All Things Sheep, Kids (the 2-legged kind), Barber Pole Worms, and Mud… and Community

On a drizzly Saturday, Dave Scott (a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, NCAT) and Brent Roeder (Montana State University, MSU, sheep specialist), lead a workshop on grazing, practices, integrated parasite management, FAMACHA© scoring, and new sheep identification and handling methods. It could have been titled, “All Things Sheep, Kids (the 2-legged kind), Barber Pole Worms, and Mud… and Community.”

Grain by Grain: On the Road with Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle

The sanctuary was full, pews were packed, and we were there to hear Bob Quinn talk about his journey from conventional wheat farmer in north central Montana to organic farmer and marketer of an ancient grain sold around the world.Like the traveling preacher of old, Bob took the podium and started talking. The more he talked, the faster he talked. It was exhilarating, educational, and… exhausting!

Eat Well, Be Well: What We Eat and Who Supplies It

Supermarkets and big box stores offer nearly 50,000 – or more – products for us to choose from to feed ourselves and our families. A nation-wide analysis of U.S. grocery purchases revealed that highly processed foods make up more than 60 percent of the calories in food we buy, and these items tend to have more fat, sugar and salt than less-processed foods.

If we don’t understand the high cost of bad food – to ourselves, our families, our communities, and our economy – we will see life expectancy shorten, chronic diseases increase, and healthcare costs continue to spiral. Selecting locally grown and minimally processed food items – good food – can mean more healthful and nutritious food on your plate.

A Day on the Range

It was a hot and hazy August day when we drove 15 miles due west of Augusta, Montana, into the rolling hills where we glimpsed the foothills of the East Front of the Rocky Mountains and the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

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.

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.