Monday, Jan. 29th, 2024

2024 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship Now Open

(Left) Bebe Crouse will serve as a juror for the second year in a row for the Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship. (Right) Kelsey K. Sather will be joining Bebe as a co-juror this year. Photo by Blair Speed. Wyoming Arts Council Accepting Applications for the 2024 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship

The Wyoming Arts Council is now accepting applications for the 2024 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship.

This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 is a national call open to creative writers (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) and journalists (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work. This fellowship seeks to intersect science, education, current events, and conservation to effectively communicate the Greater Yellowstone’s natural history and singular importance to society through creative and exceptional writing and subject communication.

Applications are accepted online via Submittable. The application deadline is March 15, 2024. Established and recognized authors are being sought, but emerging and mid-career writers are also encouraged to apply. Wyoming state residency is not required.

The fellowship recipient will be expected to create or complete a relevant publishable or produced work and may be requested or encouraged to make public presentations. In addition to the financial award, the fellowship recipient may elect to also receive a one week housing residency at one of several prearranged different locations within the Greater Yellowstone region. Such residency will be based on availability and will be negotiated with the fellowship recipient.

Bebe Crouse will serve as a juror for the second year in a row. Crouse spent more than 25 years as a working journalist before taking her position as Associate Director of Communications for The Nature Conservancy. Bebe spent a decade as Environment and Western Editor for NPR. She has reported and produced award-winning radio and television news stories and documentaries for national media networks including NPR, CBS, NBC, Wall Street Journal, BBC, and PBS. Her work has taken her across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Cuba, Kenya and Central America. She also spent time as a mountain and river guide and an environmental planner in Oregon and California. Her experience combined with her education in Environmental Science positions her well for her job with The Nature Conservancy where she continues to write about the things she values. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking and floating in kayak or raft.

Kelsey K. Sather will join Bebe as juror this year. Sather was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana. She’s the author of “Birth of the Anima,” and is a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award. Her stories, both real and imagined, explore the complexities of human-nature relations. She attended the University of Utah on fellowship and graduated with an MA in Environmental Humanities. After teaching at the college level, Kelsey co-founded a writers’ collective, where she facilitated creative writing workshops for all ages. She’s worked with hundreds of writers on projects ranging from bestselling nonfiction to short stories and school papers. Today, she continues teaching at outdoor writing retreats while working on the second book in her eco-fantasy series, “Ancient Language of the Earth.” She is also an avid rock climber and coaches the Bozeman Climbing Team. At the core of her vocation as an author and teacher is the hopeful intention to help people live with deeper connections to self, nature, and each other.

This Fellowship is made possible with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund. In late 2021, The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund endowed this fellowship with the Wyoming Arts Council, ensuring funding this opportunity for years to come.

A complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information can be found on Submittable. For more information, contact Kimberly Mittelstadt at kimberly.mittelstadt@wyo.gov or 307-274-6673.

Add a Comment »

Ben Miller’s Stand-Up Science Coming to the Last Best Comedy in Bozeman in February


Coming to the Last Best Comedy in Bozeman in February is a multimedia stand-up comedy show about science. 

A show that's equal measures hilarious, educational, and deeply personal. NYC based scientist and comedian Ben Miller uses stories on topics ranging from his musculoskeletal condition to his childhood history with milk as jumping off points for scientific and comedic exploration. Using pictures, graphs, and videos, this multimedia comedy show makes science both approachable and delightful. And you probably like that sort of thing, nerd.

For his first few years as a comedian, Ben was extremely hesitant to tell people that he was a scientist with an ivy league education. Ben worried about coming off as pretentious or unrelatable, something that can easily kill any connection with an audience. Even most other comedians had no idea about his background. But during the lockdowns, he started to reconsider this aversion to discussing his scientific identity and began to realize it was something that made him unique amongst most comedians. Perhaps Ben could combine his skills to both educate and amuse, making science funny and accessible. So, he filmed a few episodes of a web-series very uncreatively titled “Stand-Up Science” . He was genuinely nervous to share the video, but the response was incredible, so he continued making the web-series that has now been developed into the live show that had a completely sold out run at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and now he's touring around the US and UK.

Ben Miller is an NYC based comedian who has been working for the past 7 years and in that time, he's performed at all the top clubs in the city such as Broadway Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, Dangerfield's, Carolines, and The Stand. He's currently ranked as the top roast battler in NYC. He also has a degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Columbia University. He's worked with electron microscopes, been a teacher on a science bus, 3D printed cookies, and diffused a few bar fights while on stage. His jokes are sharp and self-deprecating, and he was once called “one of NYC’s best pound-for-pound joke writers” which isn’t saying much considering how little he weighs. In 2023, he was an Artist in Residence at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, the first ever stand-up comedian selected by the National Parks Arts Foundation.

Praise for Stand-Up Science:

“One of NYC’s best pound for pound joke writers Ben Miller is unsurprisingly a scientist… you have to see this just for the Spike Lee joke, I almost spit milk out my nose when I heard it.” [Matt Levy, Comedy Stray Notes]

Fantastic show! Ben was a delight. Deeply personal, highly engaging, and rather educational. Highly recommended.” - Audience member

“Ben is genuinely engaging, and very funny (for a geek!)” – Audience member

“THIS GUY IS JUST GREAT. So funny, very unique and so so likeable, I felt completely relaxed and enjoyed every second. Not only is his material brilliant and clever but his ad libs are spot on and he always feels genuine and likeable.” – Audience member

“Have you ever seen a comedian cite their sources? Ben Miller does. Check it out, it’s worth it.” – Audience member

 

Venue: Last Best Comedy, 321 E Main, Alley Entrance, Bozeman, MT 59715

Ticket Price: $20

Date: Wednesday, February 21st

Time: 8:00 PM

Ticket Link: https://www.lastbestcomedy.com/events/wednesday-night-stand-up-with-ben-miller

Stand-Up Science Teaser Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxFq8TN3MD4

Add a Comment »

Including sulfur in soil fertility programs can benefit crops, according to Montana State Extension specialist

BOZEMAN — Sulfur’s role as an agricultural nutrient is often overlooked, but including it in soil fertility programs can positively impact crop yield, quality and economics, according to a Montana State University Extension specialist.

Clain Jones, MSU Extension soil fertility specialist and professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, said that modern phosphorus and potassium fertilizers contain less sulfur as a manufacturing byproduct than they historically did. Coupled with higher-yielding varieties and more intense cropping, leading to more sulfur being removed from fields, there is an increased chance for sulfur deficiencies. Sulfur-deficient plants are often stunted with yellow upper leaves, in contrast to yellow lower leaves, which indicates nitrogen deficiency, Jones said.

"Crops can respond to sulfur additions in a manner similar to nitrogen," Jones said.

Sulfur, like nitrogen, is a building block for proteins. If sulfur is deficient, crops may not use nitrogen fertilizer as efficiently, resulting in less than optimum grain protein and yield. By applying sulfur and increasing the efficiency of nitrogen use, farmers can also decrease nitrate leaching and soil acidification — and possibly lower the amount of nitrogen needed, Jones said.

Testing

Jones said there is no single recommended sulfur soil test as there is with nitrate. That’s partly because soil sulfur availability is often highly variable across a field. Coarse-textured soils with low organic matter are the most susceptible to sulfur deficiencies. He noted that when six to 10 soil samples from across a field are mixed for laboratory analysis — which is the standard in Montana — one or two high-sulfur samples could skew the results and suggest the field doesn’t need sulfur when most of it is deficient.

“Although more expensive in the short term, it can be highly beneficial to learn which parts of a field have low sulfur through ‘grid sampling’ instead of mixed samples,” Jones said.

Jones recommends learning what sulfur test a laboratory uses. He said numerous soil tests are available, and each can produce very different results.

“For example, the Mehlich-3 test, which is used in midwestern and eastern states, greatly overestimates sulfur availability in higher-pH Montana soils,” Jones said. Calcium phosphate extraction tests are recommended for western soils, but other extracts might do an adequate job of assessing available sulfur, too, Jones said.

In addition, Jones recommends testing sulfur fertilizer in strips within fields and conducting plant tissue sampling to learn if crops have sulfur deficiencies. Plant tissue testing should be done early in the season so that a “rescue” sulfur treatment can be applied to nitrogen-deficient areas.

Fertilization

Jones recommends considering the “4Rs” – right place, right rate, right time and right source – for fertilization.

Because sulfur is needed early in the growing season, it should be applied at seeding, either in the furrow or side-banded. Side-banding avoids the risk of fertilizer damage to the seedling when high rates are placed in-furrow, he said. Sulfate is mobile and can also be applied as a surface broadcast application if ammonium sulfate is used.

Gypsum is less acidifying than ammonium sulfate, so Jones recommends using it on acidic soils, even though it’s somewhat less soluble. Elemental sulfur, on the other hand, becomes available too slowly for in-season use and needs to be applied a year or two before it is needed. Fall applications of sulfate are not recommended because sulfur, like nitrogen, can be leached easily by fall-to-spring precipitation.

Unlike other major nutrients, there’s limited guidance for sulfur fertilization rate requirements of Montana crops. Oilseeds, including canola and yellow mustard, need far more sulfur than cereals like wheat and barley, Jones said. He noted that in high-yielding oilseed fields, 20 pounds of sulfur fertilizer per acre should prevent sulfur deficiency, regardless of soil test results.

Alfalfa is also a large user of sulfur, needing about 22 pounds of sulfur per acre for a 4-ton per acre yield. Cereals and pulse crops, like lentils, chickpeas and peas, likely need only 5-10 pounds of sulfur fertilizer per acre, with the higher amount needed on fields with high yield potential.

Research

A recently accepted research paper by Perry Miller, professor in the MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, to be published in the Agronomy Journal, found that only 5 pounds of added sulfur per acre increased lentil grain yield in 20% of sites in Montana and North Dakota. Due to the low cost of sulfur fertilizer, the average increased grain yield easily offset the sulfur fertilizer cost, even when accounting for sites where lentil grain yields did not increase, Jones said.

Jones is currently conducting research funded by the Montana Fertilizer Check-off with colleagues Miller, Pat Carr and Justin Vetch with the MSU Department of Research Centers to determine the sulfur needs of spring canola, pea and wheat, and to evaluate different sulfur soil tests, following previous MSU studies on the effects of sulfur on lentil crops. In addition, there are ongoing Montana sulfur studies on winter canola led by Miller and on cereal forages led by Hayes Goosey in the MSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences.

Goosey noted that adequate sulfur levels can decrease forage nitrate levels in cereal forages. 

“Forage nitrate is a concern for livestock owners because it causes early-term abortions and other reproductive issues in pregnant animals," Goosey said.  

Questions about sulfur or soil nutrients may be directed to Jones at clainj@montana.edu or 406-994-6076.

Add a Comment »

FWP hires additional staff for fish monitoring in Jefferson Basin

BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in partnership with Montana State University (MSU), have brought on new staff and students in preparation for this year’s field season to study rainbow and brown trout declines and fish health concerns in the Jefferson Basin.

FWP recently hired a new fisheries technician based in Dillon to support efforts in the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby and Madison rivers, including upcoming studies with MSU. That work will include three PhD students and support staff who will begin studies on recreational use, adult trout mortality and juvenile trout recruitment in 2024 on the four rivers.

FWP and MSU staff and students are meeting regularly to prepare for the upcoming field seasons. FWP staff will continue to provide regular updates on these projects through news releases and public meetings.

“We’re looking forward to beginning this important field season this spring,” said Mike Duncan, FWP’s fisheries program manager in southwestern Montana. “We’re grateful for the partnerships that will make these studies possible as we work toward solutions to the issues we’re seeing for fish in the Jefferson Basin.”

Fish health update

In the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers, FWP staff and anglers have observed clinically diseased adult fish with apparent increasing frequency in recent years. FWP has conducted health assessments in those rivers. However, disease in fish is a complex interaction among the fish host, potential pathogens and environment, which poses challenges in determining the primary cause of fish health issues.

FWP staff have detected the parasite that causes proliferative kidney disease in the Big Hole River and many other rivers across Montana using molecular testing methods. However, staff have yet to see the disease manifest itself in fish in the river. It is also unclear whether the observed fungal infections or lesions are the primary cause or secondary effects of another disease. Thus far, testing has not identified any bacteria or viruses that are common fish pathogens.  

Tissue from diseased fish are being examined at a cellular level by pathologists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Results will be available this winter and will help determine the next steps in health assessments. Further testing for potential fungi, bacteria or viruses using alternative culture methods and technologically advanced molecular testing will occur this spring, summer and fall in adult and juvenile fish collected from the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers. 

In the meantime, FWP has convened a workgroup with experts from across the country to better understand risk factors and underlying stressors influencing fish health at individual and population levels in these rivers. The workgroup will develop a proactive monitoring approach to characterize the relative contribution of potential stressors, including water quantity and quality, climate, and angling pressure that will be implemented this spring.

FWP’s partners include fish health experts, histopathologists, water quality specialists, microbiologists, fish physiologists and fish biologists with FWP, MSU, USFWS, USGS, Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab at Washington State University and the USGS Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit.

For more information about FWP’s response to trout declines in the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers, visit bit.ly/3Scbf9X.

Add a Comment »

Saturday, Jan. 20th, 2024

Verge Theater Presents: Songs for a New World

BOZEMAN - Verge Theater is thrilled to present the contemporary, Jason Robert Brown musical, Songs for a New World. Opening Friday, February 2nd and running through Sunday, February 18th, Songs for a New World is the perfect cozy night out to enjoy ninety minutes of transformative vocal performances supported by a four piece band.

Under the skilled guidance of director Tessa Welsch and musical director Lori Rosolowsky, this tight-knit cast of talented vocalists will guide audiences through a series of songs that intertwine inspirational, empathetic characters and history, diving deep into what it means to be human.

Each song brings you into the heart and soul of the characters experiencing universal joys, sorrows, hopes and fears. Like a mirror, Songs for a New World offers the chance for you to see yourself in each story.

Verge Theater is continuing their mission to provide accessible theater to our community.

Tickets for Songs for a New World are Pay What You Wish with a suggested price of $35.

Audience members are offered the opportunity to select the price point that is comfortable for them when purchasing tickets.

Audiences are invited to attend a Special Valentine’s Performance on February 14th!

This special event will include champagne, a sweet treat, and a transformative show. Tickets are just $50 for this night out on Valentine's Day.

Performers:
● Samantha Pedersen
● Siri Devlin
● Connor Tweet
● Kristién Watkins

Band:
● Richard Williams (Percussion)
● Taka Maxfield-Matsumoto (Cello)
● Cam Warner (Bass)
● Lori Rosolowsky (Keyboard)

Creative Team:
● Tessa Welsch (Director)
● Lori Rosolowsky (Music Director)
● Olivia Olson (Stage Manager)
● Isabel Shaida (Asst. Director)
● Emma Rathe (Vocal Coach)
● KC Luchsingser (Sound)
● Julie Seitel (Lighting)
● Kristin Wilcox (Lighting).

Songs for a New World runs February 2 - 4, 8 - 10, 14, 16 - 18.
Performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays begin at 7:00 p.m., with Sunday matinees offered at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at https://www.vergetheater.com/songsforanewworldtickets

Add a Comment »

Prospera Announces Statewide Funding Opportunity Empowering Women-Owned Businesses

BOZEMAN – Prospera, a catalyst for economic empowerment, is thrilled to announce the opening of applications for its statewide grant opportunity, Prospera’s Impact Grant for Women, designed to support and boost women-owned businesses across Montana.

To foster entrepreneurship and drive economic growth, Prospera is offering a total of $18,000 in funds to assist three deserving women-owned businesses in achieving their business growth goals.

Women entrepreneurs statistically don’t secure the same funding as their male counterparts. Prospera recognizes this disparity and aims to provide meaningful support through this grant opportunity. By offering this funding, Prospera aims to empower women-owned businesses to scale, innovate, and contribute to the economic vitality of the communities they live and work in.


Key details of the Prospera Statewide Grant Opportunity:
Grant Amount: $18,000

Number of Grants: Three (3)- One $5,000 rural grant (businesses operating in towns with populations less than 10,000), one $5,000 urban grant (businesses operating in towns with populations more than 10,000), one $8,000 grant that is open statewide no matter the town the business operates.

Eligibility Criteria: Open to all Montana women-owned businesses that have been registered with the MT Secretary of State and revenue generating for a minimum of one year, with ownership of 51% or more.

Application Period: Jan. 1, 2024 to March 8, 2024 at noon MST

Application Process: Interested entrepreneurs can apply through Prospera's official website https://prosperamt.org/loans-grants/impact-grant. Attend Prospera’s How to Apply Webinar on February 2 at 10am, register for the webinar at https://mtsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/5746

Pitch Contest Process: This is a two-step process. After the applications are submitted and scored, the top nine applications will pitch their funding request live on Zoom on April 17, 2024.

This is the sixth year that Prospera will be offering Prospera’s Impact Grants for Women. After granting these funds Prospera will have provided $106,500 to 20 women-owned businesses across Montana since 2019. Funding for the grant is independently raised at Prospera’s annual Prosperity Party. To contribute to future grant cycles or to support Prospera in its efforts to build a strong Montana Economy visit: https://prosperamt.org/foundation


About Prospera: Prospera helps businesses and communities find their pathway to success, acting as the navigator, problem solver, and catalyst for a string Montana economy. For nearly 40 years, our focus is helping people start and grow their local business – which in turn strengthens our region’s economy and communities. Prospera is dedicated to accelerating business through our no-cost business counseling, business training, grant assistance, business networking, and business loans.

Add a Comment »

Montana State receives grant to establish initiative to help underserved communities

Julia Haggerty, Montana State University associate professor and acting manager of the new EPA partnership based at MSU, speaks during the Friday, Jan. 19, event. MSU photo by Colter Peterson

BOZEMAN
– At a Jan. 19 event on campus, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Montana State University will receive at least $10 million to establish a regional partnership to help communities and tribal nations in six states address environment- and energy-related priorities.

Funded by the EPA’s Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers Program, the MSU-hosted initiative will provide resources and assistance to underserved entities, such as rural and Indigenous communities. With offices on the MSU campus, the program will employ outreach and engagement specialists stationed throughout EPA Region 8, which includes Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“Together, EPA and MSU will help break down the barriers to resources that underserved and overburdened communities have always faced,” said KC Becker, EPA regional administrator. “These communities deserve support and fair access to the historic levels of funding EPA offers to protect families’ health and homes.”

Julia Haggerty, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, is serving as acting manager of the new program at MSU, which aims to start operating this spring. A resource and rural geography specialist, Haggerty has spent her career working with communities and tribal nations to identify strategies to enhance resilience and well-being as energy and natural resource markets and policies shift.

Haggerty said that the program will promote student engagement through opportunities for students to support the TCTAC’s activities as interns, part-time workers and through directed study.

“What excites me as a faculty member is that this creates an incredible opportunity to elevate our game when it comes to identifying service-learning opportunities for students as we support program participants,” Haggerty said. “Many students and faculty care deeply about doing work to improve well-being in the region. There will be tremendous opportunities for students to learn from and participate in these efforts.”

MSU’s is one of 13 regional centers being established by the EPA under the White House’s Investing in America agenda. The EPA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, selected MSU based on its ability to provide technical assistance related to energy and environmental justice, according to an agency press release.

The EPA-funded centers will provide training and other assistance to program participants in such areas as navigating federal grant application systems, developing strong grant proposals and effectively managing funding. The centers also will help identify funding opportunities and support community engagement, meeting facilitation, and translation and interpretation services. An additional focus of the program is accessing experts for consultation on technical and policy issues.

The program at MSU will use the expertise of partner agencies and organizations.

Some of them, such as the Extension programs at MSU, Colorado State University, Utah State University and the University of Wyoming, will receive funding under the five-year grant. Haggerty emphasized the prominent role of Extension programs at all the Region 8 land-grant universities in supervising the community engagement specialists assigned to their specific areas.

“The specialists – five new positions in total – will connect the knowledge and leadership in Region 8 communities with resources to empower local solutions,” she said. “There are currently many funding opportunities to address environmental and energy problems, but those opportunities can fly by underserved communities, where resources needed to apply and manage those funds are stretched thin by existing priorities.”

In keeping with its commitment to improve lives and communities, MSU Extension will use its expertise in community vitality and community-based leadership for the benefit of rural and tribal communities, said Cody Stone, Extension executive director.

MSU’s approach engages the Montana IDeA Community Engagement Core, which works to foster and enhance tribal and rural community partnerships to mitigate health disparities and enhance health equity, and the expertise of faculty and staff across the university.

The Colorado State University Center for Environmental Justice is serving as the executive co-lead alongside MSU. Also funded at CSU are the Center for the New Energy Economy and the Prevention Research Center.

Funded partners not affiliated with any of the land-grant schools in the region are the Alliance for Tribal Clean Energy and The Center for Social Creativity.

Other partner organizations include the Extension programs for North Dakota State and South Dakota Stateuniversities; the Milken Institute Community Infrastructure Center; Environmental Partners Network; Just and Equitable Transition Network; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Green Latinos; Save Energy Coalition; and Resources Legacy Fund.

More information about the center and the services it will provide is available athttps://ou.montana.edu/thrivingcommunities/index.html.

Add a Comment »

Friday, Jan. 19th, 2024

Safe Storage Tips for Non-Perishable Foods

Storing non-perishable foods effectively is crucial for maintaining their quality and ensuring safety. This type of food, often seen as the backbone of emergency preparedness and pantry stocking, includes items like canned goods, grains, and dried beans. Unlike perishables, these foods have a longer shelf life, but that doesn't mean they're impervious to spoilage or quality degradation. Proper storage is key to preserving their integrity, flavor, and nutritional value. The goal is to protect them from factors like moisture, light, and pests, which can compromise their quality. By understanding the fundamental principles of non-perishable food storage, households can maximize the lifespan of these essential items, reduce waste, and maintain a reliable food supply. This introduction sets the stage for exploring practical and effective storage tips that ensure your non-perishables remain safe, accessible, and ready for use whenever needed.

Choosing the Right Containers

Selecting appropriate containers for storing non-perishable foods is a critical step in preserving their quality. The ideal containers are airtight, durable, and made of food-safe materials. Airtightness is crucial to prevent exposure to air, which can lead to staleness or moisture buildup, potentially causing mold or spoilage. Glass jars with tight-sealing lids are excellent options, as they don’t impart any flavors to the contents and are easy to clean and reuse. Plastic containers can also be used, provided they are BPA-free and designed for food storage. For larger quantities or bulk items, heavy-duty plastic bins or metal containers are suitable, especially when looking for options to store items in locations like self storage units in Baltimore. Such environments require sturdy, pest-resistant, and moisture-proof solutions. 

Additionally, ensuring the transparency or labeling of containers helps in quick identification and rotation of stock, keeping the oldest items at the front for use first. This approach not only helps in efficient space utilization but also contributes to minimizing waste and maintaining an organized pantry.

Ideal Storage Locations

Selecting the perfect spot for storing non-perishable foods is as important as choosing the right containers. The location should safeguard the food from environmental factors that can compromise its quality. A cool, dry, and dark area is ideal, as it minimizes exposure to heat, moisture, and light, all of which can accelerate degradation. The United States Department of Agriculture offers comprehensive guidelines on food storage, emphasizing the importance of temperature control. 

According to their recommendations, the following guidelines should be considered:

                • Avoid areas near stoves or ovens, as heat can spoil food faster.
                • Steer clear of damp places like under the sink, which can invite mold.
                • Keep food away from windows where sunlight can cause temperature
                   fluctuations.
                • Choose a spot that's not prone to drastic temperature changes, like a
                   basement or a pantry.
                • Ensure the storage area is far from chemicals or cleaning agents, to prevent
                   contamination.

These locations, when chosen correctly, not only prolong the shelf life of non-perishables but also help maintain their nutritional value and taste. Proper storage location selection, combined with the right containers, forms a comprehensive strategy for keeping your non-perishable foods safe and consumable for longer periods.

Managing Expiration Dates

Effective management of expiration dates is pivotal in ensuring the safety and quality of non-perishable foods. While these items are known for their long shelf lives, they do not last indefinitely. It's essential to be vigilant about expiration dates to avoid consuming spoiled foods, which can lead to health risks. One effective strategy is to practice the “first-in, first-out” principle, ensuring that older items are used before newer ones. When stocking your pantry, place newly purchased items at the back, allowing older ones to be consumed first.

Regularly checking expiration dates is also crucial. Set aside time monthly to inspect your pantry and remove items that are past their expiration or best-before dates. This not only helps in maintaining food safety but also in avoiding unnecessary waste. In addition to the printed dates, pay attention to the appearance and smell of the food. If something looks or smells off, it’s safer to discard it.

Remember, managing expiration dates is not just about safety; it's also about enjoying your food at its best quality. By keeping a close eye on these dates and organizing your pantry accordingly, you ensure that your non-perishable foods are always fresh and ready to enrich your meals.

Organizing for Easy Access

An organized pantry not only makes finding items quicker but also ensures efficient use and rotation of your non-perishable food stock. A systematic approach to organizing can make a significant difference. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the importance of organization in preventing foodborne illnesses.

To streamline your pantry, consider the following steps:

1. Group similar items together – place all grains, canned goods, and spices in their respective sections.
2. Use clear, labeled containers for bulk items – this makes identification easy and keeps food fresh.
3. Allocate specific areas for different food categories – designate a shelf for breakfast items, another for baking supplies, and so on.

This method not only simplifies the process of finding what you need but also helps in tracking your inventory and understanding what needs restocking. An organized pantry reduces the time spent searching for items, minimizing the frustration that can come from a cluttered space. By maintaining a structured approach to storage, you can ensure that every item is easily accessible and used efficiently, reducing waste and saving time.

Pest Prevention Strategies

Keeping pests away from your non-perishable food is essential for maintaining its quality and safety. Pests like rodents and insects are attracted to food sources and can contaminate your supplies. To prevent such infestations, it's important to maintain cleanliness in your storage areas. Regularly cleaning shelves and containers removes crumbs and spills that can attract pests. 

Also, ensure that all food is stored in tightly sealed containers. This not only keeps the food fresh but also makes it inaccessible to pests. Another effective strategy is to periodically inspect your pantry for signs of pests, such as droppings or damaged packaging. Immediate action can prevent larger infestations. Just as restaurants must adhere to strict hygiene standards to ensure food safety, the same principle applies to home food storage. Keeping your pantry clean, organized, and well-maintained is key to preventing pest problems and ensuring your non-perishable foods remain safe and consumable.

Wrapping Up Safe Storage Practices

In conclusion, the proper storage of non-perishable foods is a blend of choosing the right containers, finding ideal locations, managing expiration dates, organizing for accessibility, and preventing pests. These practices ensure that your food remains safe, nutritious, and flavorful. By following these guidelines, you can confidently maintain a well-stocked pantry, ready for everyday meals or unexpected situations.

Add a Comment »

Thursday, Jan. 18th, 2024

Agnes Denes at Tinworks Art

Wheatfield - A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan - With Agnes Denes Standing in the Field, 1982

Photo: John McGrail
Courtesy Agnes Denes and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects



Bozeman – From June 15 through October 19, 2024, Tinworks Art will present a significant new work by Agnes Denes. Wheatfield—An Inspiration. The seed is in the ground will be a multi-faceted installation on Tinworks’ site in the northeast neighborhood of Bozeman, Montana.

A groundbreaking, internationally recognized figure in the conceptual, environmental, and ecological art movements that emerged in the 1960s and 70s, Denes continues to defy easy classification. She engages science, philosophy, math, linguistics, technology, engineering, urban planning, music, and poetry in visionary works that explore environmental consciousness and humanity’s impact on the planet. One of her most recognized and influential works is Wheatfield—A Confrontation, from 1982, in which Denes planted a two-acre field of wheat in prime New York real estate in Lower Manhattan. Her artistic and environmental intervention disrupted the normative urban landscape with a rural element, forcing viewers to confront the

contrast between a natural, agricultural scene and the dense, constructed environment of the city. It is widely considered to be one of the first ecological artworks.

In the forty years since Wheatfield—A Confrontation appeared in New York City, this is the first time that Denes has accepted an invitation to reposition the work in the United States and reconsider the materiality and symbolism of the wheatfield in another American context. Reimagining Wheatfield in this location proved particularly compelling for the artist because of the significant role wheat has played in the economy of Montana, the increasing loss of farmland in the rapid urban growth of Bozeman, and the opportunity to reclaim another valuable piece of land through an artistic ecological intervention.

“I am truly honored that Agnes Denes has chosen Tinworks for the creation of a significant new work.” said Jenny Moore, Director of Tinworks Art. “Agnes was the first artist I thought of in imagining what could be possible as we establish a new artist-centered space in the American West. Agnes has been posing brilliant solutions to the world’s greatest problems for more than sixty years. The breadth of her work and the range of her interests has been deeply inspiring in the consideration of where artists can take us.”

Denes created Wheatfield—A Confrontation (1982) in the landfill created by the construction of the World Trade Center; planting, tending, and harvesting the field before the site was developed into Battery Park City. Denes has shared that Wheatfield—A Confrontation represented “food, energy, commerce, world trade, economics. It referred to mismanagement, waste, world hunger, and ecological concerns. It was an intrusion into the citadel, a confrontation of high civilization. Then again it was Shangri-la, a small paradise, one’s childhood, a hot summer afternoon in the country, peace, forgotten values, simple pleasures.” Wheatfield—An Inspiration (2024), is planted on land once slated for development, but is now being restored through the installation of land-based ecological artworks, beginning with Denes’ Wheatfield—An Inspiration. The subtitle, The seed is in the ground, refers to the current state of the new artwork, with seeds planted this past fall, to the role of art in the rejuvenation of the land at Tinworks, and also to the seed of a new art space that is Tinworks taking root in the American West. Using wheat as material for the consideration of ecological knowledge, community solidarity, restorative practices, and creative food production, Denes inspires dialog and reflection about humanity’s impact on the environment and the role of art in addressing critical social issues.

For Wheatfield—An Inspiration, Denes selected a variety of winter wheat specific to Bozeman, which was seeded on-site at Tinworks in October 2023. As the sprouts go dormant in the winter months, the project expands through the circulation of Questionnaire, a work Denes first produced in 1979. Denes is inviting the public to answer questions about humanity that she has posed since Questionnaire’s first drafting, as well as additional questions addressing new concerns about artificial intelligence and global warming, Questionnaire is not only a compilation of creative solutions but also an opportunity to communicate with the future. While past

iterations have been buried in time capsules with instructions to be opened in 1000 years, Tinworks’ questionnaire will offer perpetual engagement, as the questions are made accessible to the public by a QR code included on the plaque that will mark the piece at Tinworks’ site and responses continuously saved to the cloud.

Another important component of this new work is the invitation Denes extends to the Bozeman community to participate in the artwork by planting spring wheat “on any fallow piece of land throughout town, in solidarity with Wheatfield—An Inspiration (2024).” This participatory element has instigated a partnership with the College of Agriculture at Montana State University in Bozeman. Professors in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology will use Denes’ artwork as an outdoor laboratory for soil fertility, crop production, and landscape design courses. Additional partnerships are planned for harvest. The wheat will be processed into flour by local small-scale mills, baked into bread by celebrated Bozeman bakery Wild Crumb, and distributed throughout the community. The scope of Wheatfield—An Inspiration demonstrates Tinwork’s commitment to ambitious projects that provide the space and support for artists and the public to directly engage in contemporary issues and the complex challenges of our time. As Denes explains, “The Wheatfield is hope. There is renewal in the seed. We are planting hope.”

About the Artist

Agnes Denes was born in Hungary in 1931. Since the 1960s, she has participated in more than 700 exhibitions at museums, galleries, and art spaces worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions and presentations include “Agnes Denes: Early Work,” If the Berlin Wind Blows My Flag. Art and Internationalism Before the Fall of the Wall, Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin, Germany (2023); Agnes Denes: Philosophy in the Landscape, acb Gallery, Budapest (2023); Agnes Denes: The Living Pyramid, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Sabancı University, Emirgan, Istanbul (2022); Agnes Denes: Another Confrontation, CIRCA, London, New York, Berlin (2022); Agnes Denes: Photos of the Mind, 1969–2002, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, ADAA Member Viewing Rooms (2020); and Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, The Shed, New York (2109). Recent group exhibitions with her work include Artists Born Elsewhere: Selections from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMASS, Amherst (2023); The Irreplaceable Human: The Conditions of Creativity in the Age of AI, Louisiana Museum of Art Humlebæk, Denmark (2023); Extreme Tension: Art between Politics and Society 1945-2000, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2023); Our Ecology: Toward a Planetary Living, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2023); Can’t See, Sequences Biennial XI, Icelandic Art Center, Reykjavik (2023); RE/SISTERS, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2023); Groundswell: Women of Land Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2023); Nature Doesn’t Know About Us, Sculpture Milwaukee (2023); Dear Earth: Art in a Time of Crisis, The Hayward Gallery, London (2023); Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2023); Adaptation: A Reconnected Earth, MCAD, Manila (2023); Pour, Tear, Carve, The Philips Collection, Washington, D.C. (2023); Territories of Waste: On the Return of the Repressed, Museum Tinguely, Basel (2022); Back to Earth, Serpentine North Gallery, London (2022); and The Milk of Dreams, the 59th International

Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2022). Denes has completed many public and private art commissions in the Americas, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, is the author of six books, and has participated in numerous publications. Among several international awards and honors including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, she holds honorary doctorates from Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin and Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and fellowships from the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at M.I.T.

About Tinworks Art

Tinworks Art is a new non-profit art space in Bozeman, Montana. It is a place where contemporary art connects with the American West by weaving together its complex landscape, stories, experiences, and cultures. Tinworks makes possible art engagement in non-traditional spaces, enriching the cultural and social fabric of greater Bozeman and the Mountain West. In 2022, Tinworks Art committed to invest in a permanent home to deepen its connections with artists and audiences, and to center art in this time of change.

Add a Comment »

Tuesday, Jan. 16th, 2024

3 fishing access sites in southwestern Montana close on Jan. 16 due to flooding

BOZEMAN – Emergency closures went into effect on Tuesday at three fishing access sites in southwestern Montana due to flooding.

The sites include Selway Park Fishing Access Site on the Beaverhead River, and Valley Garden and Ennis fishing access sites on the Madison River. These sites will be closed until further notice.

Recent cold weather has led to ice jams on rivers in these areas, causing ice and debris to flow into the sites. The combination of unsafe conditions includes flooded areas, moving ice and debris, and potentially unstable trees. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will reopen the sites when conditions allow.

Additional site closures may be in effect already or required later, depending on weather and river flows. Current restrictions and closures of FWP-managed lands and waterbodies can be found online at fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions.

Recreationists are encouraged to use caution when visiting rivers because of unseen hazards, as well as flow and ice conditions that can change suddenly. For more information about river recreation safety, visit fwp.mt.gov/activities/boating/river-ethics.

Add a Comment »

News Comments

Why not leave those cheerful, colorful garlands up longer? What’s the rush?

Main Street Closed Jan 2

Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023