2017 List of speakers is being finalized. It will be listed here soon!

Bonito, Gregory

Michigan State University

Gregory Bonito is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. He received a Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University, an M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia, Athens, and a B.Sc. in Ecology from Appalachian State University in Boone NC. His primary research interests are systematics and taxonomy of truffle fungi, biology of Pezizales, fungal biodiversity, and inter-kingdom interactions between fungi plants and bacteria.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School

Falk, Ben

Whole Systems Design
Author, Resilient Farm and Homestead

Ben developed Whole Systems Design, LLC as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things. Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. His home landscape and the WSD studio site in Vermont's Mad River Valley serve as a proving ground for the regenerative land developments featured in the projects of Whole Systems Design. Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted nearly 200 site development consultations across New England and facilitated dozens of courses on permaculture design, property selection, microclimate design, and design for climate change. Ben is the author of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green, 2013).

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Hubbard, Charlotte

Author, Dronings from a Queen Bee: The First Five Years

A beekeeper since 2008, Charlotte Hubbard works over 20 hives in SW Michigan, and is author of Dronings from a Queen Bee: The First Five Years, among other publications regarding bees.  All profits go to food bank charities.  Her Facebook page and website (www.hubbardhive.com) advises newbees what to look for and when in their hives, and overviews her bee involvement.  Charlotte speaks nationally on behalf of this critical insect, often focusing on the human-bee dynamic.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Kozak, Mary Ellen

Field and Forest Products

Mary Ellen Kozak and Joe Krawczyk met in a college mycology class and soon afterward, expanded their mutual interest in the natural world into a 30+ year partnership in both marriage and in business, as owners of Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. They are committed to producing high quality organic mushroom spawn as well as locating, developing and offering the best mushroom strains, cultivation supplies and cultivation techniques to anyone interested in successfully growing and enjoying edible fungi.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

 Krawczyk , Joe

Field and Forest Products

Mary Ellen Kozak and Joe Krawczyk met in a college mycology class and soon afterward, expanded their mutual interest in the natural world into a 30+ year partnership in both marriage and in business, as owners of Field and Forest Products in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. They are committed to producing high quality organic mushroom spawn as well as locating, developing and offering the best mushroom strains, cultivation supplies and cultivation techniques to anyone interested in successfully growing and enjoying edible fungi.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Milbrath, Meghan, Dr.

Michigan State University
Bending Sickle Community Farm
Northern Bee Network

Dr. Meghan Milbrath is the coordinator of the Michigan Pollinator Initiative at Michigan State University, where she coordinates and performs pollinator related research and education.  She has studied honey bee diseases working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Entomology Department with Zachary Huang.  Meghan began working bees with her father as a child over 20 years ago, and now owns and manages Bending Sickle Community Farm, a small livestock and queen rearing operation in Munith, Michigan.  Meghan teaches multiple beekeeping classes; has taught queen rearing courses at Michigan State University; and runs clinics and beekeeping consulting through her apiary.  Meghan has been an invited speaker to many academic and beekeeper events ranging from regional apicultural meetings and national conferences to small discussion groups on bees at local libraries. She is an active member in the South East Michigan Beekeeping Association, the Center of Michigan Beekeeping Association, is the district 2 representative for the Michigan Beekeeping Association, is the acting president of the Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers and the coordinator of the Northern Bee Network, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable beekeeping in northern climates.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Mudge, Ken

Cornell University
Co-Author, Farming in the Woods

Ken Mudge is a retired associate professor emeritus from the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University. Throughout his career he has taught courses in Forest Farming, Plant Propagation, Agroforestry, and Nursery Management. His research teaching and extension involved temperate forest farming with an emphasis on forest cultivation of specialty mushrooms. Ken and his co-author Steve Gabriel have recently published the book Farming the Woods (Chelsea Green).

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Olds, Annie

Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a program of Networks Northwest
SBDC Northwest Regional Director and Small Business Consultant.  

Growing up on a small family-owned dairy farm, she knows the importance of business and growth planning, value-added product development, marketing, and cash flow management for small operations.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Shepard, Mark

Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC
New Forest Farm

Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC and founder of Restoration Agriculture Development Inc. and Restoration Agriculture International Inc. He runs New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.

New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models.

Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment is powered with locally produced biofuels that are not taken from the human food chain.

Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production. Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement.

Mark serves on the board of the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide. Mark is a farmer member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the worlds largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, and is the founder and chief Cydermaker for the Shepard’s Hard Cyder winery in Viola, Wisconsin.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School
& SATURDAY AT THE NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

Wright, Chris

Easygrow Mushrooms and Composting
Midwest American Mycological Information (MAMI)

Chris is a researcher in mycology and a mycological entrepreneur. He received a Ph.D. in Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences from Michigan State University, and a B.Sc. in Psychology from Northern Michigan University. His primary research interests are focused on lignolytic soil fungi and fungi living in the human microbiome. He is also an avid mushroom cultivator, and is the president ofEasygrow Mushrooms and Composting LLC. Chris conducts mushroom cultivation programs all across Michigan, including an annual class at Michigan State University's Student Organic Farm.

SPEAKING Friday at Farm School

Wieland, Wendy

Michigan State University

Wendy Wieland grew up on a dairy farm in Charlevoix County. Since college she has worked in, on or for farms and the betterment of farming in Northern Michigan. She is currently an Innovation Counselor for the MSU Product Center, a part of MSU Extension’s Community Food Systems group, and co-chair of the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. 

SPEAKING friday at farm school