The Badger Bioneer Spirit

The past month was full of holiday spirit and generosity, but the highlight for Growing Food and Sustainability was receiving a Metcalfe’s School Garden Leader Award at the Badger Bioneers Conference!   The award included a gift of $1,000 for the organization and also allowed program leaders Gabrielle and Natalie to attend the two-day conference free of charge.

1 Natalie and Gabrielle with their check! The other winners of the award were Mary Michaud of Van Hise Elementary in Madison and Cheryl Stout of Oregon Middle School.

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Bioneers Inspires

By Jennice Rodriguez
Reno, NV
Posted by Casey Wojtalewicz

A few weeks back I was given the chance to attend environmental/peace conference, Bioneers, for the second time in Marin County California.  The event, if you haven’t experienced it already, is something beyond the power of words could describe.  A festival organized for enriching the mind and activating the activist deep inside the soul each attendee.  It’s a place where some of the most powerful people are united in the same place to talk about their work, the work of others, and the work that we as a society need to start engaging in.

It’s a place where lifelong learners come to be taught and experience all the different ways our mother is trying to get us to listen.  It’s a place where the hungry come to be fed the fruit of exposed dirty treason of the powerful forces in our country, but with as much information that is being shared, it is more enlightening than depressing, more electric than any festival I have ever experienced (besides Burning Man…which could totally be compared to this event, in another blog maybe).

Though it may sound quite terrifying–and it is!–Bioneers is a place where possibilities meet the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Bioneers has been the root of so many ideas I have to make this world, to save this world, our world, a place I want to live in.

I walked away this year with so many contacts, I don’t even know what to do with them all. I made friends that I already know better than people I’ve known for years. One idea that hasn’t stopped flickering in the glass window of my memory shop: I was told to find something I am passionate about, and start from there.

But what am I passionate about?  I love my fruits and veggies, and I want everyone to be able to access only the purest food, sure.  I think green energy is something that our government needs to get in check with and make it happen already, sure.  I think marijuana should be legalized and the production of hemp products will save the land that has become ever so exhausted, sure.  But what am I really passionate about?

I have been overwhelmed with the numbers in which one person can dedicate their power to, and I want to do it all, but I can’t do it alone.  Until I find out what it is that I’m passionate about, I need your help, and she needs ours.