- Animal Production: range improvement
- Education and Training: decision support system, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, participatory research
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
- Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, partnerships, public participation, social networks, sustainability measures
As with many of the West’s scenic mountain valleys, Ravalli County is attracting new residents, often putting upward pressure on land prices and challenging agricultural viability. This project is designed to increase the options for farm and ranch families to protect farm and ranch lands and the farm businesses working them. The project team will develop leadership among members of the Ravalli County Right to Farm and Ranch Committee. In a travel-study program, committee members will visit four southern Montana counties to see how each is dealing with farm loss and changing land uses. The project will also foster a farm family forum to analyze and discuss alternatives for estate planning or linking buyers and sellers. And they’ll encourage community support for agriculture by educating producers and residents alike about purchase of development rights, conservation easements and ag district formation.