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Cherry harvest is in full swing on the shores of Flathead Lake, How Missoula is quickly becoming a premiere paragliding hub, Noncommercial beekeeping sees growth in Montana...and more

Cherry harvest is in full swing on the shores of Flathead Lake, How Missoula is quickly becoming a premiere paragliding hub, Noncommercial beekeeping sees growth in Montana...and more

Image by Lauren Kemp

Rapid training courses offered in Butte for job opportunities in film productions

Highlands College, Media Training Center, and Accelerate Montana recently formed a new partnership that will offer rapid training courses designed to take advantage of job opportunities in film production coming to Butte. The groups will offer film and media training courses to provide Montanans with the skills that production companies identified as most needed and to help train Montanans interested in becoming “set ready.” This marks the first time that a film and media rapid training course will be offered in Butte. CEO of Media Training Center and coordinator for Accelerate Montana, Lynn-Wood Fields, shared, “I am beyond excited to partner with Highlands College, Accelerate Montana, and the community of Butte on Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14 with the introduction of these courses.” Three courses were offered during the weekend training session, including “Introduction to Production,” “Covid Compliance Officer”, and how to become a “film extra.” [MT Standard]  

Can’t rain on our parade: Crowds head to Main Street for Bozeman’s annual Sweet Pea Parade

Bozeman’s annual Sweet Pea Parade brought families out to watch a convoy of flower-covered floats down Main Street earlier this month. During the parade, a small trickle of rain turned into a downpour, bringing much-needed moisture to Montana. The rain did not stop the local tradition. This year’s theme was “Rooted in Bozeman,” marking the 45th annual festival held in Lindley Park. The event featured local vendors, food, art, a flower show, music, and more. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Cherry harvest is in full swing on the shores of Flathead Lake

The Flathead area experienced a cold and wet spring, including two different hailstorms that damaged much of the area’s cherry trees; however, the fruit produced is just as sweet and beautiful as ever. Sean O’Dell and his wife have operated the orchard for the past 30 years and provide ladders, boxes, and cherry buckets for the “u-pick” experience. The orchard is made of 430 cherry trees, located on 4.5 acres that overlook Flathead Lake. Families are welcome to pick as much fruit as they want for $2.50 a pound. [KBZK]

Three Forks Airport ready for the 45th annual antique fly-in

Rare airplanes buzzed over the Three Forks Airport as pilots geared up for the annual Antique Fly-in. The community air show features aircraft, planes used to train pilots during WWII and modern home-built planes. Hank Galpin and Jay Billmayer are both Montana Antique Airplane Association members and have been attending the show at Three Forks since the 90s. The oldest aircraft in the show belongs to Galpin. It is a 1926 Travel Air 6000 used by Delta Airlines when they first began their passenger service. [KBZK]  

Butte teen goes far in Ninja Warrior competition 

Evan Andrews from Butte competed in the 14th season of the tv game show American Ninja Warrior. He began in texas, accelerated to the second round in Los Angeles, and made it to the champion round in Las Vegas. Andrews shared, “When you step up to the starting platform, so many nerves come rushing in, that’s the first thing that comes, and then the guy counts you down, and the buzzer sounds, and then you run, and that’s when things get crazy intense.” Competing with adults, Andrews made history in the show’s final round. He is the first rookie to hit the semifinal buzzer, which has only increased his motivation going into Las Vegas. He has been training at his homemade gym located in his garage to prepare for the show. His mother, Laurie, has been at all the competitions during the show, which she describes as nerve-wracking and wonderful to see her son achieve his dreams. [KBZK]

Butte’s Serbian food festival back by popular demand

Members of the Serbian Orthodox Church prepare for the Serbian food festival on Saturday, free for the community to enjoy Serbian recipes passed down through generations. Jennifer Shea has been a member of the church her entire life. She was baptized and grew up surrounded by people who shared her culture. Shea stated, “In my early twenties, I began helping with the church and learning even more tricks of the trade with the ladies.” Father Russell Radiocich, a priest of the church, said the funds raised will go toward restoration work of the frescoes that have been subject to water damage. The Holy Trinity Parish was founded in 1897. In 1905, the original orthodox church was built, making it the second Serbian Orthodox church in North America. [KBZK]

Launch zone: How Missoula is quickly becoming a premiere paragliding hub

The paragliding community in Missoula has experienced a boom of new interest. Local instructors certified 40 new pilots in the last two years, and some established new competitions like cross-country paragliding. One explanation for the increase in paragliding interest is that Missoula has two idyllic launch zones located at the top of Mount Jumbo and Mount Sentinel, each with developed trails and a Forest Service road for access. The boom has created a bottleneck in getting into paragliding, as the number of instructors has lesson requests booked for two years. [Missoulian]

Missoula county wants to power fairgrounds with solar 

While funding further improvements to the fairground will be up to voters in November, Missoula Couty plans to explore the possibility of powering the facility with solar, with or without passage of the bond. The idea has been circulating for over a year and has not lost interest. The city adopted a clean electricity goal in April 2019, which they have been making progress toward ever since. [Missoulacurrent]

USDA, state wants to put more Montana food on Treasure State tables

The Montana Department of Agriculture wants to keep homegrown food on local dinner tables. It has signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to promote local producers. The USDA granted Montana $600,000 from the $400 million Local Food Purchases Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program as part of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan. The Department of Agriculture will use the funds to partner with statewide organizations to increase local food distribution through underserved communities. Montana Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Zach Coccoli shared, “It’s a really exciting program. The COVID-19 crisis nationally highlighted the need for more robust, local food system as many populations experienced food insecurity. There is heightened awareness to make a change to the status quo.” [Missoulacurrent]

The 21st annual Magic City Blues Festival is back, but this year at the MetraPark Pavilion

Earlier this month, the 21st year of the Magic City Blues Festival took place. This local event brings musical arts from across the nation and even from here in Montana. The festival was held in downtown Billings on Montana Avenue in the past, but the main stage was too big to fit this year’s talent, so they moved it to the Pavilion at MetraPark. This year, the event was open to all ages, making it a fun destination for the whole family. Some popular names from the event included Lynard Skynard, St. Paul, and The Broken Bones. [KULR8]

M&M Vintage provides quality, one-of-a-kind finds

Specializing in quality vintage clothing from the 1949s to the 1990s, M&M Vintage is a refreshing step back in time. The shop is owned and operated by Monique Morris. She and her husband, Charlie, purchased the historic piece of Whitehall’s history earlier this year and have been working on revamping the space into something fun and functional for Whitehall. Above the store, the couple and their daughter CJ are renovating the apartments to build a living area for themselves. They currently live in Belgrade but hope to live in Whitehall before school begins, as CJ will be enrolled at Whitehall Elementary. [Whitehall Ledger]

Noncommercial beekeeping sees growth in Montana

Noncommercial beekeeping jumped from 94 beekeepers in 2017 to 453 in 2021, making it the fastest-growing hobby in Montana. Owner of Hazel’s Honey, Andrew Bauer, shared this about the bees: “They are always doing something new. There is always some new behavior I have never seen before. We had an observation hive, and I could just sit there and watch them for hours. They’re just really neat.” Many people who suffer from seasonal allergies consume local honey to alleviate their symptoms. Bauer shared that despite being small in size, bees work quickly, and said it takes his bees only one day to fill up a large tray with fresh, delicious honey. Queen bees are sold for $50 a piece, but honey is where the real fun is. [NBC Montana]

MSU Extension and GoatMT to host two free, public field days about meat goats

The organizers of a new program to educate Montanans about meat goats as an income opportunity hosted two free public field days focused on meat goat production, marketing, predation, regulations, and related topics. The workshops are the initial offerings from GoatMT, a two-year collaboration between Montana State University Extension and Bar 88 Consulting and Livestock. The goal is to provide training and support for Montana meat goat producers and those interested in starting, expanding, or diversifying their operations. Over the next two years, the program plans to hold workshops, webinars, and on-farm training, as well as provide mentoring across the state to address the need and growing demand for information about goat production, shared Brent Roeder, MSU Extension sheep specialist. [The Cascade Courier]

Missoula College, businesses pave the way for Montana workforce development 

The demand for technicians, carpenters, IT professionals, and more is growing, and so is interest in the industries. The United States added more than 24,000 new apprentices to the national apprenticeship system between October 2020 and September 2021. Over the same period of time, nearly 27,000 apprenticeship programs were active across the country, including in Montana. Greg Gianforte was joined by the University of Montana President, Seth Biidnar, for a look at Missoula College’s trade programs and the impact they have already had on students. Programs such as ‘Accelerate Montana’ at Missoula College are training the next generation of workers. [KPAX]

Company Spotlights

GL Solutions is seeking employees with a drive to succeed at its new headquarters in Kalispell, Montana. Their company offers enterprise software to clients nationwide.  View additional information about GL Solutions at: www.glsolutions.com or on The Work Spot MT website.

The company is seeking four positions:

1) A Quality Assurance Specialist who has a logical mind, attention to detail, and a desire for a career in IT. The ideal candidate will be able to clearly convey your findings to clients and coworkers. 

2) An Application Developer who has problem-solving and analytical abilities to develop an advanced software application framework. Software developers participate in all aspects of the software development lifecycle to build a highly scalable web application. The application development team completes challenging projects on time, anticipates problems, builds robust solutions, and does things right. 

3) An Account Manager to guide a portfolio of high-value clients through complex and challenging software projects. Account managers perceive client needs and build engagement by delivering consultative solutions. This position leads the company's market position as a trusted partner to our clients. 

4) A Quality Assurance Manager who will coach 7 to 10 team members to execute consistently and improve continuously. Take pride in helping the company check the details and ensure the highest quality software for its clients. If you accept the challenge, expect opportunities to develop professional management, leadership, and technical skills.