Following the successful Governor’s Local Food and Agriculture Summit in October 2016, the Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition has been busy compiling and distributing information from the event. Grow Montana encourages interested parties to keep an eye on the “Follow Up” page of the Summit’s website for the latest materials.

In November 2016, Grow Montana published an executive summary of the action plans developed by the Summit’s tracks. During the Summit, attendees picked one of five topical tracks in which to work. Each track developed various action plans related to their topic with the overall goal of strengthening Montana’s local food and agriculture economies. The executive summary features all the created action plans in a similar format and provides contact information for the track leaders. Multiple topics came up more than once in the action plans. For instance, multiple tracks expressed an interest in forming a statewide Food Policy Council, and there are numerous references to wanting to increase farm to school/institution programs. Additionally, multiple action plans identified potential policies that would need to be implemented by the Montana Legislature or other policy-making bodies.

The Summit’s website also features an evaluation of the event by way of survey results from attendees. Attendees overwhelmingly indicated they increased their knowledge about local food systems by attending the Summit. Approximately 95% of the survey respondents indicated they wanted to receive information about the action plans created, and 86% said they wanted to be involved with implementation.

Grow Montana’s steering committee members will continue identifying people and organizations to take the lead in convening working groups to move forward the Summit’s action plans. To connect with these efforts, please send a note to travism@ncat.org and indicate the project(s) in which you’re interested. Grow Montana will publish a comprehensive final report for the Summit during the first quarter of 2017.