2019 CFS Annual Event speakers

Sommer Sibily-Brown
Keynote: 9:45 a.m.

Sommer is a local food systems advocate and the founder and executive director of the Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition, Inc. (VIGFC). VIGFC seeks to raise awareness about the importance and impact of a healthy local food system in the territory.

Sue Beckwith
Panelist: 10:30 a.m.

Sue is executive director of the Texas Center for Local Food (TCLF). TCLF collaborates with organizations across Texas and the US to develop local food enterprises that support Texas sustainable agriculture and rural job creation. Sue is a former farmer, and past president of Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. 

Alyssa McKim
Panelist: 10:30 a.m.

Alyssa supports organizations and county agents throughout the state of NC with a focus on developing sustainable, place-based garden programs in low resource communities. She provides design consultation and technical training, with a focus on community-based decision making and asset building.

Marie Boyd
Panelist: 10:30 a.m.

Marie is the incoming executive director for Healthy Harvest of North Iowa. She has led efforts around farmers market partnership development, live recipe demonstration and cooking class programming, producer networking, and more. She is a board member of the Iowa Farmers Market Association, the North Iowa Farmers Market (NIFM), and the Hampton Community Farmers Market.

Celise Weems
Panelist: 10:30 a.m.

Celise is an economist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, where she supports specialty crop direct-to-consumer producers in their marketing efforts. Celise has worked with ag companies most of her career, including USDA and Dow Chemical.

Rachael Miller
Panelist: 10:30 a.m.

Rachael’s career in food systems spans the United States Peace Corps, commercial fishing in Dutch Harbor, sustainable seafood digital tool development, and researching street food markets in West Africa. She currently studies food systems and teaches business classes at Alaska Pacific University (APU). She is co-chair of the Alaska Food Policy Council.

Arthur Neal
Keynote: 11:45 a.m.

Arthur is the deputy administrator of USDA’s Transportation and Marketing (TM) Program, which is under the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  Arthur provides leadership and direction for awarding over $120 million dollars in grant programs that support the development and growth of local and regional food systems. 

Emily Coll
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Emily is a program coordinator for the ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program. She works with people from all aspects of the food system; farmers, processors, distributors, aggregators, and consumers. She coordinates the MarketReady program, helping producers prepare to sell to wholesale markets.

Beth Grabau
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Beth is the executive director for the Iowa based non-profit Veterans In Agriculture. Working with our nation's veterans and active military, she assists those interested in transitioning into production agriculture or into agribusiness. 

Darlene Knipe
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Dar is co-founder of the national Food MarketMaker program, an internet-based interactive mapping system that connects food producers to markets and aggregates food systems data for research and policy-making purposes.

Ron Rainey
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Ron is an economics professor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. He directs the Southern Risk Management Education Center, is Program Director for University of Arkansas Center for Agriculture and Rural Sustainability, and is Program Director and National Board member of MarketMaker.

Chris Seeger
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Chris is a professor and extension specialist in Landscape Architecture and Geospatial Technology at ISU. He specializes in the integration of geospatial technologies, collaborative design technologies, crowd-sourcing and data visualization to help community planning and design.

Christa Hartsook
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Christa coordinates ISU's small farms program. She provides technical assistance to small farmers and acreage owners, including outreach and education on value-added agriculture topics. She also manages the national Ag Marketing Resource Center and serves as USDA SARE coordinator for Iowa.

Tony Thompson
Presenter: 1 p.m.

Tony is a little bit data scientist, a little bit farmer, a little bit local foods guru, and a whole lot entrepreneurial. Tony oversees Prudent Produce's #GoodFoodDelivered service that connects more than 300 central Iowa families with fresh produce and a whole lot more.

Kathleen Liang
Presenter: 2 p.m.

Kathleen is an award-winning educator and the founder of Dollar Enterprise, who has designed, developed, and implemented one of the most innovative entrepreneurship programs in the US. For more than 30 years, she has studied multifunctional agriculture, food deserts, food networks, and incorporating Big Data in solving challenges.

Margaret Murphy
Presenter: 2 p.m.

Margaret is an extension horticulture educator and regional food coordinator serving Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux Counties in northwest Iowa. Her areas of expertise include educational outreach in consumer horticulture, community food system connections, development of donation and community gardens, and garden writing.

Gary Matteson
Presenter: 2 p.m.

Gary is the Farm Credit Council’s Vice President of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach. This includes policy work on local foods and direct-to-consumer agriculture. He frequently speaks to beginning farmer audiences on basic financial skills. 

Carly McAndrews
Presenter: 3 p.m.

Carly is a student in the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture at ISU. She works on a collaborative donation gardening project called Growing Together Iowa, which offers mini-grants to Master Gardeners across the state who build or maintain donation gardens to address food insecurity in their communities.

Aubrey Alvarez
Presenter: 3 p.m.

Aubrey is co-founder and executive director of Eat Greater Des Moines. Eat Greater Des Moines started in April 2013 and unites the community in providing quality food access for all. She is a member of the leadership team for the Iowa Hunger Coalition, Regional Food System Working Group, and Hunger Free Dallas County Coalition.

Tina Bakehouse
Presenter: 3 p.m.

Tina currently serves Malvern Bank as the chief creative officer. Prior to that, Tina was the outreach and communication coordinator for Golden Hills RC&D, enhancing the arts, culture, and local foods in eight counties in Southwest Iowa.

Courtney Long
Capnote: 4 p.m.

Courtney is a program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates the Community Food Systems Program — a community process to develop and design local food systems in partnership with communities.