Joel Salatin writes in his website that he is “in the redemption business: healing the land, healing the food, healing the economy, and healing the culture.” And if you visited his farm in Swoope, Virginia, you’d know he means it & lives it! He produces beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, rabbits, and forestry product. Yet, Joel calls himself a grass-farmer, for it is the grass that transforms the sun into energy that his animals can then feed on. By closely observing nature, Joel created a rotational grazing system that not only allows the land to heal but also allows the animals to behave the way the were meant to – as in expressing their “chicken-ness” or “pig-ness”, as Joel would say.
The son of southern sharecroppers, Will Allen always believed that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy food. Today, he lives his dream growing amazing products on a 3-acre lot in the middle of urban Milwaukee. By converting a million pounds of waste into energy via composting, Will also leads the way in visualizing zero-waste cities.
6 ft 7″ former professional basketball player Will Allen is now one of the most influential leaders of the food security & urban farming movement. His farm and not-for-profit, Growing Power, have trained and inspired people in every corner of the US to start growing food sustainably. This man and his organization go beyond growing food. They provide a platform for people to share knowledge and form relationships in order to develop alternatives to the industrial food system.
15 years ago, Russ Kremer ran an industrial hog confinement operation in Frankenstein, Missouri. Following standard practices, he fed his pigs daily doses of antibiotic for growth efficiency and to ward off illnesses. Then, one day Russ was gored by one of his hogs and nearly died from an antibiotic-resistant infection. He realized the danger posed by the overuse of antibiotics, and immediately transformed his farm. Today his hogs are antibiotic-free. Russ is the founder of the Ozark Mountain Pork Coop and the president of the Missouri Farmers Union.
With the rise of Wal-Mart and other big chains, David Ball saw his family-run supermarket dying, along with a once-thriving local farm community. So he reinvented his business, partnering with area farmers to sell locally-grown food and specialty food products at an affordable price. His plan has brought the local economy back to life.
Michael Pollan is the author, most recently, of “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.” His previous book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals”, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World”, “A Place of My Own”, and “Second Nature”. A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing, Best American Essays and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper’s Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.
Andrew Kimbrell is a public interest attorney, activist and author. He has been involved in public interest legal activity in numerous areas of technology, human health and the environment. After working for eight years as the Policy Director at the Foundation for Economic Trends, Kimbrell established the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) in 1994 and the Center for Food Safety(CFS) in 1997. Kimbrell has written several books and given numerous public lectures on a variety of issues. He has been featured on radio and television programs across the country, including The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, Crossfire, Headlines on Trial, and Good Morning America. He has lectured at dozens of universities throughout the country and has testified before congressional and regulatory hearings. In 1994, the Utne Reader named Kimbrell as one of the world’s leading 100 visionaries.
George Naylor, past president of the National Family Farm Coalition, farms near Churdan, Iowa. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Soon after coming back to the family farm in 1976, Naylor was elected to the first Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and during the farm crisis of the 1980’s he was active in American Agriculture Movement, the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition and the North American Farm Alliance. From 1989 through 1991 he served on the Executive Committee of the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club. Naylor was a member of Governor Tom Vilsack’s Ag Task Force and Water Summit He has attended gatherings at various international trade talks in Cancun, Geneva, Miami, Sao Paolo, and Hong Kong. Naylor was a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Monsanto and other biotech companies dealing with the negative economic impacts on family farmers by the introduction of genetically modified crops. He is prominently featured in Michael Pollan’s best selling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia.
John was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri and received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He worked in private industry for a time and spent thirty years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri before retiring in early 2000. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture. Ikerd is author of Sustainable Capitalism, A Return to Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms, and Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture.
More complete background information and selected writings are available at http://web.missouri.edu/~ikerdj/ .
Ana was born in Portugal and grew up in Switzerland. Following a travel-abroad program exploring the impact of globalization on the environment and culture, Ana came to the U.S. to study. After a BA in political science from Barnard College, Ana graduated from Columbia Law School, where she was awarded as a Stone Scholar and Human Rights Fellow. Before dedicating herself to filmmaking, Ana founded Reel Youth, Inc., a video production program for youth coming out of detention, and other under-served youth. Her first documentary, Generation Meds, explored our fears and misgivings about mental illness and medication. FRESH, Ana’s second documentary, celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. For more information on speaking engagements or appearances with Ana, see: http://www.freshthemovie.com/contact/speaking-engagements/
Valery Lyman is a cinematographer and video journalist. Over the last 8 years Valery has worked on news, documentaries and TV shows for every major network in the US, including the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, ABC, NBC, and CNN, as well as many independent outfits. In addition to her DP work, Valery is a contributor to National Geographic’s Wild Chronicles and Yahoo’s Assignment Earth environmental series. She also produced and directed the film Always, a portrait of the American century through the lives and love story of an octogenarian couple in Idaho.
Mona Davis (Editor)
Mona Davis has edited numerous award-winning feature documentaries. Her credits include the critically acclaimed Love and Diane (premiered at the New York Film Festival), The Farm, Angola USA, (Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival, Academy Award nominee, Emmy for Best Editing), A Perfect Candidate and Dream Deceivers (both nominated for Emmys), and the American versions of 7 Up and 14 Up. She was the consulting editor on the award winning 51 Birch Street and Girls Like Us. Her work has appeared in theaters, and on PBS, HBO, CBS, BBC, Arte, and Showtime.
David Majzlin (Composer)
David Majzlin’s film credits include Sunshine Cleaning (additional music), starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin, Stille, (Winner – Best Score – Avignon Film Festival), Being Reel, (Winner – Project Greenlight / Coca-Cola® Refreshing Filmmaker Competition), Herb and Dorothy, (Winner – Audience Award – Silverdocs and Hamptons Int’l Film Festival), Virgin Larry (Winner – Coen Brothers Audience Award – Brooklyn International Film Festival), Youth Knows No Pain (HBO Films), and Rania Ajami’s Asylum Seekers (Shoreline Entertainment). His music has appeared in numerous television projects and promos including Ugly Betty, The Cleaner, CSI, The Ghost Whisperer, CNN, Greys Anatomy, The Tony Awards, Desperate Housewives, and 60 Minutes.
Crystal Cun is a peripatetic bard who dabbles in statistics, puzzles and chili peppers. Most recently, she was a masters student in Food Culture & Communication at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
In her past lives, Crystal studied economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, then worked in economics research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Last summer, she spent some time volunteering through WWOOF on a cattle farm in Tuscany, where she learned about welding, Australian folk music and how to look for shooting stars.
As the Director of Distribution and Campaigns for FRESH, Crystal supports sustainable food systems through film education, organizes petitions and campaigns to influence legislation, and provides information on real food to the FRESH community. She manages film screenings, keeps abreast of the latest news on our food system, and fights to keep the FRESH website updated.
You can reach her at crystal@FRESHthemovie.com.
Jenny Holm is a writer, traveler, and food policy junkie whose threefold passions—for storytelling, community-based food systems, and gastronomic adventure—inspire all of her work. She has worked as a chef in a student café, interned at a food magazine where she was once sent home with a crocodile steak in her purse, and weeded, watered, and harvested to her heart’s content while WWOOFing on a permaculture farm in Vermont.
After college in her native Minnesota, she spent a joyful year eating her way across southwestern Russia while studying the collision of traditional and modern foodways there through a Fulbright scholarship. More recently, she spent a semester in the Republic of Georgia teaching English to schoolkids, making wine, and picking tangerines.
Jenny now resides in Washington, DC, where she serves on the board of her local Slow Food chapter and is attempting to cultivate her first garden.
You can contact her at jenny@FRESHthemovie.com.
Minneapolis restauranteur Tracy Singleton is a long-time supporter of FRESH, and was profiled in our FRESH Heroes blog series: Never Say Never: Mobilizing Support for a Smash-Hit Community Screening.
See Will Allen’s biography above.
Fred Haberman is president and co-owner with his wife Sarah Bell Haberman of Haberman & Associates Inc. (HAI), a Minneapolis-based public relations firm whose mission is to support pioneers who are positively changing the way business is done.
Currently, HAI is the lead brand PR firm for Volvo Cars of North America, and manages consumer campaigns for Room & Board, the Bancroft Arnesen Expeditions, Organic Valley and Whole Foods. HAI also leads PR programs for a variety of pioneering high-tech and medical-tech companies, such as Guidant, Stellent, Nistevo, Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox Web browser and MTS Systems.
In addition to leading PR campaigns for hundreds of emerging growth companies, Fred also has served as management consultant for dozens of companies.
Before co-founding HAI, Fred worked at Wells & Miller Public Relations, where he co-managed the international media relations program for Federal Express. He then went on to co-manage on-sight operations in Kazakhstan for U.S. Asian Enterprises. This experience awakened a passion for adventure travel, which prompted Fred to form a wilderness travel company and lead numerous remote wilderness excursions to Nepal, Kazakhstan, Canada and New Zealand.
Fred is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a Bachelor of arts degree in history.
Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics
University of Missouri Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources