By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist
A survey of producers in the Golden Triangle region is now underway as part of a feasibility study to assess the market potential and economic viability of local food hub system in North Central Montana. The study is being funded by the Farmers Union Institution Foundation in cooperation with the Montana Farmers Union. Consultants Ken Meter and Megan Goldenberg of the Crossroads Resource Center are performing the work with the initial market analysis to be completed by September.
Over the next few months, the researchers will be surveying potential customers and suppliers of the food hub system that will operate within a 150-mile radius of Great Falls. They also will interview those who may become leaders of the multi-stakeholder cooperative.
A volunteer advisory team is monitoring the progress of the study. Those serving on the advisory team represent Sunburst Unlimited, Inc., Organic Heaven, Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, Alternative Energy Resource Organization (AERO), Groundworks Farm and Timeless Seeds, Inc. The Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) is serving as the project facilitator and contract administrator. Please contact Jan Brown at MCDC for more information or go to the project’s web page at: http://www.mcdc.coop/mcdc/projects-/golden-triangle-local-food-system .