2nd Annual Montana's Longest Table

Submitted by Abby Majerus

Dark clouds roll in and drop the temperature a few degrees, soon the sun disappears and the clouds open up, soaking the area.  This is usual for a summer day in June in Central Montana, the rain shower is brief and soon the sun is back out warming the earth.  Just as quickly as the storm began, a group jumps into action, drying chairs and tables.  In fact, the table they are drying is one long table, ready to seat 200 Central Montanans.

This is the 2nd Annual Montana’s Longest Table.  An event intended to bridge the gap between the rural and urban communities and celebrate agriculture.  What started as a small idea has expanded to a much-anticipated event in Central Montana–an exciting way to celebrate the longest day of the year. 

Farm to table, soil to skillet, fence line to fork, gate to plate – no matter what you call it, events and restaurants featuring locally grown and sourced products are appearing across the country. 

Consumers are voicing their desire to better understand where their food comes from and how it was produced, and retailers, eateries and events catering to this are showing up in large cities and small-town settings alike.  Although individual and unique in approach, the concept is the same – to feature locally grown and produced goods and make the connection between the food on the plate and where it started its journey to get there.

Montana is no stranger to this movement.  Here in the Big Sky State, we have a deep heritage linked to farming and ranching.  Year after year agriculture is the leading industry in the state and as of 2017 there were just over 27,000 farms and ranches within our borders.  These operations are producing wheat and berries for your morning toast and jelly; they are raising the tasty protein sources of beef, pork, lamb and chicken served at Sunday dinners; they cultivate everything necessary for a scrumptious salad, lentils to spinach and finally the base ingredients for your evening cocktail of choice - hops, grapes and corn.

The average Montanan is no stranger to eating local. In fact, food may be as local as their own backyard.  But as generations become further and further removed from family farms and ranches, the “eat local movement” has endeavored to educate younger generations of the potentials of local agriculture and provide confidence for consumers in their food choices.  And the Longest Table event strives to do the same.

The 3rd Annual Montana’s Longest Table will be
held Saturday, June 22nd in downtown Lewistown.  For more information, visit the website at
www.montanaslongesttable.com.

Abby is a third-generation farmer and rancher, and works alongside her parents on their family operation in Central Montana. They raise Black Angus x Hereford cattle as well as wheat, barley and alfalfa. She is a University of Montana graduate with a BS Sociology and MBA, as well as UM Dance Team alumni. She is passionate about seeing agriculture thrive, educating people about where their food comes from, and what it takes to produce it. She loves the country life. She fills her free time teaching fitness classes, working from home in marketing, researching new endeavors for their ranch, exploring a photography hobby, volunteering her time to encourage entrepreneurial growth in their community, and just about any activity that allows her to be outdoors.

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