“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
-Philip Pullman, author
AERO recently recovered three video interviews graciously recorded by author/activist/filmmaker Marilyn Bennett (From Selma to Stonewall: Are We There Yet?) at AERO’s request in the summer of 2017. The occasion was a celebration/good-bye party (thank you Janet Hess-Herbert for making that happen!) for Jonda Crosby, long-time AERO staff member, who was preparing to leave the state.
We are delighted to be able to share these videos with you now through our video channel. May the stories, history, humor, caring, and insights held in these recordings make you smile, lift your spirits, and fill you with hope and inspiration.
To everyone who has touched AERO in any way throughout our history, THANK YOU for helping build a more sustainable Montana for all. As these videos demonstrate, change is a group effort, and the future of sustainability truly is community.
A bit about the recordings in our “AERO MT Oral History” playlist:
Jonda Crosby on AERO’s History and Legacy: Jonda joined AERO as a contractor in 1996 and retired from the Executive Director position in 2011. She directed the organization through some of its most impactful years of sustainable agriculture and community food system programming, including the Farm and Ranch Improvement Clubs, the Montana Food Systems Initiative, and supporting the development of the Abundant Montana directory and the Grow Montana food policy coalition. In this hour-long interview Jonda provides a thoughtful and illuminating history of AERO and its enduring legacy. Jonda’s keen insights into AERO’s unique character and why/how it was so successful in building lasting impact at the individual, community, and state levels, is a primer for anyone seeking to solve social problems or effect positive social change today.
We also extracted a 20-minute excerpt which focuses on the genesis of Abundant Montana and the Grow Montana food policy coalition, and have posted that as a separate video in the play list (“Jonda Crosby on the genesis of Abundant Montana and the Grow Montana food policy coalition”).
Elizabeth & Wilbur Wood – How it All Began in 1974…With Energy! Elizabeth & Wilbur Wood, AERO co-founders, share their memories of AERO’s beginning during the energy crisis of the 1970’s, and the genesis and impact of the New Western Energy Show.
Reflections on MT’s sustainable ag & food systems work by former AERO staff and board members AERO former staff and board members share stories on their efforts to rebuild sustainable agriculture and community food webs in the state beginning in the late 1980s. Jennifer Battles (in green), AERO’s Executive Director at the time of filming, leads the conversation. Sharing memories: Max Milton, Nancy Matheson, Al Kurki, Jim Barngrover, Bob Quinn, Pam Mavrolas, Jean Duncan, and Corrie Williamson. Also present: Russ Salisbury.