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ErikaThis past weekend, Slow Food USA Executive Director Erika Lesser traveled to Bozeman Montana to give a keynote address at the Northern Rockies Satellite Bioneers conference.

The cornerstone of the main Bioneers conference which is held in San Rafael, CA, is an impressive lineup of plenary speakers who address issues of environmental sustainability and offer “practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities.” These speakers are leaders and visionaries (MacArthur genius fellows, you know the type: very inspiring people!) and they are beamed via satellite to locations around the country, where local sustainability conferences are organized around them.

One of the largest of these satellite conferences is hosted by BORN in Bozeman, and their theme this year was food. In and around their conversations about the local food system (and other sustainability issues), were a few live keynote speakers, including Erika. The other keynote speaker of the weekend was Dan Imhoff, whom you may know as the author of the excellent “Food Fight,” his comprehensive tome on the Farm Bill.

Satellite plenary highlights included Paul Anastas, the “Father of Green Chemistry,” New York City’s own Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, and Winona LaDuke of White Earth Land Recovery Project discussing the Slow Food Presidia product Manoomin Wild rice.

Bozeman is beautiful, and the community there is full of conservationists and local food enthusiasts, including our small but lovely Slow Food Montana convivium (who know how to throw a mean potluck). Erika’s talk was a wonderful chance to reach a new, extremely receptive audience, and to meet slow friends out in big sky country.