This year at the 2013 National Bioneers Conference, CROPP sent 25 organic farmers to celebrate Organic Valley’s 25th anniversary – not to mention learn from and experience one of (imho – in my humble opinion) the most emotional, brain-overflowing, meaningful, authentic, inspiring events in the country.

The Bioneers Conference brings together some of the world’s foremost food, environmental and social justice movers and shakers to offer TedX-style plenary talks and workshops. Nikki Henderson of People’s Grocery in Oakland, CA, was one of my favorite speakers at the 2012 conference. In the clip below she emphasizes how important food is to our culture, to building and maintaining our connections with each other. She says, “How can millions of people who are so different from each other trust each other? What is it going to take to heal the breakdown that’s happening right now?

“Food.”

Differences fall away around the dinner table and on full stomachs. And the place to start is with our families, even though that can be a scary prospect. Grandma Jean or Uncle Joe have gotten used to always being “right,” so it can be pretty intimidating to talk to them about tough issues, but Nikki believes it just might be one of the most important conversations we have with these people whom we love most in the world.

“If I can’t talk to my family – my family – how in the world am I going to talk to my brothers and sisters who live in different cities, in different areas that I don’t understand?” says Henderson.

View the full video and more on the Bioneers YouTube channel.

Here are a couple photos from this year’s Bioneers Conference. It was a meaningful experience, and we encourage you to attend if you have the opportunity!

Bioneers attendees play games and talk with Organic Valley farmers about what it means to be organic and the importance of organic food and farming.

Bioneers attendees play games and talk with Organic Valley farmers about what it means to be organic and the importance of organic food and farming.

Taking a break from handing out samples at the Organic Valley tent.

Taking a break from handing out samples at the Organic Valley tent.

CROPP has been a proud supporter of Bioneers for more than a decade, and we look forward to the great things this organization will do in the next 10 years. Learn more about Bioneers at www.bioneers.org, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter