Draft agenda and schedule

Check out the FINAL AGENDA of presentations and other summit activities. Check back often for updates.

Invited Speakers

The 2019 Farmer's Summit committee is pleased to host an exciting line-up of fabulous speakers from around Alaska and the lower 48.

Janice Chumley, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Janice Chumley completed the Master Gardener training in 1997 and soon afterwards found herself not only gardening and volunteering with Cooperative Extension on the Kenai Peninsula, but working as the Integrated Pest Management Scout. For the past 20 years she has worked with home gardeners, forestry specialists, commercial agriculture and horticulture folks across the state on many pest-related issues. Though retired since the beginning of 2019 her interest in helping local food and flower producers operate effectively using the least toxic approach to pest control still is a passion. She still gardens, learns about pests and their control possibilities, and enjoys talking "pests" with other producers.

Lisa Daugherty, Juneau Composts!

Lisa Daugherty is a mother, maker of many things, and gillnetter who is obsessed with composting. She built her first compost pile a decade ago and has been running Juneau Composts, a curbside food scrap composting service, since 2017. Her business has diverted nearly 100,000 pounds of material from the landfill. It is her mission to help people and communities compost everything they can in as many ways as they can.

Meghan Fehrman, Rogue Farm Corps

Megan Fehrman has worked with partners to establish a comprehensive suite of educational offerings for beginning farmers and ranchers over the last eight years. As the Education Programs Director for Rogue Farm Corps, Megan has mentored, assisted, and facilitated educational programming for 200 students in the Internship Program and developed the structure for the advanced-level Apprenticeship Program with farmers and agricultural professionals. Megan is part of a new family farm business, gaining first-hand knowledge as a beginning farmer herself. Megan is a key partner in the National Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network and serves on the Steering Council for the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association. She has been with RFC since 2011.

Maggie Hallam, Cripple Creek Organics

Maggie Hallam owns and operates Cripple Creek Organics, a small, diverse farm located just west of Fairbanks, Alaska. What was originally boreal forest is now approximately two acres in certified organic status. This area is split between mixed vegetables and pasture. Cows’ milk is marketed through a herd-share program. Vegetables are primarily sold direct to the consumer. Compost is produced both for on-farm and for sale. Working efficiently, offering high-quality products, and building community are all top concerns and have helped shape the ever-changing growth of the farm.

Eero Ruuttilla, Johnny's Seeds

Eero Ruuttila has been an organic farming educator, activist & farm manager for the past 35 years. Central to Eero’s farming practices has been the utilization of cover crops to build healthy soils. For more than 2 decades Eero was director and farm manager of Nesenke ag Farm, a 65-acre certified organic non-profit farm in Litchfield, NH. It was NH’s largest certified organic vegetable operation during his tenure at Nesenkeag.

For the last 10 years, Eero has been both a sustainable farming educator as well as manager of farm training and research farm operations. For 3 years Eero was a Sustainable Farming Agriculture Specialist for UCONN Extension, responsible for its Scaling Up program for Beginning Farmers. During this time Eero was also the Incubator Farming Coordinator for New Entry’s Sustainable Farming Project in Lowell, MA. Eero taught their farm business planning curriculum as well as managed 3 incubator farm-training facilities in eastern Massachusetts. Most recently Eero was Johnny’s Selected Seeds Research Farm Manager in Albion, Maine, a 165-acre seed crop trial and breeding facility in central Maine. Eero retired from Johnny’s in January of 2018.

Eero is currently an ad hoc member of the University of Maine’s Soil Health Team and serves as a consultant to New England farmers on organic soil management practices.

Tristan Woodsmith, Fungi Perfecti

Tristan Woodsmith is an Equipment & Cultivation Specialist and Educator for Fungi Perfecti, providing technical support for mushroom growing equipment and general cultivation advice since 2012. Tristan lives in Olympia WA, and when he isn’t picking mushrooms, spends his free time gardening, brewing beer, and adventuring outdoors.

Brandon Thynes, Petersburg Indian Association

Brandon Thynes is the Tribal Resource Director for the Petersburg Indian Association. Among the many projects he develops and oversee's is the PIA's composting facility. This program creates and markets an alder chip/fish waste compost from locally sourced waste materials. Brandon devotes much time and effort into improving the quality of life in Petersburg.

Business consulting

Throughout the weekend, Spruce Root’s business consultants will be available to assist with business plans, meet with entrepreneurs, and provide information on a variety of business topics. For private consultations, there will be a sign up at the event. More information about Spruce Root can be found at

Film Screening: Farmers for America

The summit will host a community screening on Friday evening.

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