Out in the Fields – Blending Farming and Ranching in the Drylands of the Northern Great Plains

On a beautiful early summer day, more than 100 people gathered at Jody and Crystal Manuel’s Prairie Grass Ranch for a Montana Organic Association Farm Day to learn more about dryland cropping, cover-crop grazing, soil health, and control of the organic farmer’s nemesis: bindweed.
Read more: Out in the Fields – Blending Farming and Ranching in the Drylands of the Northern Great Plains

Montanans Buying From Montanans: Montana Department of Ag Food Show

Can Montana feed itself? That sounds like a pretty basic question – after all, Montana is the fourth largest state in the United States, spanning 147,000 square miles. Shouldn’t we be able to support our meager population of 1,050,000 souls? We are primarily an agricultural state where almost 28,000 farms and ranches are spread across 60 million acres.
Read more: Montanans Buying From Montanans: Montana Department of Ag Food Show

Growing Local: Grain, Flour, Bread

Most of the millions living in the Pacific Northwest forget that the drylands of eastern Washington and Oregon on the west of the Rocky Mountains and Montana to the east are also part of the nation’s “bread basket.” They’ve been raised to think that wheat comes from Kansas. The truth is that eastern Washington and Oregon, and central and eastern Montana produce millions of bushels of wheat, most of which is sold by the train carload to one of just a handful of huge commercial flour mills or is exported.
Read more: Growing Local: Grain, Flour, Bread

Montana's NEW Range Riders

Range rider Bree and her horse Shasta out for a morning’s ride. (Source: Hilary Anderson, Tom Miner Basin Association)

While traditionally range riders – “cowboys” of old – were men, many of the range riders in the Tom Miner Basin today are women.

Audio Interview

Bree Morrison tells about her life as a range
Read more: Montana’s NEW Range Riders

The Resilient Ranch

Montana is rightfully called Big Sky Country, and it’s not unusual to drive 3 or 4 hours to attend a meeting, visit friends, or join a field day to learn about ranching or farming. On a hot and smoky day in August, Anderson Ranch in the Tom Miner Basin, near Yellowstone National Park, hosted several dozen folks who came to learn more about resilient ranching.
Read more: The Resilient Ranch

Does your strawberry taste as good as it looks?

Strawberries are my absolute favorite fruit, and I look forward to strawberry season every year. Depending on where you live that season can start as early as mid-June or as late as mid-July. This year we bought our last quart of berries at the farmers market the second week of August. They were amazing!
Read more: Does your strawberry taste as good as it looks?

It takes a community to raise healthy sheep!

Enclosed by surrounding mountain ranges, where black cattle and white sheep graze in sunshine filtered through a slight haze of wildfire smoke, a community comes together to concentrate on healthy animals, healthy soil, and healthy families.
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A Soil Crawl in Big Timber, Montana

When one of the world’s experts on soil health and land resilience (from Auckland, NZ, a 9,500 mile trek) is scheduled to lead a day-long workshop just 170 miles away, you do everything you can to be there!
Read more: A Soil Crawl in Big Timber, Montana

Dryland Farming - How They Do It In Montana

For those who are trying to farm in the Palouse region of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana, there is only one name for it – Dryland Farming.
Read more: Dryland Farming – How They Do It In Montana

When Did Our Daily Bread Take a Wrong Turn?

Bread went from being a major part of our ancestors’ food intake to being a very small part of the food we eat today. Heavy, rich, and nutritious bread was once a daily staple; today commercial “industrialized” bread is produced in fully automated factories and is full of chemical additives and preservatives, too much salt, and has too little nutritive value. What went wrong?
Read more: When Did Our Daily Bread Take a Wrong Turn?