HELENA — Montana’s local food and sustainability expo is happening this Friday and Saturday. MTN stopped by Helena Food Share where a group from the expo was learning more about the non-profit's work.
In its 49th expo, AERO (Alternative Energy Resources Organization) works at the intersection of renewable energy, stewardship agriculture, and local food systems in Montana.
“Where those three things intersect is where we put our focus. And our niche over the last almost 50 years has been filling information gaps because that's really foundational to being able to make an impact at the community level,” says Executive Director of AERO, Robin Kelson.
The conference allows organizations, government agencies, community stakeholders, and more to come together and share information, findings, and ideas, and ultimately take those practices and information back to where they are and implement them in their communities.
For example, Amber Lyman, Farm to School Specialist with OPI was at Friday’s community tour at Helena Food Share. She networks at these types of meetings in order to put local produce into Montana schools. Lyman says that making the connection between schools and local produce not only helps connect the youth with the land but also creates more sustainable supply chains.
“I think the biggest thing would be sustainability and to help out your local community and ultimately the supply chain system and to just show kids where our food is coming from,” says Lyman.
Kelson says that this event brings folks from all over the state who have a common goal of best preserving and caring for the state we call home.
“It’s people who have a common love for the land that is Montana, for their want to preserve the resources, steward them well, and be able to maintain their operations for future generations,” says Kelson.