2013 Energy & Sustainable Agriculture Award Winners Announced

Sustainable Agriculture Award Winners

Farmer Category: Floyd and Jean Dahlman, Forsyth

Floyd and Jean Dahlman have been actively engaged in sustainable agriculture – both on the farm and in the public arena for many years. Floyd took over his family farm and transformed it using sustainable practices in the late 1970’s to early 80’s after studying work of MSU Agronomist Jim Simms. He soon became a disciple of Simms’ farming techniques, even traveling to Australia to study growing winter peas. The Dahlman farm and ranch currently consists of about 2,000 acres of cropland and a herd of 100 cattle, an integral part of their crop rotation plan. They grow spring and winter wheat, alfalfa hay, peas, garbanzo beans, and medic, as well as cover crops for his dryland operations. The pair also hosts students from the Rocky Mountain Institute each year and Floyd serves as 1 of 4 committee members on the state Farm Service Agency committee, having been nominated by Senator Jon Tester.

Educator & Innovator Category: Brent Sarchet, Helena

Brent Sarchet is the Extension Agent for Lewis and Clark County and based in Helena. In addition to farming in Boulder, Montana, including raising heritage poultry, Brent has supported and implemented many local food and farming projects in Central Montana. He teaches Master Gardeners of all levels as well as workshops on heritage poultry and tree grafting. Brent has been heavily involved in community gardening efforts in Helena, including building a community garden and growing food at the extension office. Brent is involved in a project to document heritage orchards across Montana and has recently planted orchards at 8 locations across the state, with over 300 fruit trees planted to date; apple, pear and plum cultivars are being tested at each location. Brent’s work has elevated the value, importance and possibilities for producing more local food in the Helena area and Central Montana region.

Read his blog here: http://extension.lccountymt.gov/

Energy Award Winners

Implementer – Home/Farm/Business Owner:  Kim Reineking, Missoula

Kim is the owner of Reineking Construction. Kim is a longtime veteran of numerous community boards in the Missoula area and a top-notch general contractor who has been quietly pushing forward with some of the most sustainable building projects in Missoula.  Most recently, he has spearheaded a major renovation of the Montana Natural History Center building, which also houses new offices for Five Valleys Land Trust.  At Kim’s direction, the project has included an outstanding complement of energy conservation features, and will be a showcase space for new light commercial development in coming years.

Story link:  http://missoulian.com/business/local/nature-focused-nonprofits-refurbish-building-to-reflect-mission/article_ef7bc3e2-5c49-11e2-8c7f-0019bb2963f4.html

Instigator – Promoter/Organizer/Educator:  Kyla Maki, Helena

Kyla is the Clean Energy Program Director at the Montana Environmental Information Center and is recognized for her exceptional dedication to energy code work, in addition to her involvement in the other key Montana energy issues, including work on net metering initiatives and the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

A native Montanan, Kyla graduated from the University of Montana in 2006, obtaining a degree in Wildlife Biology with an emphasis in Political Science from the College of Forestry and Conservation. Before coming to MEIC, Kyla worked in the Tribal Lands Program at the National Wildlife Federation, interned in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a wildlife technician at Denali National Park in Alaska.

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