The 8th Annual Montana Renewable Energy Fair is coming to Bozeman. From 9am to 4pm on Saturday, August 11th, individuals from around the state will meet in Bozeman to rally under a common banner of supporting renewable energy and learning more about its various benefits for Montanans. Taking place at the Gallatin Country Fairgrounds (901 N. Black Ave.), visitors will get the chance to experience a variety of workshops, exhibits and activities all centered around clean energy. The fair will include: demonstrations of solar, wind, and energy efficiency technologies and concepts; an electric car show; activities for kids; and, of course, food vendors.
Fairgoers will have the opportunity to meet professionals in the clean energy field, industry members and experts, and conservation and energy advocates. In this series, we’ll be sharing more about who you’ll have the opportunity to meet and engage with when you join us on August 11th!
This series is produced by Mason Dow, MREA's Communications Intern
Part 1: Advocates
There will be a number of tables and booths at the fair, occupied by individuals and organizations that work to further a number of conservation and energy causes that benefit Montana and Montanans. These tables will provide fairgoers with an opportunity to engage with advocates who are involved in everything from sustainable agriculture practices to public land conservation to renewable energy. You will have the opportunity to take a stroll and engage with these individuals on the many ways that their local organizations are working to further a number of issues around the state. We interviewed a few of those advocates to ask them about what they do and what they’re excited about for this year’s fair!
Brian Fadie – Montana Environmental Information Center
Brian is an environmental policy graduate from the University of Michigan who now engages with a number of decision making entities around the state, include the Montana Legislature, local officials, utilities and community leaders to advocate for policies which will accelerate renewable energy goals here in Montana. Brian will be hosting Montana Environmental Information Center’s table to answer any and all questions that fairgoers will have about renewable energy policy and how it relates to everyday consumers and citizens. MEIC will also offer ways that concerned folks can take action to help promote clean energy in their own community. Brain will be able to provide updates on the many happenings in the arena of utilities and solar ownership here in Montana, and wants fairgoers to know he is one of many fair leaders who can point potential solar owners to the resources that can help them achieve their goals. Brian will also be presenting hosting one of the twelve education workshops at the fair, focusing his on Renewable Energy Policy.
Kaleena Miller – AERO Montana
The Alternative Energy Resource Association has been linking people, sustainable agriculture and energy solutions here in Montana since 1974. Kaleena is the program manager at AERO and works to engage community members in locally-based sustainable solutions, a cornerstone of AERO’s mission statement. Kaleena will be hosting a table at the Clean Energy Fair and hopes to enlighten fairgoers on what AERO does in Montana and discuss how those interested in empowering their own communities to find sustainable strategies can obtain the resources to do so. Kaleena aims to inform attendees about AERO’s upcoming, hands-on expo in Missoula this year, as well as share what other communities around the state are already doing to strengthen local bonds and health through practical undertakings. Kaleena wants everyone who is curious about the Clean Energy Fair to know that at the Fair there will be something or someone for everyone, and there are few better places to meet new people with similar interests and passions.
Neal Ullman – Montana Conservation Voters
Neal Ullman is the program director for Montana Conservation Voters and has worked closely with legislators for years to craft sound environmental policy, as well as with the Department of Energy envisioning strategies to help develop clean cities. Montana Conservation Voters is an organization that strives to protect our pristine natural resources through conservation policies. Neal will be hosting a table aimed at informing Montanans on strategies and techniques that can help them have difficult conversations with their family, neighbors and elected officials. Neal has both lobbied and been lobbied and is well versed in what it takes to make your voice heard, while communicating effectively with those who have differing viewpoints. Arming citizens with the tools to discuss challenging topics with others is how Neal hopes to make Montanans feel confident and comfortable in a turbulent political climate and improve discourse on topics we all are passionate about.