By Thea Maria Carlson
Executive Director, Biodynamic Association
Since I began working with the Biodynamic Association in 2011, one of my greatest joys has been co-organizing the North American Biodynamic Conference, an incredible gathering that has grown to more than 800 participants from across the Americas and around the world.
This year’s conference (November 14-18 in Portland, Oregon) is centered on the theme Transforming the Heart of Agriculture: Soil. Justice. Regeneration. At a time when society is grappling with ecological, social, and spiritual divides—deep disconnects between humans and the earth, humans and other humans, and humans and ourselves—it gives me hope to create a vibrant space for hundreds of farmers, gardeners, earth stewards, activists, educators, food lovers, researchers, and entrepreneurs to come together, inspire and teach each other, share questions and concerns, and co-create a more vibrant, regenerative, and just future.
For this conference to be truly successful, we need to make it accessible to all who have a deep desire to participate, regardless of their financial means. We need to welcome low-income farmers, apprentices, land stewards, school garden teachers—especially from communities who have been underrepresented in biodynamic and other agricultural conferences—who wish to learn, connect, share their experiences and insights, and bring the fruits of the conference home to their communities. We have received 167 scholarship applications this year, and we hope to make awards to as many of these applicants as possible. In order to open our doors wider, we need your help.
Raising funds for Biodynamic Conference scholarships is truly a community effort, and we are in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 to meet the many scholarship requests we have received. So far, we have raised $2,597, with two weeks left in the campaign. It's a long way to go, but I'm confident we can raise much more, one person at a time. I made a $100 gift, and I hope you will join me in generously supporting this effort. Whether you can give $5, $50, $500, or $5000, your gift will help us reach our goal and make it possible for many more farmers and changemakers to participate the 2018 Biodynamic Conference.
Please take a moment to watch this short video and make a gift today. And please pass this on to friends, family, and colleagues who may wish to contribute as well.
Thank you for your support, and for all that you do.