Over 100 people gathered for our first-ever highly satisfying daylong Slow Money Maine event. The morning session of 13 presenters by funders, producers, farmers, educators, distributors and social enterprises provided opportunities to learn about varied sectors that contribute to a sustainable food system in Maine. Presenters included Polly Shyka from Village Farm, Marc Bailey, Steve Russell and Rose Creps from Maine Organic Milling Cooperative, Marada and Leah Cook from Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative, Robin Alden from Penobscot East, Nicolas Lindholm from Blue Hill Berry Company, John D’Anieri from Maine Enterprise Schools, Sarah Post from Erickson Fields (Maine Coast Heritage Trust), Clayton Blake from Blake Slaughtering, Jennifer Ranke from USDA Farm Service Agency, Sara Trunzo from Unity College, Jeremy Bloom from Buying Club Software, Gabe McPhail and Tristan Jackson from Fox Island Farms & Vinalhaven ARC, Rosemary and Craig Gladstone from Gladstone’s Under the Sun. The afternoon Open Space dialogue facilitated by John D’Anieri provided opportunities to have meaningful exchanges in small group dialogues. Topics included Small Investors, Co-ops, Infrastructure, Investing, Entrepreneurial Development, Farmland Funding, Sustainability Criteria, What Small Farmers Need, Slow Money 101, Partnerships With Schools, Funding Resources and Shared Licensed Kitchens. Conversations were engaging and lively throughout the session. Thanks to all planners and participants for an inspiring day together!
Here are some samples of spontaneous responses to our gathering:
“Thanks, Bonnie and Steering Commitee, for organizing such a productive day. The presenters’ showcase was most informative. How wonderful to hear so many exciting stories in this time of nightly-news gloom. The afternoon roundtable discussions continued to educate and inspire me. Best to all, Sally (Madore)”
“Thanks again for everything – what an amazing opportunity for us to share with such an inspired group of people. We were honored to be there as a part of this Food Revolution. What a gift for us! Thank you! Thank you! “(from Gabe McPhail- FIF)
“Just wanted to say thanks again for the invite to participate at the Slow Money gathering. It was so good to network with those present and to know that such a knowledgeable, diverse crowd of Mainers are thinking intensely about the future of food. An unexpected and great side effect from the conference: I’ve been contacted by about a half-dozen organizations and businesses that want to enter into relationships with our internship and career program. They want Unity College students working for them! Very exciting…Sara Trunzo Unity College (Food and Farm Projects Coordinator)
“Thank you so much for putting the day together. I’m a neighbor and friend of Nicholas Lindholm, and we in this area hope to be working with you and slow money many times in the near future. Hope lies among us!”
David (Vandiver), pastor Reversing Falls Sanctuary
“All of the morning talks were relevant and at 8-minutes a piece you kept things moving at a great pace. The afternoon was a wonderful surprise! John did a great job and both my sessions were engaging and worthwhile.
NICE WORK! ” Chris Hallweaver
“Thank you so much for putting a wonderful event together and all your work with Slow Money and local food efforts in Maine! I’m glad that Sara, Ryan and I were able to attend, and sorry that we couldn’t stay for the afternoon. If you are ever interested in an event in Unity, we would be happy to arrange that for you. We can provide space, time of our event planner (to take some of those details off of your plate) and contributing toward costs of food if decide to go that route. Thanks again!”
Rob (Constantine-Unity College)