BOZEMAN – Farmers, ranchers and local food processors can learn strategies for growing and selling their products to school districts at the Montana Farm to School producer training this September.

The Montana Team Nutrition Program at Montana State University, the Montana Office of Public Instruction and project partners are offering two trainings this fall, the first beginning Sept. 15 and the second date to be announced later. The trainings are free with registration. Each is divided into three sessions over three weeks with different content each week, and it is intended that individuals will attend all three sessions. Two of the sessions will be held virtually, and one will be in person in Great Falls.

“When area farmers sell their products to schools, everyone wins,” said Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School coordinator. “Farmers have a reliable market, dollars get recirculated in the community and, most importantly, students get to enjoy local, fresh, nutritious and delicious food.”

Producers who attend this training will:

  • Learn about accessing school markets and growing products for schools.
  • Hear from producers who have successfully navigated school markets.
  • Gain new knowledge and resources for integrating school markets into a business plan.
  • Meet local peers and experts.
  • Experience school markets and farms, including a tour of Timeless Foods in Ulm.

Schools can be a strong market for local producers, with over 58% of Montana schools participating in at least one of the three core elements of farm-to-school — serving local food in school meals, growing and raising food with children, and offering food, nutrition and agriculture education — according to data collected by Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Attendees can apply for travel cost support during registration. For more information and to register before Sept. 14, click HERE .

The project is supported in part by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Farm to School Network, and Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

- by MSU News Service -

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