BILLINGS – With another Thanksgiving and Holiday Season upon us, this year let delicious food produced by Montana farmers and ranchers be part of your holiday menu.

“Knowing where your food is coming from when it’s going on the table is something very special,” said Matt Heinz, store director for Lucky’s Market in Billings.

In Montana, more and more grocery markets are embracing the farm-to-table concept and feature local meats and fresh vegetables; Lucky’s in Billings is one of them.

“The best part about it is seeing them come through our back door with product and how proud they are and how grateful they are because they can reach a large audience through our store,” Heinz said. “So seeing a smile on their face when they come in the back door and seeing how much they appreciate us is great.”

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2 J’s Fresh Market in Great Falls also appreciates the relationship they have with local farmers and ranchers.

“We are a locally owned business and we like to support the local community and it just helps the surrounding areas of Montana and keeps our money here,” said Dawnette Percival, 2 J’s Fresh Market Grocery Manager.

Local farmers and ranchers provide both markets with delicious ingredients, perfect for your holiday meal.

“We do have a handful of Hutterite turkeys that we get a small allocation of those,” Heinz said. “We also carry a ton of Wheat Montana products like flour and bread.”

“We have our local potatoes that are from the Glendale Colony. Then we have our Lifeline Milks along with Kalispell Kreamery,” said Percival.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, food is still a bargain and farmers and ranchers make the Thanksgiving Day feast affordable.

“The 32nd annual informal Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey shows consumers continue to enjoy an affordable food supply as this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is the most affordable in five years. The average cost for 10 for a classic Thanksgiving Dinner decreased less than two percent, remaining under $5 per-person” said John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Market Intelligence.

Both Lucky’s and 2 J’s are always seeking more locally raised and grown meat and vegetables to fulfill their customer’s needs about knowing where their food comes from.

MTN’s Russell Nemetz

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