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Missoula-based Elephant Friendly™ campaign promotes elephant-friendly tea plantations

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In 2017, Elephant Friendly™ tea certification for plantations launched after Lisa Mills, a University of Montana educator, and her family moved to Bhutan, a country bordering India. Hundreds of tea farms are in commercial production in India.

“When you talk about really big tea plantations in elephant zones, there are a lot of deeply ingrained practices and behaviors that people are doing, and so to change the culture is kind of what we’re doing, one farm at a time,” Mills said.

Mills and her husband Scott got the help of UM’s Broader Impact Group in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, the university’s wildlife biology program, Blackstone Launchpad, MonTEC and the College of Business to launch the initiative.

By Mari Hall

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