Organic Farm Tour, Stanford MT

Organic farm tours planned for June 10 and 26, near Great Falls, Montana.


The farm tours are free and open to the public. The tours will highlight organic research and practices focusing on soil building, crop rotations, weed management, cattle grazing systems and marketing. The Alger and the Lassila operations are located in Stanford and Great Falls. Mark your calendars and don’t miss these two informative, inspiring free Farm Tours that will take place in June.

Alger Ranch in Stanford, Montana
June 10, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Alger Ranch is 100{f2533179b7c7e7cbdbc11018732de14c82f3d44c9f1e829e9a046cc47141a2e6} Certified Organic. Jess Alger grows, uses and sells lentils, Kamut®, winter wheat, peas, barley, Sainfoin and alfalfa as well as grass-fed cattle. Researchers Dr. Perry Miller, MSU Agronomist, Dr. Pat Hatfield, MSU Livestock Specialist, and Dr. Clain Jones, MSU Soil Scientist will also be presenting research findings and observations during the tour.

Participants attending the tour will see and learn about Jess’s organic grass-fed cattle’s high intensity mob grazing system (a form of rotational grazing in which cattle graze in small areas for short periods of time). MSU researchers and Jess will explain his grazing system, movement of the cattle through the pastures, the water system to support cattle on pasture, his portable shade structure and fencing design. Jess will also share how using cattle in a grain and legume-cropping system is working to build soil nutrients while providing rotations to break up disease and weed cycles. For instance, Jess’s operation is in an area of Montana with significant Sawfly predation, though he experiences very little damage due to the rotation systems he has developed.

Weed management and building soil nutrients in organic systems can be challenging. On this tour participants will learn how Jess uses a mechanical tillage system and extensive crop rotations to control weeds and build soil nutrients, sustain and improve moisture-holding capacity by building organic matter and overall soil health for future crops.

Jess and the MSU researchers will share information on weed management that is working well and the results of the use of vinegar to control Bindweed, White-top and Canada Thistle.

The Alger Farm Tour is free, open to the public and lunch will be provided.


Directions to the Alger Ranch at 7617 Elevator Road, Stanford, MT 59479:

From the west end of Stanford, Montana, go east on 4th Ave North. After crossing the railroad tracks, take an immediate left (north) onto Elevator Road. Elevator Road parallels the railroad tracks. Travel 8 miles to the Alger Ranch entrance on the left (west) side of road. There will be signs to follow.

For more information and to Register (to determine lunch count), call Jess Alger at 406-799-3528.



Lassila farm, East of Great Falls, MT
June 26, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The second event of the season is a Farm Tour Extravaganza east of Great Falls, Montana, at the farm operated by Daryl and Linda Lassila. Scheduled speakers are Max Blodgett from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Ron de Yong, Director of Montana Dept. of Agriculture; David Oien, CEO of Timeless Seeds; and Ron Milo from Dave’s Killer Bread.

This tour will focus on innovative approaches to soil, nutrient and moisture management in an organic cropping system. Daryl has a Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract with NRCS that includes several enhancements that utilize cover crops to mine nitrogen that is deeper in the soil profile to break up the hard pan and utilize dual seeded crops. The Lassila farm organic cropping system includes the crops of winter wheat, barley, spring wheat, spelt, peas, lentils and green manure plowdown. 

Come and participate in the discussion about crop rotations, nutrient and weed management practices that have been working while improving crop yields, moisture retention and reducing weed, disease and pest issues for the Lassila operation. 

The event is free and open to the public and treats of ice cream and cookies will be served around 4:00 as the conversation continues.

Directions to the Lassila farm, Bickford Road Great Falls, Montana:

Go east from Great Falls out 10th Ave. South for 3 miles. Turn left at the blinking light onto Highwood Road for 3 miles. Turn left at mile marker 3 onto Bickford Road at the group of mailboxes. Go on the gravel road for 3 more miles to the farm.  Watch for signs.

For more information or to RSVP, call Daryl or Linda Lassila at 406-452-0565.

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