Long-running student-produced TV program highlights Montana businesses

Bamboo fly-fishing rods, heavy-duty man baskets, a family Chai recipe, gourmet chocolates and a new energy bar made from Montana-raised beef are the subjects of a University of Montana student-produced television program featuring Montana-based businesses.

Business: Made in Montana” profiles companies that create products in Big Sky Country and do business around the state, the country and the world. The new program will premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, on MontanaPBS and will broadcast again at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 26 and at 1 a.m. Monday, Oct. 27. This episode introduces viewers to Tom Morgan Rodsmiths in Manhattan, Lifting Technologies Inc. in Missoula, Tipu’s Chai in Polson, Posh Chocolat in Missoula and Omnibar in Ovando.

Producers follow the waters of the Madison River to a Manhattan company that aims for perfection when creating finely crafted bamboo fly rods. Tom Morgan and his wife, Gerri, have owned and operated Tom Morgan Rodsmiths since 1996.

Man-basket manufacturing company, Lifting Technologies in Missoula, is a local family business with an international market.

After successfully running an Indian restaurant in Missoula, Tipu’s Chai owner Bipin Patel moved his business to Polson with hopes of spreading his grandmother’s authentic chai tea recipe around the country.

Posh Chocolat, a Missoula chocolate company, celebrates nearly a decade of making delectable treats for its customers and has even bigger plans for the future.

Omnibar is a new Montana-made energy bar for extreme athletes. Owner Cooper Burchenal uses beef from his family ranch near Ovando to create a savory alternative for a growing market.

Students at UM’s School of Journalism and Department of Radio-TV produced the program during spring semester 2014. Senior journalism student Sam Waldorf hosts the program. Over a span of 21 years, “Business: Made in Montana”has featured nearly 200 different businesses.

“Business: Made in Montana” is made possible with support from the Greater Montana Foundation. Founded by pioneer broadcaster Ed Craney in 1958, the GMF provides grants to improve the quality of communications of important issues through electronic media. More information is available at http://greatermontana.org/.

MontanaPBS is comprised of KUFM-TV in Missoula and KUSM-TV in Bozeman and is a service of the University of Montana-Missoula and Montana State University-Bozeman.

- posted on 10/23/14 -