We welcomed guests to the farm for our annual Grain Place Foundation Field Day on Saturday, July 16. Field Day gives guests an opportunity to tour the farm and grain processing plant in the morning, join us for an afternoon program with a keynote speakers, plus a lunch of organic food on the farm. We welcomed Paul Schiefer of Amy’s Kitchen and Kellee James of Mercaris as our 2022 presenters.
Keynote Presenter: Paul Schiefer of Amy’s Kitchen
Paul Schiefer is the Vice President of Impact and Communication for Amy’s Kitchen, the leading producer of high-quality organic frozen meals and soups. He oversees Amy’s Environmental and Social Impact Strategies, integrating sustainability and social justice into all aspects of the business, including sourcing and agricultural practices, manufacturing operations, employee programs, and products. He also leads Company Communications, including company reputation, partnerships, community impact, government affairs, and internal communications.
Throughout his 15 years at Amy’s, Paul has worked in business development, international trade, manufacturing, technology, and advocacy. He has led key initiatives, including launching the Amy’s Drive Thru, a first-of-its-kind organic, vegetarian fast-food concept, oversaw Amy’s EU market entry, and led Amy’s recent B Corp certification. Paul serves as an active proponent of and advocate for the organic industry. He has represented the industry as a speaker at national and global conferences, on the USDA ATAC on Processed Foods, and as a team leader for both Organic Trade Association and Environmental Working Group advocacy events. As an active OTA Board Member, Paul serves as Board President and is a member of the OTA Executive Committee. In addition he chairs the SFTA Council and Advisory Committee – to further position Organic as a premier climate change solution. Paul has deep expertise and experience in organic agriculture policy, climate change policy, environmental justice, and strategic planning. He is passionate about using business to meet economic and values-based goals ensuring lasting benefits to people, planet, and performance objectives.
Paul grew up in the organic industry, watching his Uncle Andy and Aunt Rachel start Amy’s Kitchen after their daughter Amy’s birth in 1987. He fondly remembers attending his first Natural Products Expo back in 1990 to hand out samples at the Amy’s booth at the young age of ten, an event he has attended ever since. He was raised growing and eating organic foods, and he has been a fierce advocate for strengthening the organic system ever since. Today he is excited to be part of the next generation of organic industry leaders, focused on using organic agriculture as a meaningful solution to climate change and protecting ecosystem services for future generations. As a new father, he deeply believes in the need to protect and restore our home planet for his two young girls and our future generations.
Keynote Presenter: Kellee James of Mercaris
Kellee James is Founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market data service and trading platform for organic agricultural commodities and ingredients. Prior to Mercaris, Kellee spent five years at the start-up company Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental products. In 2009/2010, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow. She has also worked with coffee farmers in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. Kellee was named by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine as a ’40 under 40′ rising leader. Ms. James is an Aspen Institute Catto Environmental Fellow and also serves on the Boards of the Organic Trade Association and Oregon Tilth one of the largest certifiers of organic farmland. Kellee received her MBA and MA in International Development from American University in Washington, DC and completed a BA in Spanish from the University of Kentucky.
Farm To Table Lunch by Chef Anthony L Warrior
“My name is Ma-te-yi-ma-pe-to, I am an active member of the Little Axe Little River Ceremonial ground of the Shawnee. I have been in the Food and Beverage industry for 25 years and am a self-taught chef. During my tenure I have traveled to 48 of the 50 United States, China and the Philippines, focusing my efforts towards educating/motivating the youth and community leaders to embrace culture and tradition.”
During his career, Anthony L Warrior has worked for 15 Tribal nations in healthcare, a residential home for children, and Casino/Resorts. In his teenage years he traveled and spoke on behalf of the United National Indian Tribal Youth program.
His experiences working for tribal nations have included studying and acquiring local traditional recipes, stories, and historical methods in food preparation and preservation. His approach to cultural nutrition is interconnected with feeding the mental, spiritual, and holistic balance necessary to differentiate the total health needs of each individual tribal group. His lifelong quest for education fuels the passion for learning and preparing traditional sustenance that stimulates cultural retention and community healing.
Field Day Featured Artist: Steven Tamayo
Steve Tamayo draws upon his family history as a member of the Sicangu Lakota tribe. His fine arts education (BFA from Singe Gleska University), along with his cultural upbringing, have shaped him as an artist, historian, storyteller and dancer. Steve provides activities during his residencies that include art and regalia making, drumming, powwow dance demonstrations and lectures on the history, symbolism and meaning behind the Native customs and traditions.
Steve has considerable experience developing curricula and teaching both youth and adults, including work with the Native American Advocacy Program of South Dakota, Omaha Public Schools, Minnesota Humanities Council and Metropolitan Community College of Omaha. He also leads groups of students and teachers on cultural excursions on the Rosebud reservation, introducing them to the rich culture and way of life that is slowly being revived among native communities. He is a past Governor’s Heritage Art Award recipient, an honor bestowed for his contributions in the arts and Native American culture.
Allison Vetter & William Cone
Marianne and David Meyer
We are currently seeking additional Sponsors for Field Day 2022. Your donations support not only the Field Day event, but enable the ongoing work of the Grain Place Foundation.