Featured Speakers

Featured speakers for the 2015 conference will be announced this fall. 

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2014 Speakers

Saturday

Michael Rozyne: Something Bigger

Michael RozyneGetting our vision of an organic future BIG enough to cover broad issues is critical, but it’s not the hardest part of our work. Fitting in to something bigger –forging alliances and partnerships outside the organic world so we can tackle those broad issues – that is our hardest work. Can we do it, and how?

Michael Rozyne is executive director of Red Tomato, a non-profit produce “food hub” based in Plainville, MA. In 1986, he co-founded fair trade coffee company Equal Exchange, now a leading US fair trade company. Rozyne started Red Tomato in 1996 to bring fair trade principles to farmers in the US and to make local produce available in a grocery store near you.


Sunday

FarmsTED Talks

Inspired by the TEDTalks format of brief but excellent presentations on “ideas worth spreading,” we are featuring a series of shorter talks on Sunday highlighting four people who address our conference theme of Growing Outside the Box.

Dorn CoxDorn Cox is an organic grain grower at Tuckaway Farm in Lee NH; the Director of Green Start, an organization working towards food and fuel security; and co-founder of Farm Hack, an open source community for resilient agriculture.

Dorn will focus on how Farm Hack brings non-farmers into the agricultural innovation process and widens the definition of who is part of the local food system.

 

Chris Dutton 

Chris Dutton is the Agricultural Programs Director at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Chris brings his experience as a dairy farmer and veterinarian to educate the next generation of farmers at VTC.

He will talk about how education can create the best farmers for Vermont by teaching the keys to farm independence: science, business skills, and critical thinking.

 

Helen Whybrow

 

Helen Whybrow raises purebred Icelandic sheep and organic high-bush blueberries with her family at Knoll Farm in Fayston.

During the past growing season, Helen and independent filmmaker Michael Sacca interviewed Vermont farmers about why they choose to be certified organic. Helen will show the resulting short film, Organic Matters, and talk about the organic movement’s potential for growth and influence.

 

Darlene Wolnik

 

Darlene Wolnik lives in New Orleans, and works as a facilitator, researcher and analyst for community food systems across the U.S.; she has been working with Vermont’s farmers’ markets since 2011.

Darlene will address the question of bringing more of the population into the “pop-up tent” of local food systems. How do we invite everyone in while still allowing for the slow but steady growth of small family farms and producers?