Banquet Keynote Speaker: Ellen Polishuk
Other Speakers Include:
Scott Marlow is Senior Policy Specialist at the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, a non-profit organization based in Pittsboro, NC. Previously RAFI’s Executive Director, Scott also directed RAFI's Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers who are increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. Scott's specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit, risk management and disaster assistance programs, and how that infrastructure addresses food security and global climate change.
Scott Sroufe is a Marketing Coordinator with Texas Department of Agriculture’s Trade and Business Development Division where he works directly with Specialty Crop Marketing, Farmers Markets, and Certified Retirement Communities. Previously he worked for TDA in the Food and Nutrition Division as an Events Specialist working with exhibits, trade shows, and conferences for the agency. Before coming to TDA, Scott spent 20+ years in vocational ministry and several years in public education as a teacher. He received his B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Cody Bryant Creech found his way into vegetable gardening and homesteading over ten years ago and has been keeping chickens for 5 years. He was a tattoo artist for sixteen years, allowing his creativity to flourish. Later he took a job at Geo Growers in Austin making "hot rod" soils for every growing purpose. Now he cares for the grounds of Elgin Independent School District. His intuition with plants and the soil has always been firmly grounded, but working for Geo Growers opened doors into an elegant universe of soil structure, microbes, and mycorrhizae, and all that relates to the growing of vigorous plants. In Cody's own words, "Gardening is therapy...it is ALL love...it is hard work...and you reap what you sow. Live passionately!"
Kolby Monnig has years of experience in the political arena. As a former senior staff member in the Texas Legislature, Campaign Manager for statewide office and now business owner of her political consulting business, Blue Ocean Strategic Solutions, Ms. Monnig has extensive knowledge in navigating the legislative process.