The Western Montana Growers Cooperative (WMGC) is a coalition of growers in the Flathead, Jocko, Mission and Bitterroot Valleys whose goal is to provide the market in our region with fresh, quality products from our farms.
To reach that goal, the cooperative provides a wholesale marketing and delivery service for its members. We strive to improve the "local food system" of our area by enhancing the sustainability of local farms and contributing to local economic growth, while reducing the demand of produce being shipped here from long distances.
In 2002, through a "community food systems" grant, Lake County Community Development (LCCD) started working to find ways to get locally produced food to "local" people. The grant paid for one person's salary to take the lead on the project. A small group of farmers became involved and it was determined that a cooperatively owned marketing and delivery service, WMGC, would be a good tool. WMGC grew out of this process and is entirely independent of LCCD.
The co-operative was incorporated in early 2003 and started to sell member produce between Polson and Missoula that summer. The 2004 season proved to be quite successful with strong sales and membership growth. As of 2009 WMGC has 30 member farms supplying a wide range of items, including fresh fruit, herbs vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meat, and grains (see our harvest calendar for a full listing). Western MT Growers Cooperative provides a reliable, professional service with quality products that meet industry standards.
In addition to serving wholesale markets, in 2008, we started providing the same products in a weekly delivery box to individual customers. We continue that service of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) throughout Western Montana bringing our food directly to local members (see our CSA page for more information).
By providing a marketing and delivery service, WMGC allows the farmer members to concentrate on producing great local food while making it more accessible to buyers. Our customers have access to all of our farms with one sales transaction and one delivery. Our farmers bring their goods to a central warehouse in Arlee at the end of the sales day. The truck is loaded and deliveries are made the next day – twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter – ensuring that the produce is fresh and the service convenient for our customers.
WMGC believes in making fresh and nutritious local food available to our community, while fairly supporting local agricultural producers. This business model makes this goal possible.
If you are interested in becoming a customer, please contact us at 726-4769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.