Report Card CoverAs schools across Montana kick off a new school year, we're pleased to share this edition of The Dirt, which highlights how our Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is gearing up for new activities as well. In addition to looking ahead, we've also taken time recently to look back and reflect on our achievements from the past year. We'd love for you to take a moment to check out our 2013-2014 Report Card, which sums up how our program is shaping the way Montanans grow, buy, and think about food.

Thanks for your time, and enjoy the late summer bounty!

Nancy Moore
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
Montana Healthy Food and Communities Program Director

Farm to Cafeteria Network

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Summer Youth Internship Digs into Montana Community-Based Food Systems

2013 Youth Summit

On her first day of work at the Madison Farm to Fork greenhouse in Ennis, high school sophomore Hailee Lindemulder was feeling a little overwhelmed. "We were new to all of this," she says, "and just got a big wave of 'whoa!'" Understandable, as "this" refers to everything from greenhouse gardening and selling produce at a farmers market stand to leading grade school students at a garden summer camp and processing a year's supply of fajita veggies for the Ennis school district. Want to learn more about Hailee, her co-intern Alysa, and the 2014 Youth Summer Internship Program hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Madison Farm to Fork? Read more.

Montana Food News

Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Hospital Conference

What are healthcare facilities around the state doing to provide fresh, healthy, and local food to their patients and employees? Come find out and be a part of the changing menu of institutional food service!

Friday, November 7, 2014
Livingston, MT

Details and registration to follow.

Please direct questions to Katie Halloran at

Fact Sheets

Grow Montana

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The Facts about Farm to School

You know it as well as we do: school food matters. Every day, 80,000 Montana public school students eat school lunch. In 2012-2013, Montana's public K-12 schools spent $25 million on food services. Our schools provide a unique platform for supporting Montana agriculture while also engaging students in educational activities about the importance of healthy, local food. Want to learn more about the benefits of farm to school programs and how Montana can prioritize, expand, and support them? Read NCAT's Montana Farm to School Factsheet.

Food Corps Beef On the Menu


FoodCorps Montana: Ready to Get Our Hands Dirty!

This month a new cohort of FoodCorps members began serving in communities across Montana. Their goal? To connect more Montana kids to real food and local agriculture so that they can grow up healthy.

We welcome back three FoodCorps members returning for a second year of service: Andi Giddings in Butte, Demetrius Fassas in Ennis, and Jessica Manly in Kalispell. New to the team are seven FoodCorps members from all over the country. They come to Montana with a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge when it comes to dietetics, working on farms, gardening with kids, and sourcing local food for schools. Ready to meet our 2014-2015 FoodCorps members? Read more.

Featured Recipe: Healthier Ranch Dressing

Recipe by Shawn Borup, Butte YMCA Nutrition Instructor

At a recent Butte Community Food Group meeting, we gathered at the Park Street Community Gardens to talk about food happenings around town and share delicious summer snacks. The highlight of the snack bar was the healthy ranch dressing featured here. Shawn Borup, a nutrition instructor at the Butte YMCA, created this alternative to complement carrots, fresh peas, or whatever else you may find at the farmers markets or in your backyard harvest.


  • 1 ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Vegenaise® mayo (or 1/4 cup kefir cheese and 1/4 cup mayo)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt or seasoning
  • 2 shakes paprika and pepper

  1. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.
  2. Serve with fresh summer vegetables!

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Copyright © September 2014
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

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