Osiris Abrego Plata
Osiris Abrego Plata
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.
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.
Daphne Amory Consulting (link is external), 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.
Santa Cruz Farm, NM
Don Bustos farms in the village of Santa Cruz in northern New Mexico on land his family has owned for more than three centuries. In the 1970s, Bustos began converting his farm from 100 acres of row crops to 3.5 acres of year-round organic production with more than 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables. In 2015 he was the recipient (link is external) of one of five James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, which recognize “who influence how, why and what we eat.” See www.afsc.org/video/don-bustos-traditional-farmer for a short video by the American Friends Service Committee featuring Bustos.
Megan Durney joined the Pfeiffer Center as an intern in 2006 and throughout the years has delved deeply into the art of Biodynamics through study and practice and has been involved in preparation-making, draft power, beekeeping, seed saving, intensive production gardening, and Biodynamic education and training. Currently she is a part of a collaborative leadership team working alongside the Fellowship, an intergenerational community centered around the care of the elderly, integrating land and educational programs in a new cooperative endeavor, creating a mutually supportive association of work and community.
Claudia J. Ford
Rhode Island School of Design (link is external), Rhode Island
Claudia J. Ford
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.
Farmers To You (link is external), 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.
La Plazita Institute (link is external), 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.
Wegmans Organic Farm (link is external), 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.