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Food Hub Training Workshop begins February 7, 2023


Last updated 12/29/2022 at 11:28am

Press release

Montana local food producers and business entrepreneurs interested in community food hub start-ups are invited to participate in a free online Food Hub training workshop Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 7 and 14 and March 7, 14 and 21.

People can visit https://www.hopamountain.org/localfood-for-local-families for information on how to join this five-part training series offering education and discussion about what a food hub is, various potential business structures, available software for networking local food producers, hubs and buyers together, and an opportunity to hear from a panel of existing successful Montana food hub businesses.

Grassroots community food hub enterprises support Montana farmers, ranchers and value-add producers while helping ignite community economic development.

“Our food hub played an important role in providing our community with local food during the pandemic,” said Annika Charter-Williams, rancher and founding member of the Yellowstone Valley Food Hub in Billings . “YVFH continued to grow and serve our surrounding community and local producers but not without growing pains and learning curves. We were lucky to have resources to turn to when making big decisions.”

The Food Hub training program is offered by Hopa Mountain in partnership with Mission West Community Development Partners and Local Food Marketplace and others. For more information about rebuilding community food systems, people can visit https://www.hopamountain.org/local-food-for-localfamilies or call Hopa Mountain’s main office at 406-586-2455.

Hopa Mountain, Mission West Community Development Partners, Western Montana Growers Cooperative, Livingston Food Resource Center, Great Northern Development Corporation, Community Food and Agriculture Coalition and the Montana Food Bank Network have cooperatively launched Local Food for Local Families to support and connect producers, food hubs, food pantries and others to increase access to Montana grown and processed agricultural products, the Hopa Mountain website says. The outcome of this collective initiative is to develop a more strategic, equitable and sustainable food system model statewide.

The Hopa Mountain website says the workshops in the start up series are:

Defining a Food Hub, Tuesday, Feb. 7, noon to 1 p.m. Jan Tusick, of Mission West Community Development Corporation will provide an overview on what a Food Hub is and what defines its operations.

“Successful Food Hubs in Montana,” Tuesday, Feb. 14, noon to 1 p.m. A panel of speakers representing Montana’s current successful food hubs will offer an overview of their unique business models and the geographic areas and markets they serve.

“Food Hub Business Structures,” Tuesday, March 7, noon to 1 p.m. Kaylee Thornley and Jan Tusick with Mission West will provide an overview into different food hub structural options, such as cooperatives, 501c3, partnerships, LLCs, and legal, facility and operational considerations for different models.

“Local Food Marketplace Software for Food Hubs,” Tuesday, March 14, noon to 1 p.m. Stefanie Jaeger and Amy McCann will provide an overview of Local Food Marketplace software for local food producer and hub operations.

“Food Hub — Q & A,” Tuesday, March 21, noon to 1 p.m. Hopa Mountain staff will facilitate a discussion of priority topics for emerging food hubs. Information on available supports for emerging community food hub projects via Local Food for Local Families partners will be provided.


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