BRIDGES Trainee, Erika Berglund, helps Missoulians connect to their local farmers
This summer, I had the pleasure of working as a community outreach intern for Community Food and Agriculture Coalition in Missoula, MT. This small but mighty non-profit strives to support a sustainable, resilient, and equitable local food system through its food access, beginning farmer and rancher, and farmland preservation programs. Over the course of 3 months, I helped organize four fun events to both fundraise for CFAC’s programs and connect Missoula residents to our vibrant community of local farmers. The inaugural season of the ‘406 farm feast’ series brought community members to local farms to share in delicious catered meals prepared with local farm-fresh ingredients by local chefs. We also brought 30+ bicyclists on a tour of several small farms in the Target Range neighborhood for the first ‘Blue Mountain Bike to Barns’ event. Although I had the opportunity to try my hand at a variety of tasks, some of my main duties included communicating with farmers and local businesses, designing outreach and marketing materials, and organizing advertising campaigns.
As the outreach intern, I was able to build CFAC’s capacity and help turn fledgling ideas into successful events. I made meaningful connections with local food advocates, producers, and consumers and had the opportunity to gain an intimate working knowledge of Missoula’s local food and agriculture system. My internship with CFAC has inspired me to continue working on food policy in Missoula County. I look forward to deepening the relationships I made and expanding upon the knowledge I gained while interning with them.
Fun Fact: CFAC has a year-round staff of just 6 people but has worked on nearly every aspect of the local food system and has a statewide impact.