Top Ten Reasons to Apply to Farm Fresh Pitchfest!

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10: You know all that time weeding and pulling beets has made you miss the limelight!

9: It’s the first of its kind in Montana and YOU should be there!!

8: Been wanting to increase your customer base? Spread the word about your business? Pitch!

7: Eat delicious local food while talking to people who love local food and want to support local food? Holla!

6: Free wine!

5: You know you’ll need an excuse to escape the greenhouse by then!

4: Find investors. Meet new customers. Build relationships.

3: There’s no fee to apply… this year!

2: It could be the start of something awesome, like this innovative worker-owned co-op that was community financed in Western Mass!

1: It could revolutionize your business!

What: 4-7 farmers, ranchers, and food business owners will get five minutes to “pitch” their business to a room full of investors, business coaches, and Missoulians interested in supporting YOU!

When: Thursday, May 8th, 6pm-9pm @ Le Petit Outre on 4th

click here to find out more

and apply by MIDNIGHT, APRIL 9th!

Brooklyn Farmer Documentary at the Roxy

Mark your calendars for a showing of Brooklyn Farmer at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 12th at the Roxy Theater! 

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Learn about the Brookyln Grange, a commercial urban farm and leading intensive green roof business in the U.S. They operate the world’s largest rooftop soil farms, growing over 50,000 pounds of organically cultivated produce on two roofs in New York City. This organization also provides urban farming and green roof consulting to clients worldwide in an effort to promote healthy and strong local communities.

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This farm slowly started to take shape in May 2010 through the hard work and dedication of a small group of family and friends. Upon setting out to grow food on rooftops and other unused spaces in New York City, their mission was “to create a fiscally sustainable model for urban agriculture and to produce healthy, delicious vegetables for our local community while doing the ecosystem a few favors as well.”

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They currently cultivate over two acres of rooftop farms in Brooklyn and Queens, providing over 120,000 pounds of vegetables for the enjoyment of restaurants, CSA members and the public. They have expanded beyond their mission to grow vegetables, now keeping hens and have a commercial apiary to keep bees and breed regional hardiness into their DNA. An educational non-profit partner, City Growers, hosts thousands of New York City’s youth each season for educational tours and workshops.

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“We believe that this city can be more sustainable; that our air can be cooler and waterways can be cleaner. We believe that 14% of our landfills comprised of food scraps should be converted into organic energy for our plants. We believe that food should be fresh, not sitting in the back of a flatbed for two weeks. We believe that food should taste fresh. Because at the end of the day, it’s about sitting down with our family, admiring the sunset over the city skyline snacking on a perfectly ripe, sweet tomato and remembering: this is what real food it.”

Come and Learn More About This Inspirational Group of Farmers on Saturday, April 12th!

 

Take Action: Call Senator Tester today!

It’s appropriations time!  The appropriations process is happening in Washington DC and Senator Tester needs to hear from you about the programs that make a difference here in Montana.

Appropriations means funding for sustainable ag programs that matter to you and to farmers. Now is the most important time to make our asks.  All requests must be in by April 4th and Montana is a priority state so let Tester know what we need!  Call him at  (202) 224-2644 today!

Here are a couple of key issues we recommend asking for:

  • Fund Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) at $2.5M: IDAs are matched saving programs that allow beginning farmers to leverage their savings.  If fully funded, the program could help roughly 3,200 new farmers get established!
  • Funding Food Safety training (Food Safety Outreach Program) at $5M: There are a lot of changes coming down the pipe with the new FSMA rules and we want to make sure farmers know what’s going on and are able to prepare!
  • Stop bad anti-competition GIPSA riders: Do not include any legislative riders that curtail implementation of the Packers and Stockyards Act, designed to prevent unfair, discriminatory, and deceptive practices in the livestock and poultry industries!
  • Increase rural development funding through RMAP – no limitation on mandatory funding and $3.3M on discretionary funding for a total of $6.3M: The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program is one of the only USDA programs targeted specifically at small business development, providing loans and grants to organizations that train and assist new entrepreneurs!
  • Fund the SARE program at $30M: The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program funds sustainable agriculture research by farmers, ranchers, businesses, nonprofits, and institutions around the region – this is a great funding source and needs our support!
  • Support funding for ATTRA at $2.5M: ATTRA, a service of NCAT, is a one-stop shop for producers and ag professionals across the US seeking info, educational resources and technical assistance.

Help Reinvigorate the Edible Campus Program Tomorrow!

Your Input Is Needed!

The Edible Campus Committee is seeking input from students, staff and community members. This group is open to individuals looking to explore new locations for food production near the University of Montana Campus. The University of Montana’s Dining Services has been a leader in Farm to College programs and is excited for the Edible Campus program. Some of the early work was done by Ian Finch and Larry Neskey, two Environmental Studies alums. As they have moved on towards new challenges, these programs will be overseen by Becca Wade and Natasha Hegmann. They are looking to reinvigorate the Edible Campus Program with the help of folks interested in growing food on campus. Students are invited to join for preliminary project planning.

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Join Them on Tuesday, March 25th from 4-5 pm!

The first Spring meeting of the Edible Campus Committee will take place in Room 215 of the University Center. If you are interested, but can’t make the meeting, contact Becca at rebecca.wade@mso.umt.edu or by phone at 406.243.2315

Volunteer Opportunities!

There are many great ways to be involved with the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition! We are always looking for new people to join our team. Please contact us today with any questions or ideas on how you’d like to be involved!

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Join us on Thursday, March 27th!

We will be having our second Event Planning Meeting from 6-7 pm on Thursday, March 27th. Come and brainstorm ideas for our upcoming events and organize details surrounding the April calendar. The meeting will take place in our conference room at 117 W. Broadway. Please contact Kate at 406.273.8740 for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Help Facilitate a Farmland Conservation Gathering!

On Sunday, March 23rd, volunteers are needed to facilitate a unique group process- helping farmers and ranchers identify conservation opportunities for Missoula County’s agricultural future. We need volunteers to take notes during small groups so that we can capture all of the rich discussion happening at the event. Please contact Kate at volunteers@missoulacfac.org for more information.

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Fresh From Your Neighbors – Saturday, April 26th

The Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center has asked CFAC to partner on the exciting Choose Local campaign. Volunteers are needed to ensure it’s a successful project. Please contact us today to learn more about how you can be involved. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 26th when we will be kicking off the campaign.

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Join a Committee!

As our projects continually change with the seasons, being part of a committee is a great way to ensure you stay current on volunteers opportunities!

Land Use and Viability (LUV) Committee

Is working on developing policies at the local and state level to support farmland conservation.
 

Beginner Farmer and Rancher (BFR) Committee

Creates solutions and provides assistance to new and ongoing farming operations.
 

Food Systems and Access (FSA) Committee

Works on a wide range of topics from food access to market development.
 

Event Planning (EP) Committee

Our newest group, dedicated to organizing and hosting community events and fundraisers.
 

Contact Us Today To Kick Start Some Excitement!

Katie Zuck, Volunteer Coordinator - volunteers@missoulacfac.org

 
 
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