The 2023 Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting

Posted on February 14, 2023 by Alicia Alferman

The 18th Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting was Saturday, February 11th. What a joy it was to share space, pie, stories, and ideas with our food community! Our team feels a renewed sense of connection and inspiration and we hope the attendees do as well.

Hamsa Ganapathi and Hannah Quigley of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) led our group through a presentation on the 2023 Farm Bill ending in an interactive discussion with fellow attendees. We walked away with next steps for using our collective voices to engage our lawmakers and take action for a socially-just farm policy.

Linda and Luke Black Elk, food sovereignty activists and teachers of traditional plant uses, were our keynote speakers at the event. They led an amazing presentation retelling their favorite “plant stories,” and discussed ways to build relationships with the plant nations and other nonhuman relatives, and how these relationships can help us become better people who nurture better communities.

Even if you were unable to join us this year, here are some ideas to join these conversations and move new connections forward.

  • Post on and learn from the AFFM Jamboard, a community announcement board to share information about upcoming events and resources.
  • Join our general or farmer-focused email list (scroll to the bottom of each page to sign up) to receive news about future events and opportunities to advocate.
  • Sign up for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Weekly Roundup email list  to keep up to date with the 2023 Farm Bill and ways to take action on federal food and agriculture policy.
  • Farmers, sign this letter to tell Congress: the next Farm Bill must be a climate bill and ask for support for the Agriculture Resilience Act.
  • Contribute to Makoce Ikikcupi (Land Recovery), the project of reparative justice that Luke and Linda Black Elk shared about during their presentation.
  • Follow @Linda.Black.Elk on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook to learn more plant stories.

This community of farmers and friends is rooted in our relationships with each other and with the natural world. We hope attendees made valuable new connections and will reach out to someone new that they met on Saturday. We hope they will learn new stories from the plant and animal relatives on the land that you steward or call home.