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NCAT to host workshop for farmers selling to institutions

BUTTE — The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is hosting an interactive workshop, “Entering the Institutional Food Market,” on Friday April 25, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The Farm to Cafeteria Network event will provide information and technical assistance to Montana farmers, ranchers, and food processors interested in selling to institutions. Participants will learn about supplier best practices, food safety regulations, and institutions’ considerations when sourcing from local producers.

A panel of farmers from the Western Montana Growers Co-op and Bozeman’s Gallatin Grown will discuss successes and challenges related to selling to local institutions such as schools, hospitals, universities, and correctional facilities, while Jan Tusick of Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center will discuss Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, HAACP, and other food safety regulations.

In order to explain institutions’ food purchasing needs, the workshop will also include a presentation by Butte School District Foodservice Director Mark Harrison and Boulder School District’s Lisa Giulio. The presenters will share information about schools’ bid process, delivery and volume requirements, and why they want to work with Montana producers.

The cost is $10 for participants and includes lunch. NCAT is located at 3040 Continental Drive. Those interested can register online at http://www.ncat.org/events/.

This workshop is supported by a USDA Farm to School grant and MSU Extension.

Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. In partnership with businesses, organizations, individuals and agricultural producers, NCAT is working to advance solutions that will ensure the next generation inherits a world that has clean air and water, energy production that is efficient and renewable, and healthy foods grown with sustainable practices. More information about its programs and services is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.

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