Speakers

Olivier De Schutter

Olivier De Schutter is a legal academic and human rights expert. A Harvard graduate now resident in Belgium, he was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in March 2008 and assumed his functions on 1 May 2008.  He still teaches international human rights law, European Union law and legal theory at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, as well as at the College of Europe. He is also a visiting professor at Columbia University. Additionally, he is a visiting scholar (2010-2012) at American University Washington College of Law's Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. 

Scott Swinton

Scott M. Swinton is a professor of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. He teaches ecological economics and agricultural production economics. His economic research on agricultural production and environmental management focuses on technology evaluation and policy analysis. He concentrates on problems involving ecosystem services, bioenergy, crop pest and nutrient management, precision agriculture, resource conservation, and management of risks to human health and incomes.

Ruth Ozeki

Ruth Ozeki is an award-winning filmmaker and novelist.  Her first novel, My Year of Meats (Viking Penguin, 1998) is a tale about global meat and media production, telling the story of two women on opposite sides of the planet connected by a cooking show.

Ozeki’s second novel, All Over Creation (Viking Penguin, 2003) shifts from meat to potatoes in a story of a family farmer, his prodigal daughter, an itinerant gang of environmental activists, and a New Age corporate spin doctor, whose lives collide in Idaho.

Ozeki was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, by an American father and a Japanese mother. She studied English and Asian Studies at Smith College and traveled extensively in Asia. Ozeki returned to New York in 1985 beginning a film career as an art director, switching to television production, and after several years directing documentary-style programs for a Japanese company, she started making her own films.

Anupama Joshi

Anupama Joshi has spent years helping children understand the importance of "growing the good." Originally from India, Anupama arrived in the United States 10 years ago, after spending several years living in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe. Anupama started her career in nutrition and now leads the National Farm to School Network, an organization supporting the implementation of Farm to School programs across the country.

Farm to School programs connect schools (pre K-12) with local farms to increase healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, provide agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and support local and regional farmers.

Anupama’s interest in food began in her childhood kitchen. "My mom was a strong influence in exciting me about healthy food," Anapuma recounts. "I was often involved in food prep by my mom’s side and at an early age understood the importance of investing time in cooking so that what you serve is not just good, but great."

Those experiences as a child have come full circle with her own son. "I was seven months pregnant when I took the job with the Farm to School Network. I saw it as not just another job, but an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening in schools and with children’s health."

The National Farm to School Network’s success is reflected in its rapid expansion throughout the country. "In 2005, we had five regional organizations involved and saw Farm to School programs in 23 states," Anupama states. Today, the National Farm to School Network includes eight Regional Lead Agencies that coordinate activities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with the support of 50 State Farm to School Leads. Anupama, her colleagues and the organization’s regional groups support Farm to School programs by providing free training and technical assistance, informational resources, networking opportunities, and support for policy development, media and marketing, and research. This year the Network is gearing up to host the 6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Burlington, VT in early August.

And the effect of Anupama’s work has also been felt in her own home. She describes her son’s participation in a nutrition class: “At the end of the lesson, my son went up to his teacher to ask, ‘Do you know where your food comes from?’ He continued by explaining the concept of Farm to School, which led to his teacher inviting me to do a presentation on local foods for students and school administration. Their school now has their own garden and conducts taste tests to engage kids in trying out new foods.”

Anupama hopes the National Farm to School Network’s effective structure will serve as a model for other organizations working to grow the good. You can find out how to reach the Farm to School Network on the Fair Food List, which includes numerous organizations led by passionate and dedicated people such as Anupama. "What Oran has been doing with Fair Food Network is really impressive. Bringing his experiences from the foundation world to Fair Food Network is helpful for all of us." Anupama can now use the Fair Food List to help expand the Farm to School Network even further!

Learn more about the National Farm to School Network at farmtoschool.org.

Dr. John Peck

Dr. John Peck teaches in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at The University of Akron. He works with students to study both natural and human impacts on the earth’s water cycle. He has been the principal investigator on eight U.S. National Science Foundation grants to study past climate variability in Russia, Mongolia and Ghana. These studies have revealed important global linkages in the climate system. Closer to home, Dr. Peck studies environmental change and sedimentary processes in Ohio rivers and lakes. With students, he has examined the impacts of dams on the Cuyahoga River and how historic land-use changes have affected streams and lakes. In his presentation, Peck will provide an overview of the dynamic Lake Erie shoreline, including field research made by students in his Coastal Geology course.

Eugene Braig

Eugene Braig is the Program Director of the Aquatic Ecosystems Extension at The Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory.  He studied in The Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources program and served as a TA and seasonal employee at Stone Laboratory until 2004 when he was hired there full time.  He has served as President of the American Fisheries Society’s Ohio Chapter in the 2006 term and is the current Chair of its Stewardship Committee. Braig is also the current President of the Ohio Chapter of the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals, Chair-Elect of the National Sea Grant Association’s Research Coordinators, a member of the Ohio Fish & Wildlife Management Association, an alternate member of the International Joint Commission’s Council of Great Lakes Research Managers, a member of the Steering Committee of the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist Program, a Trustee of The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance (a citizen conservation group), and Faculty Advisor to both the Buckeye Friends of Stone Lab and TerrAqua, the student chapter of the Soil & Water Conservation Society at OSU.

In addition to a passion for fish, fishes, fishing, and fisheries, he is a part-time classical musician, a regular member of a few professional chamber ensembles, and serve as Artistic Director of the Columbus Guitar Society’s concert series.

Braig’s research interests include fish impacts on water quality in shallow systems and wetlands, piscivorous fishes as biomanipulation tools in small impoundments and managed wetlands, fish assemblages of restored systems, fishes as bioindicators of aquatic-system health, Great Lakes ichthyoplankton, and aquatic macrophyte assemblages.

Joel Salatin

Joel F. Salatin (born 1957) is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef.

Salatin raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, selling meat from the farm using direct-marketing to consumers and restaurants.

Salatin attended Bob Jones University where he majored in English, graduating in 1979. He became a feature writer at the Staunton, Virginia newspaper, The News Leader.  Tired of “having his stories spiked,” he decided to try farming full-time after getting involved in a walnut-buying station run by two high school boys.

Salatin, a self-described “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-Farmer” produces high-quality “beyond organic” meats, which are raised using environmentally responsible, ecologically beneficial, sustainable agriculture. Salatin considers his farming a ministry, condemning the negative impact on his livelihood of what he considers an increasingly regulatory approach taken by the United States government toward farming.

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