Local Food & Agriculture
Local Food and Agriculture is impacted by climate change by altering rainfall patterns, temperatures, and seasons. These effects include less irrigation water, decreased nutrition of feed for livestock, increased soil pollutants damaging crops, and even early/late freezes.
MARKET VALUE OF PRODUCTS SOLD
As of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, taken every five years, the total market value of Missoula County agricultural products (crops, livestock, poultry, and products) was $9,849,000.
HIRE FOR LABOR
Of the 576 Missoula County farms censused in 2017, 21% (109) farms hired for labor. These workers perform essential daily tasks needed to keep a successful farm running, such as caring for livestock, working with crops and maintaining farm machinery.
Between 21-68 farms sold food and agricultural products directly to local or regionally branded consumers, retail markets, institutions and food hubs in 2017.
ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE
Organic farming has proven to use less energy, improve soil health, decrease pollution, reduction of pesticides, and conserve water. While there is only one certified organic farm in Missoula County, many of our local producers are participating in sustainable agricultural practices such as rotational grazing, no till or low till processes, and cover crops.
On average in the U.S., the distance traveled for our meals from farm to plate, is 1,490 miles. Local food reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with storing and transporting food over long distances.
Our open spaces and well-managed farmlands have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, capture and store additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and improve resilience of our ecosystems.
OWNED & MAINTAINED
The city owns and maintains over 4,200+ acres of open space conservation lands, and partners with our local agriculture community to ensure sustainable land management. Missoula's Oxbow Cattle Company works closely with Missoula and Missoula County to focus on preserving agricultural land.
$190, 925 DSD
SPENT ON LOCAL FOOD
The 2021-2022 Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) Nutrition Incentive Program had a very successful year. Over 31 sites participated in the DSD program (a 16% increase from 2020) and over $190,925 was spent on local food (13% increase).
In the 2019 in Review report by Missoula Food Bank & Community Center, a total of 59,371 pounds of food was rescued from restaurants and redistributed to hungry people in our community. That is equivalent to about 314 MT tons of CO2e avoided from the landfill.
Formerly Known as the Mullan Neighborhood Master Plan, the Sx͏ʷtpqyen Neighborhoods Master Plan involved visioning and coding for a roughly 2,000-acre area six miles west of Downtown Missoula. This Master Plan calls for agricultural land preservation, in accordance with Missoula's growth policy.
SUPPORTING AGRICULTURAL LAND
THROUGH CODE REFORM
Agriculture has been a part of Missoula and its surrounding valleys for centuries and is an important part of our history. Missoula and Missoula County are both working to support local food and agriculture though zoning and code updates.
FOOD POLICY ADIVSORY BOARD
ESTABLISHED IN 2020
The Missoula City-County Food Advisory Board was established in 2020, to work with existing local, county, regional and state food programs, advise on food and farming opportunities, and provide policy recommendations.
- Farmer Mentor Program - provides training and technical support to farm employers and mentors
- Missoula Food Bank & Community Center - receive resource assistance or support Missoula's local food bank
- Open Space - explore the City of Missoula's conservation measures, resource management and land-use policies
- PROST Plan - learn more about the City of Missoula's Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) plan for the greater Missoula valley and urban area
- SNAP - apply for nutritional benefits to supplement your food budget
- WIC - take advantage of food, education and support services for women expecting, caregiving or have a child under the age of 5
If you are a local food producer and are interested in the potential for additional revenue resources, consider connecting with Agrisolar Clearinghouse to support the growth of co-located solar and sustainable agriculture in our local community.
Support your local farmers by purchasing from farmers markets, signing-up for a local community supported agriculture (CSA) share, or by growing your own at one of Garden City Harvest's community garden plots.
COMMUNITY FOOD AND AGRICULTURE COALITION
Get involved with Montana's Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, who are working to ensure that local farmlands are conserved, farming remains a viable livelihood, and that all Montanans can equally access nutritious, affordable, and locally grown food.