Stories for Action
Old Salt Co-Op: Cole Mannix on strengthening community and land stewardship through food

Old Salt Co-Op: Cole Mannix on strengthening community and land stewardship through food

August 25, 2022

Today we are speaking with Cole Mannix, one of the founders of Old Salt Co-op, a Montana entity with growing avenues of operations to rebuild infrastructure for Montana’s meat…but their work goes well beyond the meat itself with a mission to connect customers and producers in a shared purpose; to be stewards of the land, and to strengthen community. This conversation with Cole will touch on so many larger concepts that go well beyond meat and well beyond Montana…because what the team of ranchers, chefs, butchers, and entrepreneurs behind Old Salt are building, centers around something much deeper. They are proving what can be possible when a business entity leads with respect for the land and people it is connected to, and the shaping of Old Salt is dictated by the holistic connections of people and place.

This episode will speak to ranchers, policymakers, food consumers in all locations, those concerned about wildlife and their habitats, those concerned with community well-being, and entrepreneurs & small business owners of all kinds. In the face of so many pressures; of wild and agricultural lands being bought up and fragmented, rural and urban divides, environmental and social impacts of delocalized food systems, and a fading in human connections, our discussion today shows how Old Salt is creating the energy and impact to touch on all of these concepts.

LINKS:

Old Salt Co-op

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: MT Fish, Wildlife, & Parks’ Mike Ruggles; agency partnerships in Central Montana

Life in the Land: MT Fish, Wildlife, & Parks’ Mike Ruggles; agency partnerships in Central Montana

July 19, 2022

Mike Ruggles is the Region 5 Supervisor for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Mike has spent much of the last 10+years in the field working with wildlife and communities connected to the Musselshell River in Central Montana. The 350 miles of the Musselshell River flows through a great deal of agricultural lands, supports migratory birds and a variety of aquatic species, and has experienced a great deal of channelization over the past 150 years due to infrastructure for highways, mining, railroad, and irrigation.

Mike will speak with us about the significance of agency positions creating relationships with folks on the ground and having them help guide the work, the value in honest dialogue and the need to break habits of making assumptions about different sectors or demographics on the land. He has great insight for folks working both in government agency, as well as landowners. He shares on his work with the Musselshell Watershed Coalition; a watershed group that brings together a variety of stakeholders to restore the natural floodplain of the river, and create communication around the needs of the river and water users. Mike also speaks to the value in connecting communities to their own environments, and an exciting project that MT FWP is partnering on with Musselshell County.

LINKS:

Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

Musselshell Watershed Coalition

Connect to your local Conservation District

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Rancher & Community-led Conservation; Bud and Sheila Walsh

Life in the Land: Rancher & Community-led Conservation; Bud and Sheila Walsh

June 30, 2022

We are on the Walsh Ranch, speaking with Bud and Sheila Walsh, in Central Montana on the edge of the Fort Belknap Reservation. Many elements are dependent on the health of these grasslands; they provide key wildlife corridors, are key for regional watersheds, carbon sequestration, and the health of this region supports hardworking communities largely centered around cattle ranching. These folks take great pride in producing quality food for the world, in ways that can also steward the land.

Here in Central Montana, there are several partnerships being formed, many non-traditional, which Bud and Sheila Walsh are involved in and will be speaking to today. To put it nicely, and vaguely, the world of ranching landowner and conservation non-profits or government agencies have not always had histories of working well together. But Bud and Sheila Walsh will share with us how these partnerships can be done with established trust, communication, and when the needs and knowledge of the ranchers on the ground are truly listened to and respected.  They will share with us about being involved with The Nature Conservancy’s Matador Ranch grassbank and the Rancher’s Stewardship Alliance, where rancher's are leading work, through partnerships, that benefit communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Bud also speaks to his involvement with the Agricultural Committee for the Island Mountain Development Group, an Indigenous-led entity working to create self-sustaining economies and opportunities for members of the Aaniih  and Nakoda Nations. This is a great episode for ranchers, folks in conservation, community development, or great insight for those who think their lives may not relate to those of ranchers at all, because I’m sure in some way you will find that it does. Bud and Sheila share insight on building trust and the values in listening, learning together, creating opportunities for the next generation, and the involvement of local communities. 

LINKS

Ranchers Stewardship Alliance

The Nature Conservancy's Matador Ranch

Island Mountain Development Group

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation, Joe and Kathy Kipp, Stewardship as a rancher and community advocacy

Life in the Land: Blackfeet Nation, Joe and Kathy Kipp, Stewardship as a rancher and community advocacy

June 9, 2022

Joe and Kathy Kipp, of The Blackfeet Nation, Amskapi Piikani, are always on the move; always busy with a variety of things, as cattle ranchers, advocates, parents, grandparents, and so much more. They live outside of Browning, Montana in the heart of Blackfeet Country, on the Blackfeet Reservation in Northwest Montana. As they are involved in so much, you will hear about a variety of topics in this episode.

Joe will speak with us about the importance of stewarding native grasslands, as a rancher and as Amskapi Piikani, his people’s connection to this land, and his experience working in predator/livestock conflict. Kathy will share with us about connecting to traditional foods and her berry orchard, and the value in having community representation. They will both speak to the realities of trauma endured, and the continued strength of their people, and their own messages they have for those within and outside of the Blackfeet community in how to communicate and move forward in a good way.   

LINK:

Blackfeet Nation Stockgrowers Association

Piikani Lodge Health Institute (includes outreach for producers)

Farm Service Agency, Montana Directory

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services

Food Access & Sustainability Team FAST Blackfeet

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

#Blackfeet #Indigenousleadership #blackfeetnation #amskapipiikani #browning #ranching #regenerativeranching #stewardship #resiliency #NativeLeadership #NativeVoices

Life in the Land: Bill Milton (Rancher), Collaborative Work & Resiliency, Central Montana Plains

Life in the Land: Bill Milton (Rancher), Collaborative Work & Resiliency, Central Montana Plains

June 9, 2022

Bill Milton and his wife Dana run a cattle ranch just northeast of Roundup in Central Montana. Bill and Dana have always strived to find symbiotic relationships amongst all life on the land, and this means being involved in a lot of efforts that involve collaboration between agriculture, agency, and conservation interests.

Bill will share with us about the realities of what ranchers are up against and ways he sees resiliency being built for people and place. He speaks to the value and urgency in working collaboratively, creatively, and having honest dialogue around the shared challenges and successes. He will speak specifically to his work with the Musselshell Watershed Coalition, Winnett ACES, and an exciting new project, the Rangeland Monitoring Group, which involves rancher guided research and data collection of the rangeland ecosystem. Bill has great information for fellow ranchers, agency, conservation groups, and those who may see themselves as distant to agricultural communities, expressing shared needs of humanity and resiliency. We will also hear from Natalie Berkman, apprentice at the Milton Ranch through Quivira Coalition's New Agrarian Program.

LINKS:

Musselshell Watershed Coalition

Winnett ACES

Quivira Coalition's New Agrarian Program

Rangeland Monitoring Group

Montana DEQ's Abandoned Mine Land Program

Ranchers Stewardship Alliance

Montana Conservation Districts

BioRegions International

WWF Sustainable Ranching Initiative

The Nature Conservancy Montana

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

Northern Great Plains Joint Venture

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

#regenerative #regenerativeranching #ranching #ranchlife #drought #montana #resilience #collaborativeconservation

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley: Pedro Marques, Big Hole Watershed Committee

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley: Pedro Marques, Big Hole Watershed Committee

June 6, 2022

Pedro Marques, who has an ecology and landscape-scale restoration background, is Executive Director of the Big Hole Watershed Committee (BHWC). This organization brings together a variety of stakeholders; ranchers, anglers, agencies, scientists, community leaders, and more to collectively address challenges and benefit the health of the communities and ecosystems of the Big Hole Watershed in Southwest Montana.

Pedro speaks with us about the importance of bringing varied perspectives together, and how local solutions can address relatable pressures that are being felt around the world; droughts, increased demands on waterways, sustainability of local agriculture, wildlife habitat loss, and land development. He also shares the value in letting nature and local voices guide the work.

LINKS:

Big Hole Watershed Committee

Montana Watershed Coordination Council

High Divide Collaborative

Heart of the Rockies Initiative

Western Aspen Alliance

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Laura Nowlin; Rancher, Winnett ACES, Musselshell Watershed Coalition

Life in the Land: Laura Nowlin; Rancher, Winnett ACES, Musselshell Watershed Coalition

June 3, 2022

Laura Nowlin grew up on her family’s ranch in Winnett, MT, in the prairies and coulees of Central Montana. After a decade away, Laura returned home and continues her family's tradition as a cattle rancher. Her passion and heart is clearly tied to not only the land and waters here, but the community of Winnett. Laura speaks to her involvements with locally led organization Winnett ACES, whose holistic approach touches on everything from ranch viability, ecosystem health, and reviving old buildings to serve the needs of the community.  

She also speaks to her work with the Musselshell Watershed Coalition and the value in partnerships and local voices leading the work. In this conversation, Laura offers inspiration and insight for others who may be looking to push forward a locally-driven group in their own communities, from boosting Main Street to the health of your watershed. This segment also features Aaron Clausen, Senior Program Officer of World Wildlife Fund's Sustainable Ranching Initiative.

LINKS:

Winnett ACES

Musselshell Watershed Coalition

World Wildlife Fund's Sustainable Ranching Initiative

The Nature Conservancy's Matador Ranch grassbank

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

 

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, USFWS Partners Program, Jim Magee

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, USFWS Partners Program, Jim Magee

June 3, 2022

Jim Magee is a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program in the Big Hole Valley of Southwest Montana. The Partner Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners, managers, tribes, corporations, schools and nonprofits interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. 

For the past 28 years, Jim has been an active part of the Big Hole Watershed Committee, which brings together a variety of voices from the Valley to lead programs and provide resources to benefit the land and communities of the Big Hole Watershed.

Jim shares about creating productive relationships between agency and private landowners, the exciting work that they have been able to implement to benefit both wildlife and ranchers in the Big Hole, and the collaboration to successfully keep the Arctic grayling fish from being listed as an endangered specie. This is great information for both agency and landowners alike.

LINKS:

USFWS Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program

Big Hole Watershed Committee

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, Range Rider Chet Robertson

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley, Range Rider Chet Robertson

June 3, 2022

Chet Robertson is a Range Rider in the Big Hole Valley on behalf of the Big Hole Watershed Committee. A Range Rider typically rides amongst the cattle, to keep an eye on the livestock, watch for medical issues, monitor when they need to move to new ground to prevent overgrazing, and to prevent conflict with predators. Whereas most Range Riders ride the cattle, Chet is unique in that he rides the predators, primarily wolves. As a tracker, he keeps a close connection with the area packs, to predict their movements, and to discourage their presence around grazing areas. Chet speaks about the tracker lens that he moves through the landscape with, his perspective on the social divisiveness of wolves, and his experience owning the Jackson Mercantile for the last 20 years, and the larger connections to what small towns are up against. 

Links:

Big Hole Watershed Committee

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

 

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley; Eric Thorson (fly fishing guide), Liz Jones (rancher)

Life in the Land: Big Hole Valley; Eric Thorson (fly fishing guide), Liz Jones (rancher)

June 3, 2022

The communities of the Big Hole Valley depend on the economies of ranching and fly fishing. In this episode, we hear from two members of the Big Hole Watershed Committee from each of those industries.

Eric Thorson owns Sunrise Fly Shop in Melrose, MT and speaks to the significance of fly fishing in the Big Hole as an economic driver and a catalyst for conservation. He also speaks to the impacts on the fishery from a changing climate.

Liz Jones is a rancher in Wise River, MT and was a founding member of the Watershed Committee. She speaks to the changes she has seen in the Valley as well as what the drought and fires of 2021 meant for ranchers.

Both Eric and Liz speak to the value and urgency in different perspectives coming together for the betterment of all life in the Valley that depend on the Big Hole River and its tributaries. The Big Hole Watershed Committee creates a space for that to happen, and can serve as a model for other watersheds to utilize this holistic, community driven approach.

Big Hole Watershed Committee

Sunrise Fly Shop

This episode is part of the Life in the Land project, which is a series of films and podcasts produced by Stories for Action, which hears from folks that interact with the complexities of Montana's landscapes, speaking to the value of locally-led work and the holistic approaches needed for the health of communities and the ecosystems they're a part of. Find out more about the project and watch the films at LifeintheLand.org

Stories for Action holds a mission to use the power of storytelling to create human connection and advance a thriving planet for all. StoriesforAction.org  Follow along on our Instagram and Facebook: @StoriesforAction

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