Anne Harney, MS 2019

anne harney

Working to increase access to healthy, local food.

Home:

Anne grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and currently lives in Missoula.

Present Position:

Anne is the Local Food Promotion Coordinator for Lake County Community Development Corporation in Ronan. Anne works to increase access to healthy, local food and make it easier for early care and education centers to serve local foods.

Her Passion:

Not surprisingly sustainable food and farming was Anne’s focus when she came to EVST and she is still interested and passionate about it. Her interest started right after she completed her B.A. in Environmental Science from Transylvania University when she worked with a couple of Kentucky nonprofits on food access, sustainable agriculture, and community outreach initiatives. She was an AmeriCorps volunteer for a food pantry in eastern Kentucky and felt really conflicted because the food they were handing out was processed food and not nutritious. She started to think about to think about food justice and access issues and how to get good food to everyone. “At EVST, I was really able to see what sustainable food systems look like and be with people who had a similar vision for the future of food systems.”

Accomplishments:

Anne was part of the first cohort of students for the University of Montana BRIDGES Program—interdisciplinary graduate studies at the food-energy-water nexus—where she was able to bring in her perspectives on what a sustainable food system would look like. Another of Anne’s accomplishments was completing her thesis, a case study on farmers’ perspectives on social and ecological resilience. Anne completed in-depth interviews with malt barley farmers in Fairfield, Montana about their challenges and their responses to those challenges. Exploring the links between social and ecological systems to determine what resilience really looks like on the ground.

What others are saying:

Professor Neva Hassanein says, “I loved working with Anne on her fascinating case study about Montana’s Fairfield Bench. The area is not only known for Freezeout Lake, but is also home to quality farmland, excellent irrigation, and mega-brewers who contract with farmers for malt barley. She looks at the vulnerabilities created by this industrial ag system, as well as the resilience characteristics of the land, water, and people who try to overcome these challenges. Anne’s a great researcher, interviewer, and advocate for sustainable food systems. She’s one to watch!"

What Anne says about EVST:

“I was really drawn to EVST because I was able to concentrate on sustainable food and food systems,” says Anne. “I really appreciated the ability to take advantage of courses across the University of Montana—to make the program my own. EVST gave me the opportunity to explore really big and complex issues both academically, and how they were applicable on the ground.”