New West Hosts A Conversation in Missoula About Local Food and Local Economies

Be part of a discussion about how local food can mean economic recovery for the Rockies.

Nationally renowned food system analyst Ken Meter will be in Missoula Friday, May 6 at the New West Festival to talk about the results of his recent study on the food system of Western Montana as well as share insights on how the region as a whole is tapping into the burgeoning local food market.

Meter’s keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion with key players in the food chain, including growers, journalists, chefs, processors, distributors and retailers. The panel will take off from Meter’s study and begin mapping how the region can best seize these new opportunities in agriculture.

Afterward, stakeholders are invited to meet with Meter in an smaller setting to have a conversation on what’s next.

New West is offering a special rate for those interested in being a part of the food and agriculture conversation.

To attend the entire day of events, you’re welcome to enroll at the non-profit rate of $125.

(Click here to sign up and follow the links for the non-profit rate.)

To attend Ken Meter’s keynote and the food and ag panel only, attendance is $50.

(Click here to sign up and when prompted, follow the links to the private session on food and agriculture.)

With either option, we hope you can join us for a local food cocktail hour on Thursday night at the Missoula Art Museum to get the discussion going.

More About Ken Meter:

Meter is president of Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, a community-based nonprofit offering research and training tools for neighborhoods, communities and others working toward community self-determination. His work integrates market analysis, business development, systems thinking, and social concerns.

Meter’s recent study, Western Montana Local Food and Farm Economy, looked at a five-county area in western Montana and what he found was staggering. For instance, 73 percent of western Montana’s farms and ranches reported net losses in 2007. Also, by selling commodities, farmers earned $76 million less in 2008 than they did in 1969.

But there are big opportunities, the study suggests, in a localized food system. Meter’s study found that  if consumers bought just 15 percent of their food directly from producers, they could bring $66 million in new income to the region.

Read about his visit to the Flathead in this Flathead Beacon article.

Meter’s address at the New West Festival will highlight the Western Montana study as well as a similar one about Idaho, which he presented – to much acclaim — in Boise at the New West conference in 2010. In general, he will look at the Rocky Mountain West and what the local food movement has to offer to farmers, eaters and communities alike.

Meter’s research is supported by AERO, High Stakes Foundation, Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, Nourish the Flathead, New West, and Lake County Community Development’s Food and Agriculture Center.

About New West:

New West is a digital guide to news, analysis, and culture for the Rocky Mountain region. Based in Missoula, Montana, and Boulder, Colorado, the company’s network of writers and editors cover Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The award-winning new media publication specializes in stories and ideas about the evolving West. Its focus areas include wildlife, energy, politics, development and the innovators that make the Rockies a frontier for technology and entrepreneurship. New West also documents the literature, photography, film, outdoor recreation and local food movement that define the region’s vibrant culture in the 21st century.

New West comprises:
NewWest.Net, the nationally-award-winning online news source

New West Conferences, live events focused on fostering discussion about the changes in the region

This entry was posted in Food and Agriculture News. Bookmark the permalink.