We will be adding confirmed speakers every week.
The EPA: Friend or Foe?
Resilient Agriculture for a Changing Climate
Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and radio and her soil-building practices have been featured in independent and documentary films. She co-authored The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health with her husband and geologist, David 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 and Anne:
web: www.Dig2Grow.com || twitter: @Dig2Grow || facebook: Dig2Grow Books ||
The Dirt Trilogy: Destruction, Insight, and Cure
Consumer Attorney, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman P.C.
Award-winning attorney Brent Wisner is one of the nation's leading trial lawyers in the ongoing litigation against Monsanto Company (now Bayer) over Roundup weed killer and its link to cancer. Brent served on the trial teams for all three of the first Roundup cases to proceed to trial and was co-lead trial counsel in two of those cases. The juries in these Monsanto trials awarded the plaintiffs $2.424 billion in total damages, finding that Roundup exposure caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that Monsanto failed to warn of this severe health hazard. Importantly, the juries also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.
Brent has been named one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers (2018 Daily Journal), one of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers (2018 National Law Journal) and a Titan of the Plaintiff’s Bar (2018 Law360). He was also one of the lawyers recognized by The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 as the 2019 Trial Team of the Year for Mass Tort Litigation.
As a consumer advocate, Brent has educated members of parliament in the European Union and Canada on the Monsanto litigation. He and his firm were instrumental in the release of thousands of pages of internal Monsanto emails, text messages, company reports, and other memoranda now known throughout the world as the Monsanto Papers. These documents, magnified by three monumental verdicts, have changed the approval of Roundup use in Europe and led to legislative investigations worldwide. Many cities and communities in the United States and around the world have banned Roundup following the verdicts and release of the Monsanto Papers.
Media in the U.S. and abroad routinely ask Brent to provide commentary on the Monsanto Roundup litigation, including the New York Times, CNN, CBS News, NBC News, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Guardian (UK) Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and countless other outlets. He has also made television appearances on Democracy Now!, ABC (Australia), CBC News (Canada), France24, EuroNews, among many others.
I was born in small remote village of 900 people, far from capital of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - Yakutsk city (Arctic Siberia). As a young child I spent a great deal of time in the wild, learning to talk with animals and birds. I was taught traditional songs when I was three years old and was asked many times to sing for my people during ceremonies. When I came of age, I received permission from spirits through Tungus Siberian shaman to play shamanic drum and sing sacred songs. Since that time my life has completely changed and the shamanic music has taken me all over the globe in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and now here in this country.
My desire is to bring healing to this planet during this time of global crisis. Our people have been living in shamanic wisdom for centuries and relying on our deep cultural roots to survive in -94 F winter, facing and struggling extremal life issues. I feel called to share my cultural wisdom and so I created the Olox project - the bridge between ancestral wisdom and new generations, traditional knowledge married to new technology.
In 2018 Olox performed at Lucidity, Burning Man festivals (USA), also the duo took part at President of Russia’s special event at Kremlin and in International forum “Arctic Circle-2015” (Iceland). In 2017 Olox was invited to French-American Arctic expedition Pax Arctica project to DeLong islands of Arctic Ocean. The project about Climate Change was supported by Prince of Monaco Albert II.
Olox works now with documentary movie about Reindeer herders life protection. Their homeland was distroyed by Oil and Gas company last years in Arctic Siberia.
John believes that each person has the capacity to make a profound difference in the sustainability of our agriculture and through it, our world; and that if we each learn to take care of our part of the Earth – our garden – then we can change our situation from one of scarcity to abundance: of enough for everyone
Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland said of his work: “There are probably a billion people in the world who are malnourished. The Jeavons approach could enable that segment of the population to feed itself adequately for the first time ever. That would be a remarkable development in this world, and would do more to solve the problems of poverty, misery and hunger than anything else we’ve done.”
A political science graduate of Yale University, Jeavons worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Stanford University before launching his career in small-scale agriculture education. He is the author of the best-selling sustainable farming handbook How to Grow More Vegetables and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible With Less Water On Less Land Than You Can Imagine, now in its 9th edition in eight languages, plus Braille, with over 600,000 copies in print worldwide. He has authored, co-authored or edited over 40 publications on Biointensive agriculture, including a five-part, peer-reviewed article that appeared in The Journal of Sustainable Agriculture.
John has been honored to receive the Boise Peace Quilt Award (1988), the Giraffe Award for Public Service (1989), the Santa Fe Living Treasure Award (1989) and the Steward of Sustainable Agriculture Award (2000). He has also been nominated for the Noetic Sciences Altruism Award (1992), the World Food Prize (1993 and 1995) and the Pew Scholars Award in Conservation and the Environment (1995). In 1988, “Circle of Plenty,” a PBS-TV documentary about Jeavons and his work aired nationally. He is also one of those featured in the PBS-TV documentary “The Living Land” (1999) and in the documentary film “Fall and Winter” (2013).
Major publications have featured his work, including the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor.
He has given numerous presentations and workshops in the U.S., and has taught in Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and Canada. This year he will teach at the 1st World Meeting on “Family Organic Agriculture with the Biointensive Method” in the Dominican Republic, with representatives from 50 countries present.
Key to Ecology Action’s success in spreading sustainable Biointensive agriculture to so many places around the world has been, and will continue to be, catalyzation of small training centers that keep things local, personal, and economically and environmentally relevant to the people learning the method. Encouraging the creation of as many of these “local on a global scale” training centers as possible is John Jeavons’ focus for the future.
Despite a busy Toronto student schedule, she has given dozens of television, radio, magazine and online interviews, participated in countless event appearances, including a well-publicized debate about GMO labelling with celebrity host Kevin O’Leary on CBC Television, and two TEDx talks presentations. She has been internationally recognized as an Environmental Speaker and awarded for her work, including the Rob Stewart Youth Eco-Hero Award, the John Filion Award for Community Involvement, Elle Quebec Magazine Woman of the Year, Post City Magazine Toronto most inspiring Women of 2017, Toronto NOW Magazine's Eco-Heroes, along with a long list of other prestigious recognitions and awards. Rachel is presently dedicated to the development of a Monarch Butterfly conservation program and she is the Director of Gen-Earth Events, an environmental platform dedicated to education through film and activism, with the goal of motivating youth to learn Organic Regenerative Climate solutions to help make the world a better place for humans, animals and our planet.
Since 2016 Alana has created environmental art banners that have been displayed at COP22, 23 and 24 as well as the Global Climate Action Summit and the 4th World Congress on Agroforestry. In 2019 she delivered a TEDx talk at the American University of Paris on “Solutions Activism.”
She’s a member of the Drawdown coalition, the 4p1000 Consortium and is on the Board of Advisors for Kiss the Ground, each focused upon soil carbon sequestration.
We produce fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs, while raising sheep, ducks, chickens and people! The farm has been designed to function as a self-contained, life regenerating organism with waste products being recycled and feeding other elements of the system. Lauded as one of the best examples of a small productive Biodynamic and Permaculture farms in the northwest by many, Seven Seeds helps to mentor new farmers through internships and workshops. In 2009 we began Siskiyou Seeds, a bioregional organic seed company that grows and stewards a collection of over 600 open pollinated flower, vegetable and herb seeds and is constantly breeding new varieties that we distribute nationally.
Don is active in the Seed Stewardship movement and educates regionally on seed saving through the Biannual Seed Academy, the Student Organic Seed Symposium, Seed Schools and numerous conferences. He sits on the board of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and contributes to the Open Source Seed Initiative.
While raising a family and managing a diverse seed farm and distribution business occupy much of his time, Don is keenly aware of the eroding Agrarian landscape and believes in rekindling a thriving culture of cottage industries that inspire Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share and is wholeheartedly devoted to seeing this emergent regenerative economy and culture increase and thrive.
A longtime advocate for healthy people and ecosystems, with expertise ranging from home composting and natural healing to forestry and hemp agriculture, John has authored four books on environmental topics, with combined sales of more than one million copies. He helped jumpstart the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s and successfully sued the US DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001. He has founded four nonprofit ecological groups, including GMOInside.org. John speaks on environmental issues at various conferences, including but not limited to Soil Not Oil, EcoFarm, Provender Alliance andBioneers.
She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from UC Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies, with the thesis titled “Connecting People, Connecting Wildlife: A Bicycle Wildlife Corridor on Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco.” Ildiko was a collector and propagator specialist at Larner Seeds, has been a California native habitat landscaper, a coordinator for Nature in the City’s Backyard Native Nursery Network and San Bruno Mountain Watch’s Mission Blue Nursery Manager. She joined Literacy for Environmental Justice as the Native Plant Nursery Manager in 2017.
Ildiko is the founder of Wildfires to Wildflowers: Restoring California Lands for Climate Stability, a campaign to achieve carbon negativity in California through massive investment in habitat restoration. Visit wildfirestowildlfowers.org for more information.
Ildiko is also a modern dancer and aerialist.
Seth Itzkan is an internationally recognized leader in the movement to advance soil restoration as a climate solution. He is co-founder and co-director, along with his colleague Karl Thidemann, of Soil4Climate Inc., a nonprofit, educational organization advancing the science, policy and practices of enhancing carbon stocks in soil through regenerative agriculture and grazing. Seth is a TEDx speaker and author or co-author on numerous publications, including popular articles, technical white papers and policy briefs. The Soil4Climate Facebook group is a nexus of discussion and activism with approximately 12,000 members from 100 nations, including a veritable Who's Who of leading voices in the field.
Organic Consumers Association
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, Minnesota 55603
Tel: 218-226-4164 (Office) email: email@example.com URL: www.organicconsumers.org
Ronnie Cummins is co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its international affiliates Via Organica www.viaorganica.org(Mexico) and Regeneration International www.RegenerationInternational.org
(OCA) is a non-profit, U.S. based network of two million consumers, dedicated to safeguarding organic standards and promoting a healthy, just, and regenerative system of food, farming, and land use. The OCA’s primary strategy is to work on national and global campaigns promoting health, justice, and climate stability that integrate public education, marketplace pressure, media work, litigation, and grassroots lobbying.
Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s, with extensive experience in public education,
grassroots mobilization, and marketplace pressure campaigns. Over the past three decades he has served as director of US and international campaigns dealing with agriculture issues including organic standards, food safety, genetic engineering, factory farming, and global warming. In 2009 Cummins co-founded Via Organica, a network of organic consumers and farmers based in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. In 2015 Cummins co-founded Regeneration International, a global network dedicated to mitigating and reversing climate change through regenerative food, farming and land use. Cummins is a frequent lecturer, both in the US and abroad as well as a regular contributor to online publications such as Organic Bytes, Common Dreams, Mercola.com, Truthout, Alternet, Counterpunch, and Eco-Watch. Cummins is the author of a series of children’s books called Children of the World, as well as the book Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers (Marlowe & Company 2004). His new book, Grassroots Rising: Regenerative Agriculture, Climate Crisis, and the Green New Deal will be published by Chelsea Green in January 2020. Cummins lives with his wife and 21-year-old son in Minnesota and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
When Good Earth began in 1969 the concept of a Natural Food store was a new one and the number of organic farms in California could be counted on one hand. Good Earth became a leader in developing this new organic market.
As studies are now showing that Organic food production is quantitatively better for our health, Good Earth’s early food idealism is daily being proven to be a very practical solution to the health crisis our communities face. Since Agriculture is one of the top polluting industries on the planet, and organic agriculture has proved that we can “just say no to pesticides”, organics is one of the great environmental success stories of our time as well. Good Earth’s early commitment to making that vision real led Mark to start working with the early pioneers of organic farming during the 80s. Together they created California Certified Organic Farmers, which developed the first standards for organic farming, standards that still form the foundation of our USDA National organic program. During the 90s Mark served on the board of directors of OCIA, which at that time was the largest organic certifier worldwide and which developed organic standards for organic processing, which was a necessary next step to create the many organic choices available today.
Always vigilant to keep sustainability real and to protect local food systems, Good Earth was the hub of Marin's 2004 voter initiative, which banned the cultivation of Genetically Modified Crops in Marin and passed with 61% of the vote.
Mark and his Good Earth partner Al Baylacq created Good Earth’s organic School lunch program which is one of the first in the country and to date has served over 850 thousand Organic Lunches to Marin kids.
Mark’s latest work is with the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit creating a product seal so that consumers can avoid GMOs in their food. Good Earth was one of three founding stores that recognized the need for a system to recognize and encourage food producers that took the extra steps needed to insure that their products were as free as possible of GMO contamination. Watch for the Non-GMO Project seal on products and know that it is protected by a the non-profit and that Mark is on their board of directors.
Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covered a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in The New York Times, LA Times, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Popular Science, Sierra, etc. He’s done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica and led workshops for journalists in Poland, Turkey, Tunisia, Slovakia and Washington DC. He is also a licensed Private Investigator, body-surfer and scuba diver.
Dafna Tachover is an attorney in both New York and Israel, has an MBA and is the founder of ``We Are The Evidence``, an advocacy organization for the protection of the rights of the many people who have been injured by wireless technology radiation. She has a technology background including in wireless networks and infrastructures from her service in the Israeli Defense Forces as a Telecommunication and Computers Officer and the commander of the computer center of the IDF's Operations Center and of its Headquarters. She has also worked for an international investment company and for a private equity fund. In 2009, Dafna developed Microwave, a condition that is caused by exposure to wireless technology radiation. Since then, she has dedicated herself to educating the public and public officials regarding the adverse effects of wireless technology radiation and the widespread sickness that exists from it. as well as on its adverse effects on animals, plants and the environment including on the increase in global energy consumption. In 2012 Dafna initiated and led a Supreme Court case in Israel to replace the use of Wi-Fi in schools and install wired internet networks instead—a case that led to the first and strictest limitations on Wi-Fi use in schools worldwide. She has been working at the Federal and State levels, has taken part in numerous public speaking engagements and has been involved in legal actions. She has been consulting in various related lawsuits and represented 94 international organizations in an amicus brief in a US case. In the past three years she has been focusing her on stopping the deployment of 5G. Dafna has been one of the leading experts and advocates on this topic globally, featured and interviewed by TIME, CNN, New York Magazine, Newsweek, The Epoch Times and other media and appeared in documentaries about the topic, including in the award-winning documentary ``Generation Zapped``.
Anna Hope has defended ancient redwoods from being cut down, planted fruit trees with children at their schools all over California, converted diesel buses to run on vegetable oil, made herbal medicine, organized community events, been involved in building natural homes, advocated to maintain owner builder ordinances, and helped educate her local building department about natural building.
An active member of his community, Dane focuses his efforts on improving the health and well being of his local watershed and all those who reside therein. As District Manager of the town’s sewer district, he oversees the functions of his town’s wastewater treatment plant—the only one in California that utilizes wetlands and ozone to process effluent. He volunteers on the local water district as well as with regional watershed non-profit groups aimed and monitoring water quantity and quality. Nearly 20 years ago Dane began seeking solutions to catastrophic forest fuel loads. With his interest in carpentry, he researched, developed a feasibility study, and eventually created a business plan in small log utilization and other forest health solutions.
Kyra holds a degree in visual arts from California College of Arts and Crafts and a graduate certificate in education. She designed a garden nutrition program in Oakland, CA, where public elementary students had a direct learning seed-to-table curriculum and grew all organic vegetables for 600 students each week for a free school lunch salad bar. Kyra spent 5 years in salmon habitat restoration with Turtle Island Restoration Network - SPAWN, and with Friends of Sausal Creek in revitalizing paved & piped waterways in Oakland. Kyra was the 2016 - 17 manager of the educational organic production garden, Noyo Food Forest in Fort Bragg, and holds a certificate in Grow BioIntensive carbon sequestering mini-farming methods. She is on the Board of Directors of Cloud Forest Institute, and helped establish the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee that works directly with the county Board of Supervisors.
Jeff is a baby boomer raised near St Louis and ended up in the Appalachians where he planted trees for the forest service, shoed horses, carpentered, farmed. Worked alongside the health dept. designing proposed traditional septic fields for a small development. Jeff relocated to South Carolina in 2004 where he started composting humanure. Jeff immediately started thinking of ways to take it to a community level. Called the ``poop visionary`` by the Durango Herald in Colorado, he has built public collection toilets, spoken at the Southwest Permaculture Convergence and most recently at the Montessori Hands for Peace International Conference and is working now with South Carolina DHEC to approve a Humanure collection process. Jeff and his wife Sandie keep bees, chickens, raise worms and practice no dig gardening.
Eric Lassotovitch is a licensed building contractor in Northern California. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA. Applying his arts education, Eric innovates efficient pole frame crafting solutions, and draws plans for clients. Energy efficiency, affordability, healthy homes, and appropriate usage of local materials are among his top design considerations. Eric is co-founder, with Colin Gillespie, of Polecraft Solutions. Learn more at polecraftsolutions.com.
Nichelson has built and led several brands and manufacturers to industry-wide notoriety, and has focused on propelling cutting-edge sustainability through his work in fashion for more than 20 years.
In 2007, California Apparel News dubbed Nichelson “Eco-Johnny Appleseed” due to his growing reputation for being a very passionate and committed early-stage promoter of sustainable textiles and fashion.
Isaac possesses a comprehensive fashion industry knowledge base. Extending from the origins of fiber, to yarn and textile formation, product M&D--- all the way through the branding, marketing, global distribution and leadership of fashion and textile companies.
A visionary creative leader, connector, and communicator, Isaac collaborates regularly with product/sustainability leadership and C-suite operators of most of the worlds major apparel brands, as well as working closely with the leadership of many global NGO’s.
In 2017, Isaac had the honor to be listed as an expert contributor to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Fiber Initiative Report, and is regarded as a thought leader in the realm of circularity/sustainability.”
After learning about the marketing of sewage sludge as a 'fertilizer' to farmers, growers, home gardeners and landscapers, Ms. Sicher founded 'United Sludge Free Alliance' as a volunteer, non-profit grass-roots organization. Utilizing her B.S. in Common Sense and years of community organizing, Ms. Sicher finds that the most important goal is “Value to the People”, embracing the belief that citizens have a right and value as Citizen Activists and Scientists, to create a better world through personal knowledge and engagement. Ms. Sicher guides citizens toward understanding the link between municipal sewage sludge wastes and the heavy metal, pharmaceutical and chemical contamination - including “forever chemicals’ like PFAS - and the contamination of our waterways, our farmlands and soil health, our environment and our physical bodies. Highlighting real science, real life experiences and investigating alternative uses, United Sludge Free Alliance provides internet information, behind-the-scenes coaching and networking for farmers, citizens and community groups nationally.
Mr. Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Seen by millions world-wide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous other problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced.
In 2018, he and Amy Hart released Secret Ingredients, a documentary that highlights numerous individuals and families that healed from serious conditions after switching to an organic diet.
Mr. Smith’s books include: Seeds of Deception, the world’s bestseller on GMOs; and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. They expertly demonstrate why the safety assessments by the FDA and regulators worldwide are based on outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our top food safety priority.
Mr. Smith has lectured in 45 countries, counseled leaders from every continent, and has been quoted by thousands of news outlets including: The New York Times, Washington Post, The Times (London), Associated Press, Reuters, LA Times, and Time Magazine. He regularly appears on influential radio and television programs, including the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, The Doctors, and the Dr. Oz Show.
He is the founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), a leading source of GMO health risk information for consumers, policy makers, and healthcare professionals. IRT’s educational programs are driving the tipping point of consumer rejection against GMOs, which is already starting to push genetically engineered ingredients out of the market in the US.
Mr. Smith resides in California, as well as Iowa— surrounded by genetically modified soybeans and corn.