Early Bird registration is now open! Click the button below to reserve your spot at Expo. Your registration fee covers full access to Expo panels, discussions and activities, as well as farm tours, food and lodging.
Scroll down to see details about this year’s Expo agenda, farm tours, workshops, and more. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions: [email protected]
Thank you, and we hope to see you at Expo!
The AERO Team
Looking for the Dan Kittredge Pre-Expo Workshop? Find details here.
AERO is honored to welcome Liz Carlisle back again as keynote speaker. She is the author of Lentil Underground, co-author of Grain By Grain, and Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Liz will be sharing wisdom from her latest book, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming.
Dan Kittredge has been an organic farmer for more than 30 years and is one of the leading 21st century proponents of “nutrient density”. He is founder and Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association (BFA), a non-profit whose mission is to build a nutrient dense food supply, recognizing that together, we are stewards of our food future. Dan is also teaching a pre-Expo class, Principles of Biological Systems, the day before Expo. Learn more about the course HERE.
With our last two Expo’s taking place virtually, we have really missed the field component that is traditionally a part of Expo. This year we are back, and we have four excellent tours to choose from! Tours are FREE with Expo registration. All tours will take place on Friday, September 30th. Select the tour of your choice when you purchase your Expo ticket.
11:00am-1:00pm, Helena, MT
Old Salt Co-Op is building a Montana meat brand that is about “connecting customers and producers in a shared purpose: to be stewards, enhancing land, wildlife habitat and community like a pinch of salt in a recipe, like the salt of the earth.” Join us at the Old Salt Outpost in Helena’s historic downtown for delicious burgers and conversation around connecting to Montana’s working landscapes. (Tour participants are responsible for the cost of their own meal at Old Salt Outpost.)
11:00am-3:30pm, Lewistown & Stanford, MT
Meet in Lewistown at the American Prairie Reserve Center to chat about the buffalo/prairie ecosystem with Liz Carlisle, Latrice Tatsey (bison ecologist currently restoring buffalo to their native homelands in the Blackfeet Nation), and Corrie Williamson, former AERO staffer, now Senior Outreach Manager for American Prairie. Then to Jess and Gail Alger’s ranch in Stanford. A former AERO Board member and keen supporter from way back, Jess Alger has been a Montana leader in regenerative ranching and agriculture practices since 1999 when he transitioned his 1,120 acre farm/ranch to organic. (Please bring $ for lunch from Brook’s Market or bring a sack lunch.)
11:00am-3:30pm, Ulm & Highwood, MT
Start at Timeless Seeds in Ulm—a must if you want to understand the history, legacy, and opportunity of stewardship agriculture in Montana today. Then head to Ole Norgaard’s organic and biodynamic North Frontier Farms. Learn about the Canadian Thistle biocontrol project with MSU, the innovative grain seed cleaner for small and large-scale farmers, and the story of bringing to market Dave Christiansen’s Montana Morado Maize, a unique cold and drought tolerant anthocyanin-rich purple/black corn. (Bring a sack lunch or grab it to go at Harvest Craft Kitchen in Great Falls.)
11:00am-1:00pm, Great Falls, MT
Kicking off our Food Sovereignty and Food Culture track, join us for lunch at Saibeen’s Kitchen in Great Falls. Using local ingredients (including Timeless Seeds lentils) Saibeen is creating an authentic East African and East Indian meal for us from her cultural roots. We’ll also visit with members of Montana high plains tribal nations and learn about the food sovereignty and food culture work taking place on their lands and in their communities, and tour Great Falls’ River Harvest Community Garden. (Prix fixe lunch $24.)
During the day, choose from one of our four Farm Tours & Local Lunch options (see above) or complete Dan Kittredge’s workshop on Principles of Biological Systems which starts Thursday Sept 29 (not included in cost of Expo). Check in at Arrowpeak Lodge anytime between 12:00-5:00pm.
5:15pm—Evening Keynote: Liz Carlisle
6:30pm—Potluck Dinner and AERO Cake Auction*
*Yum! It’s tradition to bring a dish to share for the potluck. Showcase your creativity and bake a killer cake for the Cake Auction! In all events, bring your cash. The stakes are high in this staple AERO FUNdraiser, with the highest bidding table getting first choice of cake!
9:00am—Morning Keynote: Dan Kittredge
Conference Sessions: We’re exploring the theme of Cultivating Resiliency, with three topic tracks, each with panels and discussion sessions. Choose which sessions interest you! There will also be a workshop for value-added producers (Value-Added Product Sales Under the Local Food Choice Act) and a hands-on workshop on mobile off-grid living.
REIMAGINING THE ECONOMY OF STEWARDSHIP AGRICULTURE
Shifting Perspectives for a Resilient Mind
The Culture of Agriculture: Partnerships for Sharing Risk and Building Value
Policy Advocacy in 2023: Engagement Strategies and A Look at What’s at Stake
Capitalism, Climate, and Quantum Physics: Addressing the Impact of Extractive Ag on Human and Planetary Health
FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND FOOD CULTURE
The Culture of Food: Sharing Stories to Shift the Narrative
Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Wellness
Using Story to Unpack Racial Inequity in the Food System
Fireside Chat: Finding and Sharing our Food Stories
ACCESS ROUTES TO SUSTAINABLE STEWARDSHIP
New Ways of Accessing Financial Capital
Supporting Producer Land Access
Creative Models for Building Consumer and Community Engagement
Sustainable Clean Energy Approaches to Farm Staff Housing
6:30pm—Dinner and live music!
9:00am—AERO Annual Meeting & Coffee Chats
10:30am—Closing Session: A Resilient Path Forward
Checkout at noon.
Lodging is included in the cost of your Expo registration.
Arrowpeak Lodge sits on 144-acres in the beautiful Highwood Mountains 40 miles east of Great Falls. With a main lodge and four large outbuildings, it’s perfect for kindling the small group conversations and impromptu collaborations that distinguish the Expo experience.
On-site accommodations include dormitories, individual rooms and cabins, and tent & RV camping. Shower House available for campers. Lodging is limited and can be reserved when you register on our website.
Accommodations are also available in Fort Benton (Franklin St. Guest House and River St. Guest House), and Great Falls.
Meals are included in the cost of your Expo registration.
Friday night’s dinner will be a potluck, so please bring a dish to share. We also will have our AERO Cake Auction, a beloved tradition that puts the FUN in fundraiser! Show off your baking chops and bring a show-stopping cake to contribute!
All other meals will be provided, catered by Bomgardner Catering. We will endeavor to meet everybody’s dietary needs and preferences, and you can indicate any dietary needs during registration.
Saturday night will include a Silent Auction, and we welcome your contributions to this annual fundraising event!
No gift is too small or too big. Whether it is a cherished book, a product from your business, dinner for two at a local restaurant, or a guided float down a wild Montana river, we celebrate the generosity of our AERO community.
Let us know what you plan to add to the Auction when you register online. Thank you!
Share about your organization or business by getting a booth at our Harvest Market, or tabling space! AERO invites you to promote your work or products. You can reserve a Harvest Market table when you register for Expo. $25/table
Arrowpeak Lodge is located 40 miles east of Great Falls. You can find directions to the Montana Farmers Union camp from Great Falls or from Billings HERE.
Give a round of applause for this year’s Expo sponsors! We couldn’t do this without your generous support. Many thanks to the following organizations and businesses who have pledged to make this Expo a success. You can become an Expo sponsor, too! Learn more HERE.
Mission West Community Development Partners/Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center
Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC)
Montana Organic Association
Montana Renewable Energy Association
Blue Truck Bread
O’Hara Commons and Sustainability Center