MISSOULA – University of Montana students and employees will get a taste of Montana’s food cycle with menu items provided by local farmers, ranchers and food producers at the Kyra Jean Williams Farm to College Fall Feastival from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, on the UM Oval.
This annual harvest feast provides a glimpse into UM’s Farm to College Program, as well as a holistic view of Montana’s agricultural food cycle. UM Dining also will celebrate reaching the $1 million mark in local food purchases for the first time since the Farm to College Program’s inception in 2003.
“Our goal is to celebrate the success of the UM Farm to College Program and to raise public and student awareness about the time and effort required to produce the foods we eat each day,” said Mark LoParco, director of UM Dining.
To sustainably complete the food cycle, all pre- and post-consumer waste generated by the event, including food, plates and napkins, will be pulped and processed into soil-enhancing material within 48 hours. The soil-ready material provides the starting point for the next growing cycle.
Two years ago, UM Dining renamed the Farm to College Fall Feastival to honor the memory of Kyra Jean Williams, who passed away in an auto accident in August 2013. Williams began working with UM Dining in 2008 as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer after graduating from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. As the UM Farm to College Program’s coordinator, she planned and implemented the first Fall Feastival, which was so successful that it became an annual celebration.
UM Dining is a national pioneer in advocating the benefits of buying and eating local, sustainable foods. The UM Farm to College Program will celebrate its 12th anniversary this spring.
For more information and event pricing for the Fall Feastival, visit http://www.umt.edu/dining.