Track 1– Challenges of Local Food and Agriculture Manufacturing and Processing

Track 1 has reached its capacity and will not be accepting any more registrants.

Too frequently, the food crops and livestock grown in Montana are shipped elsewhere as raw commodities, and Montana is falling behind in creating new value-added businesses in comparison to its neighboring states. There is a growing demand for Montana food locally and abroad creating new opportunities for Montana producers and food companies. This track will examine the value-added food processing/manufacturing opportunities and how food entrepreneurism can create regional food economies for Montana.

Track Leader

Jan Tusickjan_tusick
Lake County Community Development Corporation
Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center

During the last 20 years, Jan has effectively assisted food businesses, cooperative groups, and value-added agricultural ventures in their business development. She has done this by providing business and market planning, capitalization development, feasibility analysis, and navigating the food regulatory world. She is a founding steering committee member of the Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition, a coalition of organizations that are focused on developing and pursuing policies that will strengthen Montana’s regional food economy. Jan holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Track Keynote Speaker

Neil C. Doty, Ph.D.doty_neil
N.C. Doty & Associates, LLC

Neil is President of N.C. Doty & Associates, LLC, a company that helps build organizations. Neil has been actively involved in business development since 1994 with a focus on rural economic development through agricultural and agri-processing strategic and business planning. He brings a broad spectrum of technical, financial, operational knowledge, and expertise for the successful planning and establishment of rural, agricultural, and agri-processing enterprises of all types and sizes.


Christina Angellchristina_angell
Root Cellar Foods

Christina has been the solo managing partner of Root Cellar Foods since its inception in August 2014, and she hopes to see the company grow into a successful business. She graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Food and Nutrition and two business minors, Business Administration and Small Business Entrepreneurship. Christina worked at the Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, and she quickly moved up to manage the Central Kitchen, an offsite production kitchen that services both Co-op retail locations. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Food Systems from Montana State University.

Jason Ballball
Research Chef, Faculty Research Assistant
Oregon State University Food Innovation Center Experiment Station

Jason works on the Product and Process Development Team at the Food Innovation Center. His work uses creative thinking, innovative techniques, and scientific principles to develop value-added food and beverage products across all categories. Additionally, Jason manages the Culinology Events and the Culinary Ideation Program at the Food Innovation Center. Previously he has worked in industry as a chef in Chicago, New York, London, and Copenhagen.

Sarah Masonisarah_masoni
Senior Faculty Research Assistant and Food and Process Development Team Manager
Oregon State University Food Innovation Center Experiment Station

Sarah works as a liaison between the university and the food manufacturing industry by managing staff, projects, and budgets at an innovative, leading-edge technology center. Sarah has specialized in food entrepreneurship, and she has worked on projects that include local and natural ice cream sandwiches, dairy products, beverages, seafood products, sauces, pancake mix and organic fruit and nut bars. Previously, Sarah worked as a Senior Food Technologist at Gardenburger where she reformulated products, driving revenue growth and reducing cost.

Claude Smithclaude_smith
Food and Process Specialist
Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

Claude graduated from Jamestown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Chemistry minor. He worked for the U.S. Department of Energy for two years before going to work for The Pillsbury Company. He worked in various Pillsbury and Green Giant facilities in the areas of Quality Assurance and then Operations. Through the years, Claude has worked for several food manufacturing companies using many different technologies and has filled roles as diverse as Quality Assurance Supervisor, Quality Assurance Manager, Process Control Manager, Production Manager, Warehouse Manager, Plant Engineer, Environmental Manager, Plant Manager, General Manager, Entrepreneur, and Consultant.