Caitlin Hachmyer founded the project Foundations and the Future: Celebrating Women’s Leadership in the Food Movement in 2016. She is a full time commercial farmer, owning/operating Red H Farm, a diversified vegetable operation she began in Sebastopol, CA, in 2009. With an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Conservation Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a graduate degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University, her work on the ground is complimented by research, writing, teaching, and activism. In addition to building an agroecological farm landscape, she is a contract researcher and writer for the Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, a member of the Sonoma County Food Systems Alliance, an advisory board member at Petaluma Bounty, and adjunct faculty (teaching Agroecology) at Sonoma State University. In 2016 she was acknowledged by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s through their Agroecology Knowledge Hub and by American Farmland Trust’s Profiles in Stewardship project for her leadership in agroecological farming. Caiti is a published writer, having contributed chapters to two separate books in 2017 – “Notes from a New Farmer: Rent Culture, Insecurity and the Need for Change,” in Land Justice: Re-imagining Food, Land and the Commons in the United States (Food First Books) and “The Role of Land Rights in Social Transformation: Stories from Boston and Philadelphia” in Public Policies for Food Sovereignty: Social Movements and the State (Routledge)
Layla Aguilar is farm manager for San Francisco’s Bi Rite Markets. She grows diversified row crops and perennials on three acres in Sonoma. Prior to living in Sonoma County, she traveled throughout California making olive oil, lived on farms in New York state and Virginia and ran school gardens in Los Angeles. In 2009, Layla completed an apprenticeship in ecological horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz. She has a passion for introducing all people to the pleasures of eating well.
Thea Carlson is a facilitator, farmer, educator, and artist, with roots in California and the Midwest. She is Co-Director of the Biodynamic Association and also holds several other roles including Biodynamic Education, Conference Weaver, People, and Teal Implementer. She lives in the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma County, California, and frequently visits other parts of the world. Her diverse experience includes farming biodynamic and organic vegetables, fruit and flowers; teaching gardening, nutrition, and beekeeping; designing, building and managing urban community and educational gardens; and organizing strategic communications training programs for nonprofit leaders. Since 2011, she has played a key role in developing the Biodynamic Association’s educational offerings, planning and implementing the biennial North American Biodynamic Conference, and exploring new ways to manage and evolve the organization. Thea earned a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University, a permaculture design certificate from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and is trained in the Art of Hosting and consensus facilitation. Besides growing food, making compost, and helping others to do both, she loves to hike, play her cello, throw pottery, cook, read, and spend time with her family and many beloved friends.
Lee Foster is the Santa Rosa Garden Coordinator with Ceres Community Project and the owner of Taproot Media, a video production business. She has a background in teen outdoor education, regenerative land education, herbalism and communications. Lee has been collaborating on and supporting the symposium since its inception in 2016.
Suzi Grady is the Program Director of Petaluma Bounty. Previously the Bounty Farm Manager, she has over ten years of experience in building community around food access, gardening and food system collaboration. She is advanced in Spanish, trained as a farmer at UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program, a certified permaculturalist, graduate of the GCETP Program from the Garden for the Environment and taught organic gardening, household composting and nutrition at a school garden program in San Francisco for two years. Suzi graduated from University of Michigan with a dual degree in Political Science and Spanish Literature where she also studied in Santiago, Chile. She is a 2014 Fellow of the Leadership Institute of Ecology and Economy, a member of the CHIPA Wellness Committee, Sonoma County Food System Alliance Coordinating Committee, and Sonoma County Farm to Community Committee member.
Brandi Mack is a mother of three beautiful daughters, a Holistic Health Educator, Therapeutic Massage Therapist, Trauma Informed Youth developer , Powerful Presenter and Permaculture Designer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Service Management, and a certification from Star hawk’s Earth Activist Training. Brandi has worked and trained in holistic health and ecological sustainability with youth and adults for over 15 years.
Brandi currently is the National Director of The Butterfly Movement where we are committed to healing the wounds of our Soul (through Rebuilding and Re Framing our emotional selves), planting a Seed of faith as we Regenerate and Reconnect our hearts and our hands to the earth, leading ultimately to manifestation in the Soil of our Reactivated lives!
Currently, Brandi serves on the following boards: The Northern America Permaculture Magazine , Northern California Resilience Network and the Northern California Women in Permaculture.
Wanda Stewart is an urban farmer, educator and comrade to many in the social justice movement to educate and inspire others to grow their own food and communities. Believing the skills to grow food and medicine, to maintain a healthy being, and to live cooperatively to be essential elements in our collective survival, she revisits and reframes our shared history (and trauma) and reclaims cultural heritage, especially for African Americans, in the garden.
A Master Gardener, certified Permaculture Designer and Garden/Life Educator in West Oakland schools holding a degree in Psychology from Temple University, Wanda owns and grows Obsidian Farm in Berkeley, CA as a model for what’s possible in an urban environment. Specializing in transformational garden-centered wellness and courageous conversations about race and our environment, she knows in her heart that we must all “grow the power” – together.