2014 Speakers

Keynote speakers

Peter Meehan

About Lucky Peach:Lucky Peach is a quarterly journal of food and writing. Each issue focuses on a single theme, and explores that theme through essays, art, photography, and recipes. Issue 10, the Street Food issue, is now available on newsstands and in bookstores near you. Subscribe to the magazine at store.lky.ph, and visit our website at lky.ph, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Peter Meehan: Peter Meehan is the editor of Lucky Peach. He has written for the New York Times, among other publications, and co-authored a handful of books, including the best- selling Momofuku cookbook. He helped conceive, create, and produce the PBS series The Mind of a Chef as well as PBS shows featuring Mark Bittman and Steve Raichlen.


Bren Smith

Bren Smith is the owner of Long Island Sound’s first vertical ocean farm and Executive Director and CEO of GreenWave. Called a “visionary” by Barton Seaver, Director of Harvard’s Healthy and Sustainable Food Program, Bren heads the development of sustainable ocean 3-D farming – the vertical cultivation of seaweed and shellfish in local waters. Smith’s farm is designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create blue-green jobs for fishermen – while ensuring healthy, local food for communities. In 2013, Smith was chosen as one of six “Ocean Heroes,” by Ocean and Future of Fish’s “Ocean Entrepreneur” of the year. His NGO, GreenWaves works to support a new generation of ocean farmers and innovators working to restore ecosystems, mitigate climate change and build a blue-green economy.


Mark Bomford

Mark Bomford is the Director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Mark’s career in the sustainable food movement began in 1997, when he founded the successful “Growing Schools” initiative with the LifeCycles Project Society in Victoria, BC, establishing school gardens and garden-based curricula throughout the city. He went on to coordinate the internationally-awarded “DIGS” youth empowerment and entrepreneurship project, and co-managed the society’s overall domestic and international urban agricultural operations. In 2001, Mark moved to the University of British Columbia, where he worked to re-invent the UBC Farm. He founded the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC in 2005, and led a rapid expansion that saw new cultivated crops, research projects, university courses, and community programs. Mark joined the Yale Sustainable Food Project in October 2011.

Presenters and Panelists


Amy Bentley

Amy Bentley is an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University. A historian with interests in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of food, she is the author of Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health and the Industrialization of the American Diet (University of California Press, 2014), Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity (University of Illinois Press, 1998), and editor of A Culture History of Food in the Modern Era (Berg, 2012). Bentley is co-founder of the Experimental Cuisine Collective, an interdisciplinary group of scientists, food studies scholars and chefs who study the intersection of science and food. She serves as editor for the journal Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research.

Laurie Beyranevand

Laurie Beyranevand is the Associate Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) and an Associate Professor of Law. She teaches Food Regulation and Policy, Public Law, Communications, Advocacy and Leadership, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation, and Advanced Writing for Dispute Resolution. She has served as the faculty advisor to the National Animal Law Moot Court Competition teams, and the ABA Negotiations and Client Counseling Teams. Professor Beyranevand received a BA from Rutgers College in 1999 and a JD from Vermont Law School in 2003. She clerked in the Environmental Division of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marie E. Lihotz in New Jersey.  Prior to joining the faculty at Vermont Law School, Professor Beyranevand was a Staff Attorney at Vermont Legal Aid where she represented adults and children in individual cases and class action litigation involving health law issues.  In that capacity, she appeared in state and federal court, as well as before administrative adjudicative bodies, and served as an appointed member of the Human Rights Committee.

Carole Biewener

Carole Biewener

Carole Biewener is a Professor of Economics and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Simmons College, Boston, MA. Her current research is on the political economy of food, with a focus on food system workers in the Boston metropolitan area and the determinants of economic viability for alternative food system initiatives. Recently she completed a collaborative research project with Marie-Hélène Bacqué (Professor of Urban Studies, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre) that traced the genealogy of the term “empowerment” in the fields of gender and development, urban policy and social work. Prior research and publications have addressed community development and social economy projects in the United States and Canada, debates at the intersection of poststructuralist feminism and postmodern Marxism, and the French Socialist government’s financial and industrial policies in the 1980s. Recent publications include “Feminism and the Politics of Empowerment in International Development” (forthcoming in Air and Space Power Journal–Africa and Francophonie); L’empowerment, une pratique emancipatrice (Editions La Découverte, 2013; Spanish translation forthcoming in 2015); and “Different manifestations of the concept of empowerment. The politics of urban renewal in the United States and Great Britain” (International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, August 2012). Professor Biewener teaches Women and Work, Women in the World Economy, Feminism and Economic Difference, Economic Development, and Principles of Microeconomics. She oversees the Economics Department Internship program, and was Coordinator for the interdisciplinary minor in Social Justice from 2004-2013.

Eating Invaders: Can We Manage Biological Invasions with a Fork and Knife? – Panelists


Joshua Galperin – Joshua Ulan Galperin is the Associate Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Clinical Director and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School. Josh oversees all operations of the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, including budgeting, fundraising, research, and teaching. His own research addresses the law of takings and just compensation, with a current focus on just compensation in the context of climate change adaptation; and the law and policy of invasive species management. Josh directs and co-teaches the Yale Environmental Protection Clinic. Prior to his positions at Yale, Josh worked for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) where he was a policy analyst and research attorney. In that position he established and managed SACE’s coal plant retirement campaign, which was a hybrid legal, grassroots, and analytical effort to catalyze retirement of the Southeast’s oldest, dirtiest, and least efficient coal plants. Before SACE, Josh was a legislative counsel for the Vermont General Assembly where he primarily staffed the House and Senate committees on agriculture. In that role he was involved with a number of bills that eventually became law including Vermont’s farm-to-plate investment program, dairy price stabilization, and creation of the Vermont Grape and Wine Council.Josh studied law at Vermont Law School where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the Vermont Law Review’s senior editorial board. He earned a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware.


Sara Kuebbing – Sara Kuebbing holds a Gaylord Donnelley Postdoctoral Environmental Fellowship from the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies. Sara is a research fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies where she studies the impacts of nonnative, invasive species on native communities and ecosystems. Currently, she is working to build better models for predicting when nonnative plants are likely to impact ecosystem processes, like decomposition and carbon cycling in forested ecosystem. Sara’s research also focuses on increasing public awareness of invasive species and to promote better state and federal policies to prevent the spread and impact of current and future invaders. Prior to coming to Yale, Sara worked with the Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy as the Program Coordinator of a statewide invasive species awareness campaign. Sara earned her doctoral degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware.

Saskia Cornes

Saskia Cornes is farm manager and program coordinator at the Duke Campus Farm. This one-acre farm, part of Duke University, is in its fourth season of working to catalyze change in the food system. Cornes has taught environmental humanities courses as a PhD student in English at Columbia University, and sustainable agriculture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz.


Helena Farrell

Helena currently works as an Associate Landscape Designer at Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield, Ma. and a Lecturer in the Sustainable Food and Farming program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she teaches Urban Agriculture courses online and in person.  She has a BA in Cultural Geography and Sustainable Human Habitat and a Masters in Landscape Architecture.  Her multidisciplinary education and experience inform Helena’s perspective as a designer and researcher.  By integrating skill sets and taking a holistic approach to problem-solving, her work addresses complex, critical issues of 21st century Human Ecology.

Her interest in farm systems comes from more than 13 years of practicing Biointensive Farming and Permaculture and developing the skills, knowledge and wisdom at the heart of Agricultural Systems Ecology.  In 2010, Agroecology became the focus of her masters project in which she developed a research method for evaluating farm system designs and assessing their agricultural, social, economic and ecological outcomes.  Her method has been applied to research in the U.K. and serves as the foundation for the courses she instructs at UMass, Amherst.

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Kim Gans

Kim M. Gans, PhD, MPH, LDN is currently Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Center for Health Interventions and Prevention at the University of Connecticut. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Brown University and was Director of the Brown Institute for Community Health at Brown University from 2009-2014. She has a BS degree in Biology from Duke University, an MPH in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Gans has over 28 years of experience in intervention development and evaluation research in community-based settings to improve eating habits and prevent obesity. This research has included health communication interventions with print and video; interventions to improve home, work and neighborhood nutrition and physical activity environments; and translational research to study the dissemination of effective nutrition and obesity prevention interventions into community and clinical settings. The majority of this research has been with ethnic minority, low income and/or low literate populations. She is the co-founder of Fresh To You, an innovative private partnership program that brings discount, fresh fruit and vegetable (F&V) markets to convenient locations near where people live and work.

How Global is My Local Milk? :  Compatibility between Perceived Attributes and the Reality of Local Produce – Presenters


Clare Gupta – Clare Gupta, National Science Foundation SEES (Science, Education and Engneering for Sustainability) postdoctoral fellow, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Clare Gupta’s recently completed dissertation work in the University of California Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management examined the implications of wildlife conservation for the livelihoods of rural communities living near protected areas in northern Botswana. This work drew from the fields of human geography and conservation studies to assess human migration patterns, agrarian change and community-based conservation around Chobe National Park.

She is now conducting an interdisciplinary research project that examines sustainability initiatives to “re-localize” agriculture in Hawaii, from a combined political and industrial ecological approach. More specifically, this research examines the different ways in which notions of food self-sufficiency and agricultural sustainability are articulated, the conditions that enable or disable re-localization of food production and the potential environmental impacts of re-localization.
Her recent publications include: “Elephants, safety nets and agrarian culture: understanding human-wildlife conflict and rural livelihoods around Chobe National Park, Botswana” Journal of Political Ecology (2013) and “Highlighting the shortcomings of CBNRM: The case of the Chobe Enclave” in Environmental Governance for Social Justice in Southern Africa (2013).

Tamar Makov – Mrs. Makov is a PhD student at the Center for Industrial Ecology at Yale, where her research focuses on sustainable consumption and food systems. Before attending Yale, Makov was a consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and the leader of the joint ministerial project for Well-being indicators. Prior to her work on Well-being, Makov was awarded a Koret-Milken institute fellowship where she focused on green building policy, sustainable consumerism and financing biodiversity. Mrs. Makov holds a BS.C in Nutritional Sciences from HUJI and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from IDC. She is an enthusiastic an experienced world traveler as well as a yachting fan currently earning a skipper license.

“Greenhorns, Growers, and Grains: Innovative Food Systems in the Willamette Valley, Oregon” – Panelists

Wendy Petersen Boring – Wendy Petersen Boring, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of History at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where she teaches pre-modern European history, women and gender studies, and sustainability studies. She has served as Chair of Willamette’s Sustainability Council and currently teaches food systems and food ethics at Willamette’s Zena Farm Summer Institute in Sustainable Agriculture. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University.


Marshall Curry – Marshall Curry has used his degree in Sociology (Willamette University 2013) to work alongside a local celebrity chef at Marion-Polk Food Share in Salem, Oregon to mass-produce the Better Burger (a vegan Quinoa-Burger). Since January he has worked to create a vocational training program within the Better Burger Program partnering with community organizations and expert volunteers to create a comprehensive, industry-backed, program while assuring food safety and quality control. Currently the speaker uses his background in Afterschool Programs, Innovative Pedagogies in Sustainability, and Leadership/Community Development to encourage youth and adults to move towards accomplishing their dreams.

Kyle Batisky – Kyle Batisky was born in Goshen NY and raised, the son of a golf course groundskeeper and high school swimming coach, in Scranton PA and later Pittsburgh PA. After studying for a year at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts he transferred to Willamette University and became involved with Zena Farm while also pursuing a degree in philosophy with minors in environmental science and history. He attended the Zena Farm Summer Institute in Sustainable Agriculture in the summer of 2013 and lived on the property as a farmhand for the remainder of the summer. Over the course of the summer of 2014 he worked as a garden educator with the Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Farm. Kyle is now the Student Farm Manager of Zena farm as well as the president of Zena Farm Club.

Samuel Spengler – Sam Spengler is a senior Environmental Science major at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He was born and raised in Kailua, HI on the island of Oahu. Currently Sam is co-president of Willamette Unversity’s Zena Farm Club and is also employed by the school as a farm hand and groundskeeper. He’s particularly interested in the development of small-scale, diversified agricultural systems within the Willamette Valley and is devoting his thesis research to this study topic. As part of Willamette’s Summer Institute in Sustainability Agriculture, Sam worked with both Professor Wendy Peterson-Boring and student Kyle Batisky who are also presenting at this conference.

Maintaining the Commons in an Urban Setting: The Politics of Food, Racism, Neoliberalism, and Paternalism – Presenters

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Christine Mello – Christine Mello examines health issues that disproportionately affect racialized groups and those of lower socioeconomic status. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork in gentrifying cities where citizens are subject to the negative outcomes of neoliberal policies and face land tenure issues, health disparities, and difficulty accessing resources for their economic and social livelihood. As a means to do this, she collaborates with groups that address food and environmental injustice. Her research interests include medical anthropology, anthropology of food, applied anthropology, ethnographic film methods, urban anthropology, studies of power, political economy, and Native American studies.

Lisa S. Oliver-King  – Lisa S. Oliver-King, MPH is the founding executive director for Our Kitchen Table, a grassroots organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg foundation, Our Kitchen Table is developing a set of best practices and evidence-based applications for how community women can improve health and wellness by building a healthy neighborhood food system. Essentially, Our Kitchen Table is addressing the diet related and environmental health disparities that impact these women and their families. Information learned and documented will be used to help vulnerable children, their families, and the neighborhoods in which they reside. This information will lead to residents gaining a better understanding of their local food system, learning how to address systemic change in order to become food secure, and building neighborhood-based sustainability.

New Haven Farms’ Farm-Based Wellness Program: Using iPad technology to collect data on intervention programs on urban farms – Panelists

Karen Briegs, MBA, VP, Sales and Marketing – As VP, Sales and Marketing for writeresult, Karen Briegs is directly responsible for all aspects of Business Development, Sales, and Marketing for a family of patient-focused and workflow friendly ePRO solutions. Karen started the writeresult product line when it was under the 3C Company umbrella, serving as Senior Director of Product Development supporting the launch of their flagship digital writing ePRO solution from 2003-2007. Before rejoining writeresult, Ms. Briegs was Senior Program Director at GE Healthcare’s Medical Diagnostics Division where she led the US Project Management Office and was responsible for progressing the development of imaging agents across multiple modalities and therapeutic areas.  Karen brings to bear more than two decades of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry having held senior level roles in Product Development (therapeutic and diagnostic), Clinical Development/Operations, Project Management and PMO Management, Clinical Technologies (EDC, CDM, CTM, ePRO), Operational Efficiency, Business Development, Sales and Marketing. Her career has placed her in a variety of settings – CRO, mid-sized and top 10 global Pharma, small startups, and one of the largest companies in the world – and she brings those perspectives together to build strong collaborations which have consistently led to success for all parties.

Her insights on implementing practical and actionable metrics have been cited in industry periodicals and whitepapers on the subject of performance management within drug development, and she’s been called upon to present at several forums on topics ranging from implementation of Electronic Data Capture to Integration of Telework into Pharmaceutical Research Organizations. Ms Briegs holds undergraduate degrees in both Biological Science and Human Ecology from Cook College at Rutgers University, and a Masters of Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

Molly Nelson, Community Liaison, New Haven Farms – Molly received her BA from Bates College, and is currently pursuing an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Within New Haven Farms, Molly is responsible for all data collection and participant attendance at the Farm-Based Wellness Program. She lives in New Haven with her boyfriend and two dogs, actively competes in triathlons, and is training for her first Ironman.

Dr. Debbie Humphries, PhD, MPH, Clinical Instructor in Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health, Co-Principal Investigator, New Haven Farms – Dr. Humphries has a broad background in public health research and practice. She has been a consultant in the areas of diet and physical activity behavior change, sustainability of community health programs, program monitoring and evaluation, and training in participatory monitoring and evaluation. She works with agencies throughout Connecticut in her Practice Based Community Health Research course, which places student groups with agencies in the State of Connecticut to conduct implementation research. Dr. Humphries has collaborated with New Haven Farms since the 2013 season, to assist with research methods, implementation and analysis.  She is interested in the importance of food systems, and local food systems in particular, on enhancing and strengthening positive food practices for individuals and households.

Rebecca Kline, MPA, Executive Director, New Haven Farms – Rebecca has worked at the intersection of poverty alleviation, agriculture, and environmental sustainability for the past 10 years. She graduated from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with a Masters in Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy, after which she completed a 1-year sustainable agriculture fellowship with the Deshpande Foundation in rural India. Rebecca has held positions in Sarah Lawrence College’s Office of Community Partnerships, running national and international experiential learning social justice programs for students, and the Fair Haven Community Health Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program, where she captured and packaged the program so that other community health clinics worldwide could replicate it. Rebecca founded and currently directs New Haven Farms, a community organization in her hometown that aims to promote health and community development through urban agriculture. Rebecca splits her time between Connecticut and the Sierra Foothills of California, where she lives in a small yurt with her husband and their 2-year old daughter Ava Joan.



Holly Rippon-Butler

Holly is the Land Access Campaign Manager with the National Young Farmers Coalition. In addition to her work with NYFC advocating for land access for the next generation of farmers, she works with her parents on their third-generation dairy and beef farm in Upstate New York.