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Ag in Action 2017

Greg Carlson, DVM

Ashley Horvat, DVM

538-6134

85649 US Hwy 87

2.5 mi. E. of Lewistown

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Looking out for the little guy

For the past 25 years, Oien has shared this success with

local farmers, as Timeless partners with “other compatible

Montana sustainable agriculture businesses.”

“That’s our business model,” Oien said. “We support small

and mid-scale family farmers and convert their

ground to certified organic production.”

It’s a win-win, Oien said, as more farmers get

their product out to consumers and Timeless can

serve the “increasing national and international

demand.”

Out from the “Underground”

In2015, Montana native andHarvard graduate

Liz Carlisle published “Lentil Underground,” a

book that tells the story of Timeless Seeds. The book was

well received, and she continues to tour to share the Oien

and his fellow farmer friends’ philosophies.

“Liz’s research and her bookwere a very pleasant surprise

for us,” Oien said. “Her book is really a great opportunity

for us to tell our story. I had the honor of traveling with her

as she did our book tour.” This kind of exposure can’t be

appreciated enough, Oien said, and it’s left a lasting effect, as

fans of the book have even come to Ulm to see the Timeless

Seed headquarters for themselves.

“People from the east coast, even,” Oien said.

Keeping up with demand

Oien and his fellow farmer friends have had tremendous

luck. After six years, their operation moved off Oien’s farm

and into a nearby grain elevator in Conrad. They weren’t just

farming anymore; they were processing foods,

which brought along another set of challenges.

“We had to meet a lot of requirements to

have our food approved on a federal level,”

Oien said. “Location plays a part in meeting

regulations, especially once they started

shipping products to so many natural food and

specialty food stores. That’s why they moved

their operation to Ulm, which is located just

seven miles from the Great Falls Airport.

“It’s very important for us to be near a

transportation hub,” he said.

Right place at the right time

Considering the climb of Timeless Seeds, Oien said he

can’t help but feel optimistic for the future as they celebrate

their 30th anniversary. Oien said he believes farmers will

continue to have success, even if the economy doesn’t always

favor the farmer. This is especially the case for organic

farmers.

David Oien

(continued)

Continued on page 14