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It's been a busy few months at NCAT as summer finally arrived. Now, as we prepare for fall and winter, we wanted to share some of our accomplishments and challenges of growing food, promoting energy efficiency, and educating kids about local, healthy food. Read on to learn all about our programs.

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NCAT's Montana Staff

Kathleen Hadley Building Dedication

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The National Center for Appropriate Technology is honoring its recently retired longtime leader, Executive Director Kathy Hadley. To commemorate her time at NCAT, the nonprofit's headquarters in Butte. Montana, will be named the Kathleen Hadley Campus of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Hadley retired earlier this year after 21 years as Executive Director of NCAT. Before that, she was a staff member, starting at NCAT in 1986. Steve Thompson, NCAT's new Executive Director, said, "It's a privilege to be honoring Kathy and her legacy of service. Naming the campus for her will be an inspiration to us to carry on with the same determination and dedication."


Farm to Cafeteria Harvest of the Month: Dairy

local food sign

Report by Kei Matsunami

The Farm to Cafeteria Network and the Madison-Jefferson County Extension office collaborated to host a food-friendly educational event at the Whitehall Community Library for its children. Of all the exciting local food topics and ingredients at our disposal to explore, we decided to let the Montana Harvest of the Month Program narrow our field of vision down to its July food item: Dairy!

Our afternoon began with the perfect weather for spending quality time with Pearl, the goat, and Cupcake, the Jersey cow. The fifty youngsters who attended the event learned about animal etiquette, the process of making cheese from goat's milk, and the uniquely rich and creamy qualities of Jersey cow milk, which contains higher levels of butterfat than Holsteins, the most commonly known dairy cow breed.

Read more here.



SIFT Farm – Small Hydroponics Experiment: Comparing Two Systems

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NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director Andrew Coggins is working to compare the difference between two small hydroponics systems. In November 2017, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to allow these systems, operating within certain guidelines, to be classified as organic production. These systems can be very efficient: they operate independently of climate, season, and geography, along with being extremely space efficient and water efficient. They could hold great promise for producers in Montana's high desert climate. NCAT staff conducted an experiment on the Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training (SIFT) demonstration farm to start basil and lettuce seedlings in a commercially available system. They then transferred the plants using just compost tea as a natural method of plant fertilizer to keep them growing. The results from that system will be compared to a modified version built on-site with a few plumbing supplies.

Learn more here


Energy Corps Members Finish Service Year

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The 2018-2019 Energy Corps service year came to a close in August, with 21 service members wrapping up at host sites ranging from the Montana Wildlife Federation to Freedom Gardens to Home ReSource. Member Claudia Hewston served with the Montana SMART Schools program, traveling to 25 schools across the state to educate students and staff about reusing, reducing, and recycling. As she completed her efforts, she wrote, "Wow… They say if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life. This past year, there have been moments in which I truly felt that way. In serving as the Montana SMART Schools Coordinator I have gained more than just an education award, a reference on my resume, or practical work experience. I have gained in the knowledge of where I want to go next." Check out her full blog post, and those of our other service members, here


Year in Review: FoodCorps Montana Served up Smiles All Year Long

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FoodCorps service members across Montana, from Hardin to Columbia Falls, wrapped up their year of service by hosting summer programming activities. FoodCorps Montana's six service members accomplished amazing achievements in their service term, from Harvest of the Month taste tests to building new school gardens. A small but mighty FoodCorps Montana team, the members are proud of their year-end impact numbers for 2018-2019:

  • Number of students taught: 2,431

  • Number of students taught for 10+ hours: 926

  • Number of cafeteria taste tests: 91

  • Number of community volunteer hours: 218

  • Number of gardens supported: 13

  • Number of farmer interactions: 28



Montana Harvest of the Month – Kale Chips

Kale chips are the perfect way to try kale! A food dehydrator will also work for these tasty snacks.

Craft Malt Plant

Source: Edward Christensen, Assistant Food Service Manager, Missoula County Public Schools

Servings: 6


  • 1 ½ cups kale, raw, stemmed, and cut into chip-sized pieces

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 225°F. (Using a low oven temperature ensures that you will not burn the chips.)

  2. Remove large stems from leaves leaving kale in "chip-size" pieces.

  3. In single layer on sheet tray, place leaves face up, lightly spray with olive oil, and lightly season the kale with salt.

  4. Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until the kale is completely dehydrated and will easily release from the pan when you shake the pan back and forth.

Learn more about the Montana Harvest of the Month here.



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Copyright © September 2019
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

NCAT Headquarters:
P.O. Box 3838
Butte, MT 59702

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