Let Us Help You…

Find a Local Food Seller

Looking for carrots? Interested in local lentils? Source local food in your area using our database of farmers, ranchers, processors, and distributors that have expressed interest in selling to institutions.

Find a Local Food Buyer

Have a bumper crop of beets? Want to sell a field of onions — before you even plant them? Find buyers in your area using our database of institutions that are interested in purchasing local food.

Learn About Montana’s Food System

Quick Facts and Resources
Local Foods Videos
Food Systems Research

Farm to Institution Resources

FoodCorp_Montana3NCAT wants to make purchasing local, healthy food as easy and beneficial as possible for Montana institutions. In that spirit, we have compiled the following resources for food service professionals, farmers, teachers, and others involved in farm to cafeteria programs. If you have a resource you would like to add to our list, please connect with us here.

Entering the Institutional Food Market
Check out these educational presentations from our Farm to Cafeteria Network’s “Entering the Institutional Market” workshop held on April 25th, 2014.


Webinar: The Montana Harvest of the Month Program

This webinar provides information about the Montana Harvest of the Month program and how to get your local products served in Montana schools. If you are interested in selling your veggies, whole grains, lentils, beef or apples in schools, now is a great time as schools across Montana will be joining this statewide program that features a Montana-grown food item every month in classroom activities, taste tests, and school meals. This webinar is geared towards producers who would like to sell their products in schools, as well as anyone interested in learning about this great farm to school program that will be starting in September 2016 across Montana.
View the webinar on YouTube.

Webinar: Selling to Institutional Markets: Strategies and Consideration

This webinar provides information and technical assistance to Montana farmers, ranchers, and food processors who are interested in accessing larger food service markets. Although the webinar is focused on Montana, its information also applies to other regions of the country.
View the webinar on YouTube.

The presenter is Ian Finch, the Farm to College Program Manager at the University of Montana. It also features a question and answer period between webinar attendees and a panel of experts in the field, including buyers from the school and hospital markets and an organization experienced with selling to institutions.

MONTANA REGIONAL FARM TO SCHOOL GUIDE: A Story of Growing Farm to School in Two Communities

Read this short guide to spark ideas and solutions for starting or growing farm to school in your town! The guide tells of the efforts of groups in Butte and Boulder over the last two and a half years to strengthen farm to school in their towns with the help of a USDA Farm to School grant.
Download the pdf.

Resources for Farmers and Ranchers
Read about the best ways to contact, market, and distribute to institutions near you.

Resources for Parents, Community Organizers, and Educators
Learn about policies that support local food purchasing and ways you can best support foodservice directors in your area.
Resources for FoodService Professionals
This section includes helpful tips for getting started with local purchasing, models of farm to cafeteria, food safety considerations, and more.

Resources for Food Producers and Processors
These resources can help farmers and producers, community organizations, and extension agents, but may interest anyone interested in community and local foods.

Farm to School Resources
This page lists other resources you may find useful when learning about Farm to School Programs.


Lesson Plans and Activities

Farm to School Curriculum
A collection of well known curriculum models for sustainability, nutrition and garden education, and local agriculture.



Sloppy Joe on a Roll

Hellgate Salsa

Flathead Cookies

Summer Steak Salad

Salsa Lentejas

Beet Bruschetta

Sneaky Bean Brownies and No-Dye Avocado Frosting

Montana Lentil Hummus Recipe

Butternut Squash and Apple Salad

The Dirt E-Newsletter

The Dirt is a bi-monthly e-newsletter featuring updates from Montana’s Healthy Food and Communities Initiative programs, including Grow Montana, Farm to Cafeteria, and FoodCorps Montana. as well as other relevant food news from around the state. Each issue of The Dirt always includes a tasty, seasonal Montana grown recipe that we source from our staff and volunteers, partners, and allies.

Click here to subscribe to future editions of The Dirt.

December 2017
September 2017
June 2017
March 2017
January 2017

November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
May 2016
March 2016
January 2016

November 2015
September 2015
July 2015
May 2015
March 2015
January 2015

November 2014
September 2014
July 2014
May 2014
March 2014
January 2014

November 2013
September 2013
July 2013

National Food System Resources

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s ATTRA Program

Farmer’s Market Coalition
National Good Food Network

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

New Farmer Project (U of VT)

MSU Extension (Organic Agriculture)

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Brian Halweil’s Food Democracy, from the Heifer International publication, reveals the increasingly negligible power and influence of every-day eaters in a globalized food system, and provides hopeful glimpses into communities creating an alternative model that is more inclusive of all people—a food democracy—through locally-based food systems.
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Let Us Help You…

Producer Database

Get information about Montana food producers, processors, and distributors who are interested in selling to institutions.

Institution Database

Get information about Montana institutions utilizing local food systems to put food on the table.

The Farm to Cafeteria Manual for Montana is now available!

FTC Montana Manual
We’re excited to announce our new resource, the Farm to Cafeteria Manual for Montana, a how-to for farmers, ranchers, foodservice directors, and community leaders.

Blog Archive


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