Eliot Coleman

Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower and The Winter Harvest Handbook, harvests vegetables year round and does agricultural research from Four Season Farm in Maine. He has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle, sheep and range poultry. He is a commercial market gardener a teacher and lecturer on organic gardening. He served two years as the executive director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements and was an advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These days, he consults and designs tools for Johnny's Selected Seeds. At 78, Coleman shows no sign of slowing down. He still enjoys what he does and looks forward to getting up in the morning. He is encouraged by the passion of the current slow food movement and believes it is here to stay.


Farming for the Future


Tool Innovations for the Four Season Farm

Woody Tasch

Woody is the founder and chairman of Slow Money, a nonprofit that has facilitated the flow of more than $40 million to over 400 local, organic food enterprises via 20 local networks and 14 investment clubs in the United States, Canada, France, and Switzerland. Tasch is a pioneer of the concepts of patient capital, mission-related investing, and community development venture capital. He was chairman and CEO of Investors’ Circle, founding chairman of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance and treasurer of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. Tasch is author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green, 2011). He has been recognized by UTNE as one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”

Laura & Monte Bledsoe

Monte and Laura Bledsoe are the owners of Quail Hollow Farm, a small organic full-diet farm in Southern Nevada. Monte and Laura were originally inspired to become farmers by visiting the Founders farms in the Eastern United States and were impressed by the sense of stewardship that they had for the land. Feeling the call to provide wholesome food for their family and community, they founded Quail Hollow Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Now the farm has grown to service over 100 families, several notable restaurants and farmers markets throughout southern Nevada. Battling challenges they encountered with local authorities, they successfully worked at the 2013 Nevada Legislature to pass the “Farm to Fork” and Cottage Food bills. Laura is passionate about preserving indigenous seeds, foods and culture. Monte is passionate about self-sufficiency, health and close community relationships. Together they love working to promote healthy soil and healthy families.

Dr. Shanon Brooks

Dr. Shanon Brooks is the president of Monticello College, a unique school that combines georgics, the liberal arts, manual arts, and entrepreneurship resulting in debt-free, mortgage-free, self-reliant graduates. He is the author of The State of American Education and A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens.

Dr. Brooks is a veteran of military service in the United States Submarine Fleet and holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, a Master’s degree in education, and a Ph.D. in constitutional law. On a personal note, he loves operating his backhoe, hiking, and the renewing force of permaculture. He and his wife Julia live on the campus of Monticello College.

Vernie Lynn DeMille

I am a woman of faith and hope. I am an American farmer. I am passionate about the pursuit of beauty in simple things: finding it, creating it, remembering it, and sharing it. I am a believer in joy: that it is a method of travel and not a destination. I am the sum of my efforts and not my failures. I believe that every season has a purpose and that we have a job to do within it. I believe that living my life on purpose means that I must look with the intent to really see, listen with the goal of really hearing, and speak with the desire to serve, comfort, and encourage.

Chef Shon Foster

A native of Kanab, Utah, Executive Chef Shon Foster takes a thoughtful approach to food, blending contemporary cuisine with local & international traditions. Chef Shon’s career path led him to the role of executive chef at Amangiri, which was named one of “America’s Best Hotels for Foodies” by Travel & Leisure in January 2013. Amangiri is a boutique resort tucked into the canyons of Southern Utah at Canyon Point, near the Arizona border, and a member of Aman Resorts, a collection of luxury resorts around the world. While at the helm of the kitchen at Amangiri in 2012, Chef Shon has featured dishes that highlight ingredients & culinary traditions native to Utah & the Southwest, while integrating flavors from around the world – a nod to Aman Resorts’ global profile. His passion is to let the pure flavors of the ingredients shine through while allowing room for experimentation and spontaneity.

Chef Shon’s next venture led him back home to open Sego Restaurant in Kanab Utah. The result is an evolving menu that showcases his creativity in the kitchen and captures the vibrancy of the local culinary landscape. Chef Shon has charted his own path in the culinary world, spending a handful of years as a recording engineer in the music industry before discovering his passion of the culinary world and fine dining. His efforts have culminated in an invitation to the 2013 & 2014 Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and most recently, his whimsical approach to food titled "S'mores School" was a popular display at the Nashville Southern Ground Music and Food Festival, catering for high end car companies around the united states. Chef Shon also has represented Utah and its culinary scene in Germany to promote Southern Utah tourism, and added public speaking at local farm conferences and economioc development seminars to his most recent experiences.

Jason Neeley

Jason Neeley is partner of Sego Restaurant and Against The Grain Restaurant Group. His career path started in the music industry where he successfully started and grew a independent record label. With his business background and entrepreneur mindset he looked at the food and beverage industry for his next ventures. Jason’s gift for connecting talented individuals and business acumen has led his passion for all things food and hospitality.

Chef Drew Nehrenz

Drew Nehrenz, Program Coordinator Instructor at Southwest Technical College.

Gratuated from Western Culinary Institute.

  • Spago Las Vegas, Caesars Palace (NV)
  • Tucci (OR)
  • Mcmemamins Edgefield (OR)
  • The Black Rabbit (OR)
  • Southpark Seafood Grill (OR)
  • El Gaucho (OR)
Chef Nehrenz adds to his rich experience with travel through the United States and Southeast Asia including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Erin O'Brien

A Ph.D. in Biology – Ecology and Evolution, and a B.A. in Biology Erin's research is focused on plant physiological ecology with a focus on below ground interactions. She is on the board of The St George Ancestor Square Farmers Market and an avid supporter of the local food movement including an annual subscription to a local CSA for several years.

Sara Patterson

Sara, a farmer and entrepreneur who started a CSA at 14, is the owner of and runs Red Acre Farm CSA, a successful small Biodynamic farm. With her mom, she established The Red Acre Institute for Food and Agriculture in Cedar City, a rural Southern Utah community. She started the 2 farmers markets in Cedar, is an activist and responsible for making herd shares legal where they were not in 2015 in Utah, and is the 2016 winner of the Gravel Road Gang Award for activism FTCLDF, the Unsung Hero Award from State Policy Network, and the Cedar Chamber of Commerce’s Young Citizen of the Year Award. She eats and advocates that everyone should have access to local nutrient dense food. She is a popular speaker and loves sharing her journey.

Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts is a member of the Utah House of Representatives. He serves on the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriation Committee, the house Business and Labor Standing Committee and the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee. In 2014 he sponsored and passed HB 104, Cow Share Program Amendments and in 2015 he sponsored HB 144, The Food Freedom Act.

Marc currently lives in Salem Utah with his wife Casey and 5 children.

Steven Rosenberg

Steven M. Rosenberg is the Founder, “Chief Eating Officer” and Good Food Evangelist at national award winning specialty food retailer Liberty Heights Fresh; a neighborhood good food market, located in Salt Lake City, UT. Established in 1993.

Prior to creating Liberty Heights Fresh, Rosenberg worked on his family’s Southwest Michigan fruit orchard; and as a retail street fruitier; wholesale produce merchant, biotech marketer, flower importer/merchant and filmmaker.

Steven studied Food Marketing and Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University, BS 1983. He also completed the Babson College/Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, Salt Lake City (Cohort 2, 2013); and studied filmmaking at the Vancouver Flim School, Vancouver, BC Canada 1990-91.

A community and good food movement activist; Rosenberg co-founded the Vest Pocket Business Coalition, and has served on the following boards: Specialty Food Association Board of Directors and Retailer Advisory Board, The Salt Lake Film Center, Craft Lake City, the Davey Foundation, Government Relations Committee of Local First Utah, Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Urban Agriculture Advisory Board, Utah Department of Workforce Services Central Regional Council, Natural History Museum of Utah Nature of Things Speaker Selection Committee, the American Cheese Society Cheese Monger Certification Program Committee, the Salt Lake City Business Advisory Board, and Jewish Family Services.

Rebecca Simms

Rebecca began practicing yoga as a way to battle anxiety and bring physical and spiritual balance. Rebecca completed her 200 hour YTT as the Yoga Center of Morro Bay. Rebecca believes that yoga should be accessible to people from all walks of life, and be used as a way to gain confidence and self-love. Rebecca completed additional 25 hour YTT through “Yoga for All” with the emphasis of different body types and “Diverse Communities” to make her classes accessible for all. Rebecca has taught for all ages from kids to seniors with different aliments and limitations.

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