Wednesday, January 20 | 4:30-6:00 pm PT
Reimagining Our Future
Pesticide Action Network
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman is a senior scientist and director of the Grassroots Science Program at Pesticide Action Network. Her work at PAN includes supporting and strengthening agroecology movements and policies in the U.S. and globally; challenging corporate consolidation, power and influence over agriculture; and international policy advocacy to advance equitable, climate-resilient and ecologically sound food systems within a human rights-based framework. Ishii-Eiteman has written extensively on the ecological, social and political dimensions of food and agriculture and was a lead author of the UN-sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development.
New York University
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, in the department she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she retired in September 2017. She is the author of many award-winning books about food politics, public health, and nutrition. Her most recent book is Let's Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health (2020). She blogs at www.foodpolitics.com and tweets at @marionnestle.
HEAL Food Alliance
Jose Oliva founded the Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center and then became the Coordinator of Interfaith Worker Justice’s National Workers' Centers Network. Jose served in several leadership positions at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United the national organization of restaurant workers. Jose was the Co-Founderand Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance a national coalition of food-worker organizations that collectively represents over 350,000 workers. Jose is a 2017 James Beard Award recipient and a 2018 American Food Hero Awardee. Jose is the Campaigns Director at HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Food Alliance a multi-sector coalition representing over 50 organizations in food and agriculture. Jose Oliva was born in Xelaju, Guatemala.
Thursday, January 21 | 8:30-10:00am PT
Farmworkers on the Forefront: Connecting Our Struggles for Liberation
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Born in Bellingham, Washington to a migrant farmworker family, Mily worked in agricultural fields since age eight. Mily was a union organizer with the UFW in the 70s and 80s, while raising her son as a single mom. She co-founded “Mujeres Mexicanas”, and co-founded Líderes Campesinas in 1992, the first state-based farmworker women's grassroots organization, where she served as Executive Director for 12 years. In 2011 co-founded Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, as the first national grassroots based farmworker women's organization. Mily has won numerous awards for her tireless efforts, has earned multiple degrees, and sits on many advisory boards.
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
Elvira is Lead Community Organizer and co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. She is from Michoacán, Mexico where her parents were farmworkers. She has worked picking lemons, okra, harvesting wheat, and in nurseries in Florida. As lead community organizer for Alianza, she works with farmworker groups as well as organizations around the country, advocating to advance the rights of communities and farmworker women.
Rita Mancera Hernandez
Serving as Executive Director of Puente in Pescadero, CA for 13 years now, Rita’s goals are to continue closing the gap in education for community members, increasing services so youth can succeed, expanding local leadership, and supporting local individuals and families to move out and stay out of poverty. Puente is the region’s only community resource center, providing critical resources to farmworkers and their families including healthcare, childcare, education, scholarships, food and nutrition assistance, legal and immigration assistance, rental assistance, and voter registration. Rita was born in Mexico City and grew up in Baja California Sur.
Gerardo Reyes Chavez
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Gerardo Reyes Chavez is a senior staff member with the award-winning human rights organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Mr. Reyes is a farmworker and has worked in the fields since age 11, first as a peasant farmer in Mexico and then in the fields of Florida picking oranges, tomatoes, blueberries, and watermelon. Mr. Reyes has worked with consumer allies to organize national actions in the Campaign for Fair Food. As part of the implementation of the Fair Food Program, Mr. Reyes conducts workers’ rights education with thousands of farmworkers on participating tomato farms.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)
Greg Asbed co-founded CIW as well as the coalition’s Fair Food Program (FFP), and is a principal architect of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) model. WSR is a breakthrough, cross-sector approach to verifiable corporate accountability that emphasizes the leadership of the rights holders in the monitoring of their own rights and the rigorous enforcement of standards through market-based consequences. Greg coordinates relations amongst transnational corporate buyers, industry suppliers, and farmworkers. Greg also consults with other industries and sectors on the adaptation of the FFP and the WSR model to other contexts. Greg is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow and spent 18 seasons harvesting watermelons across the Southeastern United States.
Thursday, January 21 | 4:30-6:00pm PT
Visions of Regenerative Agriculture
Descolonización e Indigenización de la Agricultura Regenerativa
Advancing Eco Agriculture
John Kempf is a leading crop health consultant and designer of innovative soil and plant management systems. He is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a plant nutrition and biostimulants consulting company. A top expert in the field of biological and regenerative farming, John founded AEA in 2006 to help fellow farmers by providing the education, tools, and strategies that will have a global effect on the food supply and those who are growing that supply. John is the host of the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast, where he interviews top scientists and growers about the science and principles of implementing regenerative agriculture on a large scale. He has a unique ability to simplify and clearly explain complex concepts in the areas of soil and plant health, and skillfully discusses the larger social and environmental impacts of food, agriculture, and ecology. John’s mission is to provide support to the world’s farmers and globally impact our food supply.
Regenerative Agriculture Alliance
Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin began working on economic development projects with indigenous Guatemalan communities in 1988. He served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and as an advisor to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. He was a founding member of the Fair-Trade Federation in 1994. Haslett-Marroquin is an owner-founder of Regeneration Farms LLC, and Founder and President of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance. Regi was awarded a prestigious lifetime Ashoka Fellowship in 2018 for his work in Regenerative Poultry Systems, which is at the center of a multitude of national and international initiatives. This system is designed to be uniquely aligned with the social and economic, conditions of new, immigrant, and small farms and marginalized communities. The system is designed for large-scale and global impact. Regi is the author of In the Shadow of Green Man, My Journey from Poverty and Hunger to Food Security and Hope, available from the publisher acresusa.org, Amazon.com, and numerous other book sellers.
Friday, January 22 | 8:30-9:45am PT
Successful Organic Farmers
B & B Farm, Petal, Mississippi
Ben Burkett is a fourth-generation farmer in Petal, Mississippi.His family has been growing food on the same plot of land since 1889, when his great-grandfather received a homestead from the U.S. government just 24 years after the end of the Civil War. It was one of the first African American-owned farms in the state. Since then, the farm has grown to roughly 320 acres. Depending on the season, his fields grow okra, kale, turnips, rutabaga, watermelon, sweet corn, eggplant, and a wide variety of peppers. He sells his produce to restaurants in New Orleans as well as local grocery stores and farmers markets. Before Hurricane Katrina destroyed his fences, the farm also hosted livestock: Chickens, goats, sheep, cattle, hogs, ducks, and turkeys. In 2014, he won a James Beard Foundation award for his work to support family farming.
Gilliard Farm, Brunswick, Georgia
Althea lives and works in Atlanta, but her passion for Gilliard Farms keeps her traveling back and forth 4 hours each way on the weekends to make sure work gets done. When her brother suggested they get back to the farm together about 10 years ago, Althea was still on active duty. As soon as the opportunity arose, she dove head first into farm life out of a deep interest in serving her community. To Althea, the community interest is her personal interest.
Gilliard Farm, Brunswick, Georgia
Raiford grew up breaking the dirt and trading crookneck squash for sweet potatoes, raising hogs and chickens, and only going to the grocery store for sundries. After a military career then graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Raiford returned to the farm in 2011 to continue the traditions of his Gullah-Geechee heritage and to create an authentic farm-to-fork experience for locals. He received certification as an ecological horticulturalist from the University of California’s Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. He served until recently as the program coordinator and associate professor of culinary arts at the College of Coastal Georgia. In 2015, Raiford, the former executive chef at Little St. Simon’s Resort, and his partner, Jovan Sage, a food alchemist, opened The Farmer and the Larder on Newcastle Street, helping jumpstart the revival of Brunswick’s historic downtown. Raiford has appeared in Southern Living, Golden Isles, Paprika Southern, and Savannah magazines, and is a frequent presenter at food and wine festivals throughout the country.
Saturday, January 23 | 9:45-11:00am PT
Farming is Medicine: Transforming our World through Agroecology
With rising temperatures, in the midst of a pandemic, surrounded by wildfires and social breakdown, the ways of interacting that have brought us to this moment are proving unhealthy, unsustainable and gravely dangerous. Drawing on data from the health sciences, history, ecology and soil science, physician, writer and farmer’s wife Dr. Rupa Marya will describe how agroecology can serve as the leading edge of transformational practices that can directly heal what ails us. Human health starts in the soil, mediated through the dialogue between the soil and gut with their respective microbiome. How we tend the soil must also reflect how we tend the people who tend the soil, how we tend the water, and how we tend to each other. Boldly articulating the need for a culture of care, she will show how colonialism fundamentally altered key ways of relating that held our health and the health of the planet in balance. Through the impact of decolonizing food and medicine, farmers and farmworkers play a crucial role as the ultimate stewards of our health.
Rupa Marya is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in the Division of Hospital Medicine with a focus on Social Medicine. She is a co-founder of the Do No Harm Coalition, a group of healthcare workers committed to changing social structures that make health impossible for different groups of people.
Rupa’s work in social advocacy in health has earned her trust from the indigenous communities where she lives, in Ohlone territory and in places where she has served, such as Lakota territory.
In 2016, she was invited to Standing Rock to assist with medical response to increasing state violence towards indigenous people protecting their sovereign land in the face of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Through her investigations, she has been developing an understanding of the greatest health challenges we face, including climate change, as a consequence of colonialism and the interruption of traditional ways of caring. At the invitation of Lakota elders, she is helping to develop a clinic to decolonize food and medicine in Lakota territory to serve the indigenous communities, the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic and Farm.
Rupa advocates deeply for creating a culture of care as the most effective way to manifest impactful change in population health. She believes the interruption of ways of caring through colonial structures disproportionately causes the suffering of Black, Brown and Indigenous people around the world. Through changing those colonial structures and through reasserting the primacy of our relationships to the earth, to our foods and to one another, holistic health for all becomes achievable. As a physician in partnership with regenerative farmer Benjamin Fahrer, Rupa is studying how regenerative farming practices directly impact human health through the connections between the respective microbiota of the gut and soil.
Currently Rupa is writing a book making a case for a global culture of care with writer, economist and activist Raj Patel, entitled Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice. The book is a boldly original analysis of health and sickness, due to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Penguin Press in August 2021. In addition to her work in medicine and writing, Rupa is the composer and front-woman for Rupa and the April Fishes, a polyglot band who has traveled to over 29 countries sharing musical soundscapes of building an alternative world that is beautiful, inspiring, deep and empowering. She attributes her holistic view of health and wellness as the direct outcome of playing music professionally for over 20 years.