2020 Program and Speakers

2020 Invited Speakers

Jess Halliday, PhD – Keynote Speaker – Thursday, June 4 Morning plenary

Jess Halliday is an associate of the RUAF Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems. She is presently working with partners from the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University and the CGIAR Water Land and Ecosystems programme on a project led by the FAO to strengthen resilience of city region food systems to climate-related shocks and stresses. Before joining RUAF in 2018 Jess worked with the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food (IPES-Food) to author a report on the drivers of urban food policies, What Makes Urban Food Policy Happen?; and for French research institute Cirad, where she conducted research for the UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems. Jess spent her early career as a journalist and TV researcher. Jess holds a PhD and an MSc in food policy from the Centre for Food Policy, City University London, and gained her bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University. She lives in the small village near city of Montpellier in southern France. Click here to learn more about Dr. Halliday.

Session Title – Climate Impacts on Regional Food Systems

Charles Rice, PhD – Thursday, June 4 – Afternoon plenary

Dr. Rice grew up in Yorkville, Illinois which had a population of about 1,500 people at the time. Throughout the years he became involved in many aspects of 4-H. Rice received his B.S. in Geography from Northern Illinois University. He then completed his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Kentucky. In 1988 Rice joined the Agronomy faculty at K-State. Rice specializes in soil microbiology, carbon cycling, and climate change. His extensive research has allowed him to gain helpful insight in order to help his students. Dr. Rice spends his remaining free time relaxing by doing the things that he enjoys most, reading and gardening. Click here for more information about Dr. Rice.

Session Title – Coming Soon!

Mark Winne – Pre-Symposium Workshop Speaker – Wednesday, June 3rd AND Dinner Speaker – Thursday, June 4

From 1979 to 2003, Mark Winne was the Executive Director of the Hartford Food System (HFS), a private nonprofit agency that works on food and hunger issues in the Hartford, Connecticut area. From 2002 until 2004, Mark was a Food and Society Policy Fellow, a position supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Mark currently writes, speaks, and consults extensively on community food system topics including hunger and food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community food assessment, and food policy. Since 2013, Mark has served as a Senior Advisor at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future where he works on local and state food policy. He is the author of Food Town, USA (Island Press 2019), Stand Together or Starve Alone: Unity and Chaos in the U.S. Food Movement (Praeger Press 2018), Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty (Beacon Press 2008), and Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture (Beacon Press, 2010). Mark now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Click here to learn more about Mark!

Session Title – The Hydra-Headed Food System: Imagining the Whole and Connecting the Dots

Elizabeth Mitcham, PhD – Friday, June 5 Morning plenary

Elizabeth Mitcham is director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a USAID-funded program housed in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, which advances fruit and vegetable research to support the needs of smallholder farmers in developing countries. As director, Mitcham oversees the program as a whole and is responsible for external relations, strategic planning and financial management. She also serves as a technical resource on horticulture and handling of produce after harvest to reduce postharvest losses. She joined the program as its associate director in 2009 and has served as the program’s director since 2011. Mitcham joined the UC Davis faculty in 1992 as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist. She holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Maryland (Ph.D. and B.S.) and North Carolina State University (M.S.). Click here to lean more about Dr. Mitcham!

Session Title – Coming Soon!

Becca Jablonski, PhD – Friday, June 5 – Afternoon plenary

Becca Jablonski is an Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. As part of her position, she facilitates the Colorado Governor’s Food Systems Advisory Council and is a co-leader of Colorado State University’s Food Systems Extension Team. Dr. Jablonski’s research and extension program is comprised of two primary components: 1) evaluating the farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through non-commodity markets (e.g., local food markets, certification, or other product differentiation strategies); and, 2) assessing the community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs. Dr. Jablonski holds a PhD from Cornell University. Click here to learn about Dr. Jablonski!

Session Title – Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Support Rural-Urban Linkages and Rural Economic Development





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