X

What is Farm to School?

Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following core elements: 

Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test
Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition
School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
 

National Farm to School Network

The National Farm to School Network is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools and early care and education settings. The mission of the National Farm to School Network is to increase access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities.

The Montana Department of Agriculture is a National Farm to School Network Montana Supporting Partner.

Montana Farm to School Network

Farm to school is rapidly growing in Montana despite a short growing season and long distances between towns. Through partnerships, networking, and a strong dose of Montana-style resourcefulness, schools throughout the state are overcoming barriers to serve local foods, provide farm to school education, and grow school gardens. The state is home to many farm to school partnerships and programs, including:

The Montana Farm to School Leadership Team works through partnerships across the state to build farm to school initiatives that help kids eat healthy, connect kids with agriculture and nutrition through education, support Montana farmers and food producers, foster economic vitality, and strengthen communities. This team is formed of agencies and organizations with statewide focus and influence that are key to the success of farm to school in Montana. The Montana Department of Agriculture is a member of the Montana Farm to School Leadership Team.

Montana is still home to more cattle than people, so it makes sense that schools throughout Montana are serving local beef in their school meals. The Montana Beef School Coalition works together to help schools serve Montana beef in school meals. The coalition studies successful programs and in 2016 published the Montana Beef to School Case Study Report. 

The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools and communities. Each month, participating K-12 schools and after school programs (early care and education programs will be included soon) focus on promoting one locally grown item (e.g., winter squash) by serving it in at least one meal or snack, offering taste tests to students, and doing educational lessons and activities.


Lentils: Montana Harvest of the Month

Montana Ag News

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Recruits for Open Positions

Applications and nominations due May 1, 2021

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Recruits for Open Positions

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is currently recruiting for open positions on its Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council (NWMAC). The following council terms expire June 30, 2021:

  • Livestock Production Representative
  • Herbicide Dealer or Applicator
  • Biological Research and Control Interests Representative
  • Western County Weed District Representative
  • Agriculture Crop Production Representative

Click here to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council and apply. 

Documents to download

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Listing Workgroup

Virtual Meeting via Zoom on Friday, January 22, 2021

Public Meeting Notice: Noxious Weed Listing Workgroup

The Noxious Weed Listing Workgroup will meet vitrually via Zoom on Friday, January 22nd beginning at 9:00 a.m.

To receive Zoom information to join the meeting, please contact Jasmine Reimer at JReimer@mt.gov or (406) 444-3140. 

 

New Film Features the Dependable People Who Maintain U.S. Wheat Export Reliability

“Wholesome: The Journey of U.S. Wheat” features Hucke Farms in Geraldine, Montana

New Film Features the Dependable People Who Maintain U.S. Wheat Export Reliability

U.S. Wheat Associates has created a new film titled “Wholesome: The Journey of U.S. Wheat” that shows how the people in the export supply system maintain the wholesome, reliable character of U.S. wheat. Among the farms featured in the film is the Hucke family farm located in Geraldine, Montana.

Click here to view the U.S. Wheat Associates films.

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee

Alfalfa Seed Committee will meet virtually on Tuesday, February 23rd at 8:30 AM

Public Meeting Notice:  Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee

The Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 beginning at 8:30 a.m. An agenda will be available soon.

To receive Zoom information to join the meeting, please contact Dani Jones by phone at (406) 444-2402, or by email at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov.

Click here to learn more about the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee's Research and Development Program.

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Loans up to $8,500 available to young Montana farmers and ranchers

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana youth ages 21 and under may be eligible for up to $8,500 in loan financing through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Junior Agriculture Loan Program.

“With the average age of farmers and ranchers being nearly 60 years old, supporting the next generation is vital to Montana’s livelihood,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “The Junior Ag Loan Program plays an important role in connecting young people who are passionate about pursuing projects in agriculture with the financing they need to get started.”

Click here to learn more about the Junior Ag Loan Program and apply. 

Documents to download

Charsi Workman
Marketing Officer

Phone : (406) 444-5425  
Fax : (406) 444-9442  
E-mail : charsi.workman@mt.gov