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40th Anniversary of Made in Montana Program celebrated at tradeshow

Beaded Made in Montana sign
Posted at 7:05 AM, Mar 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-12 09:05:00-04

HELENA — From small bites to big gifts, the annual Made in Montana Tradeshow started Friday at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.

"[The community] can see, and get to know, and meet those made in Montana producers and makers that live in their community or live across the state," said Susan Joy, the program manager for Made in Montana at the Montana Department of Commerce.

This year, the Made in Montana Program celebrated its 40th anniversary, and the Made in Montana Tradeshow celebrated its 26th year.

Joy said, "[The] relationships are built between exhibitors when they connect and they share information."

Similar to last year, there were 115 exhibitors at the tradeshow.

Booth 210, Living Sky Grains from Three Forks, won best in show this year.

Living Sky Grains

Co-owner Franck Groeneweg said, "In a way, it's like 'wow,' because it seems very good elsewhere, so we are very honored."

They are a family-owned business that farms dry land grains in regenerative practices, which looks at the biology of the land to feed the plants, making them dense in nutrients.

"Farmers, in general, often do not have that connection with the people that eat the food they produce," Groeneweg said.

Meeting vendors and the public is a big draw for many makers.

Groeneweg's wife, Kari, said, "It's a lot of networking and wonderful people."

Businesses must have been members of the Made in Montana Program for at least six months before applying to participate in the tradeshow.

Tradeshow Birds Eye View

They must also be able to sell both wholesale and retail.

The Made in Montana tradeshow closed out Saturday at 5:00 PM.