center network has a lot of knowledge and resources at their disposal. If I don’t have the answer to a client’s question, I’ll do the research and find the answer."