Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Neva Hassanein


agriculture, beginning farmers, Montana, new farmers, photography, profiles


University of Montana


Rooted tells the stories of a new generation of farmers and ranchers in Montana through still photography and written profiles; the project is the result of 13 site visits and interviews. I define “new farmer” as a person operating their own agricultural business for 10 years or fewer, though this definition gets blurred and complicated when referring to people who return to their family’s farm or ranch. Admittedly, this project features only a few of the beginning farmers and ranchers in Montana. My intention is not to provide an exhaustive study of the next generation of farmers and ranchers in Montana, but rather to show that there are people out there who desire to make a living from the land and are working to do so. I hope this project is able to share the stories of the next generation of agriculturalists in Montana, show the places they call home, and convey the essence of their work. At the same time I hope to shed some light on the unique challenges facing new farmers and ranchers, and challenge all of us to think about steps we might take to support and encourage them.



© Copyright 2010 Beth Jeannette Gibson