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Healthy Montana-grown foods packed with western heritage.

About Us—Western Trails Food & Farm-to-Table
Only 10% of food consumed in Montana is produced locally compared to the 1950s and before, when 70% of our food was local. Now virtually all farm products are shipped out of state to be processed, and nearly all on-farm inputs are shipped into the region. The average food consumed in Montana travels 1400 miles to arrive on our plate. This downward spiral has led to significant population loss in eastern Montana over the last 50 years.

The Glendive Horizons Farm-to-Table project is working to change that. A local food system will aid in the development of new commercial crops that producers would be willing to grow locally, if they knew they had a reliable marketing outlet. We bought Western Trails Cowboy Food in October, 2006 from Bud & Jean Clem of Bozeman, because their retirement business showcased value-added agriculture. We are proud to continue their mission of promoting the benefits of hulless barley grown in Montana.

Currently in eastern Montana there are no processing facilities and no system to get the product to the customer in a marketable form. The integrated approach of this project will provide processing capabilities through a commercial kitchen and a combination of marketing devices for cooperative members within 150 miles of Glendive to market their products locally and beyond.

The Ag Marketing Cooperative will help get their products into restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions. Community GATE, the non-profit umbrella of Farm-to-Table formed a producer-owned, integrated farm-to-table marketing cooperative that includes a shared-use commercial kitchen, farm-to-table restaurant, retail outlet and microbrewery located overlooking the Yellowstone River. $500 shares are now available.

These farm-to-table volunteers, with the help of a VISTA volunteer, currently operate Western Trails Food. It's a value-added food business that processes hulless barley and dry beans into soup mixes, barley flour, flakes, and pancake and bread mixes, and is introducing a new line called Prairie Home Cuisine. Western Trails Food products are located in health food, gift shops and grocery stores from Libby to Baker.

By integrating a shared-use commercial kitchen into the project, Grandma's chokecherry syrup or Dad's favorite salsas can be processed locally and sold in stores. The Farm-to-Table restaurant along the banks of the Yellowstone River will feature locally grown foods that will be prepared by culinary students school under the direction of a master chef. Farm-to-Table has worked with Dawson Community College on a culinary curriculum that emphasizes business management and working with local producers.

Not only will we reap the benefits of fresher and more flavorful foods by choosing locally grown products, we are keeping our dollars within the local economy and supporting family farm operations that are so important to our local economies. Contact Bruce Smith, Dawson County Extension Agent at 406-377-4277, Peggy Iba at 406-377-4284, or visit the Community GATE and Farm-to-Table websites for more information.

Thanks to Northwest Area Foundation, Growth through Agriculture, USDA and many others for feasibility studies funds, architectural drawings, equipment and expertise to move forward on this worthy project.

Snacks Made with Western Trails Food's Barley

Farm-to-Table was one of four projects in the US to receive the US Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Shafer's award for innovative help with food to reduce poverty.

Farm-to-Table received a Northwest Area Foundation Great Strides award of $100,000 to continue its work started through Horizons of establishing a regional food system in Eastern MT.

Wholesale Opportunities
Contact us if you would like to carry our products at your store or institution. For orders over $200, you can receive a covered wagon canopy display unit.

Custom Labels
We make custom labels (200 or less) for special events or labels for your home-grown or value-added food projects, like salsa or wine. Contact us for more information.

You can clean and package small batches of grain or beans at the Prairie Development Center in Glendive. Contact us for more information.

Culinary Arts Program
Farm-to-Table Restaurant & Microbrewery
Shared-use Commercial Kitchen
Waxy Barley Nutritional Information
Thick Barley Flakes Product Specification
C.W. & R.K. Newman, A Brief History of Barley Foods

Community GATE
Farm-to-Table Marketing Cooperative
Glendive Food Development Center
Grow Montana
Made in Montana USA