Keeping it in ag: With Bozeman expanding, is there a future for farming in the Gallatin Valley?

10/24/2016 Bozeman Daily Chronicle

The vista on Dylan Strike’s organic farm, just outside Bozeman on a sunny fall afternoon, is nothing short of idyllic.

Rows of vegetables stretch across neatly kept acres along Stucky Road. Beets and carrots sit cozy in rich soil, while arugula and kale covered with insect-protecting cloth await harvest.

Twenty- and thirty-something workers pull black radishes out of the soft ground, as a tractor putters along nearby. Twisting off leaves with practiced motions, they crack jokes about eating the tubers raw, dirt and all.

 In the distance tower the Bridgers, not yet dusted with snow. And — below them, a field or two away, the homes and businesses of the ever-growing city, a reminder that there’s more than just seasonal change in the air.

Such is the lot of agriculture in the Gallatin Valley, long one of Montana’s great breadbaskets — and in recent years the state’s fastest-growing population center.

With new residents streaming in by the thousands, there’s plenty of demand for new homes and businesses, many if not most sprouting on farmland. There’s plenty of worthy angst, too, over what the growing city’s hunger for land and water means for the industry that planted it here in the first place.

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