Ryan lives in Missoula, MT. His education includes a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies and a MBA in sustainable business practices from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Briefly out of college he worked summer jobs as a wild life biologist before moving out to Montana in 2001. At first living, in Bozeman, Ryan coordinated after school activities for a small private high school. In 2002 he moved to Missoula, where he worked mainly for the city of Missoula as the outdoor recreation manager for the Parks and Recreation department. After obtaining an MBA, Ryan did a stint in New York City working briefly for a sustainable asset management firm in the heart of the financial district and then found more kindred spirits as a sales associate for the clothing company Patagonia which helped land him back in Dillon, MT helping to manage The Patagonia Outlet from 2008 till early 2011. His latest professional adventure took him to Oakland, CA where he taught seventh grade science. He is an avid outdoorsmen with a passion for volunteerism, building community, gardening and having fun.
Cori first started her work with agriculture about tens years ago in the beautiful Flathead Valley. In 2006, Cori moved to Missoula where she started farming with Garden City Harvest and blending agriculture, community development and education. Cori now manages the Youth Farm, a 2-acre farm and youth employment program, that is a partnership between Garden City Harvest and Youth Homes. When not farming, cooking, or eating, you can find her pursuing her myriad of other loves.
Jim was raised on a farm on the Hi-Line and graduated from Glasgow High School. After attending the University of Montana for several years, he moved to the Gallatin Valley. He was an early proponent and practitioner of Energy Efficient residential construction, starting in the mid 1970s. He also has considerable experience with historic restoration and remodeling. He is particularly proud of his work restoring the Tinsley Homestead House at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. Jim lives with his family in Livingston. His design and consulting business, Montana Energy+Design focuses on sustainable building design, consulting on technical energy issues, and supporting sustainable community projects.
May is a student at the University of Montana studying Environmental Studies and Psychology. She is interested in incorporating farming with Clinical Psychology. Born in Brooklyn, May finished high school in the Flathead Valley where she began working on farms and at a farmers market. She has spent the past two years being a Farm Hand at Purple Frog Gardens, and the past three years running the SNAP booth at the Whitefish Farmer’s Market. She helped launch the SNAP2 program at the Whitefish Farmer’s Market two summers ago, a program that attempts to provide equal food access in the Flathead Valley.
Anna lives just outside of Bozeman with her hubby and three kids (oh, and dog, cats and chickens) and is knee deep in graduate studies at Montana State University. She has a Business Marketing degree from California State University, Chico and after some life experience and fine tuning of priorities is now pursuing a graduate degree in Sustainable Food Systems, partnered with Dietetics. Her career goal is to educate people, particularly the future stewards of this earth, about the importance of partnering sustainability with holistic wellness creating healthy communities, individuals and families. She is MSU’s Farm to College Coordinator, co-manager of MSU’s student farm, Towne’s Harvest Garden and active in the student club Friends of Local Foods. She also serves on the board of Farms for Families, always plants way too many zucchini and tomato plants in the garden and is a wanna-be hobby farmer. Originally from Northern California, she has found her home in Montana.
Annie was born in Bozeman and has lived and worked around the state, country, and world in the meantime. With professional experience in land use planning and economic development and academic degrees in planning and sustainable agriculture, Annie is thrilled to be back in Montana, putting her knowledge to work for the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) in Missoula. Annie’s work for CFAC focuses on farmland conservation and beginning farmer and rancher development. When not behind her desk, Annie can be found hoofing it up and down mountains in sun and snow or on the water, preferably on a sailboat, although rafts and canoes are growing on her!
Ian was born and raised in Helena but now calls Missoula home after planting his roots there over the past six years. He received his degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana with a special emphasis in Environmental Justice. He was elected as the National Campaign Coordinator for the United Students for Fair Trade, where he set about forming a national coalition to spearhead The Fair Trade University Campaign. Then, after a brief summer farming in Oregon, Ian returned to Montana to coordinate the Farm to College Program at the University of Montana, where he also cooperatively runs a campus composting program and demonstration garden. Ian is thankful to live with his three best friends and dog, Porter, plays music at every chance, and loves a good dance.
Jeffrey has been an avid organic gardener all his adult life, and has been deeply interested in energy issues for much of that time. He believes that how we envision agriculture and energy issues will largely define the future of our society, and that the challenges we will face on both fronts are nothing short of extraordinary. The grassroots work and consensus building in AERO is important in contributing to that vision, and to fostering a practical approach to community life in the twenty first century. A resident of Bigfork, Jeff has worked as an artist blacksmith since 1976 — an artist producing both sculpture and architectural forged metalwork on commission, from plowshares to public sculpture. He has a particular interest in the history of metals and fuels.
Kim is a Missoula transplant originally from New Jersey. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, studying sustainable agriculture. She has a BS in Business Administration from Towson University in Maryland, where she spent the past few years working on communications in the retirement plan. Before moving to Montana, Kim did some work interning with a sustainable foods purchasing program for Maryland hospitals. Her goal now is to work on strengthening local food systems so farmers, communities, and consumers can all prosper. She hopes that someday we move towards a better food culture where we all appreciate good food that nourishes our bodies and souls.
Erin raises veggies, salad mix, and egg-laying hens on pasture in Roundup, a small town in cetnral Montana’s Musselshell County. Badger Rock Farm is in its second year, and sells its sustainably-raised products to Roundup residents and cafés, as well as the Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market in Billings. During the winter months, Erin works with her husband, Jim, on his microscope sales and service business, and on the renovation of the 100-year-old bank building that is their home.
Originally from New York State’s Hudson Valley region, Lyra moved to Montana in July of 2008 to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the FoodCorps program sponsored by Grow Montana and Montana Campus Compact (MTCC). In the last two years she has worked with MSU’s Farm to College-Montana Made Program helping to boost local food purchases to 15% and organize events like the Local Food Fair. Lyra attended Green Mountain College for her undergraduate studies where she received a BA in Environmental Studies. At Green Mountain Lyra fostered her passion for sustainability in energy and food production and lead her to Montana for a post graduation job. In the fall of 2009 she began her graduate studies at Montana State in Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems. She has continued her work as coordinator of the Montana Made Program and is working on a master’s project around tools for farmers related to on farm food safety regulation.
Jim, a native of Washington state, went to school in Leavenworth, Vancouver, and Spokane before he got a scholarship to Harvard College, where he majored in History and Literature, graduating in 1955. He went to medical school at the University of Washington, Seattle, did a surgical internship at the University of Minnesota, then went back to Seattle for a neurosurgical residency. He served as faculty for a year at the Medical College of Virginia, for two years at Yale Medical School, then fifteen years at the University of California, Irvine. He was in private practice in Orange County, then Durango, Colorado. He retired in 1989 to Kalispell where he pursues interests in energy and creating resilient communities.
Nathan is a fifth generation wheat farmer in Big Sandy. He moved back in 2007, after ten years spent in Portland, OR, and has been running his family’s organic operation ever since. While living in Portland, Nathan helped start Ethos Music Center, a non-profit that has grown to be one of the fastest growing not for profits in the entire state of Oregon, teaching the love of music to approximately 4000 underserved kids per year. After helping get Ethos on its feet and realizing the need to take the farming reins from his father, Nathan returned to Montana with his proven drive to succeed and is using that as he builds up his farm to a goal of complete renewable energy independence. He faces the challenges of remaining organic as a large scale small grains farm by constantly researching and implementing practices that, although much more time and labor intensive than conventional, offer him a complete sense of satisfaction at the end of the season knowing that he is producing a much healthier and sustainable food source. Nathan resides in Big Sandy with his wife, Mary, their three organic energy sources, and a dog.
Elisa, originally hailing from Vermont, lives in Bozeman where she currently works for Keystone Conservation, a Bozeman-based non-profit which focuses on helping people live and work in partnership with land and wildlife. She is just starting to delve into the complex world of Holistic Range Management with Keystone, and enjoying the challenge. Elisa has worked with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA VT) and VT Food Education Everyday (FEED), helping to spread awareness about the environmental impacts of the food systems and the importance of localizing food. With a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Environmental Sociology from St. Lawrence University, Elisa has a diverse and interdisciplinary background. She loves living in Bozeman and having the mountains right in her backyard.
John Palm has been working in the residential and commercial building/renewable energy industry since 1986. John’s focus has been on the ever-evolving development and adoption of energy efficient building practices, coupled with the smart application of alternative energy technologies. Through his business, Bozeman Green Build, John has had the opportunity to design and implement some of Montana’s largest solar PV systems. Through his membership on the Board, John is eager to help AERO educate the greater Montana community about our state’s solar resource, and to help folks get the tools to adopt our state’s solar rescue, and to help folks get the tools to adopt renewable energy today- whether it be solar PV, solar hot water, or passive solar through energy efficient building design. John lives west of Belgrade with his wife, kids, a small, organic beef herd and some laying hens.