The Biodynamic Community at the Confluence of Growth and Change
2016 North American Biodynamic Conference — Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth
At the 2014 North American Biodynamic Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Biodynamic Association Board President Steffen Schneider presaged the 2016 conference when he observed in his Sunday morning remarks that “the more mature an organization becomes, the more levels of complexity it develops.” Like a simple creek that flows and joins with other creeks to form streams that then meets and joins with other streams to form a river, which then continues to grow in size and momentum and complexity, the biodynamic community came together in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for five days in November for “Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth.”
The unique streams that contributed to this meeting of hearts and minds represented diverse cultural, geographic, spiritual, and philosophical approaches to regenerative agriculture. They brought together old friends and created countless new ones; they brought together the wisdom of elders and ideals of younger generations; and so much more. And, like the streams that flow out of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this gathering created a whole new community that is much more than the sum of its parts and that will continue to flow into the years ahead.
With nearly 800 participants representing forty-six U.S. states, twenty countries, and six continents; the 2016 North American Biodynamic Conference was the largest and most diverse BDA gathering ever. Thanks to generous donations to the Biodynamic Scholarship Fund, the Devon Strong Memorial Fund, and the Estevan Arrellano Scholarship Fund, we were able to award $35,000 in conference scholarship to 123 individuals who otherwise would not have been able to attend.
One of these scholarship recipients, Joseluis Ortiz of La Plazita Gardens, Albuquerque, was so inspired by his experience that he later joined the BDA's Board of Directors. Joseluis reflects:
“Being given a scholarship to the 2016 Biodynamic Conference provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge in agriculture and learn about the clear connections between my traditional agricultural practices and upbringing, and biodynamics, which are so closely related. My life was opened to a beautiful community of open-minded people, scientists, educators, who are farming, regenerating the soil and building a positive future. If there is one community who can authentically support a real effort towards the reconciliation for land-based and indigenous people who were extremely impacted by colonization it is the biodynamic community.”
To look through the slideshow at your own speed, click on an image in the bottom row and use the arrows on the sides of the larger image to navigate. Photos by ©Trav Williams of Broken Banjo Photography and BDA staff.
Do you have photos from the conference you'd like to share? We always appreciate seeing additional perspectives on the event. Please email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) if you have any photos to share.