Meet Our Keynote Lecturers

A Diverse Panel of Sustainability Activists

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson

• Founder & President of The Land Institute & Member of World Future Council
• Focused on Perennial Polyculture and alternatives in appropriate technology.

Dr. Jackson is the President of The Land Institute, was born in 1936 on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. After attending Kansas Wesleyan (B.A Biology, 1958), he studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and later established the Environmental Studies department at California State University, Sacramento, where he became a tenured full professor. He resigned that position in 1976 and returned to Kansas to found The Land Institute.

Dr. Jackson's writings include both papers and books. His most recent works, Nature as Measure (2011) and Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture (2010), were both published by Counterpoint Press. The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge (2008) and Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place (1996), were co-edited with William Vitek. Becoming Native to This Place, 1994, sketches his vision for the resettlement of America's rural communities. Altars of Unhewn Stone appeared in 1987 and Meeting the Expectations of the Land, edited with Wendell Berry and Bruce Colman, was published in 1984. New Roots for Agriculture, 1980, outlines the basis for the agricultural research at The Land Institute.

The work of The Land Institute has been featured extensively in the popular media including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, National Geographic, Time Magazine, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." Life magazine named Wes Jackson as one of 18 individuals they predict will be among the 100 "important Americans of the 20th century." In the November 2005 issue, Smithsonian named him one of "35 Who Made a Difference," and in March, 2009 Wes was included in Rolling Stone's "100 Agents of Change."

Wes Jackson is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), Right Livelihood Award (Stockholm), known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize" (2000), and the Louis Bromfield Award (2010). He has received five honorary doctorates. In 2007 he received the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award and was one of the 2011 recipients of the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Awards.

In addition to lecturing nationwide and abroad, Dr. Jackson is involved outside The Land Institute with a variety of projects including being a Post Carbon Institute Fellow, a Councillor with the World Future Council and a member of the Green Lands Blue Waters Steering Committee.

For more information on Wes Jackson: See The Land Institute website here, his wikipedia entry here, the World Future Council website here.

Elaine Ingham

Elaine Ingham

• Recognized leader in soil microbiology, and Cheif Scientist at the Rodale Institute
• Founder Soil FoodWeb Inc., key author of the USDA's Soil Biology Primer and author of The Compost Tea Brewing Manual
• Focused on Soil Microbial Science in Agriculture Applications

Dr. Elaine Ingham is a world-renowned soil microbiologist who continues to study the microbial life of the soil, which in large part explains why organic "works." Elaine founded Soil Foodweb, Inc. in 1996, helping farmers all over the world to grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving their soil life. She is also an affiliate professor at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and has served in academia for three decades.

Elaine started her academic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN graduating in 1974 with a double major, cum laude, in Biology and Chemistry. Elaine earned her Master of Science in Microbiology in 1977 at Texas A & M University and her doctorate degree in soil microbiology from Colorado State University in 1981, after which she worked as a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1985, Elaine accepted a Research Associate Fellowship at the University of Georgia. In 1986, Elaine joined the faculty at Oregon State University, with a split appointment in Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology, until 2001, when her work with Soil Foodweb, Inc. required her to focus on the world-wide network that was developing. In January of 2011, Dr. Ingham joined Rodale Institute as Chief Scientist.

For more information on Elaine Ingham: See her full CV here, her wikipedia entry here, her website here.

Amigo Bob Cantisano

Amigo Bob

• President of Organic Ag Advisors & Pioneer of modern organic farming movement
• Founder: Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, EcoFarm Conference, Felix Gillet Institute
• Focused on advancing organic agriculture & educating farmers and the public

Amigo Bob Cantisano is president of Organic Ag Advisors, founded in 1988. He is the managing partner of Heaven and Earth Farm on the San Juan Ridge of the Sierra foothills. Amigo has over 35 years of experience growing and advising in most commercial scale organic crops grown in the Western U.S. and the tropics, including vegetables, tree and bush fruit, grapes, herbs and flowers.

He advises more than 400 organic and transitional farmers, and hundreds of family farmers and gardeners in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Spain, France and Costa Rica. His clients range from small specialty crop growers to producers of thousands of acres of mainstream ag crops. His clients farm more than 160,000 acres of organic and transitional crops.

Amigo is the co founder of the Ecological Farming Conference, the Ecological Farming Association, founding member of California Certified Organic Farmers and founder of: Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, We The People Natural Foods Cooperative, Aeolia Organics, Heaven and Earth Farm, and the Felix Gillet Institute. He is the author of numerous publications and a featured speaker at hundreds of events. He hosts a monthly organic living show on KVMR radio in Nevada City, CA. Amigo lives and farms on 11 acres of mixed fruits, berries and vegetables on the San Juan Ridge of the Sierra Nevada.

For more information on Amigo Bob Cantisano: See his full CV here, his oral history of founding The EcoFarm Conference audio link here, a New York Times Magazine article here, an "Organic Heros" Interview here.

Owen Hablutzel

• Holistic Managment educator, Board of Director for Permaculutre Research Institute
• Focused on Holisic Manament, Permaculture, and educating farmers on those practices

Owen Hablutzel is a consultant, educator, and group-facilitator performing international work with a range of clientele to radically amplify practical whole systems design, thinking, and management for increasing land health, at multiple scales.

Having lived and worked in Africa, Australia, and much of the western United States, Owen brings a wide array of experiences and training to his work with broad-acre and regional systems. This work continues to integrate Keyline, Permaculture, and Holistic Management applications with a wider spectrum of practical, leading-edge solutions capable of slowing and reversing the current global social-ecological crisis. Whether with farms, ranches, classrooms, non-profits, NGOs, government agencies/ministries, or other land managing entities, the core work remains empowering people and communities to create robust land health, adaptive capacity, and resilience through stewardship.

Owen is a Certified Educator with Holistic Management International, holds a Masters in Eastern Philosophy (the original systems thinking & 'science of the whole') from St. John's College in New Mexico, and serves passionately on the Board of Directors of the Permaculture Research Institute, USA.

For more information on Owen Hablutzel: Read an interview with him here.