As you may have heard, the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) has been helping a group of local food advocates explore the feasibility of a food hub cooperative for the Golden Triangle that would be owned and operated by its members. This multi-stakeholder co-op could include farmers, processors, distributors, grocers, hospitals, schools and restaurants. The food hub system would support the local food supply chain by aggregating Golden Triangle farm products and distributing them to institutions, food pantries, and both wholesale and retail markets within a 150-mile radius of Great Falls.
As part of our planning process, we have contracted with Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center, a Minneapolis research firm, to perform a market analysis as the first phase of a year-long feasibility study. They are starting with a survey of the area’s agricultural producers to better understand the needs and interests of local farmers and to identify the crops that could be sold through the hub system.
All ag producers in North Central Montana - both large and small - are invited to take this online survey, and it will take about 15-20 minutes to complete. You will be asked to provide estimates of the percentage of your sales that go through different market channels, such as wholesale, direct market/CSA, and restaurants. The survey asks farmers to identify up to five crops that they would be willing to sell wholesale, and to estimate production volumes and wholesale prices.
Your responses will remain confidential and anonymous, unless you choose to give identifying information at the end of the survey.
We would appreciate a survey response by June 1, 2017. Thank you for your participation!