Confidence on the Ice

How a Sled, Two Sticks, and a Puck Change Lives in Montana

Text by Shane Klippenes and Photography by Jim Wells

While you can tell how much fun sled hockey is by the smiles on their faces, it’s also a workout as evidenced by flushed faces and sweat soaked gear when the athletes come off the ice after drilling with EM volunteer Coach Dave Van Son.

Naseem Zaidi is a 10-year old boy from an Air Force family, who moved to Great Falls, Montana last year. The youngest of five children in a loving family with an energetic, engaged Mom (Shelly) who would move mountains for him, Naseem looks “normal” but struggles with severe autism that has left him functionally non-verbal. As a result, many things that the rest of us take for granted can be a challenge for him, including group engagement or team sports.

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Brosten & Johnston

The Younger Generation Breaks Into Farming

Written By Suzanne Waring • Photography by Daphne Wade

Harvesting begins with the dill being swathed into rows so it can be picked up, chopped, and blown into trailer-like tubs. Photo courtesy of Great Northern Farms.

The Fairfield Bench is known for the production of premium barley, but Larry Johnston, 30, and Zach Brosten, 25, plan to expand that reputation. In their estimation this area can also be known for quality mint and dill oil, and they are young enough that they have time in their farming careers to make it happen.

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Farm Link: A New Service

Connecting Montana’s beginning farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to succeed

With the average age of farmers and ranchers in Montana increasing, there is a need to help the next generation, like Johnston and Brosten, to have the greatest possible chance for success in Montana’s number-one industry. The following free services are available to beginning farmers and ranchers as well as to those wanting to expand or retire:

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Butte’s Headframe Spirits

Prepare to Get Schooled

Written by Heather Bode • Photography by Jen DeLong

A guy walks into a bar the Tasting Room. A bartender extols the virtues of the day’s special ending with, “It tastes like strawberry cheesecake!” The man wrinkles his nose replying, “Listen, I’m in town for a visit, and when I’m here, I have to have a Dirty Girl.”

Not in the mood for hard liquor? Try a Dirty Girl: Orphan Girl bourbon cream liqueur and root beer served over ice.

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Dinner for TWO

Setting the Scene for a Romantic Dinner In

Recipes by Chandee Bomgardner | Photography by Sara Young | Staging by Jennifer Moore

A night out on the town for cocktails and dinner can be over-the-top romantic. But with the deafening restaurant noise, tables crammed close together, and awkward dates around you, taking your special someone out can sometimes put a damper on a romantic evening. Not only has SignatureMT foodie, Chandee Bomgardner put together a meal to set your sweetie’s heart a flutter but she has also uncovered a secret that professional chefs have kept under their “toque blanche” (French for “white hat”) for decades. Set the table, dim the lights and prepare to wow your loved one in the comfort of home!

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Trattoria Bella Roma

Char and Charm, A Rich History Flirting with Modernity

Text by Colter Pederse | Photography by Jacqui Smith

Born and raised in Rome Italy, head chef Davide Giuliani has always been passionate about food. “I’ve been watching my grandma cook since I was a kid in the kitchen. Sort of grandma’s recipes with a twist, that’s what I’m trying to do here,” he says.

Beyond Last Chance Gulch, just past the oldest alley in Helena, lies a little restaurant offering Mediterranean flavors infused with a modern flair. Open only since June, Trattoria Bella Roma brings a distinctly Old World menu to Montana.

“My food style is Roman cuisine. It’s very rustic, warm comfort food,” begins chef Davide Giuliani. Born and raised in Rome, he radiates an easy Italian charm and a youthful energy.

“I’m trying to recreate those flavors that I grew up with from cooking and learning from my grandma and putting my own twist on it, my own heart and soul in it,” he adds. “I want people to really experience what it was like growing up with that kind of food.”

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