EFA Update: Feed the World You Want to Live In
By Ken Dickerson, Ecological Farming Association Executive Director
Our Ecological Farming Association (EFA) has been a grassroots, homegrown operation ever since our beloved founders gathered together to make their dreams for an ecological food and farming system a working reality. Farmer to farmer, friend to friend, newcomers and old-timers came together and shared ideas, inspiration and solutions to help themselves and each other succeed. They farmed and built businesses to realize their dream of the ecologically sound, economically viable and socially-just system they were told was ‘impossible’. This is the legacy that we eco-farmers stand on today, a living history still in motion, an alternative food and farming system that we continue to expand and create today.
Still, as far as the Ecological Farming Association and as far the ecological food and farming movement has come in the mainstream, the times continue to call for new ideas and more good work. Social justice in agriculture has improved and yet there is abundant opportunity to improve our food and farming system to make it more just for all. There is still a need to address the succession of retiring farmers comprehensively and transfer their knowledge to the next generation of aspiring eco-farmers. Organizing for opportunity and success for farmers and food system entrepreneurs will continue to call on our 'village' to strategize and collaborate. The standards for health, safety and justice continue to call for vigilance and expansion within our society.
The theme for the 2013 Conference is ‘Feed the World You Want to Live In.’ So a worthy question for all of us, for you whose work and passion drive our Conference and our year-round work -- what is the world you want to live in and what steps move us all towards that goal? What does it look like? How does it function? What values does it serve by its design and actions? Health or exploitation? The common good or unfair advantage to the few? There are choices to be made. Together, with vision, mission and action aligned, we can continue to be the change we wish to see in the world.
What is the legacy you want to leave standing? What are the resources that farmers need to move ecological farming forward today? What support systems do ecological businesses need to thrive? What are the innovations and new ways of organizing ourselves that will serve this mission? What leverage do cooperative and collaborative models of business and organization provide as opportunities for our goals?
With your participation and support, the Ecological Farming Association can continue to take important steps in building this more resilient model of human enterprise in agriculture. Suggestions for EcoFarm 2013 can be submitted up to July 1st at:
This 33rd Annual EcoFarm Conference is our Association's forum to advance our common interests in planting a better world, tending it, and reaping the harvest of our collective action. The "World You Want to Live In", what does it look like to you? Dream it vividly and let's keep making it a reality together!
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