One of our newest farmers is no stranger to farming and the importance of locally grown food. For Kim Curren, owner of Shaggy Bear Farm in Bozeman, Montana, becoming a freight farmer seemed like a natural next step for her, and her farming venture is a culmination of everything she’s done. Kim was the recipient of a large grant from Montana’s Department of Agriculture, and Governor Bullock dropped by her farm recently to check out Montana’s first freight farming operation. Kim is excited most about the idea of being able to supply local restaurants, grocers, and the community itself with fresh food year-round, despite Montana’s short growing season.
Exposure to a friend’s family farm while studying abroad and living next to an organic farm throughout her college years in New Hampshire planted the seed for Kim. In the 90s, she was the owner of a café-bakery-bookstore in Colorado that focused on sourcing locally. She initially set out to source organic ingredients for her menu, but was surprised to find out that this wasn’t possible through the big food distributors in her area. She turned to local co-op farms in the community to obtain fresh produce, and people were incredibly excited to get involved and support their local farmers when they visited the café; this was all before the farm to-table movement had even taken root to be the huge movement we know today.
Her passion for supporting community wellness and the importance of local food hasn’t changed despite work in various fields since relocating to Montana. Her current endeavor is helping people in a different way, this time as a medical case manager for a private hospital network. She’s excited to have the flexibility to continue working as she ramps up her farming operation.
With the help of a grant, Shaggy Bear Farm will power its two LGMs with solar energy, and is the first freight farmer to do so! After working in the solar industry for 15 years, Kim knew she wanted to tie alternative energy into her farming operation. She hopes to be 30% solar powered throughout her first year, and is on a 24-month plan to get to be 100% solar powered.
What’s next for Kim? She began her farming operation this spring, and plans on selling her produce to local restaurants, locally-owned grocery stores, and has been in talks with the state university to be a supplier. Stay tuned, we expect big things from Shaggy Bear Farm! Be sure to check out what Kim is doing here.