Advisory Board

Ward & Rosie Burroughs

Owners And Operators Of Full Circle Dairy, California Cloverleaf Farms, Burroughs Family Orchards and CCF Sullivan/Petersteiner Ranch

Ward & Rose Marie (Rosie) farm with their children and their families, carrying on a family farming legacy for over a century. Ward & Rosie and their children own and operate farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley and Bonanza, Oregon: Full Circle Dairy, California Cloverleaf Farms, Burroughs Family Orchards and CCF Sullivan/Petersteiner Ranch. Their certified organic milk is distributed by Organic West, and Burroughs Family Farms is the marketing flagship for all other organic products; almonds, award-winning olive oil and Gouda cheese, eggs, beef, chickens and turkeys.

The Burroughs are committed to regenerative, sustainable, organic family farming and to promoting the preservation of quality farmland. They produce quality, organic, grass-based products in a way that sustains the land and enhances the soil, air, water and overall environment. In addition to their earth-friendly pasturing system, the Burroughs have invested considerable resources to develop solar power to supply 80% of their pumping power needs. Hedgerows of more than 80 varieties of native plants have been planted to provide habitat for pollinators and other beneficials. The Burroughs’ organic farms rely on no synthetic inputs of any kind, and maintain a closed and sustainable loop of resources.

The Burroughs believe that their greatest legacy is passing down the farm, the most precious of natural resources, to future generations, in better condition than when they inherited the land.

Rosie and Ward are active in many organizations at a national and local level,, including California Climate Action Network (Cal Can), Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (WODPA), Merced-Mariposa Cattlemen’s Association, Valley Land Alliance, Country Ventures, Monarch Watch, Food Democracy Now and Community Foundation of Merced County. One of the most important projects, highest passion of concern – The Regenerative Agriculture Center ~ was started with the help of many at Chico State University to help focus in on climate change, and what our world can and should do to help reverse this catastrophic, global and misunderstood phenomenon that, if not reversed, will destroy our world as we know it.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” ~ George Washington Carver

Vandana Shiva

Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author

Dr. Vandana Shiva trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, and completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India
In 1982, she founded an independent institute – the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun – dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. For last two decades, Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and the organisation has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

Ann López, Ph.D.

Emerita Professor at San José City College

Dr. Ann López is an emerita professor and has taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. She is an independent researcher whose research addresses the human side of the binational migration circuit from the subsistence and small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. Dr. López has worked with over 33 farm worker families in the Salinas and Pajaro valleys. She has also studied 22 of their family farms in the west central Mexico countryside, and has received recognition and awards for her work.

Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press in June 2007. In 2008 she was also chosen as one of Silicon Valley’s 100 most influential Latinos in the category of Technology, Health and Science by the Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA). In March 2008, her book received the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Prize for the Critical Study of North America from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. In February 2012, Dr. Lopez and her organization won the Social Justice Award at the 32nd Annual Western Regional EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar. She was chosen as a Woman of the Year for 2013 by the National Association of Professional Women. She was awarded the Human Agenda Ecological Sustainability Award in 2014 and the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc., awarded her with the Community Game Changer Award in 2015.

Dr. Lopez’ research findings while interviewing central California farmworker families and their family members in Mexico were fundamentally disturbing and life transforming. As a result, she is actively attempting to create awareness about the Human Rights abuses that are endemic to every juncture of the migrant circuit. She has also initiated many projects on both sides of the border designed to alleviate some of the inordinate suffering experienced daily by migrant farm workers and their family members in Mexico. To this end, she and associates have created a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization on behalf of central California farm workers and their family members living on subsistence farms in Mexico.

Recent Published Articles
López, A.A., 2011. New Questions in the Immigration Debate. Anthropology Now 3(1) pp. 47–53 | López, A.A., 2011. NAFTA and the Campesinas Left Behind. Anthropology Now 3(2) pp. 35-40.

Degrees
Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz, 2002 Dissertation Title: From the Farms of West Central Mexico to California’s Corporate Agribusiness: The Social Transformation of Two Farming Regions.

Post-Doc at UC Berkeley from 2004 to 2006 | M.A. in Environmental Biology, UC Santa Barbara | B.A. in Biology, UC Riverside

Timothy J. Lasalle, PhD

Co-Founder of Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at Chico State University

Tim LaSalle championed his science-based hope for a regenerative food system that will mitigate climate change by sequestering 100% of the current emissions as well as provide the only real sustainable method to feeding a growing world population. He is currently Co-founder and Co-director of Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, Chico State University and International Coordinator, Alternatives to Agricultural Burning, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative.

While serving as a professor at California Polytechnic State University, he also started and operated his own dairy farm and became involved with the California Agricultural Leadership Program. LaSalle soon became its CEO, where he arranged educational leadership programs in more than 80 countries with heads of state, ministers, community leaders, and became exposed and a student of many of humanity’s global challenges.

LaSalle previously served as the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Northwest Earth Institute an international organization dedicated to grassroots movements, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management, an international non-profit who mission is to restore and regenerate deteriorating landscapes, and he was consultant, advisor, and research coordinator for the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers.

John Roulac

Founder and CEO of Nutiva

John W. Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, the world’s leading organic superfoods brand of hemp, coconut, chia and red palm. Founded in 1999 and dedicated to nourishing people and planet, Nutiva has been named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America for seven years in a row.

A longtime advocate for healthy people and ecosystems, with expertise ranging from home composting and natural healing to forestry and hemp agriculture, John has authored four books on environmental topics, with combined sales of more than one million copies. He helped jumpstart the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s and successfully sued the US DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001. He has founded four nonprofit ecological groups, including GMOInside.org. John speaks on environmental issues at various conferences, including but not limited to Soil Not Oil, EcoFarm, Provender Alliance and Bioneers.

Jan Dietrick

President and Co-Owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc

Jan Dietrick is President and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. She and husband Ron Whitehurst carry forward the work of her father, pioneering insect ecologist Everett J. “Deke” Dietrick whose insights about agroecology continue to guide their work. Their team grows beneficial insects and sells a full range of predators, parasites and other low-risk pest control supplies as part of a growing biocontrol industry. Their company received the 2016 Global Regenerative Business Prize for management practices that help employees, customers, vendors and IPM practitioners develop their potential to promote healthy living systems.

Improvements in the D-Vac Vacuum Insect Net invented by Jan’s father continues to be a priority, now through a public-private partnership with students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A new model under development runs on stored solar electric energy. A goal of net zero carbon in their home and business has led Jan and Ron on a 15 year path of continuous innovation in their facilities, processes and products. As founding director of the Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology, Jan is currently exploring partnerships toward the promotion of healthy soils and carbon sequestration demonstrations in Ventura County. Jan customizes her knowledge and insights on the use of commercial beneficial insects to her customers’ unique considerations and facilitates participatory learning for integrating available options in the farm and landscape.

Jan has a Masters Degree in Public Health with an emphasis in human ecology and nutrition from the University of Texas. She has been a member of the American Dietetic Association, the Board of the Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers and former President of the Association of Applied IPM Ecologists, and trainer in community development for the Ruhi Institute. She is a volunteer Health Ambassador for Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, Group Leader for Ventura Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and coordinating team member of the Ventura County Climate Hub/Ventura350. She spent 15 months in Transkei, a former South African black homeland, doing public health nutrition and social and economic development.

A member of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and Ventura County Farm Bureau, Jan has presented at numerous farmer conferences and workshops, and written articles for agriculture publications. Her focus since 2013 has been on the need for the United States to establish climate action in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Beside the Regenerative Business Prize, Jan was recognized in 2015 as Ventura County Environmental Woman of the Year by the Sierra Club and 2014 Earth Charter Ecological Integrity awardee.

Contact: jdietrick9@gmail.com 805-643-5407

Penny Livingston Stark, MSc.

Co-founder & Instructor At Regenerative Design Institute

Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds a MS in Eco-Social Regeneration and a Diploma in Permaculture Design. Penny has been studying the Hermetic Tradition of alchemy and herbal medicine making in Europe and the United States for 4 years.

Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms.

With her husband James Stark, and in collaboration with Commonweal — a cancer health research and retreat center — Penny co-manages Commonweal Garden, a 17-acre organic and certified salmon-safe farm in Bolinas, California. In addition, Penny and James are stewarding and working to restore 200 acres of land in Trinity County, California.

Penny co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market, and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan.

She has been featured in the following films: Symphony of the Soil by Lily Films and Deborah Koons Garcia, 2012: A Time for Change by Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck and Permaculture: The Growing Edge by Belili Films and Starhawk.

She has been apprenticing in Germany and Italy at the Arven School for Medicinal Plants, Aromatherapy and Wilderness Wisdome with her teacher, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in Germany since 2011. Susanne is an herbal master alchemist and holder of the lineage of the ancient line of women European herbalists and author of 13 books: The books translated into English include: The Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Medicines of the Earth, The Complete Incense Handbook, The Complete Earth Medicine Handbook. Penny is holding this lineage here in the United States and is embarking on sharing what she has learned over the years.

Ramón (Ray) Saidler, Ph.D.

Microbiologist and Author

Elected as Fellow American Academy for Microbiology, listed in the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge England list of the 2,000 Outstanding World Scientists of the 20th Century; Elected to Phi Kappa Phi honorary, Listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the World and Twice received U.S. EPA Bronze Medals for research service to the agency. One of 3 founding editors of Molecular Ecology, a science journal dedicated to cutting edge research in this field.

Dr. Seidler has authored/co-authored over 155 scientific peer reviewed publications, co-authored 2 books. He wrote the first Biosafety research plan for the U.S. EPA which described the research needed for the evaluation of genetically engineered microbes and crop plants.

During his career he gave some 100 talks on GMO biosafety issues throughout the world. During the 1980s he was the Chief EPA scientist involved in monitoring the first ever microorganism GMO releases into the open environment.

Since retirement, Dr. Seidler has presented numerous talks on health and environmental risk assessment issues pertaining to GE crops, impacts of pesticides on beneficial life forms and on endocrine disruptors. He has also testified before the Oregon legislature on pending bills impacting these subjects and has been available to the press, as well as t.v. and radio audiences to discuss these issues. His Facebook page is entitled: “scientist says no to gmos ray seidler”

Theodosia Ferguson

Founder Of Healing Living Systems

Theodosia Hamilton Ferguson (Theo) has focused on designing community food, farming, and finance infrastructure investments and advocacy activities for more than a decade. Through advocating, forming enterprises, facilitating, and investing in food and farming infrastructure, Theo seeks to inspire community members to invest in communities to receive the highest Community Benefit Returns on Investment (CBROI). In collaboration with many amazing people and organizations, Theo seeks to catalyze nutrient dense food for all.

Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser

Operators Of Singing Frogs Farm

Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. They met in Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa where Elizabeth first worked to support farmers in areas of nutrition, health and self-sufficiency while Paul worked in tropical agroforestry to convert degraded lands into economically viable and biologically diverse and resilient farmland. Since then, Paul has received dual masters degrees in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development. Elizabeth received dual masters degrees in the Public Health field and worked with immigrant farmer families in Sonoma County for 9 years before transitioning to a full time farmer. At Singing Frogs Farm, Elizabeth and Paul developed a highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system for their small but mighty vegetable farm and CSA which has brought tremendous benefit to their soil, ecology, water, and livelihood. Elizabeth and Paul have received five awards for their innovative, ecological farming practices. For the past few years, they have focused on sharing their model of successful small scale, organic, no-till vegetable production and agroecology. Elizabeth and Paul have both served on various Farmers’ Market Boards and Paul currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Alliance with Family Farms (CAFF).

Starhawk

Starhawk is an American writer, teacher and activist. She is known as a theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and for On Faith, the Newsweek and Washington Post online forum on religion. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance (1979) was one of the main inspirations behind the Goddess movement. In 2012, she was listed in Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People.

Andrew Kimbrell

CFS Executive Director

Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized public interest attorney, public speaker and author. He is founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety. He also is Director of the San Francisco based Center for Technology Assessment, co-founder of Foundation Earth and President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the Certified Humane label).
As an attorney, Kimbrell has successfully challenged federal agencies in several historic court cases, including initiating a U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change and a recent Supreme Court ruling holding that DNA is not patentable due it it being a “product of nature.” He also through his leadership at CFS has been at the forefront of legal challenges to approvals of genetically engineered crops, maintaining the integrity of the organics standards and winning a legal battle to force the FDA to adopt new food safety regulations.
As an author and public speaker Kimbrell has been a leading proponent of regenerative forms of agriculture and organic policies. He is the editor of the nationally renowned book Fatal Harvest, The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. Kimbrell’s articles and editorials have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, USA Today and numerous other print and social media publications including being a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. He has testified numerous times before the UI.S. Congress and has been a featured speaker at dozens of colleges and universities around the country and other public forums including Google Author Talks, Slow Food Nation, Bioneers and Ecofarm. He is featured in several documentaries including “The Future of Food,” “FRESH,” and a critique of genetic engineering, “Life Running out of Control.” Kimbrell is also a noted expert on a wide range of technology and economic issues. His works in this area include his international best-selling book “The Human Body Shop: the Engineering and Marketing of Life” and the printed versions of his influential E.F. Schumacher lectures, “Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics,” and “Salmon Economics.”
In addition to his legal degree Kimbrell also has a graduate degree in Psychology and has often written in the field including his book,”The Masculine Mystique.” Besides his public interest work Kimbrell’s passions include his love of piano (stemming from his earlier career as a concern pianist), poetry, baseball and wilderness flyfishing.
Kimbrell’s many accolades include a spot on Utne Reader’s list of the world's leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him in 2008 as one of the 50 people “most likely to save the planet.”

Osprey Orielle Lake

Executive Director and Founder of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN)

Osprey Orielle Lake is Executive Director and Founder of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN). WECAN works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to mobilize women for climate justice, resilient communities, systemic change and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey is Co-chair of International Advocacy for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the visionary behind the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women’s Climate Action Agenda. She teaches WECAN’s international climate trainings and directs WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests program, Rights of Nature and UN Forums. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature (White Cloud Press). www.wecaninternational.org

Mark Squire

Owner and General Manager of Good Earth Natural Foods & Tara Firma Farms

Mark Squire has one of the most celebrated resumes in the organic food industry. Since 1977, he has been a co-owner and manager of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax California. An “organic oasis,” as one of OCA readers nominating the store described it, Good Earth provides a wide selection of produce, much of it sourced from within a 100-mile radius. But it’s Squire’s passion for organics and his dedication to preserving and raising organic standards, growing the organic industry and working to keep GMOs out,
that set him apart. Here are just a few of Squire’s accomplishments over the past few decades:
o Played a pioneering role in developing the state’s organic certification standards. In the 1980’s there were no certified organic standards in California. Realizing that the standards were a necessary prerequisite for the state’s organic food movement, Squire worked with like-minded retailers, farmers and other advocates to assemble and codify production practices and allowable inputs and to educate farmers about these new standards.
o Served on the Board of Directors for the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), an organization that took on the task of further developing California’s fledgling standards. Squire helped write some of the original organic certification standards that are still in place today in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program today.
o Serves on the Board of the Non-GMO Project, which he was instrumental in creating. Concerned that GMOs weren’t addressed under organic standards, because the standards were written before GMOs came on the market, Squire reached out to other like-minded food retailers to create what would eventually become the Non-GMO Project.
o Helped write Measure B, the Marin County initiative that prohibits 
the outdoor cultivation of GMOs. The measure passed by 61 percent of the popular vote in 2004.
o Served from 1988-1993 on the board and then on staff of the Organic Crop Improvement Association. OCIA was at that time the largest certifier of organic foods worldwide. Squire oversaw international certification staff training and operations for both farm and manufacturing

Leah Atwood

Co-Executive Director at MESA

Leah joined MESA in 2004 and now serves as Co-Executive Director. Her Humboldt farmland roots instilled a love for food and farming practices that nourish people and the planet. Leah moved to the Bay Area in 1999 to pursue degrees in Environmental Policy and Spanish at UC Berkeley. She has lived in South and Central America as well as Southeast Asia working on behalf of social, environmental and food justice initiatives. As a result of her travel and work experiences she gained insight into myriad traditional agricultural practices, implications of a globalized corporate food regime and the value of farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange, agroecology and unconventional multi-interestholder collaboration. Her past work experience includes program development for the International Institute for Bengal Basin which focused on pollution mitigation for farmers and rural communities in Bangladesh, fund development for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant and supply chain review for Scientific Certifications Systems. Leah is a co-founder of Wild and Radish, LLC, and developing a 10-acre urban farm and eco-village in El Sobrante, CA. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Planting Justice, an Oakland non-profit creating green jobs and democratizing access to affordable, nutritious food. Climbing rocks, yoga, milking goats and befriending bees are frequent sources of fascination.

Ron Whitehurst, PCA

Pest Control Advisor and Co-Owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc.

Ron Whitehurst is a California licensed Pest Control Advisor and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. with his wife Jan Dietrick. Their team produces and markets biological pest control supplies and was honored with the 2016 Global Regenerative Business Prize. Ron leads Rincon-Vitova in the field and lab. He evaluates products that fit into a biocontrol program and are acceptable for organic production. He guides people through the steps of creating and biologically managing ecosystems to minimize and control pests, using insect habitat, cultural methods, beneficial insects, and soft pesticides when needed. An avid permaculture practitioner, he loves making compost, building soil, and creating bio-intensive food producing landscapes.

Ron has been communicating about organic methods of farming and gardening for over 30 years. Specializing in biological pest control for farmers, gardeners, and practitioners, he engages participants in lectures and workshops about biological control of insect pests in field, greenhouse, landscape, garden and animal rearing situations. His lively discussions about insect lifecycles and predator-prey relationships make the principles of biocontrol easy to understand for both lay and technical audiences.

After earning a BA in Biology at Indiana University, Ron worked as an organic garden writer in Indianapolis, and helped organize an organic grower association. On moving to California he got a PCA license and over the years has attended and presented at numerous organic farming and pest control conferences. Ron’s mentor and Jan’s father Everett (Deke) Dietrick, was a commercial biocontrol pioneer, who worked alongside academic lights of biocontrol in the 1960’s and 70’s, such as Robert Van den Bosch, Paul De Bach and others. Deke mentored Ron in many settings, including as a field scout in cotton and alfalfa for the Sustainable Cotton Project. He has led projects for the Dietrick Institute for Agroecology.

Ron has presented at the Ecological Farming, Texas Organic Producers and Carolina Farm Stewardship Conferences, ACRES USA, So Cal Entomology Club, Association of Applied IPM Ecologists, Pesticide Applicators Professional Association, Ojai Horticulture Society, Ventura County Rose Society, the Santa Barbara Green Gardener Program, G.S. Long Organic Workshops, on Cockroaches, Pests of Avocados, G. S. Long Organic Workshops, and workshops on Weeds as Soil Indicators and Edible Weeds. Ron is a member of the Entomological Society of America, Associations of Applied IPM Ecologists and Natural Biocontrol Producers, California Agricultural Production Advisors, Biodyamic Farming and Gardening Association, and Seed-Savers Exchange.

Diana Donlon

Director of Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign

Diana Donlon is the Director of Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign – a solutions oriented program, communicating the critical importance of rebuilding soil health for food security, fresh water availability, and climate stability.

Before coming to work for CFS, Diana worked for a variety of family foundations supporting youth and sustainable agriculture programs and was one of the founders of Roots of Change, a state-wide collaborative transitioning California’s food system. As a Program Executive at the Goldman Environmental Prize, she helped elevate the critical causes of environmental activists around the world: Wangari Maathai, Ken Saro Wiwa and Marina Silva.

Diana is the Board Secretary of Watershed Media, award-winning publishers of action-oriented titles. She served in Peace Corps (Morocco) and speaks French and Spanish.

About The Soil Not Oil Coalition

Global food security of future generations is at risk. The Soil Not Oil Coalition is a group of scientists, environmental organizations and citizens who share concerns over the decline in soil health, which is the result of the use of fossil fuels and synthetic products during the last 60 years. We believe that restructuring land management practices is key to combating climate change, restoring water cycles, reducing global environmental pollution, stopping ocean acidification, re-establishing biodiversity, improving food production and revitalizing local economies across the planet. The corporate agricultural practice of using more chemicals, more often at higher concentrations with high transportation costs, is not sustainable and deteriorates soil health and productivity, while only benefiting corporate financial interests. Furthermore, we recognize that rapidly accelerating human-caused climate change is a current threat to food security and requires urgent action to halt the reckless and expanding fossil fuel industry. The Soil Not Oil Coalition promotes research and further understanding to optimize soil carbon sequestration and sustainability, to aid in the development of adequate food production for future generations and to help reverse the effects of global warming.

The purpose of the Soil Not Oil Coalition is to advocate for sustainable and regenerative management of soils while reducing dependency on fossil fuels. The Soil Not Oil Coalition works to promote respect for soils worldwide, to highlight how shifting agricultural practices is the key to combating climate change and calls for integrated action on sustainable agriculture and clean energy to ensure a safe and healthy planet for generations to come.

In partnership with dozens of other kindred organizations, the Biosafety Alliance is calling on all like-minded organizations, scientists, farmers and individuals to join the Soil Not Oil Coalition and become part of the Soil-ution!

Organizing Team

Miguel Robles

Founder & Core Organizer of the Soil Not Oil Coalition

Miguel Robles is the Co-Founder/Project Director of Biosafety Alliance, the Founder & Core Organizer of
the Soil Not Oil International conference; previously he organized 4 editions of the “Justice Begins with
Seeds Conference”. He has founded several organizations and launched countless campaigns of great
social impact, during his continuous involvement in various social struggles related to globalization,
democracy, human/immigrant rights and environmental and food justice. He is a very well know activist
throughout the Latino/social justice networks in California and other states where he has been invited to
present in conferences & community events about his work. He was the field organizer for Spanish
speakers in 2012 during the historic Prop. 37 campaign in California, in which Latino vote in support of
GMO Labeling reached 61%, the highest in the vote preferences by ethnicities. He is a strong supporter of
the moratorium to prevent planting Genetically Engineered Corn in Mexico. For years he hosted a weekly
educational radio program in Spanish at a commercial radio station in San Francisco and the greater Bay
Area in which he educated about urban farming, sustainability, environmental & food issues.

Contact Information: soilnotoilcoalition@gmail.com

Hana Lyon

Santa Cruz Organizer / Outreach Coordinator

Hana has been involved with soil from a young age, eating dirt in her family’s garden. Growing up in Illinois, she deeply experienced the vastness of industrial agriculture. In past years, she has worked on organic farms, guerilla-gardened, studied permaculture, soil science and horticulture. Lush greenery accompanies her travels, and right now she lives on a mini-farm near Santa Cruz, California. After a run-in with cancer and founding the activist group CancerFam, she has come to the conclusion that we must heal the planet as we heal ourselves.

Contact Information: hana@soilnotoilcoalition.org

Bunker Seyfert

Logistics and Audio Visual Coordinator

Bunker is a video producer, community organizer and enjoys bringing clean water to plants and people. He has has been pollinating small scale organic farms and gardens across Turtle Island for the past 5 years. In 2017 he helped live-stream and coordinate video teams at the Soil Not Oil conference and the Building Resilient Communities Permaculture Convergence. Sharing knowledge and sustainable agriculture are deeply important to brining balance back to our mother earth. Watch his most recent film: http://CommonsFilm.co

Contact Information: bunker@survivalmediaagency.com

Miguel Perez

Logistics Coordinator

As a campaign manager of San Francisco Mayoral candidate Francisco Herrera during the 2015 election, they obtained the 2nd place in vote preferences. He is the organizer of Las Hormigas Organicas, a project that facilitates workshops on urban agriculture among immigrant families. He also organizes the annual Day of the Dead Festival in the Mission District in San Francisco and for many years he was the core organizer of May Day in San Francisco and Oakland California. Over the years, Miguel has co-founded several organizations. He currently hosts the radio program Flashpoints in Spanish at KPFA (Pacifica Radio). Originally from Argentina, he has been active in social justice movements since the early 1970’s, he was political prisoner for 5 years during the infamous Argentinian “Dirty War”.

Contact Information: miguel.perez@soilnotoilcoalition.org

Jay Wilson

San Francisco Filming Support

Jay considers himself an “old hippie.” His parents were trapeze artists who bought their own circus and toured South America. Jay spent his adult life in Australia, working in credit management in the corporate sector for 25 years. Jay left corporate Australia for environmental work after reading the 1987 Brundtland Report, “Our Common Future.” He adopted a lifestyle of a “planetary steward” on a 116-acre heavily forested property in the Clarence Valley, New South Wales, Australia. From 2000 to 2015, Jay did pro bono volunteering at the Clarence Environment Center before deciding to return home to the United States in May 2015 to do his best to persuade, cajole, and convince all Americans of the urgency to tackle climate change as a planetary emergency.

Contact Information: jay@soilnotoilcoalition.org

Juan Rodriguez

Los Angeles Organizer / Outreach Coordinator

Juan Rodriguez has been a long time grassroots organizer with Soil Not Oil Coalition and Director of Proyecto Eco-Tierra a community organization established in the area of Westlake-Pico Union in Los Angeles. Proyecto Eco-Tierra works on different campaigns against GMOs and pesticides in the very low-income communities. Some of their activities include: working on different campaigns to avoid the use of pesticides in the community, organizing workshops for tenants’ right, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs and popular education. They are working on a campaign to preserve the tradition of the corn as a culture of the indigenous migrant communities and to develop self-sufficiency and autonomy within their community. Juan is also the coordinator of the Street Vendors Union of District 1.

Contact Information: juan@soilnotoilcoalition.org

Jon Katz

Dominican Republic Outreach Coordinator

Jon Katz combines broad expertise in technology with a passion for social and environmental justice. Since 1996 he has split his time between the US (currently Berkeley) and the mountain village of El Limon, Dominican Republic, where he is accepted as a full member of the tight-knit community. He co-founded the Rural Alternative Center of El Limon (CAREL), and his work with village built and operated micro-hydroelectric mini-grids has resulted in 45 systems that serve over 15,000 Dominicans. Inspired by the 2015 Soil Not Oil conference, he is currently starting a participatory project to sequester atmospheric CO2 through regenerative organic agriculture.

Contact Information: jon@soilnotoilcoalition.org

Steering Committee

The Coalition Includes:

  • Acequia Institute
  • Amazon Watch
  • Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
  • Biosafety Alliance
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Ramon J. Seidler, EPA Senior Scientist (retired)
  • California State Grange
  • Center for Farmworker Families
  • Communities for a Better Environment
  • Community to Community
  • Eco Tierra
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Factory Farming Awareness Coalition
  • Food Democracy Now
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Global Exchange
  • GRAIN
  • Greenaction
  • Navdanya
  • NUTIVA Foundation
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • Seed Freedom Movement
  • Semillas de Vida
  • South Central Farmers Cooperative
  • Sunflower Alliance
  • 350.org Bay Area

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