Montana Department of Agriculture awarded USDA Farm to School Grant

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Producers and students throughout Montana have reason to celebrate, as the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance farm to school efforts throughout the state. MDA was awarded $99,980 and will partner with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and Montana Farm to School to increase the procurement and distribution of local food in K-12 schools in Montana.

 “Farm to school initiatives continue to grow throughout Montana and this grant will build upon those efforts,” said Ben Thomas, Director of MDA. “When we can give our producers another market opportunity, while also providing our students with nutritious, local foods, everyone wins.”

 The project will focus on three school districts in Montana: Browning, Fort Benton, and Malta. Each of these districts are in the early stages of implementing farm to school activities but have limited access to local foods. Sourcing and access to Montana foods is one of the key challenges to farm to school initiatives in Montana. The Montana Farm to School Leadership Team will research distribution opportunities and challenges on a statewide level while learning first-hand from the participating school districts. By coordinating with state-level farm to school partners, including supply-chain stakeholders, and bringing together local teams in each of the communities, the project will create a plan that will impact the entire state.

 “By working with locallevel teams in these communities, we expect to expand connectivity and distribution of local foods throughout the state, especially in north and eastern Montana,” said Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School Coordinator, Montana Team Nutrition. “Our larger goal here is to take the lessons learned from this project, and scale it up so that we can better implement these activities on a state-wide level.”

 The Montana Farm to School Leadership Team, sponsored by Montana Office of Public Instruction, 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.

 The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, May 24, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Monday, May 27, 2019 - 7:00am
    *American Legion Carbon County Post 17 Memorial Day schedule, May 27 7 a.m. Breakfast at Bull 'n'Bear 8:30 a.m. Memorial Service  at Belfry Cemetery 9:30 a.m. Memorial Service  at Bearcreek Cemetery 10:30 a.m. Parade through Red Lodge.  Meet at 10:15 a.m. at the corner of 14th and Broadway. Following parade there will be a lunch at the  Red Lodge Elk’s Lodge 11 a.m. Memorial Service at  Red Lodge Cemetery 1:30 p.m. Parade in Roberts  followed by Memorial  Service at Roberts Cemetery. For further information contact Kenneth Beggs, Commander Carbon County Post 17 at   *The Jim Bridger Post 1543 will hold Memorial Day services at 11 a.m. at the Bridger Cemetery.   *The Clarks Fork American Legion Post 71 and the Joliet VFW Post 5748 will be doing Memorial Day services Monday, May 27. Rev. Robert Reed of the Joliet Baptist  Church will be the Speaker of the day. The schedule for the day will be: 9 a.m.   Services at the Gebo  Cemetery. 9:30 a.m.   March through  Fromberg Main St. 10 a.m.  Services at Rockvale  Cemetery 11 a.m.   Services at Joliet Cemetery 11:30 a.m. March through  Joliet Main St. A potluck lunch will be held at the  Joliet Community Center following the services.  Everyone is welcome to come.   Any veterans who would like to help who haven’t been contacted can show up at the Gebo Cemetery at 8:45 a.m. Memorial Day or call Rich Pierce at 962-3320 or Jody Stene 962-3779.
  • Monday, May 27, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

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Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

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