Sustainable Food and Alternative Energy Expo set for Oct. 25-27 at MSU

AERO Expo Logo

The Alternative Energy Resources Organization will host a three-day conference focused on sustainable food systems on the Montana State University campus Oct. 25-27. Registration is open to the public for single days or the entire weekend.

The conference theme is “Seeding the Future” and the event will include educational sessions, speakers and discussion forums focused on building sustainable and equitable food systems across Montana and the Rocky Mountain region. It is co-sponsored by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, a collaborative effort between institutions across the Montana University System.

The expo will begin Friday, Oct. 27, with tours showcasing sustainable food efforts around Gallatin County. They will include an overview of MSU’s Farm to Campus program; a Gallatin Valley local food system tour; a Food Equity in Action tour focused on improving access to healthy food across socioeconomic sectors; and a Sustainable and Resilient Bozeman and MSU tour focusing on zero-waste efforts and alternative energy systems on the MSU campus and around Bozeman. 

“This conference is a wonderful opportunity to connect with partners from across the state who are working on sustainable food systems and renewable energy initiatives,” said Mary Stein, program leader for the Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program, an interdisciplinary degree program in MSU’s College of Agriculture and College of Education, Health and Human Development. “There are also lots of opportunities for student engagement.”

MSU’s Department of Health and Human Development and Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences are sponsoring workshops at the event and are offering scholarships to students to cover the cost of attending.

“Our students and faculty have been very involved in the planning of the conference,” said Bruce Maxwell, co-director of the Institute on Ecosystems. “It certainly fits in encouraging inter- and transdisciplinary activities.”

Friday evening will include a program titled “Seeding the Future: Youth, Wisdom and Food,” which will feature short talks about different ways of viewing food systems as well as a Montana-inspired dessert buffet and a cash bar.

Saturday’s sessions will include speakers on food marketing, community-based food systems, farm resiliency, and energy and carbon measuring on farms, as well as a keynote presentation by Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program of the Union of Concerned of Scientists.

The three-day event will wrap up on Sunday with AERO’s annual meeting and a closing discussion with co-executive directors Jenn Battles and Lindsay Ganong.

Registration for AERO members is $150 for the full weekend, $75 for Friday or Saturday only or $50 for Sunday only. For non-members, registration is $220 for the full weekend, $85 for Friday or Saturday only or $55 Sunday only. Cost to attend only the Friday evening event is $10. For registration and a full schedule, visit

Via MSU News Service


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Bruce Maxwell

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-6058
UM Director: Maury Valett


Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620