In honor of this year’s theme, Celebrating our Interdependence, we are thrilled to welcome speakers who will will convene a conversation based on the wisdom of organic farmers to illuminate a path of relationship, of bio-regional unity, of interconnected systems. We all have a role to play in building a more democratic, just, and verdant food system, of and for the people. 

Niaz Dory Saturday 9:00 am 

Keynote: Declaring Our Interdependence: Celebrating Our Power, and Uniting for a Just, Equitable, and Dignified Food System

Niaz Dorry, Executive Director of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) and the Northwest Marine Alliance (NAMA)

Niaz Dorry will explore the question of what “interdependence” really means, and why it’s especially critical at this juncture of the world’s history--especially when it comes to food systems. She will share her deep learnings from the “America the Bountiful” tour that took her around the country and subsequent trips by the staff of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) and the Northwest Marine Alliance (NAMA) as they’ve been connecting with the nation’s food providers on their farms, ranches, boats, and businesses, and heard about the struggles and joys of frontline communities in their quest for interdependence and community. Finally, she will engage the audience members in an inclusive, participatory process to contribute to an emerging document and tool for social change, “The Declaration of InterDependence,” so come with an open mind ready to move in collective action! 

Niaz Dorry has been a community organizer for over 30 years. Her life changing moment came in 1994 when as a Greenpeace campaigner she switched from organizing in communities fighting for environmental justice to organizing fishing communities. From the start, she recognized the similarities between family farmers’ fighting for a more just and ecologically responsible land-based food system, and that of community based fishermen fighting to fix the broken sea-based food system. She has been the coordinating director of NAMA since 2008 and is also the director of NFFC. Niaz created a partnership between both organizations to further cement the relationship and interdependence between land and sea.

Lisa Fernandes & Panel Sunday 11:30 am 

Panel Discussion: Weaving a New Narrative: Agriculture as a Catalyst of Culture Change

Lisa Fernandes, Director of Communications for Food Solutions New England & Founder of the Resilience Hub in Portland, ME


Mariah Gladstone, Founder of IndigiKitchen

John and Nancy Hayden, The Farm Between

Hilary Martin, Diggers' Mirth Collective Farm

Julie Wolcott, Green Wind Farm

Sunday will feature a panel discussion facilitated by Lisa Fernandes. Lisa will lead a discussion pushing back on the narrative of competition and scarcity, weaving a new story about interdependence, bounty, and the possibility of what happens when we come together to imagine a bold, interdependent, mutually beneficial food system with people, land, and justice at the core. Lisa will facilitate conversation between farmers, food activists, chefs, and leaders in the food system to flesh out what a thriving future might look like, if we go together. 

Lisa Fernandes is the Director of Communications for Food Solutions New England & Founder of the Resilience Hub in Portland, ME. She is a strategist, facilitator, speaker, network weaver and educator who believes that resilience-building is among the best approaches we have for creating vibrant futures. Mariah Gladstone, Cherokee and Blackfeet, developed Indigikitchen, an online cooking platform, to revitalize and re-imagine Native foods. She has been named a “25 Under 25 Leader in Indian Country” and a “Champion for Change” by the Center for Native American Youth. John and Nancy Hayden are the husband and wife team who own and operate The Farm Between. In this day and age of climate and social instability, one of their goals is to encourage people to heal themselves and the planet by reconnecting with the matrix of life that surrounds us. Hilary Martin has been a co-owner of Diggers’ Mirth Collective Farm since 2002. She resides with her daughter in one of the last small housing co-ops in Burlington’s Old North End. Julie Wolcott farms organically with her partner, Stephen MacCausland and family in Fairfield. After 40 years of milking cows, Green Wind Farm has transferred ownership of their Jersey cattle as well as leasing the dairy barn and 50 acres to their young neighbors. 

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