Montana ranks 3rd in diverse food production. American farmland is dominated by the production of just a few commodity crops used primarily to produce livestock feed, fuel, and processed foods. The monocropping operations that underpin this system lack biological diversity and promote soil erosion and fertilizer runoff into rivers and lakes. In Montana, relatively less cropland is used for the major commodity crops, while relatively more is used produce a mix of foods that better correlates to healthy diets. Read more here [LINK] about a group of farmers who simultaneously improved soil health and created a nowbooming market for lentils.
Montana is 6thin investments toward local food promotion, including farm-to-school programs, farmers market acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), and other programs and initiatives.
On the flip side, the state ranks lower (38th) in farming outlook. Across the country, factors including the ageing of farmers, low rates of farmland ownership—especially by women and people of color—and increasing consolidation that pushes out midsize farms threaten the future of farming. Montana’s lower ranking in this category suggests that the state’s farm industry may be in danger.
Source: Union of Concerned Scientistst