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Regional Food Network

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Developing the strategic scaffolding needed to build a regional food economy by connecting food and farm businesses along the food chain to better meet the food needs of people throughout Western Montana.

Western Montana has a rich history of collaborative partners working to localize our food system. Several key pieces of the regional food system have been bolstered in recent years, attracting new farmers and ranchers to western Montana, and creating opportunities for their success.

The western Montana regional food and farm network fosters a sustainable regional economy and strengthens community food security. The Network will help farmers and producers access reliable markets, ensure fair prices and wages, and encourage land preservation and sustainable farming practices. It will also provide consumers with a better relationship with their food and the place in which it is grown.

To reach this vision we will encourage a strategic effort between regional food producer and food system support organizations (e.g. CFAC, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, Nourish the Flathead, University of Montana, MSU Extension, Salish Kootenai College Extension, Alternative Energy Resouces Organization (AERO-MT), Montana Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Montana Food Bank Network).

Mission

The Western Montana Regional Food Network (WMRFN) fosters a sustainable regional economy and strengthens community food security by expanding production, marketing and distribution of regionally produced food. We believe that through collaboration rather than competition, business, organizations, and consumers can maximize value from field to plate. With the development and strengthening of values-based supply chains, the Network helps farmers access reliable markets; ensures fair prices and wages; encourages land preservation and sustainable farming practices; and assures access to high quality, affordable food to people of all income levels.

Vision

We envision a future in Western Montana with a vibrant regional food economy that supports successful food and farm businesses, stewards the land, feeds people good food and sustains rural communities.

Guiding Principles

  1. Regional food value chains increase sustainably-produced food sales and create new jobs and economic growth, while revitalizing our local communities.

  2. Preserving farmland at risk from development pressure will ensure farming remains viable now and in the future.

  3. All citizens deserve the right to healthy, affordable food.

  4. Members of the values-chain network should strive for high standards of transparency, collaboration, equity and fair pay for everyone within the supply chain.

Developing and strengthening the regional food system for everyone who

calls Western Montana home.

 

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