Michelle is the Education Director for Farmshare Austin, a non-profit with a mission to grow a healthy local food community by increasing food access, teaching new farmers and preserving farmland. Michelle runs Farmshare's Farmer Starter program, a 5 month farmer training program designed to provide aspiring farmers with the essential skills and training needed to manage a sustainable farming business. She also created and manages Farmshare Land Link to connect landowners with farmers seeking land.
Ty Burk owns and operates Westfold Farm, LLC, a pastured chicken operation in Driftwood, Texas, dedicated to the preservation and restoration of heritage poultry. He has partnered with local chefs to provide heritage chickens to restaurants in the Austin area beginning in 2020. Ty is the Co-Executive Director of the Sustainable Poultry Network. His passion for sustainable agriculture began while obtaining his MBA in International Development. In his spare time, Ty enjoys experimenting with Korean Natural Farming, watching Premier League Soccer, and spending time with his wife and family.
Lauri Celella is owner and manager of Poetry Dorpers and Dry Creek Livestock along with her husband David Celella, DVM. Lauri is in the Holistic Management certified educator training program. She uses HMI planned grazing methods to graze 140 Dorper Sheep and 20 Devon cattle. She is a board member of the American Dorper Sheep Breeders Society.
Hernan Colmenero, a Rio Grande Valley native, completed his double B.A. in Art Education & Philosophy. He taught middle school International Baccalaureate Visual Arts at McAllen ISD, where he and a team developed the district’s 6th-8th grade curriculum. shortly thereafter, he embarked on a tour of Cuban sustainable agriculture and food systems with Food First. For five years now, he’s worked with IDEA Public Schools Farm Program to increase healthy food access and remind students where food comes from. Most recently, he created a Food Systems course for grades 11-12 and is launching a new farm every year.
Skip Connett is a farmer, journalist and activist, who was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. He and his wife created Green Gate Farms in 2006 after careers in public health.
Justin has a BS in Agronomy from Prairie View A&M University, an 1890 Land Grant Institution, and an MS in Plant Breeding from Texas A&M University. He's 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 formerly served as the Houston region director of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and is currently doing cover crop research in south Texas.
Shawn Fagan, and his lovely wife Meredith, run Fagan Family Farms. They grow certified organic vegetables for specialty wholesalers and many upscale restaurants in the Downtown Austin area. Fagan is the Board Vice President for the Central Texas Farmers Co-op (CTFC). In the warmest months, Fagan can be found working in Wyoming, Idaho, or Montana, leading mountain expeditions for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). He is a graduate from the University of Texas, and has a medical background as a Wilderness-EMT and Wilderness First Responder. When he is not working, Fagan enjoys teaching, consulting, and spending time outdoors with his wife and dogs.
James is currently a parts representative at United Ag & Turf Waco. He has a diversity of experience from his last two jobs as a farm manager at World Hunger Inc. and an ag teacher at Methodist Children’s Home. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, bee-keeping and caring for his chickens. He holds a MASTERS OF AgRICULTURE in Ag Development from Texas A&M University.
Having started farming in 2010 as an apprentice on a small organic farm in Maine, Tommy went on to farm in Iowa and Nicaragua before eventually starting Finca Tres Robles in 2014 with his brothers Mark and Dan. Just east of Downtown Houston, Finca Tres Robles is the only privately operated farm inside the 610 loop, growing seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs on half of the 1.5 acre property. Working to serve their immediate community, Finca Tres Robles strives to be a resource for more then just fresh produce by also hosting hands on classes, field trips for all ages and community and private events.
Heather is the Food Access Director at Farmshare Austin, where she oversees a Mobile Market program serving Austin and Travis County. The Fresh for Less Mobile Markets aggregate local produce, eggs, and honey and bring the products at reduced cost into communities facing socioeconomic and geographic barriers to accessing fresh, healthy food. Heather's background is in sustainable agriculture and food access.
Alphina Ho Watson
For over thirty years, Dr. Diana Jerkins has worked in the area of sustainable agriculture - teaching, conducting research, and managing research funding at land grant universities and with the federal government. Currently, she is the Senior Scientist for the Organic Farming Research Foundation in California leading their efforts to provide direct funding to researchers, farmers and ranchers to conduct scientific research and educational advancements for organic producers. Prior to joining OFRF, Dr. Jerkins was a National Program Leader and Division Director for Integrated Programs with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Her areas of expertise include food production systems, natural resource use, ecosystem services, and small to medium sized farming systems. She holds degrees from Emory University and the University of Georgia in psychology, agronomy, and entomology. She consults internationally on sustainable agriculture issues, including organic and Natural Agriculture practices. Dr. Jerkins also owns a farm in Virginia producing vegetable crops for direct market sales.
Katie Jolander is a Farm Loan Officer for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), currently covering 12 counties in South Central Texas. She has worked for FSA for 12 years and has held her current position for 6 years. Katie is a Texas State Department of Agriculture alumni, with a Bachelor's in Agriculture Education and Agribusiness Management. She grew up in Northern California on her family’s dairy farm.
Charles L Kneuper
Charles is a State Rangeland Management Specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Travis Krause is the co-founder of Parker Creek Ranch and Ranch Marketing Solutions. He is a full-time rancher and consultant alongside his wife Mandy and their two sons, Jack and Max. Travis was born and raised on his family’s ranch in South Texas. He earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University and worked several years abroad in India, Ecuador, and other developing countries. Travis realized the practical limitations of his work and felt called back to his family ranch where he studied and experimented with sustainable agriculture techniques and production methods, business management, and a variety of agricultural subjects. He was profoundly influenced by the writing and teaching of Joel Salatin, Allan Savory, and others, and now Travis, Mandy, and their sons are successful leaders in the Texas regenerative agriculture movement.
Kara Kroeger is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology in San Antonio, Texas. Kara earned a bachelor’s in general agriculture at Texas State University in 2018. One of Kara's specialties is helping producers become compliant with FSMA and GAP regulations to improve wholesale readiness. Additionally, Kara became a Certified Herbalist at the Rocky Mountain Center of Botanical Studies in 1999, a Certified Nutritionist at the American Health Science University in 2003, and started training as a chef in 2009. She has owned Foundation Culinary, a private chef business since 2009.
Annelies Lottmann is one of the foremost experts on cooperatives in Texas. She helps new cooperatives start and thrive through her work with the Texas Rural Cooperative Center, Yard to Market Co-op and The Austin Cooperative Business Association. When she’s not busy cooperating, you can find Annelies out in the garden.
Susie Marshall is founder and Executive Director of GROW North Texas, a Dallas-based nonprofit that cultivates healthy food communities by strengthening local food production and improving access to fresh, nutritious food. She has 16 years of experience working with food producers and food assistance programs distributing surplus fruits and vegetables. Susie has also worked with the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association since 2010. Susie has degrees from Texas Wesleyan University, Texas A&M – Commerce, and Perkins School of Theology at SMU.
Judith McGeary is 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 (FARFA) 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.
Tim has been a Certified Organic grower for 31 years, utilizing only small amounts of saved rainwater for all his crop production. His farm has over 140 fruit and pecan trees on 5 acres, creating a permaculture environment with an array of vegetables beds within. He is Currently expanding his heirloom allium production on an adjacent 12 acre field that is certified organic using dryland farming techniques.
Kasey Mire is the co-owner of Reverse Pioneers, a small family farm in Blanco, TX that strives for land regeneration and ethical farm management. Reverse Pioneers currently produces microgreens and quail eggs on their 10-acre farm.
Colin has a bachelor's in Government and a minor in Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas in Austin. He is a former Permaculture Research Institute of Australia Project Management Intern, and a PRI certified Permaculture Designer. Colin spent the years after his internship working on and managing sustainable agriculture and development projects across central Texas and the U.S. As a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist for the National Center for Technology (NCAT) Colin works on projects related to soil health, payments for ecosystem services, local food, regenerative ranching and farming, and much more.
Julie Morrison is the farm and livestock Manager of the 500-acre Ross Farm, located in Granger, TX. She is also the Inventory Manager at Sustainable Growth Central Texas, an organic lawn care service and product provider. Julie holds a Bachelor’s in Animal Science from Texas A&M.
Cameron served as CEO and GM for eight years at the first commercial organic feed mill in Texas and one of the largest organic pasture-based egg farms in the state. Today, he is Co-CEO of Greener Pastures Chicken, a regenerative organic pasture-raised chicken farm in Texas. Cameron currently serves as President and Treasurer of The Cornucopia Institute Board of Directors and as a member of the Real Organic Project Standards Board.
austin moline is a permaculturist who has been working in agriculture for the last six years. His experience ranges from working on a veggie CSA in Oregon to being an apple orchard assistant in Massachusetts. He currently manages a pecan orchard and is developing a holistic farming operation on family land with his wife in Elgin, TX.
Carolina has been involved in improving the food system for almost a decade. As president of the Central Texas Young Farmers Coalition, she has been working to support and advocate on behalf of young & beginning growers. Now, a student of public policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, she is looking to weave community-based actions into big-picture change.
Aubrey is a small central Texas poultry and pork producer in his fifth year of farming as Belle Vie Farm and Kitchen, a family run business with a focus on organic and sustainable practices. They direct market raw and added value products at local markets and farm to table restaurants.
Jeremy Peaches of Houston Tx is the founder of Fresh Life Organic FLO Farms and President of RST Bio Science Sustainable Agriculture Consultants. Jeremy graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a degree in Agriculture in 2015. He a young agri-prenuer that has worked with numerous farmers, local, state, and federal organizations.
Ashley Pellerin is the Extension Program Specialist for livestock programming at Prairie View A&M University. She has a B.S. From Tuskegee University in Animal Science and an M.S. from Tennessee State University in Agricultural Science. She has been in the Extension system in Texas for 7 years, 5 of those were as a County Agent. She loves all animals but she has a special place in her heart for goats.
After studying agricultural ecology at the University of California Santa Cruz, David worked on various farms in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1980s. David and his wife Katie started growing organic vegetables in Central Texas in 1993 under the name Tecolote Farm. It is the longest running CSA in the South.
lynn remsing has Farmed for 50 plus years owning and managing Gnismer Farms, Located in the Dallas Fort Worth and Waco area. he Has provided both experience and equipment training to over 2700 farmers nationwide and worked with Universities and fortune 500 Companies on growing techniques for new Fruits and Vegetables. he has worked with large and small growers to provide expertise on time saving equipment and techniques to give them the time and expertise to market their produce.
Pedro Schambon Jr.
Pedro has been a Certified Organic farmer since 2008. His farm is also GAP/GHP/FSMA Certified by USDA. He has experience with Farmers Market, CSA, Restaurants, distributors and wholesaling to HEB and Central Market. He has spent the past 4 years developing a Pro-Farmer Software to handle day to day operation of a farm.
Christine was born in Argentina from a ranching family, raised in Brazil and moved to Michigan to earn a B.S. in Business at Eastern Michigan University and M.S. in Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. She now lives in Madison County, TX where she raises clean and nutrient dense lamb, pork, beef, turkey and eggs to help customers heal their bodies. Christine is passionate about food as medicine, regenerative agriculture and Holistic Management, and works with various individuals and teaches a variety of courses. As a HMI Certified Educator (In Training), Christine hopes to work to help others learn to manage their resources in a way that keeps the business, land, family and community healthy.
Matt Simon is the farm Manager at Green Gate Farms, a certified organic produce farm near Bastrop, TX. He is also the Farm Director at New Leaf Agriculture, a non-profit that creates livelihoods for refugees. He serves as the Vice President of the Central Texas Young Farmers Coalition, and sits on the board of the Central Texas Farmers Cooperative.
Scott Snodgrass is at least a 4th generation Texan and has lived in Houston for most of his life. He is passionate about seeing viable systems for local food production thrive. Scott has spent time in the garden center, landscaping and restaurant industries as well as farming (certified organic, regenerative) and education. He is excited to see high quality produce grown in urban areas and made available to all people.
Katherine Tanner and her partner Bradley Ottmers own and operate Hat & Heart Farm near Fredericksburg, TX. The couple recently phased the farm into its second generation and hope to continue the legacy their multigenerational farming family has created before them for generations to come. Katherine herself is a first generation farmer learning among longtime experienced farmers as well as carving her own identity, flavor, and stamp of flare on the family business.
Bertha T. Venegas
bertha is the State Outreach Specialist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas. In her position, she serves as NRCS Liaison coordinating outreach efforts with organizations that work closely with minority farmers and ranchers providing program information for the planning and application of conservation work. She manages the state outreach operations including grant opportunities for conservation work in urban and rural areas.
Tracy S Whitehead
Tracy is a young farmer in central Texas. He started his first farm management internship back in 2012. Since then he has helped manage four different farms and consulted with many smaller growing operations. He is currently the Barn Manager at Johnson's Backyard Garden and is going on his 5th year there.
Samuel has worked in farming and ranching his entire life. His family has operated a cattle ranch in the Colorado/Fayette county area for 6 generations. They also had poultry and pork operations in years past.