Eat Local and Fresh From Your Neighbors!
Western Montana regional poster
The purpose of the Choose Local Campaign is to help educate community members throughout western Montana of the economic, environmental, and health benefits of purchasing locally grown and produced food at independently owned stores. Materials developed provide on the ground resources to help consumers identify these items while shopping. Materials include an educational info-graphic, a point of display (POD) for shelves to clearly identify each Montana item, channel strips, and a tool-kit that will allow partner organizations to bring the campaign to their own communities. All are available to download for free. Hard copies of these items are available upon request (as long as supplies last).
The need for more localized processing facilities has emerged as a key barrier to bringing back thriving food economies that are controlled by the people, here in Montana. Informing various community members of the values behind supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs is paramount to garner the support needed to actualize more processing facilities throughout the state. If only a few people truly understand the importance of supporting local, there will not be the broad based support needed to make policy change that will eventually support such facilities and the greater local food value chain.
Although there has been a revival of local food purchasing in Montana and across the nation, there is always work to be accomplished. This campaign was designed to make purchasing local food as simple as possible for the average consumer and also to help educate such shoppers of the immense impact of their purchasing power and the impact their dollar has on their communities.
Most prior “Buy Montana” campaigns appear to make the assumption that the consumer already knows the many benefits of choosing local products over their out-of-state counterparts. Based upon that assumption, many prior campaigns do not include an educational component, which is what makes this particular campaign unique. Making this type of economic knowledge accessible to everyone is a huge piece to making any choose local campaign successful, and is one of the goals of this campaign. Letting consumers know that their dollar spent at a local grocery store-- and more broadly at any local business--- and the circulation of that dollar back in their local economy and what that means is key. Local businesses are rooted in our communities. They are more accountable to our community. They are more apt to invest in community organizations, and they bring more meaning to our community members through spreading business ownership to more people.
You can find the campaign at these partner stores: Harvest Foods in Ronan, Super 1 and Mission Mountain Natural Foods in Polson, and Hennessy Market in Butte. For more info on how to become a part of the Choose Local Campaign, contact Project Coordinator Shay Farmer: firstname.lastname@example.org