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How You Can Make a Difference Buying Local Food

By Emily Stifler Wolfe

Throw a tomato during a southwest Montana summer and you’ll probably hit a food producer. Whether a vegetable grower, a grain or lentil farmer, or a rancher, they’re the reason much of Montana still looks how it did a century ago.

With a national spotlight shining on small-scale farming and responsibly produced food, organic has become the fastest growing sector of the food industry. And as evidenced by the bare grocery shelves of the early pandemic, local producers are key to a resilient food system, especially in the face of a crisis.

“No matter what’s happening in the world, if you support local agro economy and business, there will always be food and goods available that were made within the community,” said Christina Angell, owner of Root Cellar Foods, an online market delivering local and regional fare to the Gallatin Valley, Big Sky and Livingston.

In southwest Montana, the local food scene is evolving quickly, with interest in regenerative practices—which improve soil health, support biodiversity and sequester carbon—growing among both growers and consumers.

Progressive farmers and ranchers like these are the future of food—and perhaps, the future of the planet as we know it. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite up-and-coming producers.

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