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  • Sumeeta & Hattie Gawande

Envisioning Solutions for People & Planet in Boulder, Colorado (USA Tour Part 3)

The next stop was Boulder, Colorado, where they experienced snow for the first time. While staying at the mountain home of Meeta Gawande, her husband Tavor White, and their dog Bouncer, they snapped photos of wild turkeys, deer, magpies, and a mama bear with her cub.

After piling on four layers of clothes for warmth, and steeling their nerves for the slippery ride down the icy mountain road, Drs. Raut and Tayade took a deep dive into finding solutions for GSG College’s agricultural community. As a devastating manifestation of the challenges facing farmers, an average of 20 farmers have committed suicide every month for the past 15 years. Drs. Raut and Tayade met experts in sustainable food systems and regenerative agriculture who are leading efforts to make food systems better for the quality of life of farmers, the health of consumers, and the well-being of the environment:

· Nicole Civita, an Instructor and the Sustainable Food Systems Specialization Lead in the Masters of the Environment Graduate Program (MENV) at the University of Colorado Boulder, and at least eight MENV graduate students exchanged information and brainstormed solutions. While GSG College shared details about agricultural conditions in Yavatmal District, MENV shared information about farming methods that improve soil nutrients, water retention, and crop quality; systemic approaches that restore dignity to farmers and renew value to indigenous farming techniques; and innovative mechanisms that connect farmers to more lucrative markets.

· At the two-day Regenerative Earth Summit produced by At The Epicenter, over 300 global representatives of various industry sectors convened to discuss challenges, share successful examples, and strategize innovations for improving food and fiber systems. Participants included multi-national corporations, nonprofit organizations, financial investors, agricultural scientists, farmers, and others.

· Marcus McCauley, farmer & founder of McCauley Family Farms, led a tour of his regenerative whole-farm ecosystem nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Dr. Pronoy Rai, an assistant professor of International and Global Studies at Portland State University and Visiting Faculty in Social Sciences at GSG College, flew into Colorado to meet Drs. Raut and Tayade and to join the forum with MENV. SESA’s former intern, Charles Linkenheil, who had visited GSG College, also came to greet Drs. Raut and Tayade. A festive dinner was hosted by Layton, Julie, and Helen Stewart, longtime friends and supporters of GSG College and SESA.

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