Local Food Challenge celebrates Montana agriculture

Annual event inspires farmers, ranchers, and consumers to find more opportunities for connection

Northern Plains Resource Council is hosting the Seventh Annual Montana Local Food Challenge. Montanans are encouraged to eat something produced locally every day during the entire month of August. All Montanans are invited to participate in weekly online challenges while also earning a chance to win a $100 local food gift card. Sharing recipes and photos over social media is also part of the month’s festivities.

“Family agriculture is at the heart of Montana’s culture and economy, and we always appreciate this opportunity to celebrate local foods and those who produce it,” said Northern Plains member and Rosebud County family farm/ranch partner, Jean Lemire Dahlman.

“We know how much Montanans appreciate farmers and ranchers, but we also know that building real relationships with the people who produce our food can take some effort,” continued Dahlman. “The Local Food Challenge helps provide the tools and inspiration to make these important connections.”

To participate, visit the event’s website to sign up for free while also taking advantage of numerous resources. Participants will find information about where to find local producers as well as restaurants and markets that sell locally raised foods. Additionally, site visitors can learn more about other local food programs in the state, foods currently in season, and more.

“Few things are more essential to our health and happiness than food,” Dahlman continued, “But we’re in danger of losing the vitality of our local food systems if we’re not careful. Global corporations are exerting political and economic influence to create monopoly marketplaces that squeeze out family farmers and ranchers.”

“This subpar food shipped in from hundreds of miles away can’t compete with the flavor and nutrition of what we grow here in Montana,” said Dahlman. “Montana’s farmers and ranchers need our support to continue caring for the land while producing delicious, nutritious food. So, whether making a pie with Flathead cherries, grilling a steak raised outside Billings, or enjoying hearty bread made from Golden Triangle grains, treat your family to real food made by real people this August. And pass along your favorite recipe or local restaurant during the Local Food Challenge, too. Sharing and connection are what this event is all about.”

To sign up and learn more about the Montana Local Food Challenge, visit NorthernPlains.org/ LocalFoodChallenge.

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