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Written by Hnin Hnin, Slow Food USA’s Associate Manager of National Programs

Every two years, Slow Food supporters from around the world come together for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto to share innovative solutions and time-honored traditions for feeding the planet in a good, clean, and fair way. And per tradition, delegates from over 130 countries are selected by Slow Food associations to join the 200,000+ visitors expected to attend this global gathering the size of two fiat factories.

This year, Slow Food USA has invited 220 food movement leaders to join the U.S. delegation to this landmark food and farming conference on October 25-29 in Turin, Italy. Nearly half of the delegation has also been invited to the International Congress, an exclusive meeting of Slow Food leaders worldwide that happens every five years and will take place Oct 27- 29 in the same location.

Being selected for this historic event is a special honor. The 220 U.S. delegates were chosen from a competitive pool of 600 applicants by 20 regional selection committees (and 1 national committee) comprised of Slow Food and Terra Madre leaders. With almost 25% people of color and folks from 50 different food communities spanning all sectors of the food movement from labor to production to students, this year’s delegation is by far the most diverse the U.S. has ever sent.

Unlike the average visitor, delegates play a key role in showcasing good, clean, and fair products and practices, leading workshops, and speaking on issues from land grabbing to GMOs to gastronomy. The select 103 U.S. delegates chosen to join their global counterparts at the International Congress will also have the opportunity to shape and decide the direction of Slow Food’s global work going forward.

Meet one of our International Congress delegates, Jim Embry, and hear what he has to say about Slow Food, Terra Madre, and the International Congress.

The 2012 U.S. delegation to Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto and the International Congress is full of bright leaders like Jim. Find out who they are here and here, respectively!

Inspired? Join us in congratulating them in the comments section below.