TEDxUMontana: exciting ideas at the University of Montana
Meet Mark LoParco, a pioneer in collegiate food service sustainability and a TEDxUMontana speaker.
Why did you want to speak at TEDxUMontana?
I wanted to present a TEDx talk because we have a very successful Farm to College Program, and the work that we are doing in the area of local foods is impactful to Montana’s agricultural economic development. The success of the relationships that we have built with Montana farmers, ranchers, and food producers over the last ten years makes a compelling story for a global audience.
What was your reaction when you found out you were selected as a speaker?
Frankly, I was shocked. Then, I was very excited and started thinking about what I would say as part of a team talk with my co-presenter, Neva Hassanein.
What inspires you about TED talks?
I love TED talks. I think they are amazing because they are concise distillations of human work that’s making a difference in the world. I became personally inspired after having been invited to attend the TEDx Bozeman talks because they were interested in my topic for a future TEDx Bozeman event.
How do you want to change the world?
My opportunity to make a change in the world is through the work that I am presently doing at the University of Montana as it relates to local food systems. I believe that every creative and innovative process or idea that we generate, when used by other institutions, will ultimately lead to world change.
What are you passionate about beyond your work?
First and foremost, I am passionate about my family. Beyond that, I’m passionate about place, meaning the quality of life where I live. It’s important to me to be surrounded by outdoor activity, cultural stimulation, a strong social network, and a community that values those qualities.