work journal

Food & Climate

Two of the biggest challenges of our time, entwined.

Lessons in reciprocity

I'm pulled off on the side of the road near the end of a road trip with my daughter to see friends in Blackfeet Country. Here's what I've been learning: Reciprocity is like a flow of giving, rather than a transaction.
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The Bear and the Devil

Bears Lodge. Devils Tower. Names and words matter. The history of American Colonialism continues to unfold at a national monument in northeastern Wyoming. Reported for Mountain Outlaw in 2017, and still relevant today.
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Our fall garden chores through the lens of Jason Thompson

Photographer Jason Thompson's perspective on our fall garden and yard chores, shot on spec for Patagonia.
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Moderating a panel discussion for Farm to Crag

After 23 years of asking questions for a living, I did it live for the first time in a panel highlighting three leaders in the Montana food system.
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"Even though so much has changed, the plan is still helpful."

In 2020, I helped Blue Bean Coffee develop a strategy for growth—their way. Three years later, after the Yellowstone River flood lapped their doorstep, the family-owned roaster has used our plan to source the "most eco-friendly packaging on the planet."
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Nate Powell-Palm organizes USDA Organic Field Day in Gallatin Valley

Nate Powell-Palm has been working to advance organic ag for most of his life, starting with raising his first 4-H steer at age 9. This fall, he brought the US Undersecretary of Ag to Gallatin Valley for a field day.
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Strategy workshop: Montana Food Matters

We set a goal for the morning and assessed what's moving this team forward and what's holding them back. Then the reframe. Always the reframe. This is where they figured out if the place they think they’re going is *actually* where they’re going.
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Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard is in Business to Save the Earth—Not Wall Street

"At Patagonia, we make our important decisions based on wanting to be here 100 years from now." Looking back on a story I wrote for Esquire about Chouinard in 2019.
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From compost to climate, Amy Fonte is working for sustainability in Big Sky

“Corporations have so much power and influence," said Amy Fonte, Big Sky Resort's sustainability specialist. "How do you use that to make a positive impact?
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Kris Tompkins on rewilding Chile and Argentina

Lessons in vision and leadership from Kris Tompkins, who's protected 13 million acres (and counting). A profile I wrote for Mountain Outlaw in 2019, plus previously unpublished insights on the imperative of changing our agricultural system.
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Common Ground series

How organic and regenerative agriculture are revitalizing rural Montana economies. A three-part, award-winning series I wrote for Montana Free Press in 2021 and 2022.
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Climbing, food and community

Finding connections between food systems, wild adventure and community on a trip from Yosemite to Chattanooga and back home to Montana.
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Latrice Tatsey studies "our relationship to the world.”

As part of my ongoing study of regenerative food systems, I spent a day with my 6-year-old, Eloise, shadowing soil scientists Latrice Tatsey and Tony Hartshorn at Blackfeet Community College and on a nearby ranch.
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MJ Matute leads with empathy.

People come from all over the country and the world to work at Big Sky Resort's restaurants, each in search of something a little different. And they wind up contributing far more than just their labor: new and diverse ideas, energy, and perspectives.
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Podcast interview: Reframing Rural

“Every one of these farms is a business and a family and a community and an ecosystem. And it's so complex to look at all of those pieces, and it's so necessary. We're not just one giant industrial machine that produces food for the world.”
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Stuart Fuke has the ingredients for teamwork in the kitchen.

Fuke mixes the Hawaiian culture of his youth and his military training to create family in the banquet kitchen. His is a story of incredible sacrifice, and of finding friendship and home in unlikely places.
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The wisdom of children

My daughter's "caring for the Earth" list
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Fuel, Oxygen and Heat

While reporting this story in 2018, I learned a basic premise that I operate under now: By focusing on inclusion, you broaden the diversity of perspectives and knowledge among teams and leaders, which is key to our future on this planet.
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Homegrown series

How small food processors are building a more resilient Montana Food System. A two-part series I reported for Montana Free Press.
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Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard predicts food could save the planet

Interviewing Chouinard, combined with the love of gardening and food I inherited from my parents, launched my exploration food and agricultural systems in Montana.
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inquire > reframe > transform >
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