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 Yek is a food writer with expertise in 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.

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.

Todd Hudson

Todd is the executive chef and owner of The Wildflower Café in Mason, Ohio—a farm-to-table restaurant that specializes in food that is local, seasonal, and delicious.

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.
Leslie Ratliff describes Life in an Agri-Community

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.

Understanding of Specialty Coffee

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. 

Nicole Gunderman zeros in on Local Farms, Local Food

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.

Steve Rock plants ideas about Urban Food: Gardening and Chickens

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

Charlie Gonzalez

Charlie Gonzalez is a social entrepreneur and community organizer who works at Green Umbrella as the Communications and Membership Coordinator. 

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

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

Ben Cohen

Author, gardener, and founder of Michigan Seed Library, Ben offers workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs and locally grown food. 

Michaela Oldfield

With a PhD from Michigan State in Community, Agriculture, Recreation & Resource Studies and a JD from the Uni. of Michigan Law School, Michaela serves as director of the Regional Food Policy Council.

Chris Smyth

Chris teaches with the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute and helps implement Permaculture Orchards on Vacant Land with the Port Authority of Cincinnati.

Audrey Duren Keyes '95

Audrey works toward setting up sustainable homesteads for widows & orphans in 3 villages in DRC along with her father, Marvin Duren, and brother Wes who owns Marvin’s Organic Gardens.

Glennon Sweeney

Glennon is a senior research associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and she is in the process of wrapping up her Ph.D. work in city and regional planning.

Turner Shrout '16

Turner is a third year student at The Ohio State University studying Sustainability and Business. This CHCA alumn is focused on sustainable and ethical sourcing of the foods and materials we interact with daily.

Lauri Nandyal, MD

Dr. Nandyal received her undergrad and MD degrees from the University of Cincinnati and is now an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the UC Dept of Family and Community Medicine.

Preeti Bansal Kshiragar

Preeti is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist licensed with the State Medical Board of Ohio and has her own practice - Integrative Nutrition & Healing. INHWELLNESS.COM

Sarah Sanders

Co-founder at NATIVE, an end-to-end software solution empowering local, sustainable food sourcing. Sarah has dedicated her career to building high-impact, scaleable software companies.

Rachel DesRochers

Rachel is the founder of Grateful Grahams, an artisanal graham cracker company as well as the Incubator Kitchen Collective, a non- profit providing mentorship to food entrepreneurs. 

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
500 Gardens
Aberlin Springs
Edible Ohio Valley
Deeper Roots Coffee
La Pampa mobile grill
Edible Ohio Valley
Incubator Kitchen Collective
Edible Ohio Valley
Maverick Chocolate
Maverick Chocolate
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste
Wildflower Cafe Mason
Farm Chef
Integrative Nutrition and Healing
Young Living Seed to Seal
Crackling Crust Microbakery
Cresbi collapsible crate system
Slow Food Cincinnati
Marvins Organic Gardens
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms
The Blend
Leaning Eagle