Success Story: Meeting of the Minds

Midwest TOPP Regional Lead, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), hosted approximately 30 individuals representing their core partners at a strategic planning event in Madison, Wisconsin in December 2023. The first annual “Meeting of the Minds” was an opportunity for partner organizations from MW TOPP’s eleven states to gather in person. An attendee reported, “I appreciated the passion and enthusiasm of the MW TOPP team. Lots of great energy to move this forward in meaningful ways”. The meeting focused on four main areas:  building community and celebrating successes; developing a shared understanding of Midwest TOPP; generating innovative pathways toward implementing the five TOPP priorities; and creating a sense of readiness to implement programming.

Midwest TOPP core partners bring a variety of experiences, approaches, and relationships to TOPP; they come from universities, extension agencies, non-profit organizations, certification bodies, and cooperatives. One attendee wrote in their evaluation “Making relationship building a top priority really came through.  Getting at the bigger picture/vision was so important.  Am so glad it was not a tactical, detail oriented, punch list kind of meeting”. Working together works. There is a high level of camaraderie in our group, which recommends the in-person meeting format. It is our intent to gather at least annually during the lifespan of TOPP to promote community building and innovate possible program solutions.

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