While Western Montana’s local food system has certainly grown over the past twenty years, it’s nothing like it used to be in the 1950s or 1960s! The number of farms in Missoula County dropped by almost half (48%) between 1950 and 1974 but the number has risen fairly consistently since then (although we’re still not caught up with 1950). The total acreage being farmed has dropped significantly and steadily. Basically, this means that overall, we’re losing our larger farms while the number of small farms has increased.
CFAC’s Beginning Farmer Program works to support new and early-stage farmers find the resources they need to be successful.
How Can We Help?
Check out our KIVA Program, and support farmers in our area looking for one-time 0% interest loans to make improvements to their production, storage or marketing. Your dollars are circulated within the community, and your investment can continue to grow more farmers!
A great way to help us increase production is to support your local farmers! The more demand we create, the more supply will follow. Also key to this strategy is to Ask for Local when you’re at your local grocery store, restaurant, school, hospital, or anywhere else where you eat food! One of the biggest steps to getting those larger farms back is creating big-scale demand – the kind of demand that only institutions and businesses can really create. So Ask for Local! And seek out farmers markets, CSA’s, and farmstands within your community. Buying direct is a great way to ensure our farmers are supported and have the resources they need to thrive.