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Success Stories

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Woman standing in kitchen next to basket of processed meat products

Grant Makes Dream a Reality for Montana Small Business

In southwestern Fallon County near Ismay, a long, gravel road crisscrosses a landscape reminiscent of the Badlands. Twenty miles down the road through a beautiful valley brings one to Crescent Cross Ranch, home to a fourth generation Montana ranching family, the Lanes.  Their… [Read More]
Ranchers in pasture with their cows

Todd Family Meats Raised with Love from Montana

On a small, abandoned generational ranch along the banks of the Yellowstone River just outside Big Timber, ranchers Heidi and Gary Todd ring the dinner bell, calling their cattle herd to a feast of hay protein snacks. Starting with six cows in 2007 and building the herd slowly… [Read More]
Image of people in a boat

Working Together for Change on Spruce Head Island: Maine Oyster Company Goes Green with REAP Grant

Entrepreneurs must weigh every potential expense carefully. This is certainly true for Krista Tripp, owner of a lobster business and commercial oyster farm on Sprucehead Island, ME. Her company, Aphrodite Oysters, markets its fresh seafood directly to consumers and through area… [Read More]
Rattazzi's Locker staff

Any way you slice it, meat lockers remain vital to rural communities

A dream was realized in 1990 when Nowell “Shorty” Hofer began construction on Shorty’s Locker and retail store on the edge of Mitchell. When Shorty passed away from cancer in 2021, he left a hole in the community and an uncertain future for the local meat locker. Devin and… [Read More]
State Director Julia Hnilicka smiles at local business owner Henry Krull as he bags up lettuce and explains hydroponic farming.

Green energy: photovoltaic array powers growth of Alaskan produce business

During a good year, Alaska’s outdoor growing season is three months for most lettuces and herbs, so providing greens for a community year-round is a feat in itself. Doing so sustainably is another challenge entirely! In 2018, innovator Henry Krull and his family decided to… [Read More]
People cooking in the kitchen

Hope & Main Nourishes Neighbors in Warren, RI

Like most people in the service industry, Lisa Raiola of the Hope & Main (HM) food incubator in Warren, Rhode Island, had to reimagine her operation due to COVID’s devastating impacts. With a 30-year career focused on distributive justice, her first move tackled area food… [Read More]
Katie Adkins stands with cuts of meat

Making Ends “Meat”: Woman-Owned Butchery Grows Local Foods Movement

Local butcher Katie Adkins suddenly found herself in high demand when New Englanders decided to take matters into their own hands to address a COVID-created food supply chain crisis. Residents started raising their own livestock on small family farms and were clamoring for local… [Read More]
Senior in NJ talks about food pantry

The Greatest Thing in the World: Senior Praises USDA Rural Development Funded Food Pantry

Originally from Pennsylvania, she’s a self-proclaimed “Jersey girl” who says she can’t help herself when it comes to helping others. “I like to tell the people around here what they should and shouldn’t be doing,” laughed Joan Lombardi, a resident at Kapp Senior Residences in… [Read More]
A tractor in a field with workers planting plants

Love Continues to Grow at Lovefood Farm

In 2015, Lovefood Farm launched their farm off one rented acre with a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Saturday farmers market and a neighborhood farmstand. Lovefood spent a few years at the Farley Center Farm Incubator, which allowed them to eventually purchase 30… [Read More]
A farmer looks at produce for sale at the Barreras Farm Market.

Feeding the Body, Enriching the Mind

The motto of the Barreras Family Farm and Farm Market is “Feeding the Body, Enriching the Mind.”  Mariel and Anthony Barreras, along with their eight children, bring this motto to life. Together, they run the farm and store – and do so much more. The Barreras family… [Read More]