Keynote Speakers

Dr. Vandana Shiva

Environmentalist & Author

Lindsey Lusher Shute

Founder & CEO, Farm Generations Cooperative

Lindsey Lusher Shute is CEO and founder of the Farm Generations Cooperative, creators of GrownBy, and co-owner of Hearty Roots Community Farm in Clermont, New York. Lindsey co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition and led the organization as Executive Director for a decade. Lindsey grew the organization from a few volunteer farmers to a nationwide network with 40 chapters in 28 states and a grassroots base of over 150,000.

Lindsey was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and is the recipient of the Glynwood’s “Harvest Award.” EatingWell magazine named Lindsey and “American Food Hero” and she was included among “20 Food Leaders Under 40” by Food Tank. Lindsey has given talks and keynotes on a broad range of topics over the years across the country, including a ``distinguished alumni`` keynote at Bard College in 2017.

Longer:

Lindsey Lusher Shute is CEO and founder of the Farm Generations Cooperative, creators of GrowBy, and co-owner of Hearty Roots Community Farm in Clermont, New York. Lindsey co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition and led the organization as Executive Director for a decade. Lindsey grew the organization from a few volunteer farmers to a nationwide network with 40 chapters in 28 states and a grassroots base of over 150,000.

Under Lindsey's tenure the organization launched state and national campaigns on affordable farmland; a federal campaign to recognize that ``Farming is Public Service`` and to add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program; and led multiyear campaigns on two farm bills that increased funding for beginning farmers, farmers of color, land conservation, and sustainable agriculture. The organization also called out pervasive inequities in the food and agriculture, and backed this with anti oppression trainings for staff and farmer leaders across the country.

Lindsey worked closely with USDA, encouraging the agency initially to start a microlending program that has now served tens of thousands of farmers nationwide. Lindsey and her team routinely briefed the agency on the needs of young farmers and collaborated on opportunities to improve how the agency served farmers across the country.

In 2018, Lindsey campaigned with the coalition's five New York chapters, members of the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass the ``Working Farms Protection Act``. This law, the first of its kind in the country, requires the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to fund conservation easements that keep farmland affordable. This is one of many bills that state chapters of the National Young Farmers Coalition have passed to support future generations of growers through structural change.

National Young Farmers Coalition also distinguished itself in providing services and education for farmers nationwide. Projects Lindsey worked on included a guidebook to help growers understand how USDA lends farmers money; an online calculator for farmers buying land; a guidebook for growers who want to work with land conservancies; and a guidebook on becoming a certified organic farmer.

Lindsey was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and is the recipient of the Glynwood’s “Harvest Award.” EatingWell magazine named Lindsey and “American Food Hero” and she was included among “20 Food Leaders Under 40” by Food Tank. Lindsey has given talks and keynotes on a broad range of topics over the years, including a ``distinguished alumni`` keynote at Bard College in 2017.

Dr. Ann López

Executive Director - Center for Farmworker Families

Dr. Ann López is the Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. She has a Ph.D. from UCSC in Environmental Studies where she studied the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the farms of west central Mexico. Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press.. She has been recognized for her work by The U.S. Congress and many organizations. She was chosen as a Woman of the Year for 2013 and 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women. In March 2018, she was chosen for a 16th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Award in Watsonville and as Woman of the Year by Mark Stone’s 29th District for 2019.

Dr. Lopez’ research findings while interviewing central California farmworker families and their family members in Mexico were fundamentally disturbing and life transforming. As a result, she is actively attempting to create awareness about the Human Rights abuses that are endemic to every juncture of the migrant circuit. She has also initiated many projects on both sides of the border designed to alleviate some of the inordinate suffering experienced daily by migrant farm workers and their family members in Mexico.

The Center for Farmworker Families is a 501(c3) nonprofit. The website is designed to provide updates on the status of binational farmworker families and provides ways in which those who are interested can become involved with the work of improving their life circumstances.

September 10th has been designated by the County of Santa Cruz as Farmworker Family Day.

Recent Published Articles: López, A.A., 2011. New Questions in the Immigration Debate. Anthropology Now 3(1) pp. 47–53 | López, A.A., 2011. NAFTA and the Campesinas Left Behind. Anthropology Now 3(2) pp. 35-40.

Degrees: Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz, 2002 Dissertation Title: From the Farms of West Central Mexico to California’s Corporate Agribusiness: The Social Transformation of Two Farming Regions.

Post-Doc at UC Berkeley from 2004 to 2006 | M.A. in Environmental Biology, UC Santa Barbara | B.A. in Biology, UC Riverside

Theodosia (Theo) Ferguson

Healing Living Systems, Inc. (HLS), Founder and CEO

Theo is a native Californian. HLS’s mission: “Climate Stability through Agroecology.”

Theo foci:
Proof of Concept: Local Foodshed Resilient Community—a Municipality, Riverside, CA

Inviting all people to participate in Systems to Heal the Climate: Full Moon Healing Action Network (FMHAN)(Contact: Gerardo Marin (geractivacion@gmail.com) to honor our living systems and capture carbon in the soil to grow nutrient-dense food).

Positions Held:

International Experience:
Direktorin die Kommunicationszentrum der Stadt Nuernberg, Germany, 1971-2
Founder, Export Profiles, an export management consultancy representing renewable energy to South and South-East Asia, and the People’s Republic of China. 1981-86

US-Based Experience:
Field Representative for CA Assemblyman and Congressperson, Leo J. Ryan, 1975-6
Project Manager in the National Office of Kaiser Permanente, 1992-1999
Founded three Corporations and two NGOs.1981-present

Memberships:
Founded International Society of Art, Science and Technology, USA (Leonardo Journal)(1981)
Member US Social Investment Forum (2004-present)
Mounted International Prize: “Our Daily Bread, What does it REALLY Cost?” (2004-6)
Member Foundation for Shamanic Studies (2005-present)
Systems to Heal the Climate: Founded 2012; now 5/6 Holders and 2020: FMHAN (above)
Founding Member US Slow Money (2008); Facilitated formation: Slow Money NoCal (2010-present)
Participant/Plenary Moderator: Justice Begins with Seeds; SOIL NOT OIL (2011-present)
Member: Slow Money NoCal: SOIL Group: Slow Opportunities to Invest Locally: Innovator: Direct Relationship Driven Investor: Local Food, Farming and Finance Infrastructure Investor (20 Infrastructure Investments; Champion: 5 enterprises)(2011-present)
Candidate Coordinator: Biomimicry Int’l Design Contest: Food Systems 2015 (w/Fairfield, Iowa)
Graduate: Urban Farmer Training Program, 2017
HLS: Associate Member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (2018-present)
Education: BA, UC Riverside: Major: Art History; Minor: Physics; CA Community College Teaching Credential; Ongoing Education: Climate Studies; Social Equity; Sustainable Economics; Agroecology
Languages: English, German, studying Spanish; Chinese/Japanese Art: Shodo and Sumie; lost language

He is a very well know activist throughout the Latino/social justice networks in California and other states where he has been invited to present in conferences & community events about his work on immigrant rights, on which he was the main advocate of the implementation of City ID Cards in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and that were the model adopted by the city of New York. In 2007 he created the Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights that launched the first Response Alert Network in case of ICE raids, which received over 100 calls a day at the time. In 2009 he launched a campaign to stop the car impoundment against unlicensed immigrant drivers in Northern California that in six months forced most major cities in Northern California to change their policies about car impoundment.

In 2011 he became increasingly involved in environment/Non-GMO advocacy co organizing the conference Justice Begins with Seeds. He was the field organizer for Spanish speakers in 2012 during the historic Prop. 37 campaign in California, in which Latino vote in support of GMO Labeling reached 61%, the highest in the vote preferences by ethnicities.

He is the Co-founder of the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), and one of the founding members of the Californians for GE Food Labeling Coalition. He is a strong supporter of a ban to prevent planting Genetically Engineered Corn in Mexico and worked closely with the leaders behind it, until the new president AMLO make a public statement saying that Mexico does not need GMO corn and that is out of question.

For years he hosted educational radio programs in Spanish at a commercial radio station in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area in which he educated about urban farming, sustainability, environmental & food issues. After many years living in the Mission District of San Francisco and Portland Oregon, he moved back to Mexico where he currently works on his agro-ecological project in San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas, called Yok Jinix where he lives with her dog Sombra.

Mark Squire

Owner and General Manager of Good Earth Natural Foods & Tara Firma Farms

Mark Squire has one of the most celebrated resumes in the organic food industry. Since 1977, he has been a co-owner and manager of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax California. An “organic oasis,” as one of OCA readers nominating the store described it, Good Earth provides a wide selection of produce, much of it sourced from within a 100-mile radius. But it’s Squire’s passion for organics and his dedication to preserving and raising organic standards, growing the organic industry and working to keep GMOs out, that set him apart. Here are just a few of Squire’s accomplishments over the past few decades: o Played a pioneering role in developing the state’s organic certification standards. In the 1980’s there were no certified organic standards in California. Realizing that the standards were a necessary prerequisite for the state’s organic food movement, Squire worked with like-minded retailers, farmers and other advocates to assemble and codify production practices and allowable inputs and to educate farmers about these new standards. o Served on the Board of Directors for the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), an organization that took on the task of further developing California’s fledgling standards. Squire helped write some of the original organic certification standards that are still in place today in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program today. o Serves on the Board of the Non-GMO Project, which he was instrumental in creating. Concerned that GMOs weren’t addressed under organic standards, because the standards were written before GMOs came on the market, Squire reached out to other like-minded food retailers to create what would eventually become the Non-GMO Project. o Helped write Measure B, the Marin County initiative that prohibits 
the outdoor cultivation of GMOs. The measure passed by 61 percent of the popular vote in 2004. o Served from 1988-1993 on the board and then on staff of the Organic Crop Improvement Association. OCIA was at that time the largest certifier of organic foods worldwide. Squire oversaw international certification staff training and operations for both farm and manufacturing

Speakers and Panelists

We will be adding confirmed speakers every week.

Stella Nyambura M., PhD.

Scientist and Researcher, Climate Resilience Advocate

Stella Nyambura Mbau PhD. A 32-year-old Kenyan. Founder and CEO of LOABOWA. The opportunity to reduce disruptions brought about by climate risks, using adaptation, has led to our interest in climate resilience (that is, climate risk management/reduction through microgrids) and awareness; for those who’d like to join the ‘climate change’ conversation, we have an ‘easy to access’ and free class that can help start them off (now on LOABOWA’s YouTube channel; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2uBng63Sg7YCH-V-_DQetw). I also curate a blog (medium.com/much-to-do) that’s committed to climate resilience in Kenya, and in Africa.
LOABOWA seeks climate friendships for better collaboration and advocacy on regional climate governance. These enabled the submission of an open letter with climate demands (done alongside youth activists) to the AU in June 2020; it got over 1500 supporters. We’ve also been honoured to extend these friendships to organisations such as the Global Communities Project, Generations for Health and Puerta de Africa. As a climate expressionist and scientist, my contribution to these friendships is a ‘sub-Saharan’ context, the focus being adaptation/resilience over decarbonization for the region.
I coordinate projects for the Abundant Earth Foundation. I also volunteer with the Mother Earth Project (helping them distribute Parachutes for Earth to 15 African countries), COP Non-Official, Polluters Out, among others.

Paul Kaiser

Paul Kaiser is a multi-award winning organic vegetable farmer with dual Masters Degrees in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development. He operates Singing Frogs Farm in Sonoma County.

Abdoul Nazirou Mama Sanni

I’m Nazirou MAMA SANNI, born on July, 17th, 1992. I’m from Benin a country located in West Africa. I have got a Master’s degree in agriculture. I did my graduation from University of Parakou. In 2016, I made my first professional experiences at the Association for Research and Promotion in Integrated fish farming. Indeed, we made the association between fish farming and market gardening in this company. Since 2017, I was a consultant at the Chamber of Agriculture within the framework of Agriculture Program of Promotion. With this program, I have trained the cooperatives of soybean and cashew producers in North Benin. On November 2019, I created a company '' Tomorrow Start Today '' in which we do the organic production of vegetables (such as tomato, pimento, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, green bean, lettuce) for climate change. I then became an agricultural entrepreneur. In addition, in 2020, I also trained the groups of women market gardeners in North Benin with Care International project. However, I am a member of the Youth Parliament for Food and Nutrition for the achievement of SDG 2. I am a laureate of Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneur’s program 2020. I am also a laureate of Savvy fellowship program 2020 for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs. From June 2021, I’m gonna work as a coach in entrepreneurship in the framework of Youth Project of Netherland’s Embassy for Improving Food Security in North Benin.

Michelle Perro, MD.

Michelle Perro, MD, is a veteran pediatrician with nearly four decades of experience in
acute and integrative medicine. More than fifteen years ago, Dr. Perro transformed her
clinical practice to include pesticide and health advocacy. She has both directed and
worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff
Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth
Pediatrics, creating a new field of integrative urgent care medicine. Dr. Perro has co-
authored the highly acclaimed book, “What’s Making our Children Sick?”
(https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/whats-making-our-children-sick/) and is
Executive Director of a non-profit scientific-based website, https://www.gmoscience.org.
She has authored many publications and has a column, ‘Pediatric Pearls’, with the
journal, The Townsend Letter. She has recently launched her
website, www.drmichelleperro.com which is an interactive Zoom program on integrative
pediatrics for parents.

Eugene Twagirimana

Rwanda

I am a young community development practitioner born in 1990 in Eastern part of Rwanda, Kayonza District. I grew up in family of farmers who only applied organic farming. The practical experience from my family legacy on the use of organic farming has left me with a package for the next generation (healthy environment, healthy food and healthy people). Regarding my education background, I have got Diploma in religious studies from Emaus bible college, Diploma in languages (English-French-Kinyarwanda), Bachelors Degree of Law from University of Rwanda, and Master of Transformational development from Eastern college Australia.
I am a founder &Director of wellborn child initiative whose passion is to educate children/youth to invest in agribusiness projects using organic farming. We motivate community members to embrace organic farming as an environmentally friendly agricultural method. Wellborn has got community demonstration farms including- pigs farm, chicken farm and vegetable kitchen garden. I am currently serving as church and community development mobiliser at Rabagirana ministries.

Isis Maria Salcines Milla

Isis Maria Salcines Milla has worked at the Basic Unit of Cooperative Production “Organopónico Vivero Alamar” in Cuba, since 1999. She is an Agronomy Engineer, although her former vocation was in telecommunications. Isis never planned to be devoted to food production, but at the time agriculture was attracting concern from all over the world and she opted to study agronomy, at the Agrarian University of Havana (UNAH).
She has functioned as a director and coordinator of development projects and collaborations carried out at the farm through the FAO, ACTAF, ACPA. The farm also collaborates with the Institutes of Investigations, other universities across the country, and has received mentions in Municipal, Provincial Fórum, I Reward MINAG 2012 and publications in international magazines of these studies.

Camilla & Jim Becket

Camilla grew up in apartheid South Africa and was an activist in the anti-apartheid movement. She managed outreach for independent publishers who originated works by anti-apartheid thinkers and artists, including Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. She launched Becket Films with Jim in 2005 with a mission to focus on international environmental issues, social justice, and health. Camilla has co-produced several Becket Films projects, including films for the Religion, Science, and Environment series about besieged water bodies around the world and what can be done to restore them.

Jim brings a varied career to his filmmaking: Human rights lawyer, journalist, and author. As Director of Public Information for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Jim made several films about refugee problems around the world. Moving to Los Angeles, he worked as a screenwriter, producer and director of TV and narrative movies. Since then he has co-produced several documentaries on contemporary environmental issues, including The Green Patriarch, The Amazon: The End of Infinity, The Arctic: The Consequences of Human Folly and El Misterio del Capital de los Indigenas Amazonicos. Jim’s awards include festival Best Film awards, two Humanitas awards, and a George Foster Peabody award.

David R. Montgomery

David R. Montgomery is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist who studies the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies. David is the author of several popular books including Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, and most recently, Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.

His work has been featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a wide variety of TV and radio programs, including NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Fox and Friends, and All Things Considered. When not writing or doing geology, David plays guitar in the band Big Dirt.

Social Media & Contact for David
web: www.Dig2Grow.com || twitter: @Dig2Grow || facebook: Dig2Grow Books ||

Francis Madiba Akolbila

Laney Siegner

Sustainable food systems researcher and climate change educator

Masters and PhD from Berkeley
Lives in off grid tiny house in Sebastopol, CA

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach

Founder Berry Good Food Foundation

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and activist. In 2008, she received the Consumer Attorneys of California WLC Outstanding Consumer Advocate Award before taking a sabbatical from her full-time practice to further commit herself to social activism. An “agvocate” for sustainable food, she founded both the Cali-Baja Berry Good Night and Berry Good Food Foundation to advance a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting and supporting local food producers and consumers. She hosts the BGF-sponsored award-winning Future Thought Leaders program on UCTV.tv, with 1.5 million viewers. She is an advisor to Kiss the Ground and an Executive Producer of the documentary of the same name. An outspoken critic of current GMO labeling policy, she served on the steering committee of Californians for GE Labeling and helped launch GMOscience.org. She in the incoming Chair of the Board of the University of California Press Foundation, focused on progressive scholarship, particularly in the areas of food, farming, social and environmental issues, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Women Peacemakers Program at the Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at USD. She previously served as a consultant to the Liberian Ministry of Gender & Development.

Annet Dianah Nannono

Project manager at NISI Orgarnic Farm Community Initiative - Uganda

A skilled agronomist, irrigation Engineer and Agricultural extension worker. A youth advocating for Sustainable Development Goals; Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well Being; Clean water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean energy, Decent work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure and Climate Action. Having 5-years experience in forming partnerships to achieve the goals through working with Non-government organisations, private and public service sectors in Uganda.

Miguel Robles

Founder and Core Organizer of Soil Not Oil International Conference

Miguel Robles is the founder and core organizer of the annual Soil Not Oil International Conference; previously he organized 4 editions of the “Justice Begins with Seeds Conference”. Artisan, poet, farmer, permaculture designer and activist, he has founded several organizations in Mexico and the US and launched countless campaigns of great social impact, during his continuous involvement in various social struggles related to globalization, democracy, human/immigrant rights and in recent years focused in environment and food justice.

He is a very well know activist throughout the Latino/social justice networks in California and other states where he has been invited to present in conferences & community events about his work on immigrant rights, on which he was the main advocate of the implementation of City ID Cards in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and that were the model adopted by the city of New York. In 2007 he created the Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights that launched the first Response Alert Network in case of ICE raids, which received over 100 calls a day at the time. In 2009 he launched a campaign to stop the car impoundment against unlicensed immigrant drivers in Northern California that in six months forced most major cities in Northern California to change their policies about car impoundment.

In 2011 he became increasingly involved in environment/Non-GMO advocacy co organizing the conference Justice Begins with Seeds. He was the field organizer for Spanish speakers in 2012 during the historic Prop. 37 campaign in California, in which Latino vote in support of GMO Labeling reached 61%, the highest in the vote preferences by ethnicities.

He is the Co-founder of the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), and one of the founding members of the Californians for GE Food Labeling Coalition. He is a strong supporter of a ban to prevent planting Genetically Engineered Corn in Mexico and worked closely with the leaders behind it, until the new president AMLO make a public statement saying that Mexico does not need GMO corn and that is out of question.

For years he hosted educational radio programs in Spanish at a commercial radio station in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area in which he educated about urban farming, sustainability, environmental & food issues. After many years living in the Mission District of San Francisco and Portland Oregon, he moved back to Mexico where he currently works on his agro-ecological project in San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas, called Yok Jinix where he lives with her dog Sombra.

Marie-Pierre Bilodeau

Head Refarmers at Refarmers and the Director of Operations of VUFFF

Marie-Pierre Bilodeau (she/her) originates from the territory of the
Innu in Saguenay and is of French Quebecois heritage. After twelve
successful years co-managing and creating an “Organically Grown,
Ethically Sewn” eco-clothing brand called Rabbit & Empee, Marie-Pierre
realized that her efforts to find regeneration and fulfillment fell
short of the life she aspired to live. She studied permaculture at Seven
Ravens Permaculture Academy on Salt Spring Island in Canada and her
hands-on training was done in East Africa where she continues to work
today. She is the founder of REFARMERS.org, a grassroots organization
that creates and supports small-scale community-based food growing
initiatives as well as provides land-based learning opportunities that
enable people to be the drivers of their own change. She helped light
the spark that is now Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (VUFFF.org)
and is passionate about immersing her local work and life in Indigenous
ways of knowing and growing. She is currently the Head Refarmers at
Refarmers and the Director of Operations of VUFFF. She lives and works
on the unceded, traditional and ancestral land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh
(Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)
Nations.

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier

Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Department of Biology

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier, Mississaugas of the Credit community member and Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Department of Biology. His Nishinaabe (Anishinaabe/Ojibway) Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) heritage informs his work in Indigenous food, medicine, material culture and ethnolinguistics. He studies Indigenous ecological knowledge and native medicine for preeclampsia, diabetes, and cancer, among other community needs. Ferrier continues with research and development contributions since 2008, collaborating in 16 countries.

Devon G. Peña, Ph.D

Professor ~ University of Washington, Departments of American Ethnic Studies & Anthropology

Devon G. Peña, Ph.D.: Since 1999, Dr. Peña has served as Full Professor at the University of Washington in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Program on the Environment where he teaches courses in agroecology, environmental anthropology, environmental justice, Chicana/o Studies, and new social movements. He is widely recognized for his action-oriented research and played a key role in the drafting and passage of the 2009 Colorado Acequia Recognition law (HB 09-1233).

Peña is the Founder and President of The Acequia Institute and manages the organization’s 181-acre farm in Viejo San Acacio, Colorado on Nuche-Dinè-Tiwa-Genizarx territory. The Institute’s farm has water rights on the oldest adjudicated rights in Colorado, the San Luis Peoples Acequia (April 1852). The entire parcel and water rights are held in a conservation easement emphasizing the preservation of open space, wildlife habitat, ecological restoration, and acequia farming methods, practices, and traditions. Peña also serves on the Board of Directors of Alianza Milpa. He served on the Board of Food First for eight years (2012-2020).

Dr. Peña is the author or editor of numerous award-winning books, encyclopedias, and other publications. His most recent book, Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives (U. Arkansas 2017) received the “Best Edited Volume-2018” Prize from the Association for the Study of Food and Society and was deemed “Essential Reading” by Choice, American Library Association. He is currently completing work on a two volume book on acequias to be published by the University of Arizona Press.

Yube Huni Kuin

Agroforestry agent - Board member Mothers of the Amazon

Yube Huni Kuin is often referred to as the Buddha of the rainforest. Yube is a spiritual and indigenous leader who radiates joy, gratitude, forgiveness, and his love for the forest and nature. Coming from a long tradition of Huni Kuin, he is one of the main carriers of the traditional Huni Kuin songs and ancestral stories his elders have passed on to him. He is an agro-forestry specialist and serves as the vice president of the Huni Kuin Federation (Fepach) for 116 Huni Kuin villages. He was Secretary of AMAAIAC (Association Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre) from 2002 to 2008 and the advisor for Indigenous Affairs with the Government of the State of Acre from 2011 until 2019.

Margot Reisner

Margot Reisner is an ecological educator, permaculture designer, natural chef and potter who has spent her life on Pomo and Ohlone land in Northern California. She received her BA in Environmental Studies at Skidmore College, where she focused on sustainable food systems and was certified as a Nutritional Chef at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA. She currently works as a program associate at Insight Garden Program and facilitates the class at San Quentin State Prison. Margot is passionate about intersectional environmental justice and anti-oppression work and her life mission is to act as a keystone species who improves ecological and community health with every action and every meal.

Roland van Reenen

Born in 1964 in the Netherlands Roland always had a curiosity for nature and cultural diversity. He is a certified teacher for primary education but did spend 17 years of his life in the music business.

In 1998 he started a career in the organic food industry as the manager of what became in 2000 the very first organic supermarket in the Netherlands. Beside this work he studied the science of ayurveda and different other natural healing techniques.

In 2013 he did discover permaculture and from that moment he was at the beginning of his genesis. In 2015 he moved to Curacao in the Caribbean with a solid mission in his mind: to research how permaculture could make a difference in a drought stricken deforested area. With zero budget he established a food forest around his house and started to give workshops. In the same time he started a weekly organic food subscription for about 80 subscribers bringing organic food direct from the farmer to the consumer.

In 2018 he was personally asked by the minister of agriculture Sra Suzy Carmelia Romer to build up a few permaculture plots for educational purposes. In 2019 he organised for the ministry of Health Environment and Nature a intensive course syntropic agroforestry with teachers from Brazil. He is still leading a project with the aim of implementing this farming technique in Curacao. In 2019 also he has been asked by the government to become a mentor for the Regenerative Organic Agricuture Program provided by the Maharishi University in Iowa. In june he started a function as a mentor for courses hydroponics presented by the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

He is totally convinced that food forestry as developed as syntropic agroforestry will solve most of our fundamental crisis.

Patrick Paul Kidega

Patrick Paul Kidega born and raised in kitgum, Northern Uganda, coordinator Kitgum Municipality Deaf and Interpreters association, that works basically with deaf people, currently am the East African project manager for Refarmers, a nonprofit organization that does regenerative agriculture using the permaculture principles to improve our environment, am majorly passionate about the community and All my activities are community centred, I derived my activities from community needs, other than imposing things on them and it has work so effectively. Am also the people's representative at Kitgum municipal council and holding the docket of Education, Health and Community services.

Elizabeth Kaiser

Owner of Singing Frogs Farms

Elizabeth Kaiser with her husband Paul have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resource management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America as well as Northern California, they had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales. Recently, they have focused on teaching their model of successful small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production.

Anne Bikle

Eduardo Erazo Acosta

Michelle Gilman

Michelle has recently joined the Abundant Earth Foundation team as an Environmental Nutritionist. Her passion for food as medicine was sparked in 2016 when she began as a community nutrition program coordinator in her home state of Massachusetts. She has since received a Master’s degree in Global Public Health Nutrition which led her to study community participation in school garden programs in Northwest Nicaragua and collaborate with farmers, local communities and nonprofits working to regenerate the Central American Dry Corridor. This included serving as a board member to FNE International and representing their agroecological farm. After volunteering and visiting with permaculturists in Puerto Rico and Colombia over the past year, she is now completing a Permaculture Design Certificate and is eager to continue promoting regenerative growing and eating practices near and far.

Vidhya Das

Joint Director at Agragamee

Vidhya Das is the Joint Director at Agragamee, a non-profit organization based in Odisha. She works for children’s education and agricultural development amongst the poorest tribal communities in Odisha. Through Agragamee, she is working to break the vicious cycle of poverty and lack of education access by channelizing the energies of village youth for an excellent education and a livelihood that helps them and their ecosystem thrive. The success of our models for education and livelihood are recognised far and wide, and attract demands from parents and farmers to educate and train their children and them for a better quality of life with food and income security. Vidhya is a practitioner and champion of zero tillage systems in her sustainable agriculture work.

Skyler Thomas

Filmaker

From sharks to cows to plants - Skyler left a teaching career in California to film, edit, and direct multiple award-winning shark documentaries before turning his attention to terrestrial issues. The process of learning the far-reaching effects of animal agriculture on the planet has prompted Skyler to pursue a fourth degree focusing on ecology in order to support and enhance his new environmental films and to battle the new wave of misinformation being fed to the public. The parallels between industries waging war on the ocean and on the land are multifaceted. How can we hope to save sharks if humans don’t care about the animals living right next to them?

Patty Krawec

Co-Host - Medicine for the Resistance

Patty Krawec is an Anishnaabe Ukranian activist, co-host of the podcast Medicine for the Resistance, and host of the online book club Ambe: A year of Indigenous reading. Patty is a writer and speaker and for 16 years was an active union member and social worker. Her work now centers on examining and disrupting social and political narratives of power. Her first book, which deals with the untangling of Christian colonialism, will be published by Broadleaf Books in 2022 and other writings have been published by Rampant Magazine and Sojourners. You can find her on twitter @gindaanis and her website daanis.ca

Sara Calvosa Olson

Author

Sara Calvosa Olson is a Karuk home cook working with Indigenous Californian foods and is the author of a forthcoming cookbook on that same topic. With an interest in using both culturally sound & faithfully updated techniques using traditional Indigenous plants and animals, her cooking inspires a new look at the oldest foods in California.

Shirley Romero Otero

Director of the Move Mountains Youth Project

Shirley Romero Otero traces her ancestry to Mexican arrivants and Apaches and has spent her life as a public educator and as a leader for the land rights struggle in southern Colorado by taking on wealthy absentee landowners who blocked communal access to common land on a mountain range called La Sierra. She led a drawn out court case that culminated with a Colorado Supreme Court decision in 2002. The court ultimately restored hunting, fishing and gathering rights to the original land-grant families, a victory for Romero Otero and others in the valley. Ms. Romero continues as President of the Land Rights Council, serves as Director of the Move Mountains youth project, and is a newly appointed member of the Board of Directors of The Acequia Institute.

Ben Krawec

Ben Krawec is an Anishinaabeg tree nerd and former wildland firefighter currently apprenticing to be a Lorax in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough). He enjoys ecologically grounded gardening and dislikes landscaping traditions that are rooted in aristocratic nonsense. Misajidamookazo gaye minwenim mitigoog.

Erica Fernandez Zamora

Senior Organizer with Fuerzas Unidas

Erica Fernandez Zamora, M.A., emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10 from Michoacán, Mexico where she worked in the fields alongside her parents and siblings while attending school in the afternoon. After being separated from her family for a year, she was reunited with them in Oxnard, California at the age of 10. As a migrant student, she took advantage of all the opportunities offered to her, from Saturday school to summer school migrant programs, and constantly sought to give back to both her school and community. As a teen, she discovered her passion for the environment, and for the pursuit of social justice and equity. She became a local community activist, leading the fight against a corporate effort that threatened an environmental concern for her low-socioeconomic community. Her community involvement and academic achievement opened many doors. Erica has spoken to thousands of people domestically and internationally on issues she cares deeply about, such as environmental justice and education. She graduated from Stanford University where she double-majored in Urban Studies and Iberian and Latin American Cultures. She also completed a Master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Stanford. She has worked at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights; the Agricultural Labor Relations Board; SEIU Local 2007; Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability; and Community Water Center. Erica is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Brower Youth Award, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and Glamour 2011 Top 10 College Women. She continues to fight for issues she cares deeply about including environmental justice, immigration, and equity in education and society. She is currently the Senior Organizer with Fuerzas Unidas, a Gamaliel of California Affiliate.

Emmanuel Ochola Matsaba

Research Scientist at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Mr. Emmanuel Ochola Matsaba (JKUAT) is a climate change Research Scientist at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) - Centre of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Indigenous Bioresources and Climate Change Adaptation (CERIIBioCCA). He holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture and Landscaping Technology (2012-2015, JKUAT - Kenya), and Master of Science in Landscape planning and conservation (2016-2019, JKUAT - Kenya) degrees, and an undertaking a Ph.D. in Climate Science. As a Research scientist, Provided support in the area of profiling agroecology and agrobiodiversity actors and practices in Kenya (2020 -2021). Prepared Climate Change Information for Irish Potato Growing Areas in Nyandarua County (2020 –date). Involved in preparation and validation climate atlas for the Horticulture Sector in Kenyan Counties (2018- 2020); designed local climate change adaptation strategies in Cairo, Nairobi, and Istanbul cities (2016 -2018).

Dawn Sherman

CEO of Native American Natural Foods’ Tanka Bar

Dawn Sherman brings over 25 years of business expertise and entrepreneurial skills to her role as CEO of Native American Natural Foods’ Tanka bar. A member of the Lakota, Shawnee and Delaware tribes, Dawn is keenly aware of the fundamental needs facing individuals at the community level on the reservation. Her South Dakota roots inform her decision making and she is dedicated to seeking improvements in the food systems that benefit the health and
wellness of her indigenous community as well as the community at large. Dawn believes teamwork and meaningful collaboration are essential to success and looks to the operational Niman Ranch partnership as key to continuing the Tanka vision. Previously, Dawn worked in key financial leadership roles in the automotive industry, increasing dealership portfolios as well as assisting in developing policies and procedures to streamline sales and financial efficiency.
She is a founding member of Tanka Resilient Agriculture Coop a South Dakota collective dedicated to returning bison to lands, and improving the lives and economies of Native Communities. She is also a founding board member of The Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, an ecosystem of people and organizations committed to making sustainable ranching and farming a collective norm. She is also a board member of the Tanka Fund, a not-for-profit that supports tribal bison caretakers with direct grants for ranch planning, finance and operations.
As the second generation of Native Leadership and as a Native woman, Dawn’s unique vision combined with her deep experience in the food industry, allows her the opportunity to give back to her own community and further her vision of food sovereignty for all.
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