Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives

2014 Local Harvest Event Grant Awards Announced

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is excited to announce the 2014 Local Harvest Event Grants have been awarded to support the Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden at Flathead High School in Kalispell and the Salsa Party in the rooftop garden at Hellgate High School in Missoula.

The two youth-led, local food events will take place in fall 2014. Dates and times to be announced.

About the events and the teams that envisioned them:

Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden – Flathead High School, Kalispell
The team that submitted the proposal from Flathead High School in Kalispell was spearheaded by two students, a junior and a senior, who attended NCAT’s Growing Leaders Youth Summit in Missoula last October. Inspired by what they learned at the summit, the young leaders formed “The Environmental Club” and set out to grow a garden at their school that could eventually provide fresh produce for school meals. Less than a year later, Flathead High School’s Growing a Better World Garden has taken root and members of the club are preparing for the Grand Opening this fall. The event will be open to the community and will feature fresh local foods, guest speakers, and youth-led, food-focused educational activities and games, as well as a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Salsa Party – Hellgate High School, Missoula
The team that submitted the proposal from Hellgate High School in Missoula was spearheaded by a group of 9th graders excited about local food and school gardens. Salsa Party seeks to build upon the popular “Salsa Day” event that Hellgate’s Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.) club started three years ago as a way to promote the rooftop garden. Salsa Party will bring Hellgate students and community members into the rooftop garden to eat salsa prepared from ingredients grown in the garden. The event will feature youth and adult guest speakers, informational posters and handouts, and engaging youth-led activities including a healthy eating game.

Keep on the lookout for more information about these exciting upcoming events.

NCAT is excited to provide support to youth in Montana who are enhancing local food awareness in their communities. NCAT’s Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives works to support the youth food revolution in Montana by strengthening young people’s capacity to educate and organize their peers and communities about healthy eating, healthy living, and vibrant community-based food systems. NCAT would like to thank everyone who submitted proposals for the 2014 Local Harvest Event Grant.

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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

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

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

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For the adult allies of the MT youth food revolution…

SOILBUILDERS listserv

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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 and communities 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.