A recently released study puts Montana near the top of the list of States that eat local food. The Locavore index was written, in part, by Martin Langeveld, who explains the purpose of the study.

"Our organization, Strolling of the Heifers, is focused on connecting people with local farmers, local food," Langeveld said. "We realized that there aren't any real good metrics out there for how states are doing in that department."

The Locavore index uses information from Census data estimates for 2012, U.S.D.A farmer's market data, as well as information about community supported agricultural programs and food hubs.

"We kind of expected that Vermont, which is where we are, would rank pretty high and it came out actually number one," Langeveld said. "But we were surprised by how Montana, Iowa, and Idaho, some of the western/mid-western states, did compared to states like California, Colorado and, Florida which are well known for food production."

The study is only in its second year and does not take into account things like private gardens, local laws, or farmer's market turnout. Next year the survey is expected to address farm to school programs.

Montana ranked sixth over all (dropping from third place last year), beaten only by Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Iowa. Texas was ranked dead last.


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