If you enjoyed Monday’s post about our recent Western Montana Regional Food Economy Network Summit (on the search for a better name – got ideas?), here’s some more info about how we’re thinking this network might function…

Photo by Chad Harder

Photo by Chad Harder

At the Summit, after our rousing discussion about the future of our food system (and some great local food!), we envisioned how a regional network might function to effectively help us coordinate our efforts.

Everyone was in agreement that a network needs good communication and a person or group to coordinate communication to make sure that it is frequent so
all members of the network feel involved.  Email us to get on the listserv for that conversation!

But who should be that centralized communication hub?  A few organizations emerged as good homes for that role and those groups will continue to meet to identify the best hub.  We are also working together to develop a website to serve as the online focal point for information-sharing.

And how should the remaining pieces of our network be organized?  Two types of groups emerged in our discussions. A regional sub-network might focus on, for example, what’s happening in the Flathead and regularly report that news to the Network to be distributed to other areas.  A project-based working group might emerge from across the region in response to a particular issue, such as the need to create new meat processing facilities and then, as that project is successful, the working group can be phased out – basically working themselves out of a job!  Success!

An example demo of how these groups might function together

An example demo of how these groups might function together

New working groups and projects can only strengthen the network so if you have an idea for something that needs to happen, get one started and let us know!  In the meantime, we’ll be revising and distributing our region’s strategic plan to give us all some ideas and direction!

To get involved, email us!

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