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Dr.Loren Cordain, Founder of the Paleo Diet
Founder of the Paleo Diet, Dr. Cordain’s research has sparked a worldwide consumer trend, inspiring hundreds of niche meat start-up companies to cite the health benefits of grass produced beef and meat for consumers. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter- gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He has been described as the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of five popular bestselling books including The Paleo Diet. Dr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health, and well being in modern humans.
Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Scientific investigator, policy decoder, spokesperson and advocate on a wide range of food safety and sustainability issues
Dr.Rangan has won three sigma chi delta awards in investigative journalism on food safety and sustainability work (topics: chicken, beef and antibiotic resistance in meat production) and a communication award from the Organic Research Center. Urvashi currently serves as a member of the FDA Food Advisory Commi!ee. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health and Toxicology from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She resigned from Consumer Reports in August 2016, a$er 17 years of experience, most recently leading the safety and sustainability technical and policy investigative program, for food and non-food (detergent pods, humidifiers, insect repellants, power washers-to name a few). She is currently an independent consultant helping to build alliances and markets for sustainable meat, in particular, grass fed. She is also working on the development of two organizations to provide more powerful accountability and honesty in food labeling and claims of be!er sustainable practices.
Craig Deihl, Former Executive Chef of Cypress and Artisan Meat Share
A devote of locally grown foods and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Deihl started the CSA-like Artisan Meat Share in 2009 to help boost the availability of local charcuterie (and offer a helping hand to struggling farmers). From 2009-2013, participants received local charcuterie and local farmers, in turn, received support from the increased product demand in what Deihl describes as a win-win scenario for both. In late summer 2014, Artisan Meat Share opened at 33 Spring St., providing a place where guests can enjoy all that AMS has to offer—all the time—including award-winning charcuterie, freshly butchered meat and delicious sandwiches. To date, Deihl has produced over 90 types of charcuterie which have been prepared, stored and cured in-house at Cypress.
Brian Polcyn, Chef, Author
Chef Brian Polcyn. is a noted chef and author of Charcuterie, Salumi and the soon to be published Pates and Terrines. He is an expert on sausages, and his culinary creativity and talent has long been recognized throughout the world.
Dr. Mathew Poore: Extension Livestock Commodity Coordinator, Professor & Extension Ruminant Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University
Dr. Poore specializes in livestock production (beef, sheep, goats), forages and byproducts in animal production systems, and nutrition of beef, sheep and goats.
Research includes optimum protein, energy and mineral supplementation of forage based diets, digestive interactions between fiber, starch and protein.
In addition to his other responsibilities, Dr. Poore is Director of Amazing Grazinga statewide pasture-based livestock educational initiative andserves as Chair of the NCSU Extension Animal Systems.
Steve Goff, Brinehaus Meat and Provisions
In an industry full of white coats and military organization, it's refreshing to have a little punk thrown in the mix. Steve marches to the beat of his own drum, and continues to create imaginative food with real soul. Currently the head butcher at Standard Foods, Raleigh we can't wait to see what he does with the triangle!
Charles Lee Owner and Charcuterier of The American Pig in Asheville, NC
Charles is a South Carolina native who grew up helping his mother prepare the family’s nightly dinners. After college, he attended a whole hog breakdown at a local butcher shop, Charles decided to learn more about whole animal butchery. He apprenticed under Craig Deihl and Dominique Chapolard. Then butchered for Hickory Nut Gap Farm prior to opening his own shop, The American Pig, in Asheville, NC. The American Pig utilizes NC pasture raised pork and provides USDA inspected salami, cured meats, and fresh sausage to many of the great restaurants in Asheville.
Johnny Rogers, Owner Rogers Cattle Company LLC, Amazing Grazing Program Coordinator
Johnny and his wife Sharon own Rogers Cattle Company LLC (RCC) in Roxboro, NC. Currently, RCC raises Red Angus cattle, Katahdin Hair Sheep and forest finished pork. RCC markets cattle and hair sheep as well as pasture raised beef, pork and lamb from the farm and at farmer’s markets. Adaptive grazing techniques are used to optimize livestock performance and forage utilization while improving soil health.
In March 2015, Johnny accepted the opportunity to work with the NCSU Amazing Grazing Program. In addition to spending time working with other farmers as they improve their farm resources, Johnny coordinates the Conservation Innovation Grant Project (CIG) focused on “Improving Soil Health on Pasture Based Livestock Farms”.
Johnny serves on the board of directors of the NC Forage and Grasslands Council, NC Cattleman’s Association and the Red Angus Association of America.
Amanda Carter, Owner and General Manager of Cool Hand Meats, Marion, NC
Foothills Pilot Plant, LLC (FPP) is located in the foothills of western North Carolina and opened in January 2012 to serve independent poultry and rabbit growers with USDA- and FDA-inspected processing. FPP processes chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and other specialty fowl, for more than 260 farmers. Carter plans to expand Foothills Pilot Plant services to include small ruminants and pigs in the upcoming years.
Pete Colman, Vermont Salumi
Peter Roscini Colman grew up on Cate Farm, a pioneer of Vermont's organic movement. There, he learned the importance of sustainable farming techniques for supporting healthy people, animals, and communities. As the founder of Vermont Salumi, he proudly continues the tradition of producing great food from great land.
Dr. Miguel S Castillo Assistant Professor – Forage & Grassland Management
Dr. Castillo was born in Loja, Ecuador, South America. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Science and Animal Production from Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture in Honduras, Central America. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in Agronomy with a minor in Soil and Water Science from University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Dr. Castillo joined the faculty at NCSU in Aug. 2013
Sam Suchoff: Owner of Lady Edison meats & The Pig Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC
Lady Edison produces flavorful extra fancy country ham and other cured charcuterie using sustainably raised hogs from the North Carolina Hog Growers Association. The Pig is a barbecue restaurant off Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that features whole-hog barbecue made with local, pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone free pork. In addition to working with local pastured hogs and the NC Natural Hog Growers Co-Op, Sam has his hand in all sorts of innovative food projects across the Triangle. In addition to direct marketing his own value-added products, he currently serves at the meat buyer for Weaver St. Market and is a purveyor for fresh and value-added meat to the co-op.
Dr.Dana Hanson, Extension Specialist and Associate Professor Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science
B.S. (1993) South Dakota State University
M.S. (1996) South Dakota State University
Ph.D. (2001) University of Nebraska
Dr.Benjamin Chapman PhD Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman. - See more at: http://yfcs.cals.ncsu.edu/people/benjamin-chapman-ph-d/#sthash.SgIvLNn4.dpuf
Richard Huettman: Processor and Co-owner of Acre Station
Acre Station Meat Farm is a family-run business in eastern North Carolina founded in 1977. Acre Station is a USDA inspected, red meat slaughter and processing business that handles pork, beef, sheep, and game. Services include fresh meat cuts and smoked/other value-added processing. Acre Station processes for about 125 customers, including farmers and wholesale buyers.
Emily Lancaster Moose: Director of Communications and Outreach, A Greener World
As Director of Communications and Outreach for A Greener World, Emily Moose works to build consumer awareness of AGW’s leading third-party certifications (Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW) and provide farmers and ranchers with the highest level of service and support. Emily leads AGW’s outreach team throughout the U.S. and Canada, guiding communications and developing new programs and initiatives within the organization--including AGW’s labeling support, volunteer and membership programs. Emily developed an interest in food, sustainability and agriculture at an early age during summer visits to her cousin’s hog farm in eastern Virginia. She is a graduate of UNC-Asheville and the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Agricultural Leadership Development Program and is based in rural North Carolina.
Kris Reid, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Piedmont Culinary Guild
Co-founder of the Piedmont Culinary Guild in 2012, Kris Reid currently serves as its Executive Director. A native of Los Angeles, she received her culinary education in Guadalajara, Mexico, from The New School of Cooking in LA and holds two degrees from Johnson & Wales University.Over the last eight years, she has been a passionate local food crusader in The Queen City – serving on the board for Charlotte Mecklenburg County Fruit and Vegetable Coalition, Slow Food Charlotte, and chaired the Food and Beverage Committee for Charlotte Clean and Green. In 2010, Kris was selected to be a Slow Food Delegate to attend Terra Madre in Turin, Italy for her work in community gardens in Charlotte.
Poppy Davis, Program Director, Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE), Resource and Policy Consultant, C2C Consulting
Poppy Davis is the Program Director for Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE). She oversees a number of multi-partner collaborations to develop place-based projects and toolkits for urban-edge agricultural revitalization projects. She also develops and executes new program work providing agriculture-related technical services such as foodshed and agricultural economic viability assessments, implementation plans and business plans. In addition, she provides direct farm business education to beginning farmers and ranchers associated with beginning farmer and rancher projects run by SAGE and SAGE’s partners. She worked eight years at the USDA, most recently as the National Program Leader for Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.
Previously she was a California CPA with an emphasis in agricultural enterprises and non-profits. She holds a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School, a Masters in Journalism from Georgetown, and a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Davis.
Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP, “Real Food” Nutritionist
Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP is a “real food” nutritionist living on a working organic farm near Boston, Massachusetts that runs a vegetable and meat CSA. She is the author of two bestselling cookbooks and runs a clinical nutrition practice. Diana writes and speaks about the intersection of optimal human nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. She is also the producer of The Sustainable Dish Podcast, interviewing experts in the environmental and health movement. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Outside Magazine, Edible Boston and Mother Earth News. She can be found at www.sustainabledish.com
Silvana Pietrosemoli, Research Associate Animal Science
Alternative swine research and extension project
Cody Hopkins, General Manager and Founding Member of Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative
Cody is an Arkansas native, a farmer, and brings ten years of experience developing and growing pasture to plate meat enterprises. He is a co-founder of Falling Sky Farm and a founding member of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, a farmer-owned marketing and processing cooperative based in Arkansas. Cody has been the General Manager of Grass Roots since it’s formation in 2014. He has been named a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur and was featured in Forbes’s as an “Up and Comer.” Cody has a BA in physics from Hendrix College and—before pursuing his career in agriculture—he taught high school physics and math and worked as a baker.
Dr. Mark Knauer, Assistant Professor & Extension Swine Specialist
Andy Shaw, Owner of Cypress Valley Meat Company and Operations Director for Grass Roots Farmers' Cooperative
Andy is the owner of Cypress Valley Meat Company and the Operations Director for Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. He has over 20 years of experience in the meat industry. Andy started a small custom processing facility in Vilonia, Arkansas, in 2010 and in less than 16 months, added two additional facilities. The two additional facilities— located in Romance, Arkansas, and Hot Springs, Arkansas—are under USDA federal inspection. In 2016 Andy launched, Natural State Processing, a USDA inspected poultry processing facility in Clinton, AR.
Dr.Beth Yongue, State Director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Dr. Beth Yongue is the State Director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Agency personnel are responsible for enforcing the laws and regulations designed to protect food safety and ensure that only wholesome meat and poultry products are distributed to the consumer. Dr. Yongue joined the Agency in 1997 as an Area Veterinary Supervisor before becoming the Assistant State Director in 2000. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the State of North Carolina.
Jeremiah Jones: President of the Growers Cooperative “NC Natural Hog Growers Association”, Farmer and Owner of Grassroots Pork Company
Jeremiah Jones is the President of the NC Natural Hog Growers Co-Op and owner of GrassRoots Pork Company, an AWA approved, step 4 GAP certified farm located on a 100 acre farm in beautiful Eastern North Carolina. In addition to growing hogs, Jeremiah grows and processes all of the grain fed to the animals on the farm. In 2014, Jeremiah began growing and processing only non-GMO grains and recieved funding for equipment to process soybeans onsite. He offers this processing service to other farmers in the cooperative as there are no other economical alternatives regionally for supplying non-GMO proccessed soybeans. Jeremiah possesses 5 Associate degrees in agriculture from North Carolina State University while Jessica has a Bachelor degree in production agriculture. Jones received the 2010 Glynwood Harvest Award for pioneering sustainable agriculture and exemplary leadership in agriculture.
David Quintana, Executive Chef/Instructor
Quintana is an Executive Chef and Salami Enthusiast. Formerly, A.O.S Culinary Johnson and Wales University. Chef de Cuisine; Southminster Charlotte, NC; Executive Chef – Four Moons AAA 4 Diamonds, Orangeburg, SC; Executive Chef: Salara Bistro and Dessert Lounge Charlotte, NC. Sous Chef: Salute Ristorante, Charlotte, NC. Apprenticeship WD-50 New York City; Contestant on "Chef Wanted" with Anne Burrell on "Food Network" July 2012; Featured in Columbia Metropolitan 2010;Featured in various Charlotte, NC publications 2008-2013
Dr. Carolyn Dunn, Professor of Nutrition and Department Head for the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University.
Dr. Dunn is a professor of nutrition and department head for the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University. Dr. Dunn has over 25 years of experience in the area of nutrition education. She and colleagues create cutting-edge, nationally acclaimed nutrition education materials including the national award winning Color Me Healthy for children ages four and five. She and colleagues created Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less, a 15-week evidence-based weight management program that has reached over 25,000 participants in both in-person and online formats. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force where she serves as chair of the Primary Prevention Committee. She was the lead author for North Carolina’s Plan to Address Obesity: Healthy Weight and Healthy Communities and is the past chair of Eat Smart, Move More, North Carolina. She is past chair of Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina, a 100-agency coalition that promotes increased opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever people live, learn, earn, play and pray. She is a member of Sigma Xi the scientific research society and the Academy for Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension. Carolyn is a nutritionist, foodie, and avid cook. She tries to balance all three of these loves.
Lee Menius: Farmer and Owner of Wild Turkey Farms and Carolina Craft Butchery
Lee Menius is owner and operator of Wild Turkey Farms in China Grove, NC. The farm has been in the Menius family for over a century. Wild Turkey Farm offers naturally raised, antibiotic free beef, pork, eggs, chicken, turkey, and vegetables. Their mission is to provide the best high quality, naturally raised products around.
Donna Moore, President and CEO of Piedmont Custom Meats
We are a USDA-inspected slaughter and processing plant located in Caswell County North Carolina. We offer slaughter, fabrication, custom cutting and packaging for beef, pork, lamb, goat, bison, and ostrich. Additional processing services include fresh sausage in one pound blocks, links, patties and/or breakfast links. Smoked and cooked products include: sausage, bacon (sliced or blocked), fully cooked hot dogs and rendered beef (tallow) and pork fat (lard).Piedmont uses two state-of-the-art rollstock vacuum seal machines for a retail ready presentation. We have multiple double chamber vacuum machines for large primal cuts and bulk food service applications.
Dr. Susan K. Duckett, Professor in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University
Susan K. Duckett is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University where she holds The Ernest L. Corley, Jr. Trustees Endowed Chair. She received her B.S. degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. She held faculty positions at the University of Idaho and University of Georgia prior to her appointment at Clemson University. Dr. Duckett’s research integrates ruminant nutrition and meat science to alter lipid metabolism, fatty acid composition and palatability of animal products.
Casey McKissick: Owner and General Manager of Foothills Meats
Casey McKissick is owner and GM of Foothills Deli and Butchery in Black Mountain, NC. He serves as a consultant to NC State University on local and niche meat supply chain issues in addition to Foothills and his private consulting business. Casey is equally at home on the farm as in the processing plant and enjoys working with farmers, meat cutters, chefs and food-service buyers.
Joe Hampton, Back Creek Farm and Research Operations Manager for NCDA's Piedmont Research Station
Joe and his wife, Robin Hampton, are first generation farmers and have built their livestock operation from the ground-up since 1981. They own Back Creek Farm in Ulla, North Carolina, where they raise beef and lamb. Joe also works full-time as the Research Operations Manager for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Piedmont Research Station. In addition, Joe served for eight years on the Board of Directors for the American Angus Association and was elected President for 2011, thus far the only North Carolinian to be elected to this prestigious position.
Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler: Associate Extension Professor & Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Department of Animal & Food Sciences, University of Kentucky
Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler provides science-based, practical information related to beef cattle nutrition and management to the beef industry in the state and region allowing individuals to make better informed decisions. Previous research interests involved breed of cattle and supplementation for pasture-based finishing systems. Duties include the following: Develop educational resources & disseminate information; Plan and organize applied research; Collaborate with county-based extension personnel and provide beef-related support; Engage with a team of beef specialists, agents and industry personnel to develop strategies to keep Kentucky’s beef industry economically viable. Dr. Lehmkuhler partners with work colleagues to raise a small number of grass-finished beeves and stocker calves within a rotational grazing system and is a committee member of the American Grassfed Association.
Dean Askew, Beef Network Coordinator for Firsthand Foods
Dean Askew, retired Research Operations Manager at NCSU’s Butner Beef Cattle Field Lab had over 31 years of service to NCSU. Dean has been around Beef Cattle and Agricultural Research his entire life. He grew up on the Tidewater Research Station in Plymouth NC where his Father was Livestock Unit Manager. His experiences living on the Research Station led him to NCSU where he graduated from the Ag Institute. Soon after graduation, he began his career with NCSU. Throughout his career, Dean was involved in numerous Beef Cattle Research Projects and oversaw all aspects of raising Beef Cattle at the facility. Dean now serves as Beef Network Coordinator for Firsthand Foods. His new role is to work with FHF producers who produce Pasture-Raised Beef for FHF. “I was blessed to work for NCSU for many years where I was able to learn from a lot of smart people about beef cattle production. These experiences have helped me greatly in my role at FHF. I truly enjoy meeting and working with FHF beef producers. They are great people” said Dean.
Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Author and Program Manager of the Niche Meat Assistance Network
I have a passion for all things food and farm related, as well as new sustainable business models that advance equity, ecological integrity, and restore human relationships. I’ve spent the last 17 years in all facets of sustainable agriculture and the food chain: as a farmworker, food retailer, agricultural researcher, educator, business owner, non-profit manager, and consultant to farms of all sizes. Building on the foundation of a B.S. in Natural Resources Management and a M.S. in International Agricultural Development and Agroecology, I have a holistic understanding of the human and ecological dimensions of the food system. One of my more formative professional experiences was working close to seven years at the well-respected farm incubator ALBA in the Salinas Valley of California where I developed and delivered programs for beginning and more experienced growers as Director of Programs. I also ran a successful pastured livestock and poultry farm business called TLC Ranch for six years with my family near Watsonville, CA. More recently I’ve been working as a sustainability and business consultant for NGOs, food manufacturers and family farms, serve as the Program Manager for the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) and write for various publications including On Pasture and Local Harvest. My first book, “Farms With A Future: Creating & Growing a Sustainable Farm Business“, a business guide for new and experienced farmers, was published by Chelsea Green Publishing in November 2012 and my second book “The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat” was released in June 2015. I live in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge with my little family of four and spend my free time volunteering, trail running, gardening, raising pigs, and fermenting foods.
Jill Willett, founder of Coaching for Cooks and Triangle Food Makers
Jill Willett is a marketing coach for food entrepreneurs and the founder of Coaching for Cooks. Formerly a food maker and a director of sales and marketing herself, Jill has worked with hundreds of food companies to help them launch or grow their food businesses. She’s also the founder of Triangle Food Makers, a group that brings together local food entrepreneurs, a former blogger, an avid fermenter, and a proud mommy to son, Connor.
Deidre D. Harmon PhD Candidate Crop and Soil Sciences
Deidre Harmon grew up in Galax, Virginia, a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains close to the Virginia/North Carolina state line. She was raised on a cow/calf operation where her family had both commercial and purebred Charolais cattle. Deidre received her undergraduate education in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduation, she was accepted into a Master of Science program in Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech where her research focused on reducing phosphorus excretions from grazing beef cattle and revising management recommendations to producers. In 2014, Deidre started a doctoral program in Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia and is working on an interdisciplinary project focusing on the evaluation of warm-season annual forages in forage-finishing beef cattle production systems. Her overall graduate training focuses on economical and environmentally sustainable ways to optimize grazing animal production through the use of both annual and perennial forages and other affordable feedstuffs. After her upcoming graduation in July, Deidre has accepted a position with NC State as the new Mountain Livestock Specialist.
Tanya Cauthen, Professional Butcher, Owner and Operator of Belmont Butchery, Richmond, VA
Tanya Cauthen worked as a chef at The Red Oak and the Frog and the Redneck before starting her own catering company, Capers Catering which led her to opening her own butcher shop, Belmont Butchery. The focus of the butchery is organic and humanely raised meat. Tanya connects her customers to small family farms and teaches them the value of understanding where food comes from and how it should really taste.
Heather Sandford of The Piggery: A Farm-To-Table Butcher Shop & Wholesaler
Sandford and her husband Brad Marshall work 100 acres in upstate New York, where they typically have 525 to 600 pasture-raised pigs and “harvest” about 30 each week to produce 175 different meat products. Their business, The Piggery, sells bacon, sausage, pate, liverwurst and more through its own butcher shop, open since 2011, and wholesale through 10 regional distributors.
Owen Lane, Chef, Foothills Meats
After cooking in various spots around Richmond for many years, chef / owner Owen Lane and his wife Tiffany opened The Magpie in the city's Carver neighborhood. Described as a "meatetarian" and referred to in some circles as "Richmond's Sausage King.”
Joe Cloud: Managing Partner for T&E Processing Facility
In 2007 Joe Cloud joined forces with farmer, author, and food activist Joel Salatin to save one of the few remaining independent, USDA-inspected meat processing plants in the Mid-Atlantic, T&E Meats. Joe and Joel purchased the plant with the goal of serving local farmers who wanted to make their meat products available to local consumers. Prior to making a mid-life career change into sustainable agriculture and the meat business, Joe had a successful career in private consultancy as an urban planner and landscape architect. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s School of Design, and has a strong background in project management. These days, Joe is typically found on-site in Harrisonburg, managing the needs of T&E Meat’s customer base.
Stephen Beasley, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Marketing Division, Market News Office
Stephen Beasley works with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Marketing Division as member of their Market News Office. He is the primary reporter responsible for collecting market data and issuing the monthly NC Grass Fed Beef and NC Pasture Raised reports.
Stephen graduated NCSU in 1997 with a BS in Animal Science. After spending six months on a corporate swine farm, he returned to the university to join the Lake Wheeler Road Field Labs in 1998. Stephen worked with the Field Labs until 2006, first at the Dairy Educational Unit and then at the Swine Education Unit.
In 2006, Stephen joined the Market News Office in Raleigh as the Poultry and Grain reporter. In 2015, his responsibilities were expanded to include the further development of the NC Grass Fed Beef Report. More recently, his responsibilities have expanded even more, at the request of the industry, to include the NC Pasture Raised Lamb, Pork and Poultry reports. Stephen continues to do his best to meet the informational needs of everyone who uses the Market News Service.
Buron Lanier, Piney Woods Farm
Buron and Sara Lanier produce apples, peaches and beef cattle at Piney Woods Farm in Burgaw, NC. Buron is a graduate of NC State and has degrees in Animal Science and Agriculture Engineering.
Derek Washburn, NCSU
Derek Wasburn is a NC Farm School Program Associate in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department
Mathew LeRoux, Ag Marketing Specialist for the South Central NY Ag Team of Cornell Cooperative Extension
Matt works for Cornell Cooperative Extension as Ag. Marketing Specialist. Matt works with a diverse mix of produce and livestock producers in the southern tier of NY. In 2012, Matt started the Finger Lakes Meat Project including the Ithaca Meat Locker in an effort to increase the sales of local meat in bulk quantities..
Ross Flynn, Owner and Butcher, Left Bank Butchery
Ross Flynn is the head butcher at Left Bank Butchery, a whole-animal butchery in Saxapahaw, NC. Ross began his journey in the meat business working at Braeburn and Cane Creek Farm, learning everything from grazing strategies to carcass qualities. Ross began butchering and making charcuterie at The Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw and, eventually, opened Left Bank Butchery in the same community.
Jessica Smith, President, This Old Farm, Inc.
Jessica Smith owns and operates This Old Farm, a meat processing and distribution facility in Colfax, Indiana. This Old Farm's mission is to support the family farm by processing, marketing, and distributing locally raised, wholesome meat, produce, and value-added food. True cost of production takes into account the environment, sustainable farm wages, and value to the customer.
Jimmy Lee, Buxton Hall Barbecue
Jimmy Lee is the lead line cook at Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina. He was drawn to Buxton Hall because of the restaurant's commitment to local food and all-wood, whole-hog barbecue style.
Tyler Schwerzler, Buxton Hall Barbecue
Tyler Schwerzler is a line cook at Buxton Hall Barbecue.
Jonathan Allen, Professor of Food Science, NCSU
Dr. Jonathan Allen is the Coordinator of the Nutrition Program and Director of the Graduate Program in Food Science at NC State University. His research interests include Nutrient fortification and bioavailabilit, Globally sustainable food systems, Nutrition education, Diabetes and obesity, Glycemic index, Food toxicology and allergy, Mammary gland biology and lactation, Milk composition, dairy food chemistry, and dairy education. Dr. Allen's teaching activities are in the areas of nutritional biochemistry and lactation, milk, dairy products and nutrition.
Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops NC Farm Bureau Federation, Founding Director NewTerrain
Debbie Hamrick is the Director of Specialty Crops at the NC Farm Bureau Federation. Specialty crops and subject areas include agritourism, aquaculture; beekeeping/apiculture; Christmas trees; container and field-grown nursery crops; farmers markets; field-grown vegetable crops; greenhouse flowers; greenhouse vegetables; on-farm value added production; orchard fruit and nut crops; organic agriculture; small farms; viticulture and wineries; wild collected and cultured herb crops. She also founded NewTerrain.us, a bimonthly e-newsletter and website produced in conjunction with Ball Publishing. Information from NewTerrain is geared to multiple disciplines, including landscape designers and landscape architects, urban planners, landscape contractors, landscape maintenance companies and plant producers.
Abdul Chaudhry, Owner of Chaudry Halal Meats, Siler City, NC
Chaudhry Halal Meats is a family-run business in central North Carolina that has provided USDA-inspected, halal slaughter and fresh cut processing of beef, goat, and lamb for more than 15 years. Chaudhry processes for about 150 customers, including both farmers and wholesale buyers.
Meredith Leigh: Author, Butcher, Food and Farm Specialist
Meredith Leigh is a writer, and a food and farming specialist. She has worked as a farmer, butcher, teacher, non-profit executive director, and chef, all in search of realistic solutions for sustainable food. Author of “The Ethical Meat Handbook.”
Guido van der Hoeven, Senior Lecturer & Extension Specialist, Agricultural and Resource Economics, NC State University
Guido van der Hoeven is a Senior Lecturer in Agricultural and Resource Economics at NC State University. As an extension specialist, his current extension responsibilities are to provide resources and program leadership in the areas of taxation, agricultural information systems, estate planning, and farm management. As Director of the Income Tax Schools, Guido van der Hoeven provides leadership to this extension program to benefit taxpayers as well as professional tax preparers in the state of North Carolina.
Chef Jeff Bacon, Executive Director, Triad Community Kitchen and Providence Restaurant and Catering
Chef Jeff Bacon is the Executive Director of Triad Community Kitchen, a culinary training program which provides community members with skills, knowledge and support for securing employment in the food service industry. Bacon is an American Culinary Federation Certified Executive Chef, member of the American Academy of Chefs, and Executive Director of Providence Restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Sarah Rhodes, PhD Student, UNC Chapel Hill
Sarah Rhodes is a third year PhD student. She works in Jill Stewart's Environmental Health Microbiology Lab at UNC. Sarah is interested in characterizing the relationship between the quality of waste management infrastructure in communities and community health through the use of modeling and molecular techniques. Her research explores the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria of public health concern in communities in close proximity to swine operations.
Chris Reedy, Director of Food, Beverage, Natural Products and Industry Training at NC BioNetwork
As the Director of Industry Training for Food, Beverage, and Natural Products, Chris Reedy serves as the lead conduit for all activities and projects focused on the Food, Beverage, and Natural Products industries at NC BioNetwork. He provides leadership and administrative oversight for statewide programs and resources to enhance North Carolina’s ability to attract and grow Food, Beverage, and Natural Products companies. Chris Reedy has 7 years of management, training, and production experience in the food, beverage, and natural products industries. He partners with companies to help them better understand food safety, good manufacturing practices and FDA regulatory compliance, and he translates those regulations into workable takeaways for clients.
Dr. Rich Bonanno, Associate Dean, CALS and Director, NC State Extension
Dr. A. Richard Bonanno is the Director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at NC State University. The NC Cooperative Extension is the university’s largest outreach program, with centers serving every county and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Programs focus on agriculture, food and 4-H youth development. Before coming to NC State, Bonanno owned and operated a farm just north of Boston specializing in fresh market vegetables, bedding plants and vegetable transplants.
Bryan Blinson: Executive Director of the NC Cattlemens Association
The North Carolina Cattlemen's Association is your organization which coordinates the promotion of beef and the beef industry. The NCCA, through its membership dues, assists cattlemen in legislative, regulatory, and production issues. The leadership on the Executive Committee of NCCA is made up of cattlemen elected by their peers, who are directors of the Beef Board and the dues and federation division of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association as well as at-large members representing North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. All of these are North Carolina cattle producers who serve to represent you. These, along with the elected officers, make a highly respected organization that functions to serve the cattle industry.
Robert Eaton; Officer in Charge; USDA, AMS, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News
Robert Eaton works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service in the Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division. Originally from Washington State he recently moved to Raleigh, NC where he supervises the North and South Carolina Federal and State Market News Programs. He is passionate about agriculture and has a particular interest in the movement towards sustainable agriculture practices and local/regional production. This passion has taken him to East Africa to work on subsistence food security improvement projects and Afghanistan to work on irrigation and trade development projects. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Environmental Studies from Western Washington University.
Chef Laura Hagen, Senior Director, Culinary Innovations National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, A Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
Chef Laura is responsible for all Culinary programs at NCBA. She oversees a team of five chefs who manage food production and conduct recipe testing, exploratory labs and food photography. Prior to her current role, Laura was a development manager for Share Our Strength, and an associate and cooking instructor for Williams-Sonoma. Laura spent 14+ years in the automotive industry serving as a marketing/event manager for Ford Motor Company and its associated brands in Dearborn, MI and Irvine, CA. She received a B.A. degree in Communications from Michigan State University, a M.A. degree in Corporate & Organizational Communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a culinary degree from Cook Street School of Culinary Arts.
Laura is originally from Michigan, but has lived around the U.S. and traveled extensively. Favorite trips include S. Africa, the Galapagos Islands, the South of France and Northern Italy.
Chef Barry Strand, Coordinator, Culinary Innovations, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, A Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
Chef Barry is responsible for the Beef Checkoff recipe database and leads staff cooking classes in the Beef It’s What’s For Dinner Culinary Center. Barry was raised on a farm and dairy in Brush, CO. During that time, he showed both beef and dairy cattle, along with other livestock in 4-H. In addition to his culinary experience, Barry also has a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University. In the kitchen, Barry is interested in developing consumer recipes, food photography, and staying on top of food trends.
Chef James Doss, Executive Chef and Operating Partner of Rx Restaurant and Bar and Pembroke’s in Wilmington, NC
Doss is a self-taught chef from eastern North Carolina. His passion for food began while working for his grandmother, Kathryn Williams, at the Dune’s Club in Atlantic Beach. James was raised in Goldsboro and moved to Wilmington to attend UNCW in 1996 where he began a career in the restaurant industry. While in school, he was able to hone his craft working in some of the area’s best kitchens. He left Wilmington in 2010 to work under James Beard Award winner Sean Brock in Charleston, SC at the acclaimed Husk Restaurant. In 2012, James returned home to NC to open Rx Restaurant and Bar in downtown Wilmington.
Throughout his years in Wilmington, James has developed several lasting relationships with area and regional food producers. His love for Carolina and Low Country cuisine and for the agriculture and seafood produced in the area led Rx to be a sought after table where you can enjoy some of the South’s best offerings. In 2013, he opened sister restaurant, Pembroke’s, in the Forum near Wrightsville Beach. Both restaurants continue to please diners with their modern approach to locally sourced coastal Southern Cuisine.
Sarah Campbell, Stakeholder Engagement Specialist, Farm Service Agency USDA
Wyatt Dickson, co-owner and Pittmaster, Picnic Durham, Whole Hog BBQ and Seasonal Sides