Osiris Abrego Plata, California
Osiris Abrego Plata grew up enjoying a traditional rural life in the tropics, supported by a lineage of individuals who regarded farming as a privilege and found joy in nature’s work. Her immediate landscape was the countryside of Panama’s Pacific Central region, as well as her grandparents’ ranch in the Colombian heartland. These two environments, full of contrasts, made Osiris keenly aware of subtleties in cultural traditions, the importance of true connection to place, and the significance of authentic communication. As a result of her formative experiences, she grew to value simplicity, reverence, and authenticity. These values found a natural resonance with the philosophy and practice of biodynamics, which Osiris discovered in 2003, apprenticing at the Josephine Porter Institute. As a Demeter inspector in the U.S., she has been privileged to witness these values come to life in the form of dynamic and inspired community. Her work with social responsibility programs in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean has enabled her to focus on her particular interest: the evolving dialogue of social renewal.
Daphne Amory (President), Daphne Amory Consulting, California
Daphne Amory works as an advisor and coach for leaders in organizations that are involved in regenerative processes. Using tools and cues from the theatre of nature, she helps her clients realize the greater potential for uncommon success that is collectively unfolding for them, thier land, and their business.
David Byrnes (Secretary and Treasurer), Yellow Barn Biodynamic, New York
David Byrnes is founder and owner of Yellow Barn Biodynamic, a leading national brand of Demeter-certified products, and also the Yellow Barn Biodynamic Farm in the Finger Lakes of New York. David is passionate about sustainable agriculture, was voted Top 20 under 40 by Gourmet News and is a founding member of the New York State GE Labeling Coalition. David recently developed a Biodynamic activity book, a first-of-its-kind biodynamic learning tool about Steiner agriculture for kids and parents. He and his wife Victoria spend their free time messing around on the farm with their three kids, where work and play go hand in hand.
Claudia J. Ford, Rhode Island
Claudia J. Ford has had a career in international women’s health and development spanning three decades and all continents. Dr Ford’s research interests are in traditional ecological knowledge, agroecology, historical ethnobotany, gender, and medicinal plants. She currently teaches Women’s Studies, Environmental Literature, Environmental and Business Ethics, and Global Business Economics. Claudia is also a midwife, writer, and visual artist, and has shared the joys and adventures of her global travel with her four children.
Greg Georgaklis (Vice President), Farmers To You, Vermont
Greg Georgaklis has been involved in agriculture for over 30 years, as a farmer, business owner and advisor. He served on the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture, and after moving to Vermont in 2007, was hired by several not-for-profit and Vermont state agencies to work directly with and advise organic producers and conventional farmers who sought a new road map. In 2009 Greg focused his energies on starting Farmers To You – an associative business model that is rebuilding a sustainable, appropriately scaled food system, mission driven to connect families with farmers. Greg has an MBA as well as several horticulture certifications. He is regarded as an expert in many areas of farm sustainability.
Lisa Murgatroyd (Facilitator), First Light Farm, California
Lisa Murgatroyd is an organization development consultant, social entrepreneur, and farmer committed to building a vibrant agricultural future. She is co-owner of First Light Farm, a thriving 20-acre organic vegetable and flower farm in both Petaluma and coastal Valley Ford, Ca. and is co-founder of Lopez Community Farm CSA and Chica Bloom Farm. For the last decade, Lisa has worked alongside and within communities and organizations to transform collective visions into new realities, launching food systems initiatives and innovative sustainability start-ups in the Western U.S. Lisa consults across sectors with companies, government, and non-profits on managing change, leadership development, organizational learning, engagement, and strategy.
Joseluis Ortiz, La Plazita Institute, New Mexico
Joseluis Ortiz is a land-based native New Mexican with roots in traditional agriculture that were passed on generationally through his Pueblo, Mexican Indian, and Indo-Hispano ancestry. He was born and raised in the traditional Indo-Hispano communities of northern New Mexico. Leaving his native homeland, he found himself in the Rio Abajo region in the Middle Rio Grande community of Atrisco. Here he was able to continue and practice his traditional agricultural land-based way of life while learning and living amongst the movement community. Throughout his life, he has been blessed to have spent time with many of New Mexico’s elders and many leaders and teachers of the land and water, social, and environmental justice movements that helped shape his understanding of life in today's world. He is grateful to have spent the last four years helping to develop a socially sustainable system at Los Jardines Institute and learning alongside other young farmers using land-based ways of living and knowing as core values to their lives in community.
Wali Via, Winter Green Farm, Oregon
Wali Via has farmed at Winter Green Farm in western Oregon since 1985. Winter Green has a 500-member community supported agriculture program (CSA), grows crops for five farmers’ markets, wholesale accounts, and has a cow/calf beef herd. He is past president of the Oregon Biodynamic Group and a former board member of Organically Grown Company. He is an active member of the Fellowship of Preparation Makers. Wali has lectured on biodynamics, compost, and sustainable agriculture in Japan, Canada, and the United States and has been making and using the biodynamic preparations since 1976. Wali’s passions include spending time in the wilderness, nature photography, singing, and composting.
Kaitlin Voellinger, Wegmans Organic Farm, New York
Kaitlin Voellinger has always been enamored by the beauty of the natural world, but it wasn’t until she started meeting, listening to, and learning from biodynamic practitioners that she knew she had found a place to call home. Kaitlin studied the interconnectedness of women, society, environment, nutrition, and health, and in doing so, cultivated her personal mission to educate, inspire, and empower by growing and preparing nourishing food. Growing biodynamically on the Wegmans Organic Farm, acting as the Wegmans’ Food Markets Biodynamic Coordinator, and forever seeking wisdom from those around her, Kaitlin has been given an opportunity to live her mission through her daily connections with those both on and off the farm.