MSU mobile farm stand aims to increase access to local food

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

BOZEMAN — Montana State University agroecology student Hadley Barnard has learned to ask customers purchasing produce from the university’s mobile farm stand what vegetables they’d like to see at the next week’s stand.

“I might assume that everybody loves kale, and then nobody wants kale,” she said. “At first I tried to predict what people would want, and then I learned that I need to simply ask them.”

The lesson is one of many that Barnard said she and fellow student Serena Whitcome have learned from operating the farm stand at Legion Villa, a 61-unit affordable housing community for seniors in Bozeman. Beginning in July and continuing into October, Barnard and Whitcome have operated the mobile farm stand once per week, selling vegetables at a discounted rate to residents of the community.

Towne’s Harvest Garden and the sustainable food and bioenergy systems program are both cooperatively run by two MSU colleges: The College of Education, Health and Human Development and the College of Agriculture.

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MSU plans online program to help address rural schoolteacher shortage

NOVEMBER 15, 2018

BOZEMAN — A new one-year, online master’s degree program in teaching that Montana State University expects to offer soon aims to provide more access to education and help solve a critical schoolteacher shortage in rural Montana. The Montana Board of Public Education, which oversees public elementary and secondary schools in Montana, will vote on the proposed program in January. If approved, students who already have bachelor’s degrees may apply to the program in the spring for summer 2019 enrollment.

The new program, housed in the College of Education, Health and Human Development’s Department of Education, means that prospective teachers from across Montana – from Eureka to Wibaux and beyond – can earn a master’s degree in education and be eligible for initial teacher licensure in Montana. Students would come to Bozeman for a 10-day intensive introductory teaching academy in the summer and take 12 credits of graduate-level courses in each of three semesters: summer, fall and spring. All classes would take place completely online after the initial summer introductory session.

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Program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities opens at MSU

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

BOZEMAN — Joan Milkovich had been searching for colleges that would be a good fit for her son Jack, who has learning disabilities, but she couldn’t picture sending him to one outside of Montana.

“I had been dreaming of programs for him, but they were all so far away,” she said. “I wasn’t quite ready to send him to Maine or Texas.” The Milkovich family lives in Great Falls.

Then, in the spring of 2018, she heard about a new program at Montana State University for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Called LIFE Scholars – LIFE stands for Learning Is For Everyone – the program was set to enroll its first group of students in the fall of 2018.

“I felt like it was a miracle,” she said. “Jack had always wanted to go to college. It was his dream. The other miraculous part was he always wanted to be a Bobcat …. This whole thing, the way it came together, there’s no other word I can say except that it was a miracle to our family.”

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MSU students perform research to help improve local food products

DECEMBER 17, 2018

BOZEMAN — Montana State University Culinary Services staff noticed in recent years that students in one of the university’s dining halls weren’t eating as many pancakes as expected.

The pancakes were made from a mix by Cream of the West, a company based in Harlowton in central Montana. Cream of the West employees and Culinary Services staff guessed that the pancakes were drying out after they were placed under a heat lamp. The lamp kept the pancakes warm for the students, but it seemed that it also led to a lack of moisture and made the pancakes less appealing.

Alicia Moe, general manager and principal owner of Cream of the West, turned to MSU professor Wan-Yuan Kuo for help. Moe had recently met Kuo – who leads MSU’s new Food Product Development Laboratory – at an event showcasing foods made in the state. Kuo said the lab might be able to help improve the product. Moe – whose company’s pancakes were served at MSU through the university’s Farm to Campus program that works to increase the amount of locally sourced food offered at the university – asked Kuo to give it a shot.

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