Meet Our Presenters

Julie Atwood, Resilience Panel | Sunday 1:30 | Life on Farm

 Julie Solomon Atwood has lived in rural California all her life, surrounded by farms, ranches and livestock. In 2014, an emergency involving one of her ranch horses motivated her to develop resources for helping animals in emergencies in her neighborhood. What started as a small local project to help first responders acquire ATR (Animal Technical Rescue) skills, evolved into an education and outreach program that now reaches the entire San Francisco North Bay, and beyond. Today, the HALTER community includes more than 300 First Responders in the Fire, Animal Control, and Law Enforcement services, plus emergency managers, veterinarians, rural residents, and local NGOs . Julie’s career in event planning led her to produce the only Disaster Preparedness event with a focus on animals, agriculture, and rural communities, the Home & Ranch Readiness Summit has brought renowned speakers and expert resources to Sonoma County to share preparedness and response information. She has also produced and sponsored 2 “HALTER HONORS the HEROES  Community Preparedness Awards” events, recognizing individuals, organizations, and agencies in her community and the US that have helped achieve greater awareness and preparedness. Julie’s HALTER Project has been recognized with 2 Gold Resolutions by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and was honored at the White House in 2016 with a FEMA ICP (Individual and Community Preparedness) Award.

Barbara Jean “BJ” Avery, Herbal Tea Blends for Your Health | Sunday 1:00 | DIY Arena

BJ Avery is the director of the Sonoma County Herb Exchange, a local non-profit entity supporting local growers and medicine makers in supplying the finest herbs available in our neck of the woods. Our goal is to foster respect for the green world and our community through the responsible use and sustainable cultivation of herbs. 

 

 

Dave Bailey, Recycle your Food Waste with Worms! | Sunday 11:30 | DIY Arena

Dave Bailey left the San Francisco tech scene to follow his dream and grow… Worms? Soon after learning that his family’s farm couldn’t grow any crops, Dave read about a successful worm farm and decided to give that a try. Knowing that current farming methods and toxic chemicals were killing the soil, Dave made it his mission to start a worm farm and save the Earth! As we know, the mighty worm does a fantastic job recycling waste. Red wigglers eat around 25% of their body weight per day and the worm waste (called castings) is one of the best fertilizers around. Dave joined forces with three other partners and created the 2nd largest worm farm in the country! The worm castings have been used by wineries, farms, landscapers, and home gardeners. Dave is now focusing on the larger problem of food waste recycling. He creates products that allow households and schools to compost on site using red wiggler worms and teaches anyone who will listen how to vermicompost. Dave has managed over 20 million worms, received California organic certification, and is a Certified Compost Operations Manager by the US Composting Council.

Will Bakx, All About Home Composting | Saturday 1:00 |  DIY Arena

Will Bakx started composting in 1982 at Sonoma State University as student manager of the Ecological Food Production Garden. In 1985 he launched Bennett Valley Farm Compost, processing various agricultural and fish industry discards. In 1993 he started the Sonoma county-wide yard debris composting program as Sonoma Compost Company (SCC). He has diverted over 1,800,000 tons of organics from the landfill, creating high quality mulches and composts allowed for organic food production, including biodynamic® composts. Currently working as compost consultant and is a principal in Renewable Sonoma. He is the adjunct compost instructor at the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) and serves as chair of the SRJC Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee. He also serves on the US Compost Council Compost Training Committee and is a co-instructor for its Compost Operator’s Training week. He is the co-founder and chair of the California Organics Recycling Council (CORC) and the executive board member of the California Compost Coalition (CCC). Will earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Sonoma State University and an MS in Soil Science from U.C. Berkeley.

Scott Heath, Making Cider | Sunday 2:30 | DIY Arena

Scott HeathScott Heath is a cidermaker, orchardist, and graphic designer. He studied with UK cider expert Peter Mitchell, and has a certificate in cider sensory. Scott, with his wife Ellen Cavalli, launched Tilted Shed Ciderworks in 2011. Together, they graft and grow nearly 150 varieties of rare cider apples and perry pears on their Sebastopol farm, source organic apples from local growers, make fine ciders that showcase the terroir of Sonoma County, and preach the good word of cider and cider apples.

 

Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, Ag Interview with Clark Wolf | Saturday 3:30 | Life on the Farm

Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins represents the geographically large and economically diverse Fifth District. Lynda’s interest in public policy and land use began while attending Stanford University, where she studied environmental problem solving. For over a decade, she and her husband have operated an organic food farm on their family’s land along the Russian River. Lynda is a passionate advocate for environmental protection, coastal access for all Californians, social justice, and early childhood education.

 

Gabe Jackson, Make Mozzarella Cheese at Home | Sunday 4:00 | DIY Arena

Gabe Jackson has been with The Beverage People making cheese at home since the launch of our cheesemaking department in 2006 and has developed a number of their shop recipes as well as various cheesemaking courses over the years. Gabe is a Sonoma State University alumnus with a BA in History and BS in accounting. He has also spent considerable time working in the hobby world of home fermentation (beer, wine, cheese, etc) and as well as a stretch in commercial brewing at Moylan’s Brewing Company. Under the guidance of homebrew pioneers Byron Burch and Nancy Vineyard, as well as industry expert Bob Peak, he became a Beverage People teacher of home brewing and cheese making classes. He is a BJCP certified beer judge, and has served in various volunteer positions with local homebrewing and cheesemaking clubs including Treasurer, VP, and President. Gabe is the general manager and one of the shareholders of The Beverage People.

Chef Michele Anna Jordan, Beyond Applesauce | Saturday 11:30 | DIY Arena

Michele Anna JordanMichele Anna Jordan is a celebrated chef native to the North Bay, growing up in the San Francisco Bay and then raising her children on a dairy farm in Lakeville. She is also an author, with over 24 books published, two weekly columns in The Press Democrat, and an active website that chronicles her passion for writing, home cooking and Sonoma County. She also hosts her radio show Mouthful, now in its 24th year on KRCB-FM.

Michele Anna Jordan has been exploring and extolling the wonders of Wine Country (and especially Sonoma County) food and wine since long before it was recognized by the rest of the country as one of the great culinary treasure spots. Not only is she a great teacher but also has the ability to communicate recipes in a straightforward “I can do that” manner that has been an inspiration for cooks of all abilities. Her role as culinary historian for our part of the world is much appreciated and she, almost single-handedly, has made stars of our local growers, farmers, and producers. We’re so lucky she is here with us! — Chef John Ash, author and father of Wine Country Cuisine

Jane Kennedy, Backyard Chickens & Goats | Sunday 3:30pm | Life on the Farm

Jane Kennedy, with her husband and Ben Angulo, established Split Rail Farms in Penngrove in 2007. Split Rail Farms is a small homestead that raises a variety of livestock including Nubian and Nigerian Dwarf goats, and many breeds of chickens. They sell breeding stock and adult hens to fill backyard chickens coops around the Bay Area. Jane has taught backyard chicken keeping classes at College of Marin, and at The Fairfax Backyard Farmer. They are experienced in raising and breeding rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens and selling farm products at the Farmers Markets and to local Restaurants. Their focus is developing small acreage to be productive and enjoyable and safe for families with children.

Austin & Melissa Lely, Farmer Resilience Panel  | Sunday 1:30pm | Life on the Farm

Austin Lely was born and raised in Sonoma, CA. He has a degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis on special events & tourism from Chico State and a certificate of achievement in Peace & Global studies from Butte JC. After Graduation from CSU Chico, he moved to Glen Ellen and immersed himself in organic and biodynamic farming. In 2015, Austin and his wife Melissa incorporated Bee-Well Farms, and began their journey living off the land. While running the farm, Austin worked full time at Benziger Family Winery. Over the last three years while being the sustainability Manager he was responsible for the Biodynamic and Organic program at the Winery, as well as, certifications, livestock, gardens, and sustainable practices.  In the last year and a half at the winery he held the position as Ranch Manager for Benziger and Imagery Winery overseeing Estate projects, facility compliance, safety, and security. After losing nearly everything from the wildfires on October 8th, 2017, he had a change of perspective and left the wineries he idolized to focus his attention on rebuilding and growing the farm. 

Melissa grew up in the small town of Groveland. Playing in the mountains all throughout her childhood, she developed a great love for nature and knew that someday she wanted a career where she could spend her days in the great outdoors. After earning an associate degree at West Valley and Mission Colleges, she went away to Chico State University, where she studied Recreation Administration, Special Events and Tourism, and met her life partner Austin Lely. Together Melissa and Austin followed their dream to Sonoma, where they began Bee-Well Farms. Melissa has always been passionate about health, good food and hospitality, and has a strong vision for bringing the three elements together at Bee-Well Farms.

Jim Moreda Cow Milking | Saturday & Sunday 12:30 | Life on Farm

Jim Moreda, a fifth generation dairyman, graduated from Cal Poly where he majored in Dairy Science and became the herdsman on the campus dairy.  Upon graduation he moved to New Zealand for a year to further his dairy experience before returning home to his family’s business, Valley Ford Cheese Co. In 2008, Jim’s mother Karen Bianchi-Moreda founded the creamery. The creamery is located on the family’s ranch, Mountain View Jersey Dairy, off the rural coast of Sonoma County. The Bianchi family has owned and operated the 640 acre ranch since 1918, and it is now occupied by the third, fourth, and fifth generations.

Dominic Padua, Sauerkraut Making | Saturday 4:00 | DIY Arena

Dom creates fermented foods including hot sauces, Kim Chi, Sauerkraut and Kim Chi Sauce. When working as a farmer at Sebastopol’s Laguna Farm right out of college, he started growing his own veggies and making different ferments. His name “Dom Chi” actually comes from making Kim Chi and has stuck with him over the years. In addition to food production, he also creates many forms of art that express this passion for “being ALIVE” through his evocative and vibrant color palate. His creations can be found at his Sebastopol gallery and online at www.domchidesigns.com.

John Pelham, Hatching & Raising Backyard Chickens | Saturday 12:30pm | Life on the Farm

John “JP” Pelham worked for Benedetti Farms (Willie Bird Turkeys) for decades as an operations manager. JP received a degree in Avian Science at Modesto Jr. College. JP has been the resident poultry expert at Western Farm Center for the last 20 years. 

 

 

 

Joe Pozzi, Sheep: Shearing & Spinning | Saturday & Sunday 4:30 | Life on the Farm

Joe is a fourth generation rancher, livestock producer. He produces lamb, wool and cattle for various markets. He is a community leader dedicated to land conservation and the economic viability of family farms and ranches. space in our counties. Under Pozzi Ranch, Joe
markets and sells 100% natural, grass-fed, pasture-raised lambs, year round. Pozzi Ranch also produces and purchases wool from other sheep ranchers on the West Coast to process and sell to natural bedding companies for mattresses, comforters, pillows, and fabric throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the ranch develops and manages commercial Angus cow-calf operations for the conventional market.

Joey Smith, Farmer Resilience Panel  | Sunday 1:00pm | Life on the Farm

I farm because I love being outside and because I want to be part of turning our food system into one that nourishes every single person on the planet.  I also love how farming brings people together.  One reason I named my farm “Let’s Go Farm” is because I think almost everybody has an innate desire to be involved with food production. Not everybody needs to (or should) farm, but everybody should know what it takes to get the food that they eat onto their plates.  Sure, farming is a lot of work, but it’s also incredibly interesting, complex and fun! I’m excited about where humanity can go when we all have enough to eat.  The best will come only when we can go to sleep at night knowing that all the people of the world have enough culturally relevant food to eat, and I strongly believe that a network of decentralized, ecological farmers who are accountable to their communities is the way to make this happen. We try to make the farm available for tours so that people can see our way (one of many) to grow food in an ecological and sustainable way.  Anyone reading this is encouraged to contact me to make plans to come on out and see what we’re doing out here, or to come see what we’re doing at SRJC’s Shone Farm, where I am the garden coordinator, or to take a class at SRJC in the Sustainable Agriculture program.  

Kelly Smith, Shampoo Bar Demonstration | Saturday 2:30 | DIY Arena

Kelly Smith is owner and creator of Rubber Ducky Soap. She has been making soap for over 20 years. Kelly discovered soap making through two coworkers at a job in her early 20’s. The soap that she received from them was so creamy and rich, it made her want to make her own speciality soap. Once Kelly started making soap she was hooked. She has taught soap classes at Slide Ranch, Marin Montessori School and Novato Charter School. Currently, Kelly is an Executive Director for Agricultural Community Events Farmers’ Markets, a non profit that operates 12 farmers’ markets in Sonoma and Marin Counties. Kelly still makes soap and operates her business in her spare time. You can find her soap at DaVero Olive Oil and Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop under their private label as well as on Etsy.

Clark Wolf, Panel Moderator | Saturday & Sunday 1:30 | Life on the Farm Stage

clarkwolfe_avatar_1428941817-400x400Clark Wolf has more than thirty years of experience in the food industry and is founder and President of Clark Wolf Company. Wolf is a member of Linkedin’s Influentials, a columnist for Forbes.com, and has been contributing editor to COOK’S Magazine. He has written a book American Cheeses, about his long history with American artisan cheesemaking and co-edited 101 Classic Cookbooks:501 Classic Recipes. In addition to appearing  on CBS Sunday Morning, he has appeared on CNN, the TV Food Network, and as a regular contributor on CNBC’s The Real Story. Wolf has been the creator and host of two broadcast television series, The Food Show with Clark Wolf and The Big Dish. He is currently the host of the weekly radio program At the Table with Clark Wolf. Traveling extensively, he lectures and gives seminars to chefs’ associations, food professionals, cooking students and industry groups from California to Paris on food trends, specialty foods, restaurants, marketing, and restaurant real estate and finance. In 2009, Wolf was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the James Beard Foundation.

"The sweetest little fair in Sonoma County"