Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives

NEW! 2014 Local Harvest Event Grant

Want to celebrate local food and ignite the Youth Food Revolution in your community? Now’s your chance.

NCAT’s new Growing Leaders Youth Initiative, the Local Harvest Event Grant, is a funding opportunity for Montana high school students interested in local food systems.

This spring, NCAT will partner with two teams of Montana high schoolers to plan a Growing Leaders Local Harvest event to be held in their communities in the fall. The youth-led events will celebrate and educate about healthy, local food. With support from NCAT, these two events will provide youth leadership, learning, and networking opportunities around local food and engage youth, educators, community leaders, local food producers, and others in highlighting, supporting, and building vibrant community-based food systems in Montana.

Applications are due Sunday May 4, 2014 @ midnight

2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit

Whitefish High School students at the 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit PEAS Farm dinner

Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum in Big Sky country.

Youth Summit Videos

2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit – THE MOVIE!
This video highlights the youth-led activities, hands-on learning, inspiring voices, creative expression, and good local food featured at the summit.

Victoria Pozos Bernal gives keynote address
Victoria Pozos Bernal, a Food, What?! alumna from Watsonville, CA, spoke about her experience growing up the daughter of a farm worker and the role it played in her transformation from summertime raspberry picker to full-time food justice activist.

Diversifying the Future of Food: Youth Panel
Three guest speakers from across the U.S. talked about the work they are doing to create more just and accessible food systems in their communities: Scarlett Kaplan, S.A.V.E. Club at Hellgate High School in Missoula, MT; Ayisah Yusef, Rural Coalition in Washington, DC; Phil Nguyen, The Food Project in Boston, MA.

Gerardo Marin introduces Art for Movement Building workshop session
Gerardo Marin, co-director of Rooted in Community from Berkeley, CA, spoke about the role of art in the youth food movement and about the power that beauty and culture can bring to activism.

Bob Marshall dishes out food for thought at the After Dinner Think
Bob Marshall, owner of Biga Pizza in Missoula, MT, award-winning chef, and in this clip at least, comedian, cracked us up after serving up delicious pizzas featuring veggie toppings grown at PEAS Farm and spoke about the 3 reasons he sources locally grown foods for his restaurant.

Josh Slotnick dishes out food for thought at the After Dinner Think
Josh Slotnick, Director of PEAS Farm in Missoula, MT, made us think about the effects of a global food system in which the cost is cheap but the price is high and spoke about the culturally regenerative power of creating local alternatives.

Youth Summit Evaluation

View the 2013 Youth Summit Evaluation Report

What’s next? You decide.
Email Icon Email Jeremy Drake at to find out how you can help lead your community toward a healthier food system!

Past Events

Growing Leaders Youth Summit, October 2013
Youth Leadership Retreat, April 2013


For the adult allies of the MT youth food revolution…



What are the Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives?

Farm to Cafeteria Network is home to the Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives – a program that works to support the Youth Food Revolution in Montana by strengthening young people’s capacity to educate and organize their peers about healthy eating, healthy living, and vibrant community-based food systems.

FHM_logoGrowing Leaders Youth Initiatives events are produced by NCAT and brought to life by generous support from the Foundation for Healthy Montanans.