In May 2003, two environmental studies graduate students at the University of Montana in Missoula teamed up with the university?s Dining Services, a $2.5 million-per-year business, to start the Farm to College program. Since then, the efforts of Crissie McMullan and Shelly Conner have made large-scale local food purchasing a reality: The university has bought more than $150,000 worth of food from over 40 local and regional vendors.

The university has switched to regionally grown and processed safflower oil, signed a contract to purchase Montana wheat products, started buying local produce when in season, and created a specialty retail section in the campus store, featuring local pasta products, beef jerky, cheese and granola. This fall, all hamburger patties served at the university?s cafeterias will be made from Montana natural beef.

For information, contact farmcollege.intern@mso.umt.edu or 406-243-5861.