2017 Presenters

2017 Conference Presenters

Each year, conference participants tell us the great line-up of presenters with their practical experience is what makes our conference program so valuable. These people know their stuff and are willing to share their expertise. Successful farmers and ranchers, along with well-respected educators and local food organizers from around the region, all with extensive knowledge and most importantly, practical experience, will lead all conference sessions, pre-conference courses and field trips.

Southern SAWG does outstanding work. You have one of the finest conferences of its kind, and I appreciate the diversity it draws. I’ve been to a lot of other conferences, so I don’t say that lightly.
— Will Allen (WI)
Much of what we do on our farm, and even what enabled our move to farming, was seen and heard through SSAWG field trips, workshops and sessions.
— Richard Moyer (VA)

Mike Appel and Emily Oakley (OK) have owned and operated Three Springs Farm, a diversified, certified-organic vegetable farm in eastern Oklahoma since 2004. They cultivate over three dozen types of vegetables on four acres (with the rest of their 20 acres of land in wildlife habitat). Their goal is to maintain a two-person operation that demonstrates the economic viability of small-scale farming while using minimal external inputs. When their land isn’t in crops, it is planted in cover crops that protect and enrich the soil. Mike and Emily sell most of their produce directly to their customers at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market in Tulsa and a 120+ member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. www.threespringsfarm.com

Julia Asherman (GA) owns and operates Rag & Frass Farm in central Georgia, and grows vegetable and cut flowers on three acres of diversified and intensive organic field and high tunnel production. With a seasonal crew of 1-3 full-time employees she grows and sells year-round to three farmers markets, wholesale florists and restaurants, and to a small CSA 26 weeks out of the year. She also operates a roadside stand and small wedding/floral design business on the farm. From Boston originally, educated in Chicago in printmaking and sculpture, she is a self-taught farmer, now in her eighth year of farming in the Deep South. www.ragandfrassfarm.com

Jim Barham (DC) is an Agricultural Economist for USDA’s Rural Development agency. He joined USDA in 2007 where he has worked to improve marketing opportunities for small and mid-size producers through a combination of research, technical assistance, and grant support. Jim has presented research and published a number of articles on regional food hubs, food value chains, local food distribution, and foodservice procurement. He is also currently on the management team of USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative—a USDA-wide effort to support the development of local and regional food systems.

John Bell (KY) farms with his extended family at Elmwood Stock Farm Their USDA Certified Organic farm located in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. The family produces vegetables and small fruit, grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and poultry, along with forage and grain for their livestock on 550 acres. Markets include a CSA program, farmers markets, local restaurants, and retail store accounts. Elmwood has used the H2A guestworker visa program for over 15 years. www.elmwoodstockfarm.com

Sara Berney (GA) is the first full-time Executive Director of Wholesome Wave Georgia, a nonprofit organization working to increase access to and affordability of nutritious, local foods for Georgians living at or below 130% of the poverty line. Prior to this role, Sara worked as a Public Health Consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP, supporting clients at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health non-profits including the Flour Fortification Initiative. Prior to joining Deloitte, Sara served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru where she worked side by side with community health promoters and youth health educators to implement Healthy Homes and Schools programs, impacting over 40 families and students in five primary schools. Sara earned her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in African Studies and Sociology from Emory University, and is a graduate of Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute. When she isn’t working, Sara can be found ravenously reading, riding her bike around town, and in deep conversations with friends and family. www.wholesomewavegeorgia.org

Greg Brann (TN) has 38 years of experience with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He is a Certified Crop Advisor, a 2014 National Grazing Conservationist, and farms a 320-acre pasture, beef cows, stockers, goats, hair sheep and Christmas trees. Gregg has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with numerous publications and presentations on grazing and soil management.

Lilian Brislen (KY) is the first Executive Director of The Food Connection at The University of Kentucky. The Food connection is an academic center focused on applied food systems studies and farm to campus food system development. Lilian’s background is in rural sociology and community economic development. Her current research focuses on ‘Agriculture of the Middle’, mid-tier value chains (e.g. Food Hubs). She currently serves on the board of the American Independent Business Alliance, and she spends most of her spare time rehabilitating an old house in downtown Lexington. foodconnection.ca.uky.edu

LeMario Brown (GA) is a City Councilman in Fort Valley, Georgia. He was elected on November 3, 2015 by the citizens of Fort Valley. He is a graduate from Peach County High, class of 2003. He received a B.A. degree from Fort Valley State University, where he served as President of the Criminal Justice Club and was elected “Mr. Criminal Justice” in 2008. LeMario also received a MBA from Columbia Southern University. He has served on local boards such as; the Fort Valley Planning and Zoning Board, Fort Valley Board of Appeals, Fort Valley Economic Development Committee, and the Fort Valley Housing Authority. He has a small farm and considers this activity one of his favorite things to do in his spare time. He believes that more people should live off the land. Councilman Brown’s favorite quote is “There is still some good left in the world, and I intend to find every inch if it.”

Mark Cain (AR) has been farming organically in the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks since 1984. He was a student of master gardener Alan Chadwick in the late 70’s, and apprenticed at the Farm and Garden Project of the University of California in Santa Cruz. For the past 32 years he and farm partner Michael Crane have owned and operated Dripping Springs Garden, an intensively-cropped, 4-acre certified organic market farm near Huntsville, AR. Their cut flower and vegetable crops are sold at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, through a CSA, and at a handful of selected natural foods stores and restaurants in Fayetteville. In addition to flowers and vegetables, Dripping Springs turns out a crop of trained garden interns each year who are secretly taking over local school garden programs, sustainable food hubs, and farmers markets across the country! drippingspringsgarden.com

Will Carmines (NC) has been managing Red Hawk Farm for three years. After working on farms and non-profits in California and Vermont, he took the opportunity to dive head first into vegetable growing in the Southeast. redhawkfarmnc.com

Robin Chanin (GA) is the Executive Director of Global Growers. Robin also serves on the Board of The Common Market Georgia, an Atlanta-based food distributor and social enterprise. Robin has spent the past nine years serving metro-Atlanta’s refugee community and working in agricultural production, marketing, and education. Prior to her work with Global Growers, Robin worked with Refugee Family Services, Split Cedar Farm, and the Breakthrough Collaborative. A graduate of Emory University (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude), Robin continued her education by participating in LEAD Atlanta, Village Capital Atlanta, the Georgia Organics Farmer Mentor Program, and the Georgia Organics Urban Agriculture Training Program. She is an active member of the Atlanta Beltline Youth Leadership Council, Decatur Farmers Market Advisory Board, SE Young & Beginning Farmers Alliance, Georgia Organics, Slow Food Atlanta, the Georgia Refugee Stakeholders Group, and the Georgia River Network. www.globalgrowers.org

Matt Coffay (NC) is the owner of Second Spring Market Garden, a small, intensive vegetable farm in Asheville, NC. Using techniques similar to those of Eliot Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier, Second Spring produces a variety of vegetables with hand tools and organic methods on just one acre, growing through all four seasons. The farm specializes in winter production, supplying Asheville with produce year-round. secondspringfarm.com

Adam and Isaac Colvin (TN) both assist with production on Colvin Family Farms, and Adam also manages the farm’s website, social media and other marketing tools. Adam and Isaac’s parents bought the farm in 1999 and, with help from their 13 children, developed a sustainable business. The Colvin’s currently have 30 acres of produce in production, provide more than 300 CSA shares, and sell at eight farmer’s markets and a few grocery stores and restaurants. Adam also handles marketing for the farm, including running their website and CSA software. www.colvinfamilyfarm.com

Skip Connett (TX) spent much of his boyhood on a magnificent farm in Pennsylvania that got its start in the 1700s. His career has spanned journalism, public health and farming. Most recently, he has served a member of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assoc. Advisory Board and Texas Dept. of Agriculture Organic Industry Advisory Board. He is the co-creator of Green Gate Farms and New Farm Institute, the farm’s nonprofit educational initiative. Learn more about Farmer Skip in his blog, Farm For Thought. http://greengatefarms.net/

Karen “Mimo” Davis (MO) and Miranda Duschack (MO) have owned and operated Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri since 2012. Additionally, Mimo serves as a Cooperative Extension Educator for Lincoln University, Missouri's 1890 Land Grant Institution and HBCU. She works with both urban and rural farmers, as well as community gardens and not-for profit projects. Previous to Urban Buds, Mimo owned and operated WildThang Farms a rural cut flower farm in Ashland, Missouri from 1994-2004. She has a Master’s Degree in Horticulture from North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, North Carolina (2008).

Jamie Davis (NC) and his wife Sara Jane Davis started A Way of Life Farm in 2009 in Sunshine, NC, where they raise a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, and pastured pork. Farming is their full-time occupation, and they market their produce and pork through a year-round farmers' market and a 32-week CSA. The farmland includes an intensive vegetable operation of about two acres and the long-term restoration project of about 30 acres of clear-cut land. As a student of music, yoga, and permaculture design, Jamie strives to apply observation, creativity, discipline, and care for the land in his approach to farming. http://www.awayoflifefarm.com/

Pam Dawling (VA) is the author of Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres. She is also a contributing editor with Growing for Market magazine. An avid vegetable grower for over 40 years, she has lived at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for 25 years, growing vegetables and berries for 100 people on 3.5 acres, and providing training for members in sustainable vegetable production. www.sustainablemarketfarming.com, www.facebook.com/SustainableMarketFarming

Ken Dawson (NC), with his wife, Libby Outlaw, and daughter, Sunshine Dawson, own and operate Maple Spring Gardens in Cedar Grove, NC. Ken has grown vegetables by organic methods since 1972 and farmed full time since 1984. In addition to selling at farmers’ markets, Maple Spring Gardens has a 200+ member CSA. They produce a wide range of vegetables, small fruits, cut flowers and culinary and medicinal herbs, both in the field and in five heated hoophouses. He served for 24 years on the boards of local farmers’ markets, as a farmer representative on the Southern SARE Administrative Council, and currently serves on the local Food Council and Ag Preservation Board. He has mentored numerous young people who have worked with him and gone on to own and operate their own farms.

Steve Diver (KY) is the Farm Superintendent at the Horticulture Research Farm, University of Kentucky. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in horticulture. He has worked as Extension Horticulturist, County Agriculture Agent, farm manager, agriculture specialist with NCAT-ATTRA, and soil & crop consultant over the last 30 years. Previous to Kentucky, he founded Agri-Horticultural Consulting in Austin, TX, which provided soil analysis and consultancy services in eco-agriculture, organic fruit and vegetable production, and prairie restoration.

Justin Duncan (TX) has spent years figuring out the nuts-and-bolts of successful organic farming in the humid South, concentrating mainly on sweet potatoes, strawberries, niche market ethnic crops and drought mitigation techniques. He serves as the Houston region director of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and has strong rapport with organic farmers in Eastern Texas. Recently Justin joined the National Center for Appropriate Technology as a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist for their Southwest region. Justin has a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Prairie View A&M University, an 1890 Land Grant Institution, and a Masters in Plant Breeding from Texas A&M University.

Miranda Duschack (MO) and Karen “Mimo” Davis (MO) have owned and operated Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri since 2012. Additionally, Miranda serves as a Cooperative Extension Educator for Lincoln University, Missouri's 1890 Land Grant Institution and HBCU. Miranda works with both urban and rural farmers, as well as community gardens and not-for profit projects. Miranda has a dual emphasis Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington (2003). Karen has a Master’s Degree in Horticulture from North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, North Carolina (2008).

Brett Evans (NC) is the owner of Red Hawk Farm, previously Piedmont Biofarm. He and his farm crew run this intensively managed, year-round, 1.5-acre market farm in Pittsboro, NC. Red Hawk Farm is currently in its third year of production. It emphasizes baby greens, root crops with tops, and a diversity of sweet and spice peppers, which are sold through the Durham Farmers' Market, a CSA, and direct to local restaurants and co-op grocers. http://redhawkfarmnc.com/

Alfred and Carney Farris (TN) have been farming sustainably and organically since the 1970’s with a strong belief in stewardship of the land for future generations. They moved to Windy Acres Farm in 1986, located in northeastern Robertson County, TN, and began transitioning this 470-acre farm into a certified organic grain and livestock farm. All the while, they have continued to share their organic farming knowledge in both East Africa (Uganda) and here at home, mentoring another generation of farmers at Windy Acres (see also Holden and Rebekah Thompson).

Kate Fitzgerald (DC) works on federal policy that links family farms with consumers to achieve better public health and economic opportunity. She has worked at the local, state and national levels designing and implementing programs that increase access to affordable, nutritious food. This has involved establishing farmers’ markets authorized to accept SNAP and WIC benefits in low-income communities; developing farm to school programs; studying the feasibility of different kinds of healthy food retailers for underserved areas; and creating food policy councils to coordinate public and private agencies to improve the food system in their regions. Kate initiated the Food Assistance Programs in the Texas Department of Agriculture in 1988 and founded the Sustainable Food Center in Austin. She is now based in Washington, DC and helps non-profit, educational and government groups inform national food and farm policy.

Erin Flynn (TX) is co-creator of Green Gate Farms and Executive Director of New Farm Institute, the farm’s nonprofit educational initiative. Though Erin’s family has farmed and ranched in Texas for six generations, she is the first in her family to create an organic farm that combines food, education, community and fun. Erin is an agricultural activist who has served on Slow Food Austin’s Board of Directors, the Growers Alliance of Central Texas and the City of Austin’s Sustainable Food Policy Board. http://greengatefarms.net/

Carmen Franz (TN) formerly directed Fresh Access Bucks (FAB), Florida’s statewide SNAP incentive program for farmers markets and CSAs. In her three-year tenure, the program received funding through three USDA grants. Her passion for community food system development and expanding access to healthful foods began while at the University of Florida studying agriculture policy and organic crop production. Afterwards, Carmen served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and later started the organic teaching farm at the University of North Florida. She is currently farming in middle Tennessee managing vegetable production and a beginning farmer apprenticeship program.

Edmund Frost (VA) has been farming in Virginia since 2008. Currently at Sycamore Farm in Arcadia, VA, he grows certified organic seed crops for several small seed companies, produces winter squash for Eastern Carolina Organics, and does research and breeding work with cucumbers, squash and melon. From 2008-2015, Edmund managed Twin Oaks Seed Farm in Louisa, VA, doing much the same work there. He is director of Common Wealth Seed Growers, a new Virginia seed grower’s cooperative and retail seed company that focuses on regional seed trialing, selection and variety development. He is passionate about the work of building an inclusive and functional organic seed system in the Southeast. www.commonwealthseeds.com

Noah Fulmer (MI) works with groups across the country to plan, fund and implement healthy food incentive programs based on Fair Food Network's Double Up Food Bucks model. Double Up doubles the value of SNAP spent on local fruits and vegetables, and has expanded to nearly 20 state partnerships as a result of the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program. Previously, Noah co-founded and led Farm Fresh Rhode Island, an organization that develops and operates innovative food system infrastructure in the nation’s smallest state. Farm Fresh runs farmers markets with nutrition education and healthy food incentives, a local food processing kitchen, and a multi-farm wholesale aggregation and delivery program. http://www.fairfoodnetwork.org/

Patrice Gros (AR) runs Foundation Farm, a six-acre USDA certified organic farm in the Arkansas Ozarks just north of Eureka Springs. Over the last 20 years, he has progressed towards a full no-till (machine-free) system, which produces high yields and profits. On 1/2 of an acre of actual cultivated ground, his yearly production exceeds $80,000. Crops are grown continuously through the seasons outdoors and inside high tunnels. All produce harvested yearly is sold within a 50-mile radius, with zero waste. Patrice also trains farmers and gardeners in the field and through workshops and lectures. Over 50 trainees have gone through the farming school program and several have started their own farm. www.foundationfarm.com

Edith and Alfred Gross (LA) have owned and managed Two G Ranch, a 25-acre Black Angus ranch, since 2007. They were seeking higher ground from weather like Hurricane Katrina. Alfred became sold on the rotational grazing strategy after traveling with the Southern University (SU) Agricultural Extension Center to a training featuring Dr. Ann Wells (2017 presenter). Thereafter, Alfred participated in a SU 18-month Leadership Institute and numerous workshops and seminars (including three SSAWG Conferences) on fencing, grass management, animal health, and marketing strategies. After retirement, Edith participated in a 6-month SU Leadership Institute. She has led sessions on recordkeeping and farming as a small business. By using a combination of marketing techniques—private sales and stockyards—they have developed a profit-making operation. Alfred and Edith are active members in the local cattle group, St. Helena Cattle Company, and Louisiana Ranchers and Farmers Association. Because they are late starters in the farming community, they welcome the opportunity to share their story with others who have shared goals.

Joel Gruver (IL) Growing up on a homestead in rural Maryland, Dr. Joel Gruver discovered his fascination with crops and soils at a young age. His formal education includes a BS in Chemistry from Principia College (Elsah, IL), an MS in Agronomy from the University of Maryland (College Park, MD) and a PhD in Soil Science from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). He has taught courses related to soil science and agroecology at Tufts University, Principia College, North Carolina State University, Central Carolina Community College and Western Illinois University (WIU) where he is currently an assistant professor in the School of Agriculture. His current responsibilities include teaching three soil science courses each semester and coordinating WIU's Organic Research Program. His production experience includes horticultural crops, agronomic crops and rotational grazing of sheep and beef cattle.

Sarah Hackney (DC) is Grassroots Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Sarah works to catalyze grassroots organizing within the sustainable food and farm movement to foster improved federal agriculture policy and a more sustainable future. At NSAC, she develops and coordinates the coalition's national grassroots advocacy campaigns in collaboration with member organizations and allies. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College. http://sustainableagriculture.net

Josh Hardin (AR) is a fifth generation vegetable farmer from Grady, AR who operates Laughing Stock Farm, a certified organic fruit and vegetable farm near Sheridan. He also co-manages 50 acres of summer vegetables on the family operation in Grady called Hardin Family Farm. He holds a B.S. Degree in Agricultural Education from UA Pine Bluff, as well as certificates in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems from the University of California at Santa Cruz and Diesel Mechanics at Pulaski Tech LR. Laughing Stock Farm

Joy Harris (KY) is a long-time community leader from Lexington, Kentucky. She is also well known as a chef and for her extensive knowledge of food preservation and nutrition education. She has worked with Fresh Stop Markets in Lexington as a Volunteer Leader, Farmer Liaison and Chef Liaison for two seasons. She is a wonderful asset to Fresh Stop Markets through her extensive knowledge of food from the gate to the plate and her incredible community organizing skills.

Glyen Holmes (FL) has worked in small-scale agriculture most of his life. Originally from Mississippi, he is an Agronomy graduate of Alcorn State University (MS), and worked 18 years for USDA before entering the private sector as Executive Director of New North Florida Cooperative. He has over 25 years of experience working closely with small-scale farmers in market development, crop production and value-added agriculture in the Southeast. Under his leadership, the New North Florida Cooperative has developed an approach that helps school’s develop innovative ways of incorporating locally and regionally grown fruit and vegetables into child nutrition programs. This collaborative effort, Farm to School, has demonstrated an innovative way to promote healthy eating and enhance nutrition for school meals while cultivating schools in a local market for small-scale farmers. The Farm to School model focuses on networking and capacity building among small farmers in the Southeast. Despite being based in Florida, Glyen has worked with farmers, school districts and numerous collaborative partners in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. Recently, he has established the Holmes County Food Hub in Durant, MS to help promote Farm to School with school districts and small-scale farmers in Mississippi.

Shawn Jadrnicek (SC) is the author of the book, The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens, and More. He has nourished his interest in sustainability through work as an organic farmer, nursery grower, extension agent, arborist, and landscaper, and now as the manager of Clemson University’s Student Organic Farm. From his earliest permaculture experiments with no-till farming in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California to his highly functional bio-integrated designs in the Southeast, Shawn has learned how to cultivate food in a variety of climates and landscapes. He shares his creative solutions through teaching, consulting, and design work. https://www.chelseagreen.com/farm-garden/the-bio-integrated-farm

Cathy Jones (NC) and husband Michael Perry own and operate Perry-winkle Farm outside of Chapel Hill, NC. In 1991, working just a quarter acre of land, they took their first crop to market. Currently, they have about three and a half acres in vegetable and cut flower production, and five more acres in pasture-based poultry. They sell at three weekly farmers' markets, including the famous Carrboro Farmers' Market, and to numerous restaurants in the area. They have been sharing their knowledge and mentoring new farmers through paid internships on their farm, workshops in their area and trainings around the South for years. Cathy and Michael collaborate with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, participating in on-farm research projects, hosting field days and farm tours. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/perrywinkle.htm

Nikki Seibert Kelley (SC) is a local food systems leader passionate about empowering food-based non-profits by providing them with the tools for success. Along with 13 years of non-profit experience and a Master's degree, Nikki brings a critical mind, quick wit, and passion for connecting people and ideas to every project she is involved in. In the last five years Nikki has trained 142 aspiring farmers, launched South Carolina’s first incubator farm, “Dirt Works”, and coordinated 40+ farmer workshops. She is the owner of Wit Meets Grit and Co-Director of the South Carolina Herbal Society. Mrs. Kelley is also on the Board of the SC Food Policy Council, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, The Green Hearts Project, and Unique Places to Save. Nikki was also one of Southern Living's 2016 Top 50 Innovators of the South. http://witmeetsgrit.com/

Robin Kohanowich (NC) is the Coordinator and lead instructor for the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College. In this capacity, she has developed and taught the organic farmer education and training curriculum and worked directly with aspiring and beginning farmers for the past 16 years. Robin lives and works in Chatham County, NC. Her formal education includes a BS in Fruit and Vegetable Horticulture from Clemson University, and a Masters of Extension Education from NC State University.

Russ Kremer (MO) is a diversified family farmer from Osage County, Missouri whose primary enterprise is sustainably raised hogs. He is also the co-founder and manager of Heritage Foods, a national processor, marketer and distributor of Non-GMO Certified and organic pork products. Kremer is a founder and managing member of Moon Ridge Foods, a community based pork processing plant in the Missouri Ozarks. He oversees a network of 95 family farmers who raise heritage hogs under strict humane and sustainable protocols without the use of antibiotics or other growth enhancers. Kremer is a past president of the Missouri Farmers Union and Missouri Pork Producers and has been a board member for the Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and served on the USDA 21st Century Agriculture committee.

Margaret Krome (WI) is the Policy Program Director for the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. She has more than two decades of experience in grassroots organizing for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s annual grassroots campaign to fund federal programs that support sustainable agriculture and helps develop and fund state and local programs supporting environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible agriculture. Ms. Krome conducts workshops nationwide on grant writing and using federal programs to support sustainable agriculture; sits on the Board the National Center for Appropriate Technology; and writes a bi-weekly editorial column for The Capital Times in Madison. http://michaelfields.org/

Laura Lauffer (NC), Local Food and Farms Program Coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has worked in sustainable agriculture since 1988, focusing on certification, educational programming and curriculum development. Laura’s current work with NCA&T focuses on statewide support of agriculture as economic development and collaboration with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems team providing educational programming for North Carolina farmers and extension staff to increase local food sales. She is the former director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and consulted on various national projects with the Rural Advancement Foundation International and the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Development/Public Policy from NC State University.

Laura Riccardi Lyvers (KY) grows herb, flower and food gardens and tends a small dairy herd at Lyvers Farm. She also works with a grass-fed beef operation, Foxhollow Farm, and has run their biodynamic program for the past 10 years. She makes the biodynamic preparations used on the farm and applies the sprays to the farm’s 700 acres of pasture and hayfields. Laura is owner/operator of Biodynamic Agricultural Resources, providing preparations and education for regional farmers and gardeners since 2006.

Philip Lyvers (KY) runs Lyvers Farm, a large-scale hog and grain operation in Loretto, Ky. The hogs are farrow to finish in a closed herd that receives no antibiotics, hormones or steroids or vaccines. The crops make up 450 acres of grain and cover crops rotated annually, and are part of a larger 2,600-acre farm organism which includes woodlands of mostly improved and replanted tree stands. Philip has planted over 75,000 trees with a focus on creating wildlife health and habitat. He uses biodynamic, organic and conventional practices with biodynamics as the guiding force.

Tim MacAller (NC) owns and operates Four Leaf Farm with his wife Helga in Rougemont, NC. Along with an ever-changing crew of interesting young people, Tim and Helga grow a wide variety of vegetable crops and nursery plants on three acres of fields, high tunnels and greenhouses. They sell at the Durham Farmers Market and to many of the fine restaurants in the triangle area. Tim and Helga are founding members of Tool Legit and Tim was involved in forming the non-profit to legitimize the group. www.fourleaffarm.org

Susie Marshall (TX) is founder and Executive Director of GROW North Texas, a Dallas-based non-profit organization that connects food, farms, and community by strengthening local food production and improving access to fresh, nutritious food. She has 13 years of experience working with food producers and food assistance programs. Susie has served on the board of directors for the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association for five years. A native of Dallas, TX, Susie has a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Wesleyan University and holds Master's degree from Texas A&M and from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. http://grownorthtexas.org/

Judith McGeary (TX) is Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, an attorney, activist, and sustainable farmer. After earning her Bachelors of Science from Stanford University and her law degree with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin, she clerked for a Federal Appeals Court and went on to private law practice. During that time, she became a passionate advocate of sustainable agriculture, and she and her husband established their own livestock farm. After seeing how government regulations benefit industrial agriculture at the expense of family farms, she founded the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance to promote common-sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems. Judith has been profiled in the Texas Observer and Edible Austin, appears in the documentary Farmageddon, and has been interviewed on numerous radio shows across the country. Judith has served as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health and is also active with Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. http://farmandranchfreedom.org/

Natilee McGruder (AL) is the Director of the River Region Food Policy Council, an organization in Central Alabama which educates and informs communities to ensure that our system is SHAREd: Sustainable, Healthy, Affordable, Responsible and Equitably available. Natilee currently serves on the Southern SAWG Policy Team, the Diversity and Grassroots Committees of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the board of the EAT South urban teaching farm and the Advisory Committee of the Food Policy Network (part of the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health). Natilee earned her B.A. from Howard University, a J.D. with a Public Interest Certificate from the University of Alabama School of Law and a Master’s degree from the University of Sydney while serving as a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow. http://riverregionfood.org/

Roland McReynolds (NC) is an attorney and has served since 2007 as Executive Director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), a farmer-driven non-profit organization that supports and promotes sustainable regional food systems and local, organic agriculture. Roland leads CFSA’s state and federal advocacy and outreach efforts related to the Food Safety Modernization Act and food safety regulation. Since 2010 he has led the launch of CFSA’s Local Produce Safety Initiative (LPSI), a food safety education and technical assistance program for small-scale, diversified, sustainable and organic farms in the Carolinas. He is a co-author of the manual Good Agricultural Practices for Small Diversified Farms: Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit. http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/

Anna Meeker (KY) is a community leader in the Castlewood Neighborhood who has led initiatives around safer communities and serving her neighbors, focused on food justice, and reducing drug activity and prostitution in her neighborhood. As the Fresh Stop Market Public Relations Liaison, she has experienced a health transformation and wants to see her neighborhood and city participate in this wave of the future, for us and the next generations. She is engaged to Michael and loves her 10 kids, 11 grandkids, and one great-grandchild.

Ouita Michel (KY) is the owner of Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station Deli and Bakery, Windy Corner Market and Restaurant, Smithtown Seafood, and the Midway Bakery, and she is the Chef-in residence at Woodford Reserve Distillery. Since 2001, when Ouita and her husband, Chris, opened the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky., she has made locally grown ingredients a priority in her world-class cuisine. Her restaurants have purchased more than $2 million of Kentucky-grown meats, dairy and produce over the last 14 years. She has been a James Beard Foundation Award nominee as Outstanding Restaurateur and as Best Chef in the Southeast, competing against chefs in major metropolitan areas. Ouita and her restaurants are regularly featured in local and national media, such as USA Today, Southern Living and Garden & Gun. Ouita and Chris are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Ouita is a member of Slow Food USA; Les Dames d’Escoffier; congregational coordinator of Kids in the Kitchen and free community supper programs for Midway Christian Church; board member of FoodChain, a non-profit food incubator in Lexington, Ky., and Woodford Forward, a land-use group; and member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a statewide citizens group working to improve education for Kentuckians. She, Chris and their daughter, Willa, live in a 200-year-old cabin with an expansive garden adjacent to the Holly Hill Inn. http://www.hollyhillinn.com/

Karyn Moskowitz (KY) is a native New Yorker who landed in the Ohio River Valley Region in 1998, experienced firsthand the devastating effects of the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and her life, fortunately, was never the same. She now has 16 amazing years of experience as a food justice organizer, and is one of the founders of Louisville, Kentucky-based New Roots and the Fresh Stop Markets, which she has operated since 2009, in partnership with hundreds of volunteer leaders. She is a proud mom of a 16-year old daughter who loves to eat her Kentucky-grown okra. http://www.newroots.org/

Cory Mosser (GA) is the founder of Natural Born Tillers, a design and consulting company that specializes in implementing progressive agricultural systems for farms, homesteads and developments. Mosser focuses on creating farms that enable long-term employment opportunities for the next generation of farmers. In addition to a 10-year background in managing organic farms throughout Georgia, he has worked in wholesale organic produce distribution, co-op management, food service, and has recently opened a retail grocery in Atlanta that exclusively offers locally produced goods. www.naturalborntillers.com

Joan and Drew Norman (MD) own and operate One Straw Farm located in northern Baltimore County, Maryland. Drew began One Straw Farm in 1983 on three rented acres. In 1985, land for what would become One Straw Farm was purchased with no running water or electricity. For the first 15 years, business was mostly wholesale with one farmers market. Joan worked off the farm until 1997 and began working at the farm full time that year. While Drew was busy farming the land, Joan began developing and marketing One Straw Farm. She started the CSA program in 1999, growing it to over 1,400 members with over 30 drop-off sites in 2016. In addition to the 1400 member CSA, Joan and Drew now sell to organic wholesale distributors, six farmers’ markets, and over 25 restaurants. Joan and Drew have a strong interest in the ties between local communities and farms. www.onestrawfarm.com

K. Rashid Nuri (GA) is a nationally recognized leader in natural urban agriculture. He and a team of community members are transforming vacant lots in some of the most distressed areas of metro Atlanta, GA into vibrant farms/community hubs. They produce certified naturally grown foods and make it available to the local community through farmers markets and a CSA. But producing food is not the sole purpose of The Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (TLW) farms --it is a means for building and lifting up the community. Their motto is: “We Grow Food. We Grow People. We Grow Community”. TLW employs 35, many of whom live in the communities within walking distance from TLW’s farm sites. TLW offers a variety of educational programs that demonstrate sustainable and economical solutions for healthier eating and living. With a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard and a Master’s degree in plant and soil biology from UMass, Rashid has dedicated his 40-year career to agricultural development and food production around the world. He has managed large farm operations in the US, Asia, and Africa and also served in the USDA under the President Bill Clinton administration. He serves on the Board of Georgia Organics, Atlanta Local Food Initiative and the Urban Food Abundance Movement.

Emily Oakley and Mike Appel (OK) have own and operated Three Springs Farm, a diversified, certified-organic vegetable farm in eastern Oklahoma since 2004. They cultivate over three dozen types of vegetables on four acres (with the rest of their 20 acres of land in wildlife habitat). Their goal is to maintain a two-person operation that demonstrates the economic viability of small-scale farming while using minimal external inputs. When their land isn’t in crops, it is planted in cover crops that protect and enrich the soil. Emily and Mike sell most of their produce directly to their customers at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market in Tulsa and a 120+ member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Emily is currently serving on the board of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board. www.threespringsfarm.com

Lee & Dave O'Neill (VA) run Radical Roots Community Farm, which is catalyzing positive change by growing high-quality organic vegetables, educating about sustainable agriculture and living this example. Radical Roots is a five-acre farm with three acres in annual production and two acres in fruit trees and perennials. The farm was started in 2000 and continues to teach everyone, including the farmers, many lessons each year. Lee and Dave sell at several local farmer's market in Charlottesville & Burke Virginia, sell to restaurant and wholesale accounts, including Relay Foods, Whole Foods, and the Local Food Hub, and manage an 80+ family CSA. They run an eight-month apprenticeship program for young, aspiring farmers and offer tours and classes to the local community. They also homeschool two awesome kids, ages 11 and 9. www.radicalrootsfarm.com

Kathryn Parker (LA) is Executive Director of Market Umbrella in New Orleans. Through learning, sharing and growing, Market Umbrella cultivates community markets that utilize local resources to bolster authentic local traditions. Kate moved to New Orleans straight out of Suffolk University in 1997 to teach in the public schools of St. John the Baptist Parish. In 1999, she began teaching eighth-grade math at New Orleans Charter Middle School, the first charter school in New Orleans, and one of the few bright spots in what was at the time a deeply troubled school system. Realizing that lack of nutrition was one of the obstacles her students faced in realizing their potential, she began pursuing a master's degree in public health at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, receiving her degree in 2006. She also began working at Tulane's Prevention Research Center, where she focused on issues such as improving access to fresh foods and cultivating places to walk and bike within the city. Her work researching the city's bike lanes became the basis of several articles she published in medical journals and her dissertation; she received her doctorate from Tulane in the spring of 2013. She joined Market Umbrella in December 2013. http://www.marketumbrella.org/

Daniel Parson (GA) has been farming in the South since 1998 when he graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Biological Sciences. First he interned and eventually managed production at Wildflower Organics in Dawsonville, GA. Next, he managed production at the Clemson Student Organic Farm while earning a Master’s degree in Plant and Environmental Science. In 2004, he moved to Atlanta where he spent five years operating two acres of farmland called Gaia Gardens, located inside the city perimeter. Daniel was named the 2009 Georgia Organics Land Steward of the Year. Most recently, he rented three acres in Clinton, SC to operate Parson Produce, selling through CSA, farmers market, and restaurants. In January of 2014 Daniel started full-time as the first farmer/educator at Oxford College, part of Emory University. He is currently developing the farm into a unique blend of small-scale production, marketing, and liberal arts intensive education. In 2015, the Oxford College Organic Farm was ranked 17 on the College Values Online list of the Top 30 Sustainable College-run Farms.

Susan Pavlin (GA) is a local food systems enterprise and sustainable farming consultant. Most recently, she served as the Founding Director of The Common Market Georgia, a mission-driven local food aggregation and distribution organization affiliated with The Common Market in Philadelphia. The start-up of The Common Market Georgia in 2015 was the culmination of more than five years’ research and development of a fresh produce food hub, and Susan continues to serve on the Board of the organization. Susan is also the Co-Founder and Founding Director of Global Growers, a metro-Atlanta farming organization that was established in 2010 to connect refugee farmers living in Georgia to farm opportunities. She transitioned from her staff position to serve on the Board in 2014, and continues to support Global Growers as it reached the benchmark of more than $300,000 in farm product sales and the management of more than 15 acres of community garden and commercial farm space in 2016. Susan currently sits on the American Heart Association’s Healthier Diet Business Committee, and her work in sustainable food systems has included serving as the Value Chain Coordinator for the USDA Food LINC program, and as a member of the Atlanta Local Food Initiative and the DeKalb Urban Agriculture Committee, and as the President of Slow Food Atlanta. She has more than a decade of experience in non-profit leadership and development, and started her career as an attorney with the Paul, Hastings immigration team. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois College of Law.

Martin Richards (KY) became the director of Community Farm Alliance (CFA) in 2010. Martin has been an active member of the Community Farm Alliance for 17 years. He served as the CFA President in 1998 and was the first CFA Fellow during the passage of HB 611 that created the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. Martin received his degree from the University of Kentucky’s College of Architecture. He has farmed his family’s land in Woodford County, been a partner in Prajna Design/Construction, and has been the economic development organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, working on energy and sustainability issues. http://cfaky.org/

Debbie Roos (NC) has been an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension since 1999 where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, pollinator conservation, alternative agricultural enterprises, forestry, and beekeeping. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry Extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed graduate degrees in applied anthropology and horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website: www.growingsmallfarms.org. She also works with area farmers’ markets and is involved in statewide efforts to strengthen local food systems. Debbie is passionate about pollinator conservation and has planted demonstration habitats and developed resources to teach others about the importance of bees and other pollinators to our agriculture ecosystem. Visit her pollinator website at www.carolinapollinatorgarden.org.

Ricardo Salvador (DC) is the senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). He works with citizens, scientists, economists, and politicians to transition our current food system into one that grows healthy foods while employing sustainable and socially equitable practices. Before coming to UCS, Ricardo served as a program officer for food, health, and well-being with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, he was an associate professor of agronomy at Iowa State University (ISU). While at ISU, Ricardo taught the first course in sustainable agriculture at a land-grant university, and his graduate students conducted some of the original academic research on community-supported agriculture. He also worked with students to establish ISU's student-operated organic farm, and with other faculty to develop the nation’s first sustainable agriculture graduate program in 2000. He was named a 2013 NBC Latino Innovator and received the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2014. He earned a B.S. in agricultural science from New Mexico State University. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University.

Barbara Shipman (AL) is a fifth generation, organic certified farmer and the proud owner of RRBG Farm, also known as the Shipman Family Farm. The Shipman Family farm has been in the family for many years and is now in its fifth generation and is an organic certified farm. They grow a variety of certified organic produce, including white peas, okra, collard greens, cucumber, tomatoes, watermelon, assorted squash, assorted herbs, and a variety of flowers. Barbara is the Chairperson for the Alabama chapter of the National Women in Ag. Association, and the Executive Director and owner of The Cottage House Resource Center Inc., established in 2000. The Cottage House Resource Center, Inc. is located in the Elamville Community at Ariton, Alabama. It is a non-profit organization promoting sustainable agricultural solutions and economic development in rural southeastern Alabama through entrepreneurship programs, income generation projects and community education. Other affiliations include, President of the Bullock/Barbour Farmers Association and 4-H Leader at the Barbour County Middle School, Barbour County High School, and the Intermediate School. She was inducted into the 4-H Wall of Fame, recipient of the Alabama A&M University Small Farmers Award, member of the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, King Solomon Order of the Eastern Stars Chapter #46, Order of the Golden Circle, Ester Walters Chapter #24A, graduate of the USDA Small Farmers Leadership Academy, and USA Non-Commissioned Officers Academy. Barbara is passionate about growing healthy foods and animals; while teaching the younger generation about farming and creating resources that will provide jobs for our youth. Her vision is to increase community gardens in the local rural area. These gardens will provide fresh produce to everyone enhancing the health and quality of their lives.

Steve Skelton (KY) is a small-scale farmer and oversees the Kentucky State University Mobile Processing Unit, a state-approved mobile unit that farmers can use to process poultry, game birds, turkey, fish, caviar and rabbits. Steve also gives workshops and demonstrations on pastured poultry and pastured rabbit production (including pen construction to maintain pastures) and processing for farmers in Kentucky, especially limited-resource and underserved farmers.

Chris Smith (NC) is an enthusiastic grower and permaculturalist from a green-thumbed family. Through his work at Sow True Seed, he has immersed himself into the world of seed and southern growing. Chris is actively interested in preserving Southern and Appalachian varieties, as well as supporting a network of regional seed growers. He is excited to share his experiences on a recent okra variety farmer trial as well as the consumer demand for regionally grown seed and the advantages of on-farm diversification for resilient agriculture. www.sowtrueseed.com

David and Margaret Ann Snow (AL) began Snow's Bend Farm 13 years ago, along the banks of the Black Warrior River. They direct market approximately 50 different vegetables, strawberries, flowers, herbs, and pastured pork through a 200+ member CSA, at two farmer's markets, and to 15 area restaurants and small grocers. 2011 brought their first child (Maxwell) and in 2014 their second (Flora). Although the farm has always used organic practices, the farm became Certified Organic for the first time in 2015. http://www.snowsbendfarm.com/

Ann Bell Stone (KY) farms with her extended family at Elmwood Stock Farm, a USDA Certified Organic farm located in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. The family produces vegetables and small fruit, grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and poultry, along with forage and grain for their livestock on 550 acres. Markets include a CSA program, farmers markets, local restaurants, and retail store accounts. Elmwood has used the H2A guestworker visa program for over 15 years. www.elmwoodstockfarm.com

Mac Stone (KY) and his wife Ann Bell Stone maintain the organic poultry, lamb, farmers market, and CSA pickups of Elmwood Stock Farm in Scott County Kentucky. The farm is owned and operated by a multigenerational family who has been farming in the region for over six generations. Mac served as farm manager for the Kentucky State University Research Farm until meeting Ann and beginning farming at Elmwood in 1998. Mac and Ann sell certified organic beef, lamb, eggs, chicken and turkey at two farmers’ markets and to local restaurants. www.elmwoodstockfarm.com

Frank L. Taylor (MS) is a tree farmer and a native of the unincorporated town of Greensboro, in Winston County, Mississippi. He is Team Leader of Winston County Self-Help Cooperative, Inc., a group of minority farmers and landowners in Winston County who works diligently combating past problems and social ills of land loss, insufficient farm income, and lack of access to marketing opportunities. His lifework embodies their theme: “Helping Saving Rural America” by connecting individuals with their natural resources and fostering healthy and sustainable communities through partnering and generating hope for the next generation of landowners and farmers. He is a founding member of the National Network of Private Landowners and a member of the Hinds County Forestry Association. Frank received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Kentucky State University and a Mortuary Science degree from East Mississippi College. http://www.wcshc.com/

Kathlyn Terry (VA) is the Executive Director for Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD). She joined ASD as its first Business Operations Manager in 2006 and became Executive Director in 2011. Prior to joining ASD she was in private industry for over 20 years. Kathlyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from Texas A&M University. She serves on multiple local and regional councils and advisory groups, including a current appointment with the VA Governor’s Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide. http://asdevelop.org/

Holden and Rebekah Thompson (TN) found common interest in sustainable agriculture when they first met. Holden grew up in the hills of middle Tennessee. His father was a carpenter and his mother raised the family's layer chickens and milk goats. Rebekah was introduced to gardening when her family purchased rural property in central Illinois after living in downtown Chicago for over ten years. Today, their pursuit of a quality life for themselves and their new daughter, Ethel, has led them into organic farming with Windy Acres Farm in Orlinda, Tennessee (see also Alfred and Carney Farris). www.windyacrestn.com

Ira Wallace (VA) is a central Virginia Master Gardener and worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE). Ira started saving herb and flower seeds in the 1970's and became professionally involved in the seed business in 1998. At SESE she coordinates education and outreach as well as co-managing variety selection and new seed grower contracts with SESE’s network of 70+ seed producing farms. Ira also conducts variety trials for SESE and researches and documents the history of varieties offered in the annual catalog. Southern Exposure offers over 700 varieties of open-pollinated heirloom and organic seeds (500+ are USDA certified organic). The seeds are selected for flavor and regional adaptability. It is the oldest company in the Southeast focusing on heirloom, organic, open-pollinated seeds. Since 1983 SESE has been helping people in the Southeast get control of their food supply by supporting sustainable home and market gardening, seed saving, and preserving heirloom varieties. Ira is organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, [www.HeritageHarvestFestival.com] a fun, family-friendly event featuring an old-time seed swap, local food, hands-on workshops and demos, and more. Her book, The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, is available online and at booksellers everywhere. www.SouthernExposure.com

Brennan Washington (GA) works in close liaison with limited-resource/minority outreach farmers and organizations, including NGOs, community groups, and cooperatives across the Southern region, as well as 1890 land-grant institutions in promoting Southern SARE grants programs, providing sustainable ag educational resources, enhancing quality grant recipients, networking with regional partners, and building new relationships. http://www.southernsare.org/

Ann Wells (AR) graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has more than 30 years of experience in livestock production. She was in private veterinary practice for eleven years, worked for a sustainable agriculture organization for nine years, and since 2005 has had her own business, Springpond Holistic Animal Health, in Prairie Grove, AR. She has vast experience developing and educating about sustainable animal wellness plans for producers and educators. Ann has chosen to use her veterinary degree and real world experience to keep animals healthy rather than treat them when they get sick. She believes that nutrition is the key to healthy livestock and is a proponent of managed grazing as the way to provide the best nutrition and financial return. She is a nationally-known speaker on sustainable and organic livestock production. In addition to helping farmers apply these principles in their operations, she raises sheep and beef cattle herself. The animals are raised and finished on grass and marketed directly to customers, through Ozark Pasture Beef, which she is a founding partner. www.ozarkpasturebeef.com

Maxine White (NC) is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Healthier Eating (CFHE), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide affordable sustainably produced food to all consumers, especially those in low income/low access areas, so that food related health issues are prevented and/or corrected. The CFHE is spearheading the opening of eastern North Carolina’s first full-service food hub processing facility. The facility is located in the town of Bethel, a Tier One County. The food hub will aggregate, process and distribute fresh meats, fruits and vegetables. One of its other functions is to provide jobs that will assist neighboring local small towns and municipalities in rebuilding their economy. Maxine is a disabled Vietnam-era veteran who has retired from the Bell System and Virginia State government. She holds a Masters in Computer Science and Public Administration, a Jurist Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Her proudest moments are when she became a mother, grandmother, veteran and food hub administrator. They have all prepared her to successfully help others. http://www.c4healthiereating.org/

Dr. Mark Williams (KY) has been a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Kentucky since 2001. His research interests are in sustainable agriculture, with a particular focus on evaluating and developing sustainable organic horticulture production systems. Dr. Williams has conducted a range of experiments in organic farming, from optimizing the production of direct-marketed vegetables to developing control options for specific pest problems in cucurbits, peppers, tomatoes and apples. Recent research has been focused on characterizing the soil-derived microbiome that resides inside of plants, and elucidating how farming practices can impact these potentially beneficial internal microbes. In addition to research Dr. Williams is committed to student learning and he led the development of the UK Sustainable Agriculture undergraduate program. As part of these efforts, he established the 30-acre UK Organic Farming Unit, which houses a community supported agriculture (CSA) program (https://ukcsa.wordpress.com/) and associated student apprenticeship.

Dr. Tim Woods (KY) is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and state extension specialist in the area of horticulture, agribusiness marketing, and management. He has devoted his time and energy to help facilitate the development of small ag-related businesses and cooperatives that have promising innovative processes and/or products. He served as the staff economist to the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Ag Policy and Ag Development Board. His work in farm entrepreneurship, business planning, cooperative development, consumer market research for microenterprises, and facilitating value-added enterprises for farmers and agriculture has been presented at numerous international workshops, professional meetings, and state and regional extension programs. He recently developed MarketReady, a nationally-recognized best marketing practices education program for farmers selling to restaurants, grocery, and wholesale. This program is being used in 15 states. He has worked extensively with agriculture in other countries, including programs in India, Ukraine, Romania, Indonesia, Thailand, Ecuador, Kenya and France, but greatly values local food systems. He just returned with a team of students studying food business and economic development in France and Switzerland. Dr. Woods teaches Agribusiness Management and Marketing Horticultural Products at the University of Kentucky.

Kristin Woods (AL) serves as the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Southeast Regional Extension Associate through a collaborative arrangement with Alabama Extension. For the past 13 years, she has focused on community education and economic development in the area of food safety and food systems. Prior to joining the PSA, her primary area of emphasis was the development of food businesses in the rural area of Alabama where she lives. She specializes in helping small farmers and retail food establishments meet food safety requirements and navigate food regulations. Currently Kristin concentrates her efforts on helping farmers meet buyer food safety requirements and the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Kristin embraces a lifelong love of agriculture and currently owns and operates a small, diversified farm in southwest Alabama.

Ashton Potter Wright (KY) is a Lexington native and holds a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Ashton manages the Bluegrass Farm to Table program for the City of Lexington. As Lexington’s first Local Food Coordinator, Ashton works to add to farm income for local food producers and to increase access to healthy, local food in the Bluegrass Region. http://www.bgfarmtotable.org/