United by Slow Food Conference

United by Slow Food Conference

Read what UW student Annaleigh Wetzel had to say about the 2015 Slow Food Midwest Conference held in Chicago.

2015 Slow Food Midwest Conference

2015 Slow Food Midwest Conference

By Annaleigh Wetzel

As we made our way onto the bright yellow school bus that would serve as our transportation for the weekend, Slow Food leaders from around the Midwest grinned at one another, inviting conversation and camaraderie. When we gathered together at the #SlowFoodMidwest conference, it felt like the first day of school all over again. The excitement my three fellow Slow Food UW snails and I shared was bubbling over with each new person we met, our anticipation of these two days finally upon us. Present were representatives from Ohio, Chicago, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan and the USA chapter, all filled with passion for bringing good, clean and fair food to all. As the youngest Slow Foodies at the conference, Mariana, Maia, Bradley and I of the University of Wisconsin-Madison were especially looking forward to learning from more seasoned Slow Food volunteers.

It turned out that every chapter was “doing Slow Food” a little differently, and what a beautiful revelation that was.

What Slow Food Huron Valley, or Slow Food Springfield, Indy, Katy Trail, etc., do is distinctive from what we do at Slow Food UW. This allowed us to gain a new, invigorated perspective on the work we’re currently doing and what we hope to accomplish in the future.

Another neat discovery from the weekend was hearing more about the Slow Food Youth Network, as well as how we can get involved. As youth ourselves, this program is really interesting to us at Slow Food UW. Not only do our leaders who attended the conference feel this way, but our entire 45+ person chapter agrees. We want to utilize this network of like-minded students and kids to continue to spread the Slow Food mission further and further. We look forward to partnering with Lauren Howe of Slow Food USA to potentially host a Slow Food Youth Network conference in Madison sometime down the road.

2015 Slow Food Midwest Conference

2015 Slow Food Midwest Conference

We were honored to be a part of this inspiring weekend, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of Slow Food WISE. Our deepest appreciation goes to the WISE chapter for assisting us financially and allowing two of our members to attend. The ideas we brought home with us are plentiful, and a renewed sense of the Slow Food mission is most definitely among the throng. As we move forward at Slow Food UW, we’re going to remember that good, clean and fair don’t need to be mutually exclusive, and that Slow Food can look, taste and feel hundreds of different (all equally important) ways.

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