THREE FORKS - A farm that grows for one of the most recognized names in the state, Wheat Montana, is under new ownership.
If you’ve driven down U.S. 287, then you’re familiar with the mountain-framed golden fields that greet visitors traveling between Bozeman and Helena.
One of just a handful of farms that grows grains for Wheat Montana's bakeries, it doubles as a beautiful view to break up a long drive.
But for Franck Groeneweg, the land is truly a dream come true.
Like... wow. Really. Some kind of awesomeness,” Groeneweg recalls thinking of the first time he saw the farm.
Groeneweg’s dream of owning a single piece of beautiful, expansive land to harvest crops on has taken him from the farm he grew up on near Paris, France, to the farm he currently owns in Canada, and now, to the land in Three Forks.
"And all at once I was like, 'This is all I wanted, I dreamt about,’” Groeneweg continued. “I thought I had accomplished the dream in Saskatchewan, and then coming to Montana and seeing the beauty of it and the possibility of the connection with the consumer, was real strong on the list."
The decision to purchase the farm was made with Groeneweg’s four kids in mind, and he sees it as a family farm more than anything.
Though the farm greets visitors with a sign that says “Wheat Montana Farm,” it will go by the family’s company, Living Sky Grains (a tribute to Montana’s famous “big sky”). The farm sells its crops to Wheat Montana, the company, for production of baked goods.
Groeneweg took on the farm a few months ago from its former owner and one of the founders of Wheat Montana, Dean Folkvord.
“When we put the farm quietly on the market, we didn't want to sell it to a corporate buyer, we wanted to sell it to somebody that was really excited about the farm,” Folkvord said. “And we found the right people.”
Groeneweg is coming in with fresh ideas, hoping to focus more on soil life and regenerative farming, a practice that “is trying to bring more biology into the ground,” as he puts it.
Though customers may not notice a difference, the next few months will be a process of turning over a new leaf for the Groeneweg family.
As Groeneweg puts it: "What I'm gonna do with [the land] is produce the best crop possible. This is what this farm is meant to be."