FEED Summit 2023 Speaker Profiles

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Hannah Altimus
Community Development Educator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Vernon County

Hannah maintains a broad focus on a variety of challenges surrounding community economic development. She helps residents and local government entities understand economic growth and development to help them make more informed decisions. The Extension Institute of Community Development provides educational programming to assist leaders, communities, and organizations realize their fullest potential. Community Development Educators work with communities to build vitality that enhances their quality of life and enriches the lives of their residents.

Email: hannah.altimus@wisc.edu

Andrew Bernhardt
Agriculture Program Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Website: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspx
Email: andrew.bernhardt@wisconsin.gov
Phone: 608-572-0512

Charles Bloom
Licensing Specialist
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Website: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Licenses_Permits/FoodLicenses.aspx
Email: datcpdfslicensing@wisconsin.gov
Phone: 608-224-4923
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/widatcp
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wisdatcp

Amanda Chu
Board Member
New Food Forum

Amanda is a facilitator, grower, and coordinator who is passionate about equity-centered cultural and structural change through values-based policy design and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

For fifteen years, she has devoted myself to exploring ways in which food and food systems can contribute to the betterment of the environment and people’s lives. Through her work at various non-profits and local government, she has learned how to successfully navigate at both the grassroots grasstops levels.

Email: amanda.chu@nwtc.edu

Judy Clendenning
Business & Cooperative Programs Specialist
USDA – Rural Development

Judy Clendenning is a Business & Cooperative Programs Specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. She joined the Agency in June of 2008. She works primarily with grant programs. She is the lead specialist for the Value-Added Producer Grant program. In this program, she helps provide funding to agricultural producers to help them develop businesses that produce and market value-added agricultural products. She also devotes a considerable amount of her time to working with the Rural Energy for America Program. In this program, she helps provide funding to farmers and rural small businesses to install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. In the fifteen years Judy has been with Rural Development, she has trained many new employees. Judy enjoys living in a rural area which makes working for Rural Development a great fit.

Judy holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. She also minored in Economics and completed an emphasis in Forest Recreation. She and her husband have two children. In her free time, she likes to attend her daughter’s music or sporting events.

Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/

Valerie Dantoin
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Valerie has been farming at Full Circle Community Farm for over 30 years and teaching about sustainable agriculture at Northeast Wisconsin Tech College for 15 years. She has helped launch several Cooperatives like SLO Farmers Co-op and a grass-based cheese Co-op 20 years ago.  Valerie tries to keep moving the local food system in Northeast Wisconsin forward by working through NEW Food Forum.

Email: Valerie.Dantoin@NWTC.EDU

Selena Darrow
Senior Culinary Chef Consultant
Culinary Innovations

Selena Darrow is a lifelong Green Bay resident, and her passion is food. She has over 25 years’ experience in the local food industry including: restaurants, healthcare dietetics, school food service and food manufacturers, including Red Arrow Products, Performance Foods Group, Birds Eye Foods and Good Humor Breyers.

She owns and operates her own culinary consulting business, Culinary Innovations, which specializes in creative content development and technical R&D Chef support for the food service industry. Selena is also the Executive Director for the nonprofit, Rooted In Inc., whose mission is to strengthen the health of the Greater Green Bay community through partnerships and seed to table programs that create and maintain a sustainable local food system.

Selena is a community volunteer. She has shared her passion for cooking and hunger alleviation in many ways, including Trinity Lutheran Church, NEW Food Forum, Charity Committee Chair at Birds Eye Foods, Live 54218 Steering Committee Member, Farm to School Volunteer and the NEW Community Shelter. Chef Selena is a former Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals Network, Future Fifteen Nominee.

Email: selena@sdculinaryinnovations.com
Phone: 920-676-7506
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/selenadarrow/
Instagram: @selena.darrow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mazzymoon38/

Sophie Eyer
Community Development Educator, Community Food Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Crawford County

Sophie has over two years of experience in food systems work in addition to educational dialogue facilitation. Living in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, she enjoys exploring hiking trails, attending live music events, and collecting antiques. Sophie is passionate about exploring ways in which local food production can help tackle inequitable food distribution and access in rural areas.

Email: sophia.eyer@wisc.edu
Phone: 608-326-0223

Ron Franklin
Director of Entrepreneurship
Greater Green Bay Chamber

Ron is originally from Australia and has been in business management and leadership for over 15 years. He has experience ranging from startups and growing businesses through to large fortune 100 companies, and has worked for some of the top industry-leading companies such as Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, Kimberly Clark, and Polaris. In Ron’s role with the Greater Green Bay Chamber, he helps entrepreneurs start their own businesses and provides business coaching to those leading existing businesses.

Jeffrey Glazer
Clinical Professor
University of Wisconsin Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Jeffrey has been working with food and beverage companies for the past 16 years and 12 years at the Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and loves the vibrancy and entrepreneurial spirit in the city. Jeff is passionate about building capacity among entrepreneurs to the food and beverage industry.

Website: www.uwle.org
Email: jmglazer@wisc.edu

Michelle Grimm
Community Development Educator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Taylor County

Michelle works with local community organizations and businesses by providing information, leadership, and capacity building. She works on local government issues and assists with environmental programs. Michelle also supervises the Community Gardens and directs the Strong Bodies program in Taylor County. She is passionate about learning new things and connecting with nature.

Jess Guffey Calkins
Community Food Systems Educator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Dane County

Jess has worked in food systems at Extension since 2019, as well as an additional 10 years in food systems nonprofits, gardens, and farms. Jess is passionate about addressing food policy and planning to improve food accessibility and resilience. Jess lives in Madison, and enjoys hiking and camping with family and friends.

Katie Hassemer
Farmers Market Outreach Coordinator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Katie is an experienced Farmers Market Operator with a history of working in the sustainable farming industry and in the non-profit sector. She has a keen interest in growing and creating access for fresh, local food in the community.

Brian Johnson
Executive Director
On Broadway, Inc.

Brian is the Executive Director for the economic development group in Green Bay, On Broadway, Inc. This community-based organization is working to strengthen Green Bay’s Broadway District. Brian’s experience includes managing young professionals programs and running his own business. 

Dale Johnson
Organic Dairy Field Rep for Westby Cooperative Creamery
Century Sun Oil LLC

Dale was born and raised on his families dairy farm which has been in the family since 1882. After purchasing the farm from his father in 1978, he milked cows until 1997 when the transition to organic farming was complete. In 2009, Dale and his wife began Century Sun Oil, a company focusing on processing a specific variety of sunflowers into a healthy cooking oil.

He lives in Pulaski, Wisconsin, and loves that family, friends, and long time neighbors make for interesting reminiscent stories of the “good old days”. Dale is passionate about the growing and processing of healthy, local food for optimal soil, plant, animal, and human health.

Email: johnsonsorganics@hotmail.com
Phone: 920-246-6475

Kara Kasten-Olson
Agriculture Program Supervisor, Division of Agricultural Development
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Email: kara.kastenolson@wisconsin.gov
Phone: (608) 224-5112

Margaret Krome
Policy Program Director
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Margaret began working in this field in 1986, and started working for Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) in 1995. MFAI is located in East Troy in Southeast WI, and Margaret lives and works in Madison, WI, where she loves the wonderful community. Margaret also loves spending most weekends tending gardens, apple trees, and woods at her family’s land in southwest Wisconsin. She is passionate about people contributing to democratic government and using the resources of government to support profitable, environmentally sound, and just food and farming systems.

Website: www.michaelfields.org
Email: mkrome@sbcglobal.net
Phone: 608-628-2503

Diane Mayerfeld
Senior Outreach Specialist, Agriculture Institute
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Diane Mayerfeld is the sustainable agriculture coordinator for University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. She helps educators and farmers learn about sustainable agriculture techniques and resources, including grants from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. She has a PhD from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and researches silvopasture in Wisconsin.

Website: https://cias.wisc.edu/
Email: dbmayerfeld@wisc.edu
Phone: 608-262-8188

Kelly Maynard
Cooperative Development Specialist
Center for Cooperatives, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Kelly has 9 years of experience supporting cooperatives and 13 years of experience in food systems work. She is passionate about teaching people to work and make decisions together productively, whatever their purpose! Kelly feels lucky to live, work, garden, paddle, hunt, and frolic outside Belleville, Wisconsin on the West Branch of the Sugar River.

Christy McKenzie
Pasture & Plenty

Christy is the ringleader, creative director, and coach of Pasture & Plenty. Her passion and drive makes Pasture & Plenty so special. Having been Madison born and raised, this business is something she has been dreaming of for 20 years. Because of her, Pasture & Plenty is committed to the root idea that food should be sourced locally and be as wholesome as possible for everyone. Christy’s favorite Pasture & Plenty dish is the pasta.

Steffen Mirsky
Emerging Crops Outreach Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Steffen has 12 years of experience working to diversify our food system. As a new resident of Wisconsin, Steffen enjoys exploring the natural areas in the Madison area. Steffen is passionate about creating abundant, diverse, and sustainable agricultural landscapes.

Website: www.emergingcropswi.org
Email: swmirsky@wisc.edu
Phone: 248-974-1645

Mallaidh Mleziva
MJM Farm Marketing

Mallaidh has been helping direct-to-consumer farmers and rural business owners sow and grow their marketing efforts for 5 years. She is located in Whitelaw, Wisconsin, and loves the state for it’s rich farming history and beautiful scenary. She enjoys being outdoors on her family’s farm, whether it’s gardening, hiking, or talking to the cows. Mallaidh is passionate about the local food system and connecting producers to consumers. She believes everyone should be able to know their farmer and see where their food is grown.

Mallaidh grew up on a farm and knew she wanted to be a farmer her whole life. She earned degrees in Entrepreneurship and Marketing in order to start her own farming business. While in the first years of farming, she has combined her passions to provide marketing services for other farmers because a coordinated and strategic marketing plan is essential for every business.

Website: mjmfarmmarketing.com
Email: mallaidh@mjmfarmmarketing.com
Instagram: @mjmfarmmarketing

Patrick Nehring
Community Development Educator/Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Brown and Kewaunee Counties

Patrick has been providing community development education for Extension for 23 years. He is passionate about sustaining the communities of Wisconsin. He is located in Brown County, where people general look out for each other and work together, where there are opportunities to bike, cross country ski, and attend local events, and where there is a pretty good community owned football team near the Bay.

Jenna Ouradnik
Environmental Health Sanitarian – Advanced
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Jenna has worked for DATCP for six and a half years, and served in her current role for nearly two years. She loves the sense of community, trails, new restaurants, and being close to family and friends in De Pere, WI. Jenna is passionate about education, bringing food safety awareness to the public, and bringing new faces to the world of public health – this is something she gets to do every day at her job!

Website: https://datcp.wi.gov
Email: Jenna.Ouradnik@wisconsin.gov
Phone: 715-701-6024
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/widatcp
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wisdatcp

Steph Plaster
Extension Farm Management Outreach Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Stephanie has over 10 years experience in the agriculture industry focused on business development. She enjoys cooling down by the lake in her hometown of Port Washington, WI. Stephanie is passionate about helping farmers develop their strategic thinking and leadership skills in order to achieve their vision and goals and enhance their competitive position.

Website: farms.extension.wisc.edu/author/plaster
Email: stephanie.plaster@wisc.edu
Phone: 262-277-6809
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uwmadisonextension

Lissa Radke
Community Development Educator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Ashland County

Lissa conducts educational programs to assist leaders, communities, and organizations to enhance knowledge and take action to improve the quality of life Ashland County communities. She focuses on building sustainable communities, renewable energy, local government education, organizational and leadership development, food security, and climate change and community resilience.

Website: https://ashland.extension.wisc.edu/community-development/
Email: lissa.radke@wisc.edu
Phone: 715-682-7017

Peter Robertson
Pasta Guru and Food Brand – Expert in Residence
Food Finance Institute

Robertson opened RP’s Pasta Company in 1995. In 2008 he developed the best fresh gluten-free pasta for a friend that was diagnosed with celiac disease and grew the business from $1 million to $5 million in 5 years. The fresh gluten-free pasta was so successful that it was rebranded Taste Republic Gluten Free and led to the sale of the company to become Tribe 9 Foods. From there he pushed the sales north of $15 million.

RP’s fresh traditional pasta and Taste Republic Gluten Free fresh pasta is distributed to hundreds of restaurants and grocery stores throughout the United States. Today Peter continues to make fresh pasta at home and consults with emerging food brands.

Website: https://foodfinanceinstitute.org/

Jessica Jane Spayde
Food Entrepreneurship Specialist
Community Food Systems Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Jessica has over 17 years of experience facilitating educational dialogues and over 20 years of experience in food systems work. She is passionate about increasing sustainability and equity in the food system and society, and brings a systems approach to food entrepreneurship and ecosystems development. Living in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin, Jessica enjoys spending time in nature, including hiking, canoeing, and foraging.

Website: www.foodsystems.extension.wisc.edu

Claire Thompson
Clario Farmstead Pasta

Claire has 20 years of experience in agriculture and food systems work. She lives in Sturgeon Bay, WI and enjoys the natural beauty of the Door Peninsula and a supportive business especially for female entrepreneurs. Claire Thompson and her husband Mario Micheli are co-owners of Clario Farmstead Pasta. Claire is passionate about supporting local sustainable agriculture and bringing beautiful and healthy food to her community.

Website: http://clariofarms.com
Email: clario@clariofarms.com
Phone: 920-495-8780
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clariofarmsllc
Instagram: @clariopasta

Corey Van Dyke
Mister Burns LLC

Corey has two years of experience as a food entrepreneur, as the owner of Mister Burns LLC, creating craft BBQ, Salsa and Hot Sauces made with homegrown peppers, local honey, and premium ingredients. He enjoys gardening in his home city of Green Bay, WI.

Addison Vang
Community Development Educator
University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties

Addison has been with Extension since 2021. He is passionate about creating inclusive communities supporting historically marginalized and underrepresented communities. Addison lives in Eau Claire and loves being close to the driftless area and access to the rivers and lakes throughout the Chippewa Valley.

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