Tuesday, Jun. 30th, 2015
Monday, Jun. 29th, 2015

PrintingForLess.com’s to open office in Bozeman

Printingforless.com (PFL), a leading marketing company, is opening a new software development and marketing office in Bozeman, MT on July 1, 2015.  The new office is the third location for the expanding company, and will draw on the wealth of local talent in Bozeman. PFL’s Bozeman office will be located in 2,400 square feet at 45 Discovery Drive, space previously occupied by RightNow Technologies.  

“Every evolution and advancement we’ve ever had has been driven by our customers. Today they are demanding new technology solutions that combine digital and tangible products. This new space will give us the room to grow our software development and marketing teams to support these initiatives,” says CEO Andrew Field.  “We are excited to tap the excellent talent pool of professionals in both software development and marketing as we continue to better serve our customers. “

Greg Gianforte, RightNow Technologies founder and Chair of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance also commented on PFL’s expansion. “I’m thrilled that PrintingForLess.com is expanding to Bozeman. Montana needs more high-paying jobs. PFL is a great example of the growth potential for Montana companies that leverage the unmatched Montana work ethic and ingenuity. I applaud PFL for creating this opportunity for Bozemanites, and the signal this growth sends to the rest of Montana.”

PFL is a Marketing Technology company providing business solutions that improve marketing effectiveness. The company’s latest technology solutions enable customers to create and optimize integrated, multi-channel customer journeys using their Marketing Automation platforms.
PFL employs 200+ employees in manufacturing, sales, marketing and software development, and has been creating a great place to work in a great place to live for 18 years.

Visit the PFL.com Career Opportunities page to view current openings.  http://www.printingforless.com/employment.html

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Friday, Jun. 26th, 2015

MSU researchers win grant for ‘Beef to School’ research

A team of Montana State University researchers and community partners has been awarded a three-year, $220,000 grant to help Montana beef producers and meat processors and increase the use of local beef in Montana’s schools and communities.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, is intended to increase the availability and consumption of local beef in Montana’s schools and communities and help improve Montana beef producers’ and meat processors’ viability and sustainability. It is also intended to discern which “beef to school” methods are most sustainable for producers, processors and schools.

The team is led by Carmen Byker Shanks, assistant professor in the MSU Department of Health and Human Development.

In Montana and nationally, producers and consumers are beginning to see social, environmental and economic benefits from local procurement efforts that link ranchers and local beef processors with schools in their community and region, according to Byker Shanks. She added that the ‘beef to school’ efforts involve support of local beef from a variety of people, including producers, processors, and foodservices and students at K-12 schools.

“Beef to school efforts can increase the sustainability and viability of local and regional food systems,” Byker Shanks said. “The recently published 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans highlights that beef production has a potentially large impact on the environment. In Montana and beyond, it is important to support beef production through efforts such as beef to school programs. Beef to school programs have the potential to reduce the need for transportation, packaging, and other inputs; increase access to local food; provide farmers an additional market for their beef; enhance community food literacy and connections to local agriculture; keep money circulating in local economies; and possibly utilize cattle that are grass-fed.”

Byker Shanks noted that the Montana Beef to School Coalition – a group formed in 2012 that includes a range of representatives, from school foodservice to meat processors and producers to food and agricultural organizations and agencies – has identified four items that are needed to grow beef to school programs in the state. Those items include identifying current successful models of beef to school efforts, analyzing the capacity and motivations of beef producers and meat processors to fill the demand for local beef, an availability of resources about how to make beef to school efforts economically and nutritionally viable for schools, and implementing strategies to include beef to school programming at schools.

To address these needs, researchers will conduct comprehensive case studies of current beef to school efforts to identify the benefits, challenges, best practices and gaps that exist for beef to school procurement models, Byker Shanks said. Additionally, the team will examine how local beef is utilized in schools and evaluate student acceptance and preference of local versus non-local beef.

Researchers will then use this information to evaluate the larger Montana beef to school market by developing and testing evaluation tools, analyzing characteristics of beef to school supply chain issues, and assessing capacity and needs for slaughter, processing and storage facilities.

“As schools and ranchers in Montana are beginning to work together to bring local beef into schools, the results have been mixed: some procurement models seem successful for all parties involved, while others have faced significant barriers in making beef to school programs viable,” Byker Shanks said “These evaluation results will help create solutions to overcoming barriers to optimizing beef to school efforts.”

The researchers will also develop extensive outreach, educational and promotional materials for multiple groups, including K-12 students and teachers, university students, producers and school foodservice programs. Outreach efforts will also include both in-person trainings and webinars for school foodservice, producers and processors.

“The tools and findings of this project will give Montana’s producers, processors and schools the resources they need to form productive, sustainable procurement relationships,” Byker Shanks said, adding that those resources will be applicable to other stakeholders, as well. “Additionally, this project will foster partnerships among producers, processors and other stakeholders, garnering long-term interest and investment in local and regional beef markets as well as the sustainable production and marketing of other local and regional meat products.”

In addition to Byker Shanks, others involved with the project include Thomas Bass and Joel Schumacher of MSU Extension, Karla Buck of Bear Paw Meats, Katie Halloran of National Center for Appropriate Technology, Jennifer Montague of Kalispell Public Schools Foodservice, Garl Germann of Montana Meats, Jeremy Plummer of Lower Valley Processing, John Polacik of Park High School Foodservice, Aubree Roth of Montana Team Nutrition and members of the Montana Beef to School Coalition.

For more information, contact Byker Shanks at Carmen.byker@montana.edu or visit the Montana Beef to School Coalition’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/beef2school or its Twitter account at https://twitter.com/mtbeeftoschool.

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Sunday, Jun. 21st, 2015

The Verge Theatre Summer Workshops for kids!

Follow this link for more info and to register your child! http://vergetheater.com/education/summer-programs

When: Mon. July 13th-Thurs. July 17th from 12-3pm. Performance Demo Thurs. July 13th 5-6:30pm
Who: Kids entering grades 3-5

Teacher: Paige Johnson

Cost: $130
During the fun workshop, your child will learn the basics of Improv and practice skills such as active listening, communication, collaboration, and concentration all while having fun and making new friends.  The Improv technique allows students to explore their imaginations together and will ultimately culminate in a show full of fun and hilarious games!    

Musical Theater
When: Mon. August 10th-Thurs. August 13th from 12-3pm. Performance Demo, Thurs. August 13th 5-6:30pm
Who: Kids entering grades 3-5

Teacher: Erin Roberg

Cost: $130
You know your kid is a star so here's the perfect opportunity for them to shine.  Our Musical Theater classes take the best of Broadway and Disney's big stage numbers. This summer's workshop will present selections from "Shrek the Musical!" At Verge we put the spotlight on all of our students. Ensemble casting is a must so that every child has the chance to strut their stuff!

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The Artists’ Gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center will feature the work of Peggy Kohler and Matt Piedalue during the month of July

The Artists’ Gallery in the Emerson Cultural Center will feature the work of Peggy Kohler and Matt Piedalue during the month of July.  The show will include a Featured Artist Reception where you can meet the artists and share a glass of wine.
MACK's art reflects her Alaskan upbringing, love of the West, Mountains and Water. All of her art is bright and whimsical, seeking the positive and often a good laugh.  Most of her work focuses on characters who are multi-ethnic to represent the world family we all belong to and are loosely based on Yup'ic Eskimo masks from her childhood, as well as ethnic influences from around the world and the American West/Northwest. MACK is always looking to pay tribute to the under-represented, putting their attributes on full and joyful display!
Matt Piedalue is a potter who makes art because he doesn’t know how not to. He enjoys offering his own handmade, meaningful alternative to mass-produced foreign ceramics.  Piedalue’s aesthetic has been heavily influenced by historical pottery, nature, science fiction and comic books. He uses sculptural methods to twist many of his pots into fantastically organic, plant or creature-like objects. Piedalue feels a child-like fascination in the ability to manipulate clay and create physical things that he has never seen before.
Come see the artwork and meet its makers at the Featured Artist Reception in The Artists’ Gallery, Friday, July 10th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

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Thursday, Jun. 18th, 2015

The 2015 Sweet Pea Festival is excited to announce this year’s t-shirt and poster contest winners

The 2015 Sweet Pea Festival is excited to announce this year’s t-shirt and poster contest winners. We would like to thank everyone that participated in the contest and encourage participation next year.

This year’s adult T-shirt contest winner is Brittany Wade a Bozeman high school Junior. Wade recently began experimenting with graphic design and now is seriously considering Graphic Design as a college degree and possibly a career.
Elsa Austin, a second grader at Morning Star Elementary won this year’s Children’s T-shirt contest.  A photograph she saw of sweet pea flowers weaving through a fence inspired Elsa’s winning entry. She also enjoys leather working, painting and drawing. Elsa is looking forward to being involved with this year’s Children’s Sweet Pea Run and Parade.

The 2015 Sweet Pea poster contest winner is Anica Lees. Graduating from MSU in 2008, Anica always carried an enigmatic artistic energy. She perused a degree in Art Education and Metalsmithing and has done work including jewelry retail at Alara, art gallery assistance at Planet Bronze, and cake decorator at Elle’s Belles Bakery. Most recently, Anica has attained a decade-long dream of owning a private art studio, under the name Montana Meddle Studio.

Look out for these amazing designs on this year’s Sweet Pea Festival merchandise. Merchandise can be pre-purchased at various outlets start July 5th as well as at this year’s festival.

The Sweet Pea Festival is a three-day festival of the arts held in Bozeman, Montana, since 1978. This year’s Festival dates are August 7, 8, and 9. The event includes everything from dynamic music to children’s activities and a beer and wine garden featuring Montana microbrews. Sweet Pea is committed to its mission of “promoting and cultivating the arts.”

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Wednesday, Jun. 17th, 2015

United in Light Draft Horse Sanctuary seeks sponsors for annual event

United in Light is a place where all draft horse breeds are rescued from slaughter and are brought to United in Light, Inc. to retire and live out the rest of their lives. Our Annual Fundraiser The Mane Event, is around the corner!

This year it will be Saturday, August 29th @ PARK COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS!
Last year we sold out on tickets & had to find a larger venue in case we have rain :).
We are in great need of Sponsors for the event and
Fine Arts & Items for our Live & Silent Auction!!
Can you help?

We will be in Bozeman running down main street this Friday!

Contact us via email at  unitedinlight@mac.com
For Tickets & more information on the Event: www.gotdraft.net

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Friday, Jun. 12th, 2015

2015 High Plains Book Awards Finalists Announced

Thirty books have been selected as finalists in ten categories for the ninth annual High Plains Book Awards. Twenty-four different publishers from Canada and the US were represented in this year’s competition. Of the 34 finalists, 13 are from Montana, (a record number!) and six are from Canada.
Three authors are finalists in two categories: Bryce Andrews, Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, finalist in First Book and Nonfiction; Carrie LaSeur, finalist in Woman Writer and Fiction; and Canadian Dave Margoshes is a finalist as editor for Wilf Perreault: In the Alley/Dans la Ruelle, and as a writer for his short story collection, God Telling a Joke and Other Stories.
One of the finalists is a past High Plains Book Award winner, Shann Ray’s book American Masculine won two awards in 2012 for Short Stories and First Book. This year his poetry collection Balefire is a finalist.
The 2015 finalists include:
Fiction – Craig Johnson, Any Other Name; Carrie La Seur, The Home Place; Laura Pritchett, Stars Go Blue
Nonfiction – Jerome A. Greene - American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890; Bryce Andrews - Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West; H. Alan Day and Lynn Wiese Sneyd - The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs; Ken Egan Jr. - Montana 1864: Indians, Emigrants, and Gold in the Territorial Year
Poetry – Shann Ray- Balefire; Erin Belieu - Slant Six; Ted Kooser - Splitting an Order
First Book – Bryce Andrews - Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West; Mary Beth Baptiste - Altitude Adjustment: A Quest for Love, Home, and Meaning in the Tetons; Kristen Inbody and Erin Madison - Montana State Parks: Complete Guide and Travel Companion
Woman Writer – Carrie La Seur - The Home Place, Julene Bair - The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning; Vicki Tapia - Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia
Art & Photography – Larry Len Peterson - Charles M. Russell: Photographing the Legend; Steven Gnam - Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies; Wilf Perreault (artist), Dave Margoshes (editor) and Timothy Long (contributor), Wilf Perreault: In the Alley/Dans La Ruelle; Jennifer Bottomly O'Looney and Kirby Lambert - Montana's Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society
Short Stories – Dave Margoshes - God Telling a Joke and Other Stories; Rolli – I am Currently Working on a Novel; Jamie Lisa Forbes - The Widow Smalls and Other Stories
Young Adult Book –  Brenda Baker - Camp Outlook; Lynn Boughey & Peter Earnest - Harry Potter and the Art of Spying; Regine Haensel - Queen of Fire
Children’s Book – the late Cheryl Chad- Back to Batoche; Jean Freeman - Do Trees Sneeze?; Sandra Dallas - Red  Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky
Culinary – Carole Sullivan - Gatherings: Friends and Recipes from Montana's Mustang Kitchen; Amy Jo Ehman - Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens; Seabring Davis - A Taste of Montana
Over 200 books were nominated for the 2015 High Plains Book Awards. All the nominated books were read and evaluated by community volunteers in the first round of the selection process. The finalist books in each category will be judged by writers who have significant connections to the High Plains region, many who have won in the particular category he or she will judge.
The Billings Public Library Board established the High Plains Book Awards in 2006 to recognize regional authors and/or literary works that examine and reflect life on the High Plains including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
Winners in each category will receive a $500 cash prize at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. Single tickets and tables may be purchased for the banquet. The Awards Banquet is a signature event of the Billings Public Library. More information can be found at highplainsbookawards.org.
The High Plains Book Awards Banquet is held in conjunction with the 2015 High Plains BookFest. Writer’s Voice director Corby Skinner is coordinating the readings and events for the High Plains BookFest. He can be contacted at corby@skinnerbenoit.com.

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Livingston Woman Receives $1000 Grant from The Pollination Project for Promoting Compassion in Montana

The Pollination Project, a nonprofit organization that gives $1000 a day, every day, to individual change-makers and activists, awarded a grant to local resident Bonnie Goodman, founder of Live and Let Livingston, for her “hard core activism with a gentle touch”.
Goodman promotes compassion in Montana by sharing delicious vegan food and recipes with locals and tourists at events that are free and open to the public.  Her monthly potluck has been featured in American Vegan Magazine and Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy blog, to inspire others to create events in their own communities.   Live and Let Livingston teaches plant-based cooking classes, shares educational materials and a huge lending library of cookbooks and DVDs, gives away free food samples and recipes at health fairs, and participates every year in The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.
Bonnie explains, “It’s my goal to be there for the ‘veg-curious’, and to help local vegans find a sense of community.  It’s a way to live with kindness everyday. Those who want to make compassion the foundation of their lifestyle will want to consider veganism, because it’s a win-win-win: for people, animals, and the environment! ”
The Pollination Project funds projects that benefit people, planet, and animals in areas like environmental sustainability, social justice, community health and wellness, arts and media.   To view a full list of recipients to date please see http://thepollinationproject.org/
 Said Goodman, "I’m deeply grateful to The Pollination Project for believing in my work, and also very thankful to my husband, the volunteers, and dear friends who have helped over the years; from feeding spay/neuter clinic attendees, to handing out free kale salad at Farmer’s Market, and even dressing up like veggies for the Rodeo Parade!”
For more information visit Live and Let Livingston, on Facebook or Vegans Rock Montana on MeetUp.
About The Pollination Project
The Pollination Project awards $1000 in seed money to individual changemakers and activists who are working to make the world – or just their own community – a better, more peaceful, just and more sustainable place. The Pollination Project is a platform for investing directly in committed people who just need a little money to launch their social change vision. For more information or to apply please see www.thepollinationproject.org.

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Thursday, Jun. 11th, 2015

Remembering Ben Bullington: the Man and His Music

The mood was festive in the lobby of the Ellen Theater in downtown Bozeman on June 5 as fans and friends gathered to celebrate the life of the late Ben Bullington, a doctor, singer-songwriter and performer who touched the lives of many in Montana and beyond.

“Ben is here,” said Joanne Gardner, as she moved among the crowd greeting guests and sharing stories of the tall doctor with the engaging smile who wrote songs that touch the heart. “I’m wearing his ring--Tom [Murphy] is wearing his shoes.” Gardner counted Bullington among her dear friends, performing with him and helping to spread his music to a wider audience, and staying by his side as he dealt with the pancreatic cancer that would take his life in 2013. Gardner was the moving force behind Friday evening’s concert, bringing a talented group of performers (who also happened to be Ben’s friends) together for what would prove to be a wonderful evening of music and memories.

Bill Payne and Darrell Scott
Bill Payne and Darrell Scott

Those performers included Darrell Scott, whose latest release, “10-the Songs of Ben Bullington,” is rising fast on the charts--the Ellen concert was a CD release event of sorts (the first and only other “10“ release show took place in Nashville to rave reviews in mid-May). Scott and Bullington met in Montana, and the fact that Scott (an NSAI Songwriter of the Year, Americana 2007 Song of the Year winner, ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, and multiple Grammy nominee) made this recording speaks to the connection he and Bullington made in a very short time. 
Bill Payne (Little Feat), who collaborated with Bullington musically before his death, was also there at the Ellen Theater on the keyboards, as was John Lowell on guitar, Kris Clone (piano, vocals), Tom Murphy (mandolin, vocals), Buff Brown (harmonica), Russell Smith (standup bass), and Gardner herself on vocals.

Inside the theater, the mood was more hushed than in the lobby, almost reverent. The packed house in the Ellen was still as Darrell Scott stepped up to the microphone and started the evening off with these simple words: “Welcome to our Lovefest.”

It was indeed a lovefest, as these friends of Ben Bullington brought their love for the man forth with their renditions of his music in the first set. Kris Clone sat at the piano and gave a solo tribute to his friend. Bill Payne played “The Last Adios,” the tune from the movie “Crazy Heart” that he and Bullington collaborated on. And the stories were there, too, along with the music.

“Ben loved life, family, his friends...but he hated flies,” said John Lowell, as he began a soulful rendition of Bullington’s song “I Despise Flies.” Russell Smith related the time when he was considering getting a “green card” so he could smoke medical marijuana, and discussed the matter with Ben.

“Why would you want the government to know you are smoking marijuana?” was Bullington’s reply. Gardner recalled how Ben got her singing again, and reminded the crowd that “We’re also here to thank Darrell Scott.” The first set closed with all of the performers onstage to play Ben’s tribute to the small town he once practiced medicine in, a little tune with a lot of feeling called “White Sulphur Springs.”

After a break, Darrell Scott took the stage to play the songs he had decided should be on that tribute recording to Ben Bullington. The multi-talented performer did so with a wonderful singing voice, as well as guitar, lap steel, and piano.

“Ben recorded 67 songs,” said Scott. “Picking ten was tough.” The choices Scott made are a good fit. Scott began with “Lone Pine” and “Sage After Rain,” two songs with a lot of Montana in them--and more.

“There’s a lot of depth in these songs,” Scott said. “I don’t think Ben was afraid of death.” Ben wasn’t afraid of the music “establishment,” either, as was demonstrated by his song “Country Music, I’m Talking to You,” his jab at corporate Nashville, especially the industry’s treatment of the Dixie Chicks in the wake of their non-support for the Iraq War.

“In the last months of Ben’s life I started sending iPhone recordings of me singing a song of his,” Scott told the audience near the end of the show. “The first iPhone recording, ‘I’ve Gotta Leave You Now,’ ends this album. That recording is what Ben heard, and he loved it--I think it’s important that the iPhone version be on the album, just as Ben heard it.” And when Scott played the song, in which Bullington essentially bids his sons farewell, there were not many dry eyes in the house.

The show ended with all performers onstage for “In the Light of Day,” which the audience participated in. It was an appropriate end to a fine show honoring a man who loved his life, his friends, and his music.

“10-the Songs of Ben Bullington” is on sale at Cactus Records and Gifts in Bozeman, and even at Target Stores nationwide. Pick up a copy and you’ll know why this recording is so special to so many folks.

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