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Freshly Fort Peck

Extension Education

Wendy Becker
Montana State University


Food Sovereignty has been a goal of the Fort Peck Reservation, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.  Our vision was to create a meal kit with produce raised on the Fort Peck Reservation and provide it to Tribal Elders and local food banks.  This was a collaborative effort among the Fort Peck Tribes Community Services Program, Fort Peck Tribes Natural Resources Department, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), and MSU Extension.  The Fort Peck Tribes annexed a 3-acre portion of land with use of a large storage building, to be used for growing produce, agriculture demonstration purposes, and future projects.  The NRCS provided assistance to erect two high tunnels valued at $17,000, and HPDP provided a working budget of $65,000 for the purchase of equipment and other associated costs.  A recipe was designed that would allow certain garden produce to be harvestable in the fall timeframe and to stimulate healthy eating.  The Fort Peck Tribes provided a buffalo for the meat in the meal kit as well as for other meat lessons.  Honey was extracted from MSU Extension’s hives at the pumpkin patch.  Potatoes were grown in the Tribal Extension Garden, and pumpkins and squash were harvested from the Fort Peck Tribes 1-acre Community Services Garden Project site.  In addition, the potato seed was sourced from the MT State Certified Seed Lab, bees were purchased from a Montana owned company, and local buffalo was used for meat classes.  The challenges to the project were the ongoing drought in Montana affecting the loss of corn, onions, and dry beans, a grasshopper invasion, and supply chain issues.  Despite the nuisances, “Freshly Fort Peck” kits were contributed to 135 low-income households at a market value of $40 each for a cost-savings of $5,400.  In addition to the kits, 29 other educational food sovereignty activities were conducted reaching 489 people.  These included meat classes, a food sovereignty scholarship recipient, container workshops, a Master Gardener Class, horticulture classes, a pumpkin patch for the local Kindergarten classes, and produce giveaways.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Wendy Becker, Heather Snell
  1. Becker, W. Agent, Montana State University, Montana, 59218
  2. Snell, H. Garden Project Manager, Fort Peck Tribes, Montana, 59255