Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives

NCAT Helps MT Youth Celebrate & Educate About Local Food

Hellgate Local Harvesters, Hellgate Project Manager Lee Brown, NCAT's Jeremy Drake, and FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey

Hellgate Local Harvesters (from l to r) Francie, Helen, Claudia, Sarah, Carolyn, Alice, and Annie with Hellgate faculty member and the team’s Local Harvest Grant Project Manager Lee Brown, NCAT’s Jeremy Drake, and FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey

Congratulations Local Harvesters Claudia Wiese, Helen Hartley, Sarah Brown, Carolyn Graham, Annie Little Broberg, and Francie Lorenzen for hosting the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party on Wednesday, October 8 in Missoula in celebration of National Farm to School Month. Check out the front page feature in The Missoulian.

Well over 100 students munched on chips and local salsa made in part from ingredients grown by the S.A.V.E. club members in Hellgate’s rooftop garden. They were joined by Hellgate principal Lisa Hendrix, faculty, staff, parents, and community members including MCPS K-12 Trustee Diane Lorenzen. Party goers had the opportunity to hear from the Local Harvest youth planning committee about their experience preparing for the event, learn about local food from FoodCorps service member Amy Harvey, play Local Food Bingo with prizes from local businesses, and plant their own garlic clove (grown by Local Harvester Sarah and her sister Alice) in a biodegradable repurposed newspaper pot in soil donated by Garden City Harvest.

Serving up local salsa

Serving up local salsa

Everyone at the Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is thrilled to have helped make this event happen through the Growing Leaders Local Harvest Event Grant, which provided funding, training, and support. The Rooftop Salsa Party was the second of two Local Harvest events to take place in fall of 2014 as part of this new Growing Leaders youth initiative. Click here to read about the first event, Flathead High School’s grand opening of the Growing a Better World garden.

Local Food Bingo at the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party

Local Food Bingo at the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party

And a big shout out to Hellgate High School teacher Lee Brown for providing guidance and support for these youth throughout veggie growing and event planning. His efforts are building the soil in which these young leaders are growing!

Check out the front page feature in The Missoulian.

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NCAT’s First Local Harvest Event a Success!

Flathead High School Principal Peter Fusaro speaks prior to cutting the ceremonial ribbon held by Flathead High School Environmental Club President Hannah Whipkey and Vice President Caitlyn Shaver

Flathead High School Principal Peter Fusaro (right) speaks prior to cutting the ceremonial ribbon held by Flathead High School Environmental Club President Hannah Whipkey (left) and Vice President Caitlyn Shaver

Congratulations Local Harvesters Hannah Whipkey, president of the Flathead High School Environmental Club, former vice-president Katy Dutton, and the rest of the club’s members for starting the Growing a Better World garden at FHS and for hosting an awesome garden opening party on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 in Kalispell, MT! Click here to read the article in the Daily Interlake.

The party was attended by about 40 students and community members including Kalispell School District Food Service Director Jenny Montague, Flathead High School Principal Peter Fusaro, and Kalispell School District Superintendent Mark Flatau. Kids of all ages participated in planting garlic, Garden Jeopardy, face painting, and sampling a variety of local foods.

FoodCorps Service Members past and present planting garlic with children

FoodCorps Service Members past and present planting garlic with children

Everyone at the Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative is thrilled to have helped make this event happen through the Growing Leaders Local Harvest Event Grant. The grand opening party was the first of two Local Harvest events to take place in fall of 2014 as part of this new Growing Leaders initiative. The second, the Rooftop Salsa Party, will take place at Hellgate High School on Wednesday, October 8 in Missoula.

Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden at Flathead High School

Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden at Flathead High School

And a big shout out to Flathead High School teacher Amanda Matdies for providing guidance and support for these youth throughout garden planning and event planning. Her efforts are building the soil in which these young leaders are growing!

Click here to read the article in the Daily Interlake.

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Local Harvesters

Local Harvesters from Flathead High School and Hellgate High School with NCAT staff at the Local Harvester Training Day on July 31, 2014 at the UM FLAT in Missoula

2014 Local Harvest Event Grant Recipients

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) announced the recipients of the 2014 Local Harvest Event Grant on June 11, 2014. Grants were awarded to two youth-led teams to support events that intend to build awareness about local food in two Montana communities: the Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden at Flathead High School in Kalispell and the Rooftop Salsa Party at Hellgate High School in Missoula. While unique, the events both feature an important shared community asset: their high school garden.

In July, members of each team’s Youth Planning Committee gathered in Missoula for a day-long Local Harvester Training. Jeremy Drake, NCAT Project and Evaluation Specialist and coordinator of the Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives, led the youth through a series of activities to help them build camaraderie, understand cooperative teamwork, and gain skills relevant to event planning. Topics included refining their event planning timeline, defining their youth-led activities, getting the word out, and measuring the impact of their event.

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.

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

2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit

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.

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.

Facebook Icon Join the MT YouthFoodRevolution on facebook
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 Initiatives

Summer Youth Internship Program, August 2014
Rooted in Community National Youth Leadership Summit, July 2014
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?

NCAT 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 are brought to life by generous support from the Foundation for Healthy Montanans.