Ed Hamer didn’t start farming for the fame, but when he started delivering food to his neighbors via horse and wagon, the calls started coming in.  Hamer, who will be speaking in Missoula on Wednesday, February 18, has since been featured in the Guardian, Ecologist, and more, and calls his Welsh-Dartmoor pony, Samson, his secret weapon.

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Samson has helped Hamer sell more vegetables, but the work doesn’t stop there.  Samson helps to plow the fields and has helped Hamer see a different opportunity for growing food in the United Kingdom. Hamer is an active leader in the British young farmer movement and co-founded the Landworkers’ Alliance as a union to represent small-scale ecological producers across the UK.

“Ed has such a unique perspective and we’re thrilled to help share his news about what’s happening in the UK with farmers and supporters here in Missoula,” says Annie Heuscher, program director for the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition, organizers of Hamer’s visit.  “His work in England has so many implications for the changes happening in Montana.”

The Landworkers’ Alliance has grown to represent nearly 1,000 farmers and has been adopted as a formal member of La Via Campesina, an international movement defending small-scale agriculture and peasants’ rights.  Hamer is currently travelling across the United States visiting like-minded farmers to share ideas and aspirations for a better food system.

Hamer is coming to Missoula as part of a larger project to train beginning farmers across Montana.  The project, which includes a wide array of production and business trainings along with financing and land access tools, was recently funded by a major grant from the USDA National Institute for Food & Agriculture.  CFAC was one of fewer than 40 organizations across the country to receive the funding and it is the first time this grant has been given for work in Montana.

Hamer will be speaking at Burns Street Bistro on Wednesday, February 18th from 5:30pm – 8pm.  Snacks and beer provided.  For more information, visit http://missoulacfac.org/farm-school.html.

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