Keynote Speakers

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin, 56, is a full-time farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and the author of eight books including Folks, This Ain’t Normal and The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full-time in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas. His speaking and writing reflect dirt-under-the-fingernails experience punctuated with mischievous humor. He passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. Four generations of his family currently live and work on the farm.

P. Simran Sethi

Simran Sethi is a journalist and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change. Named the environmental “messenger” by Vanity Fair and designated one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, Simran is the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love. Lauded as an “environmental woman of impact” by Daily Variety, Simran has written for outlets including Smithsonian, NPR, The Washington Post, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Guggenheim Museum. She is the contributing author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics Book.

Session Speakers

Thayne Marnard

Thane Maynard is the Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Thane has authored more than a dozen books, the most recent, Hope For Animals & Their World, was coauthored with Jane Goodall.

Suzy De Young

Suzy DeYoung is a 30 year culinary veteran who started La Soupe which creates nutritious meals for those living in food insecurity by capturing a part of the 42% of perfectly good food heading to a landfill.

Suzy DeYoung discusses
Dealing with Hunger and Food Waste

Rita Heikenfeld

Rita Heikenfeld is an herbalist, educator, media personality, speaker, journalist and author who has published books on kid & adult nutrition, gifts from the kitchen and garden, and herbs.

Bryn Mooth

Bryn Mooth is the editor of Edible Ohio Valley magazine, the author of The Findlay Market Cookbook, and a contributor to the Cincinnati Enquirer. She shares fresh, seasonal recipes at

Eating Local by the Seasons

Grace Yek

Grace is a food writer, speaker and trusted food expert dialed into the local food scene. She is a certified Chef de Cuisine with the American Culinary Federation, and in her first career, a chemical engineer.

Justin Dean

Justin Dean: Chef, Farmer, Acid Alchemist, Educator, & Dad. He spends his time working on nutrition in schools, keeping his vinegar bubbling, giving new life to food waste, and continuing to spread the good food gospel.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez is the  cheesemaker and owner at My Artisano Cheese & Yogurt with a passion to make unique healthy artisan cheeses by using probiotic cultures and local milk from grass-fed cows and goats.

Eric Polhamus

Chef Eric is the Chef de Cuisine of The Branch in East Walnut Hills, an eclectic New American restaurant in a historically renovated bank with an emphasis on local and direct farm sourcing.

Behind the Scenes with an Executive Chef

Danny Losekamp

Daniel Losekamp was deployed to Iraq’s Anbar and was moved by the lack of topsoil and agriculture. Years later he teaches about animals, pastures and how it all relates to improving the environment.
Danny Losekamp digs into The Health of the Soil

Stephanie Michalak

Chef Stephanie Michalak graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is now Turner Farm’s Chef and Culinary Manager serving as the educational program coordinator.
Chef Stephanie Michalak Gets into the Kitchen

Leslie Ratliff

Leslie Ratliff of Pendragon Homes has developed Ohio’s first Agri-Community, Aberlin Springs. This conservation community in Warren County provides members a place to connect to the land that feeds them.

Jen Kempin

Chef Jennifer Kempin graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and worked on the Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm in upstate New York before moving to Cincinnati to help open Muse in Mt. Lookout.

Steve Pipkin

In 1983, Steve Pipkin, along with his brother Ben, opened Pipkin's Fruit and Vegetable Market in Blue Ash, Ohio. The vegetable market is open year-round and includes an incredibly popular outdoor garden center.

Paul Picton

Paul Picton started Maverick Chocolate in 2014 after a decade-long passion to find great chocolate. Paul spent the previous 20 years working in the airline industry in a variety of Sales and Engineering roles.
Paul Picton reports

All About Craft Chocolate

Les Stoneham

About a decade ago Les became involved in coffee and his drive to learn and develop others passions and talents shapes the culture of Deeper Roots from roasting and technical work to training and sourcing.


Jenny Lohmann

As the wasted food prevention specialist at Hamilton County Recycling, Jenny works on Green Umbrella's Waste Reduction Team to build awareness, educate, and change behavior to reduce food waste.

Nicole Gunderman

Nicole is Education Director at Gorman Heritage Farm. She has a degree in sustainable agriculture, is a member of the Green Umbrella Local Food Action Team, and holds a permaculture design certification. 

Steve Rock

Steve Rock is an Environmental Engineer for US EPA and is the founder of a non-profit that started the 500 Gardens and 500 Chickens programs in Madisonville, OH.

Josh Baker '04

Josh Baker has the goal of making people smile by feeding them. He is currently the Sous Chef at Ukiyo in Indianapolis.

Meghan Fronduti

Meghan is the aeroponics expert at Krohn Conservatory and helps local schools incorporate tower gardens into their curriculum. She is focused on empowering families to eat healthier and feel better together.
Meghan Fronduti cultivates ideas about Aeroponics and Container Gardening

Steve Sanders

Steve and his wife Gina began Parkside & Main Hobby Homestead in 2015 on seven acres in Mason, OH where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and pigs all in a small-scale organic pasture-based system.

Steve Sanders settles why It's Time for Homesteading

Christopher DeAngelis

Christopher is the General Manager for Apple Street Market, a multi-stakeholder union cooperative operating in the mixed income communities of Cumminsville.

Dean Nicholas Ph.D.

Dean Nicholas has a Ph.D. in Bible and the Ancient Near East from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion and he is currently the Upper School Principal of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

Dean Nicholas relates The Importance of a Food Story

Benita Munnerlyn '14

Benita is the CEO and Founder of Wholistic Brands, a food company operating in Cincinnati, OH. She has a passion for getting healthy, nutritious options into food deserts and struggling neighborhoods.

Kevin Savage Ph.D.

Kevin Savage has a Ph.D in glacial geology from the University of Cincinnati and is currently in his 13th year of teaching. He uses aquaponics as a dynamic model for classroom instruction and student research.

Kris Gilbert

Kris has worked at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy since 2001 as both at teacher and administrator. He is currently the Director of Educational Technology, and he also oversees a thriving microgreen business.

Check back often!

More speakers added as we get closer.

Join the conversation and become a speaker

Get details then contact us by the 01/15/19 deadline.

Expo Participants

Turner Farm
Turner Farm
Aberlin Springs
Edible Ohio Valley
Deeper Roots Coffee
La Soupa
Edible Ohio Valley
Maverick Chocolate
Edible Ohio Valley
Maverick Chocolate
Maverick Chocolate
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
The Blend
Leaning Eagle