Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce issued the following announcement on Oct. 28.

All are invited to attend the upcoming 'Reimagining School Lunch' workshop in Hamilton, Montana. This is the first gathering of a four-part series. Part One will be held Saturday November 2nd at the Bitterroot River Inn and the inquiry is to help us discover how our current school food system works.

It is our hope to have a lot of different people in the room! We have invited local school board members, superintendents, food service staff, teachers, extension agents, sanitarians, parents, students, and the general public. All are welcome-- your input is valuable! This is an open invitation, so please help spread the word.

The end goal of this project is to Reimagine how to have All Montana grown foods being used for school lunches in the Bitterroot Valley. And potentially as a model for doing the same in schools across Montana. The facilitation of the events is using tools from Theory-U, a social theory process developed at MIT, and modeled after a successful several-year initiative that changed the food landscape in Brazil.

Farm To School has already done a great deal of work getting local foods in our schools. Their experience and learning will be vital as this project works to step back and re-examine the opportunities and roadblocks. We will also rely on the knowledge of others in the community who have done invaluable work within the current food system. The second part of this process will be held March 20-21, 2020 and there we will gather the learning from the first session and begin to prototype new ideas. Over the course of the year parts three and four will be looking at the lessons learned from the prototypes in session two.

The Lab is funded from a grant to the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority from the MT Dept. of Agriculture, designating them as a Food and Ag Resource Center and supporting this project. MT Dept of Ag will receive the information learned from the events and the prototypes as deliverables for the grant. Laura Garber, Director of Cultivating Connections & Kris Byer will be leading the design and facilitation of this event series, with the help of a volunteer planning committee and on-going coaching from the Presencing Institute.

Schedule for November 2, 2019:

9:00 am — light breakfast

9:30 am — kickoff

10:00 am — exploration workshop

12:00 pm — lunch

1:00pm — discovery workshop

3:00pm — site visits & wrap up.

The day will end promptly by 4:30pm

Food provided by Homestead Organics

For more information or to RSVP for the event (especially if you would like childcare at the event) please visit: or email:

For More information on the Presencing Institute and Theory U:

Original source can be found here.

Source: Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce

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