The 2017 U.S. Travel Seminar brought Leadership Wisconsin Signature Program Fellows and Seminar Scholars to the Bay Area and Central Valley of California where they studied food systems and their relationship to community and economic development. This group visited small farms, learned about public policy, and toured entrepreneurial ventures. Through their travels and studies, they developed leadership skills and learned many lessons from across the country that they can apply to their communities at home.
Get a glimpse of their experiences in California and hear some of the stories that made the greatest impact.
Touring Voila Juice, a thriving business that started as a food cart
Learning about the CoGarden App at the San Francisco Ferry Building
Discussing policy at SPUR
Local farmer shares about growing herbs for food and medicinal purposes
Exploring Fruitvale, a diverse neighborhood with transit-oriented development
But our favorite story from the week comes from Seminar Co-Chair, Catherine Emmanuelle, about the group’s visit to Valley Verde, a nonprofit organization teaching individuals living in poverty about growing their own food. She shares a memory from the end of their visit:
“We took a picture in front of their banner and the executive director noticed it had been graffitied for the first time. If it were me, I would be mad that my organization got tagged, but instead his response was, ‘Well, I guess that means we’re part of the neighborhood.’ His response has been ticker tape in my head. A lesson in how I can reframe setbacks and think about community connections instead.”
To learn more about our Travel Seminars and how you can be involved, click here.