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There’s still a buzz on the streets today—it’s the buzz of huge voter turnout, of citizen investment, of millions of Americans throwing their hats in the ring.

What better time for Slow Food USA to –in the words of our Executive Director Erika Lesser at the US Meeting at Terra Madre—get political?

There’s a lot to report from Slow Food’s most recent edition of “Terra Madre,” a gathering of food communities from around the world, but today I’ll start with a report back on the US meeting. This gathering of over 800 food producers, cooks, students, and educators from around the country was the one opportunity at the conference for the US to discuss our agenda, our platform for moving forward into what is proving to be a new dawn. The agenda was laid out by Erika Lesser and our new President, Josh Viertel, in his first public address in his new position.

As discussed in yesterday’s post, our agenda: Building a future food system.

How are we going to do this?

  • Building bridges between the current aging farmer population, and the next generation of eaters, farmers, cooks.
  • Connecting cooks and farmers.
  • Assisting young farmers in getting the training and knowledge they need, and
  • Advocating for Change

Viertel put forth an emphasis on fostering youth involvement and development, as well as a strong cry for promoting and supporting Food Justice (the vexing conundrum of paying farmers a fair wage while also making sure that food is affordable to all).

The next Food and Farm Bill needs us; urban farms need us. And hey—it’s official now: Barack Obama needs us. More specifically, he needs to hear from us, and part of our plan moving forward is to figure how to say what we need to say, and how to make sure it’s heard. As mentioned yesterday, you can add your voice to the US Working Group on the Food Crisis’ Call to Action.

For a wide array of coverage, and an outside perspective—everything from the speakers, to the food, to the water—please check out:

And over the next couple weeks, we’ll share the words of farmers, cooks and activists who shared their stories and visions for the future of our food system at Terra Madre.