March E-news:Announcements
Fundraising ReportHere’s what’s new
in March


Helena has pledged a transition to 100% Clean Energy by 2030
On February 24th, the Helena City Commission unanimously voted to set a goal of 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2030. Read the Helena Independent Record story here. AERO raised its voice with partners at Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), Northern Plains Resource Council, and Transition Helena to encourage the Mayor and City Commission to commit to a clean energy future for Helena.

Helena’s City Sustainability Coordinator will be working with the Helena Citizen Conservation Board, city staff, citizens, and energy experts to implement the resolution and meet the goal. Some potential actions include:

  • Expansion of the city’s rooftop solar revolving loan program.
  • Energy efficiency improvements in city buildings.
  • Conversion to LED street lighting.
  • Supporting efforts to put rooftop solar on government buildings within Helena, such as schools.
  • Collaboration with the local utility and other cities around Montana to unlock new policy and regulatory options.

AERO heard from Helena City Commissioner Emily Dean after the vote passed. In her email, she wrote, “I’m excited for the City to begin developing a more robust solar loan program that prioritizes citizens of low and middle incomes who most frequently cannot gain access to these opportunities and are most impacted by climate change. Additionally, a Zero Waste policy will be a natural next step in our sustainability efforts and I’m looking forward to working on a such a policy with budgeting to support it. I believe our actions now must move beyond this resolution to include green infrastructure and transit system development and inclusive education initiatives. I’ll continue to advocate for alignment of our budget and operations to prioritize sustainability.”

AERO will continue to keep you up to date on the city’s progress. We thank our members for supporting AERO, and encouraging us to speak up for clean energy.

Abundant Montana Directory Farmers Market Listings

Attention Farmers Market managers: register your market on the Abundant Montana map. This one-stop registration provides critical information to the Montana Departments of Agriculture and Commerce and lists your market on Montana’s sustainable and local food map. Complete this form to register your market for the 2020 season. All markets must complete a new registration. When AERO’s new website, including a refreshed Abundant MT Map, is live this spring, we will provide you the opportunity to create a login and password to manage your own Abundant MT listing.

Grow Montana Coalition
Grow Montana, Montana’s food policy coalition, convened in January and the Steering Committee met in February to make decisions about the structure and funding sources for Grow Montana. Our updated structure, responsibilities, and funding commitments are described and pictured below.

GMT Structure & Responsibilities:
Tier 1: Steering Committee whose members make governance decisions. Commit funding at $1000 level.
Tier 2: Critical Advisory Member who advise the coalition and assist in fundraising.
Tier 3: Group or individual allies who participate in strategic research, outreach, testifying or other needs related to policies or projects.
Sponsors: Organizations or individuals who support the coalition at $1000 level, with optional appointment of a representative to the Steering Committee and recognition of logo on GMT website.
Contributors: Organization or individual supporters of less than $1000.

The next Grow Montana Coalition meeting will be at the AERO offices in Helena in March.

Join AERO in the 21-Day Racial Equity in the Food System Habit Building Challenge March 30-April 19, 2020
New England Food Solution’s (NEFS) 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge (aka the Racial Equity Challenge) is simple: During every morning of the Challenge, you’ll receive an email “prompt” with a short reading, video or audio file. You are encouraged to take about ten to fifteen minutes each day with the material in the prompt. You have the option to log into NEFS’s online forums (links will be provided) if you’d like to discuss the prompts in a moderated environment. As part of our 2020 goal to develop board and staff cultural competence to prepare for growing partnership and membership, AERO is registered as a group. We plan to host weekly conversations following NEFS’s newly-developed facilitation guide. Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #FSNEEquityChallenge. Registration is now open for the 2020 Racial Equity Challenge! March 30 through April 19, 2020.

AERO’s 2020 Wild Dinners

Wild Dinners bring together Montanans of differing backgrounds and ideologies. The event recognizes that hunters, farmers, ranchers, growers, and others who have a close connection to the land share the common aim of protecting and preserving the resources, beauty, and stability of our natural and cultivated landscape, be it healthy wildlife or healthy soils or healthy living. These folks often share values of self-sufficiency, resilience, stewardship, and a desire for local, healthy food consumption.

Wild Dinner Helena

Register HERE for the Free Thursday, March 26 Helena Wild Dinner

Join us for an evening of good food and good conversation where your Montana grown or harvested potluck item is your ticket into Wild Dinner:  Helena, sponsored by the Odd Fellow Inn.

Odd Fellow Inn, 2245 Head Ln, Helena, MT
Thursday, March 26th
5pm doors. 5:30-8pm Program

AERO, Montana Wildlife Federation, and Helena Hunters and Anglers’ Association are working together to host the 2020 Wild Dinner in Helena with sponsorship from the Odd Fellow Inn.

Wild Dinner Missoula

Register HERE for the Free Thursday, April 23 Missoula Wild Dinner. Join us for an evening of good food and good conversation where your Montana grown or harvested potluck item is your ticket in to Wild Dinner: Missoula.

Goodworks Place, 129 W Alder St, Missoula, MT 59802
Thursday, April 23rd

Thank you to the Missoula partners that make this event possible: Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, Artemis Sportswomen, Montana Wildlife Federation, and AERO.

Fundraising Report

Participate in AERO’s March Fundraiser
Visit Cowboy Cricket Farms and Education Center 

Cowboy Cricket will return 10% of our March in store sales from our new location at 703 Bridger Canyon Dr, B3, Bozeman, MT 59715 to AERO.  
At the Farm and Education Center, check out several interactive displays entertain and educate everyone on Entomophagy – the consumption of insects, particularly by humans. (See? You are already learning new stuff!) General Admission $5 

Taste and bring home delicious products like Cretaceous Crunchers: oats and cricket powder clusters with bold flavors of Montana huckleberry and a white chocolate drizzle, and chocolate chirp cookie with sustainable protein

475 Supporters purchased or renewed AERO license plates in Montana in 2019
License plate supported $6500 income in 2019. Keep AERO in mind as you renew your license plates this year. Your contributions support AERO’s work directly and raises awareness of AERO statewide.

Thank You!
Thank you all for being our inspiration.
We look forward to a 2020 working with you and your friends and neighbors across Montana, building resilient, community-powered local food systems  – if you eat, you’re in! 

Keep Building a Sustainable Montana


Alternative Energy Resources Organization

Mailing address: PO Box 1558, Helena MT 59624-1558

Physical address: 32 S Ewing St #314, Helena MT 59601