On Monday, August 15th around forty people showed up at Groundworks Farm, home of Eric and Audra Bergman, to see first-hand their integrated vegetable, herb, and pastured poultry operation west of Great Falls. The Bergmans shared what motivated them to start the farm, how they grow and market their products, and some of their successes and challenges in raising pastured layers and broilers for local markets. The group then caravanned down the road to the McVeda family farm, where Christopher McVeda shared his lessons-learned and new strategies for raising, processing, and marketing pastured poultry. A number of tour participants raise pastured poultry themselves, and there was lots of discussion around specific production techniques, state regulations, and how to make poultry processing cost effective. Some of the attendees traveled long distances to visit these farms, reflecting broad statewide interest in pastured poultry, and a desire to see how some farms are, and are not making this burgeoning market work. Thank you to all who came and as well to this year’s tour sponsors the Montana Organics Association, the Montana Farmers Union, the Montana Sustainable Grower’s Union and MSU Northern’s Bio-Energy Center.
Keep an eye on this webpage for registration information for AERO’s and the Montana Sustainable Grower’s Union’s September 12th farm tour of Fialky Farm in Dixon and Ploughshare Farm in Moiese .