September 18, 2018 - A new project of the Biodynamic Association (BDA) will focus on bridging biodynamic, traditional, and Indigenous agricultural communities across the Americas, with support from a grant from the Seeds, Soil and Culture Fund.
Through this project, the BDA aims to broaden and deepen existing relationships, establish new ongoing collaborative relationships, and facilitate cross-cultural learning between and among biodynamic, traditional, and Indigenous farmers and Earth stewards. The project will be guided by an advisory committee of BDA members and allies who have experience with or connections to these communities. The grant enables the BDA to continue and build on existing work in this direction, which has included convening a 2016 event and ongoing working group focused on bridging biodynamics across the Americas, and inviting a number of Indigenous farmers and land stewards to speak at recent North American Biodynamic Conferences.
“We are so grateful for this opportunity to learn with and from diverse communities. This work can support exploration of the spiritual and cultural connections between biodynamic, traditional, and Indigenous understandings, and sharing of approaches to biodynamics in different contexts across North, Central, and South America,” said Sarah Weber, who will coordinate the project for the BDA.
The award coincides with the announcement of the BDA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement, which represents a significant step in developing, implementing, and evolving principles and practices within the organization that are authentically equitable and inclusive of all people. This statement represents a belief that, in order for the BDA to fulfill its mission, the Association “must recognize and play a key role in transforming the historical and contemporary injustices faced by both humans and the earth. We are active in our inquiry into the sources of and solutions to injustice, as part of our work and relationship to land.”
"A core aspect of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is 'actively establishing and nurturing authentic relationships with people and communities practicing biodynamic, Indigenous, and traditional agriculture and land stewardship throughout the world, and engaging in open dialogue and collaboration'," stated BDA Executive Director Thea Maria Carlson. "We are thrilled that this project will enable us to take significant steps toward building those relationships, conversations, and connections."
Activities supported by the grant will include inviting and sponsoring farmers and leaders from traditional and Indigenous communities to be keynote speakers and workshop leaders at the 2018 North American Biodynamic Conference, “Transforming the Heart of Agriculture: Soil. Justice. Regeneration.” in Portland, Oregon, and conducting outreach and offering conference scholarships to Indigenous and/or Latin American farmers, land stewards, and activists. BDA program staff will attend the 2018 Mexican Biodynamic Conference and 2019 Indigenous Farming Conference to make further connections with Latin American and Indigenous farmers, and will make field visits to several Indigenous communities and/or Latin American biodynamic farming projects. In Spring 2019, the BDA will organize a cross-cultural field day at one of these sites, inviting biodynamic, traditional, and Indigenous farmers from across the Americas to participate. The grant will also support the development of a Spanish-Language Biodynamic Curriculum, to be created together with leading bilingual biodynamic educators. The BDA hopes to pilot this training in collaboration with Angelic Organics Learning Center in 2019.
The BDA is a participatory, membership-based nonprofit organization that works to nurture the North American biodynamic movement as a diverse, collaborative, and thriving ecosystem. The activities to be undertaken through this grant are in alignment with the BDA’s mission to “awaken and enliven co-creative relationships between humans and the earth, transforming the practice and culture of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities.”
For more information on the BDA and biodynamics, visit www.biodynamics.com.
For questions or to share ideas about the project, please contact Project Coordinator Sarah Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 649-9212 x10.