UM Journalism Students Highlight Montana Businesses in MontanaPBS Program

January 22, 2014

MISSOULA – Football helmet latches, devices for using electricity safely, GPS mapping software, an arrow rest for archers, preserves from the Flathead Valley and weighted blankets that help children with autism are the subjects of a University of Montana student-produced television program featuring Montana-based businesses.

“Business: Made in Montana” profiles companies that create products in Big Sky Country and do business not only around the state but also across the country and the world. The program, produced by UM School of Journalism students, will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, on MontanaPBS. Repeat broadcasts are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, and 5:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10.

The Montana businesses featured in the episode are:

  • Helmet Safety Latch: A Kalispell company works with a manufacturer in Polson to create a safer latch for football helmets.
  • Satic Inc.: This Missoula company produced energy-saving green products for the home and businesses.
  • onXmaps: This Missoula company helps outdoor enthusiasts determine their location by using digital GPS maps on everyday devices. The company says they use today’s technology to improve customers’ hunting experiences.
  • RipCord Arrow Rest: This Dillon-based company’s product helps hunters hold their arrows steady for more accurate shots. The product is manufactured in Belgrade.
  • Eva Gates Homemade Preserves: This Bigfork company uses recipes that have been in the Gates family for more than 60 years to create a historic taste of the Flathead Valley.
  • DreamCatcher Weighted Blanket: A Stevensville family inspired by their son’s autism creates weighted blankets that act as a sensory calming product for adults and children. They are said to alleviate afflictions that cause pain and anxiety.

Journalism students in the UM Department of Radio-TV produced the program during autumn semester 2013. Senior journalism major Conor Ballantyne from Plains will host the program. “Business: Made in Montana” has featured nearly 190 businesses during its 21-year run.

MontanaPBS is comprised of KUFM-TV in Missoula and KUSM-TV in Bozeman. It is a service of UM and Montana State University.

For more information call Ray Ekness, professor in the UM School of Journalism Department of Radio-TV, at 406-243-4088 or email






Contact: Ray Ekness, professor, UM School of Journalism Department of Radio-Television, 406-243-4088,