BOZEMAN, Montana – AERO will be hosting the 2019 Expo event SEEDING THE FUTURE: Cultivating Community Resilience on the Montana State University campus in the Strand Union Building. Registration is available at https://aeromt.org/expo/.
Each year in October, with the support of a host town committee, AERO hosts a three day event. Participants from around the state gather to be educated, inspired, and network. Agricultural producers, conscientious eaters, policy advocates, nonprofit organizations, and out-of-the-box thinkers convene for a weekend of workshops, discussions, and demonstrations. Participants tackle the challenges of community-based agriculture, showcase innovation and improvements in food systems, and create a roadmap for sustainable and equitable food systems.
The Expo will begin Friday, with tours of the local food system in the Gallatin Valley. Participants may choose tours that showcase Montana State University: Farm To Campus, the Gallatin Valley local food system, food equity in action in the Gallatin and Paradise valleys, or renewable energy in the resilient Bozeman and Montana State University community. Tour stops include the state-of-the-art Livingston Food Resource Center and Root Cellar Foods.
Friday’s kickoff event, Seeding the Future: Youth, Wisdom & Food features keynote Dr. Ricardo Salvador and other powerful speakers working in food systems. Join us for Pecha Kucha-style talks, Montana sourced desserts, and a cash bar. Doors open at 7pm. This event is open to the public for a $10 fee. Registration for this event is available at https://seedingthefutureaero.eventbrite.com .
AERO is honored to host Dr. Ricardo Salvador, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, presented by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, as Saturday morning’s keynote speaker. “Dr. Salvador knows that food equity is the most important issue in food systems conversations. For decades his work has been to create values-based food systems that stop exploitation of human and natural resources. He was one of the first to teach sustainable ag at Iowa State University and now leads practical research on the health, environmental, and economic impacts of sustainable farming practices. He’ll share how Montana can build resilient community-based food systems on Friday night at the pecha kucha-style talks, Saturday morning keynote, and even on panels throughout the day Saturday,” said AERO’s Co-Executive Director Lindsay Ganong.
Saturday workshops explore food equity, building community-based food systems, cultivating resilience on the farm, and food system dynamics. Each workshop session topic is a component of cultivating resilient community-based food systems. Saturday evening will feature a silent auction, dinner and live music!
“The AERO Expo is our biggest, most inspiring event of the year. It’s equal parts useful knowledge for today, and smart, innovative exploration of the world we can create with each other. AERO members and Montana communities are resilient, remarkable, and forward-thinking… the Expo gathers that enthusiasm, expertise, and conviviality together each year. If you’ve not been before, you’ll be transformed. If you have, you’ll want to come back again and again,” said Co-Executive Director Jenn Battles.
The annual member meeting will take place on Sunday morning. Various DIY sessions will be available with continued discussion about the way forward for AERO members and Montana communities seeking to build strong community-based food systems.
AERO is a statewide nonprofit member organization whose mission is to empower communities to nurture and promote a more sustainable Montana. For information about becoming a member, please visit https://aeromt.org/join-us/.