- Alan Bjerga, author of “Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest” and agriculture policy reporter for Bloomberg News View Full Bio
Alan Bjerga is the author of the book “Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest” which discusses changes in food supply, demand and trading that have created a new era of price volatility for food. He also covers agriculture policy for Bloomberg News. A former president of the National Press Club, Mr. Bjerga has won awards from the Overseas Press Club, the New York Press Club, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the North American Agricultural Journalists. He grew up on a family farm in northern Minnesota.
- Steve Peterson, former director of sustainable sourcing at General Mills View Full Bio
Steve Peterson was previously the director of sourcing sustainability at General Mills, starting in August, 2010. He led External Manufacturing at General Mills from 2005-2010. Previously, Peterson was a member of the Integration team creating the combined Supply Chain resulting from the General Mills and Pillsbury merger.
Prior to joining General Mills, Peterson had 15 years of experience with Pillsbury and held positions of increasing responsibility within Supply Chain Operations and Sourcing, starting as a Commodity Analyst and lastly holding the position of Senior Director Ingredient Sourcing. He has been involved for many years in collaborative manufacturing and sourcing.
Peterson’s educational background includes a M.S. degree in Agriculture & Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota and a Business Administration degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He serves on several non-profit boards including Field to Market, Park Nicollet Foundation, MN AgriGrowth Council, Presbyterian Homes, and the Paynesville Area Community Foundation.
- Steve Polski, senior director, sustainability, Cargill Inc. View Full Bio
Steve created and launched the Responsible Supply Chains (RSC) advisory business for Cargill, Inc. Steve created a joint business relationship between Cargill and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that brings leading solutions to clients in the area of responsible supply chains and sustainability. The Cargill RSC advisory business provides strategic consulting to organizations, helping them quickly identify, prioritize and quantify environmental and social performance improvement projects in their supply chain, resulting in cost reduction, risk mitigation and brand elevation. Prior to Cargill, Steve worked for Andersen Corporation overseeing their transportation and fleet functions. Steve has extensive experience in supply chain management, transportation and third-party logistics. He currently sits on the boards of World CNG, Living Well Disability Services and Revolution Fuels, where Steve is also a founder.
- Greg Reynolds, Riverbend Farm , Delano, MN.
- Bertrand Weber, director of Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary & Nutrition Services View Full Bio
Swiss-born Bertrand Weber’s career includes more than 35 years of combined management experience in the hospitality industry and school food service. Trained in hotel management in Switzerland, Bertrand has managed some of the finest hotels and resorts on the east coast. His compassion for the well-being and future of our children and our environment led Bertrand to the Hopkins School District, Minnesota in 2003.
From 2006 until 2011, Bertrand worked for Taher, Inc. as Director of Wellness, Nutrition and Culinary Standards and was responsible for the implementation of the Food for Life initiative.
Now, as Director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, Bertrand wasted no time rethinking MPS School Lunch. Market Cart Salad Bars have been introduced in 52 schools, all seven high schools, four junior high schools and five elementary schools have returned to scratch cooking with 12 more scheduled for the 2015-2016 school year.
Bertrand is currently the vice-chair of the National Farm to School Advisory Board, the Lead District of School Food Focus Upper Midwest Regional Learning Lab and Chair of SNA Major City Committee.
- Bill Gordon, corn and soybean farmer, Gordon Farms, Worthington, MN View Full Bio
Bill Gordon is the owner of Gordon farms, a corn and soybean farm, and the national director of the American Soybean Association. Gordon received his associate of science degree in agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences from Minnesota West Community and Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture, with minors in agronomy and animal science from South Dakota State University. Gordon is a proud proponent of environmentally sustainable farming practices. He is also a tax accountant and has served as an officer with AWRC Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Center.
- Jorge Guzman, executive chef, Surly Brewing View Full Bio
Jorge Guzman started in the restaurant world at age 17 as a busboy and has been in the kitchen ever since. Guzman and his family left Mexico at age five and he was raised in St. Louis, MO before training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
Upon getting married, Guzman moved to Minneapolis were he has worked his way through Tejas, Corner Table and Solera. Now at Surly Brewing, Guzman focuses on flavors that pair well with beers, at times focusing in on his Hispanic roots. Guzman also gives back to the community through work with the Farm in the Cities program, which allows local chefs and farmers to come together and share their knowledge on local & sustainable food with the community while raising money for Minneapolis and St. Paul charities. In the kitchen, Guzman tries to use a steady flow of locally farmed foods.
- Jen Haugen, RD, formerly of Hy-Vee View Full Bio
An award-winning dietitian, Jen Haugen, RDN, LD is a mom, nutrition communications consultant, writer, speaker and school nutrition dietitian with Austin Public Schools. Known as the Down-To-Earth Dietitian on www.jenhaugen.com, Jen specializes in writing and photography with the goal of encouraging moms to create the recipe to a nourishing life through food, family and faith. Jen also works with clients in nutrition communications creating content, developing recipes and social media engagement, currently working with both the Calorie Control Council and The Soy Foods Council. During her six years as a retail dietitian with Hy-Vee, a nationally recognized supermarket chain, Jen implemented a variety of educational programs across multiple states.
Jen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Dietetics and Food & Nutrition, graduating with high honors, from Minnesota State University at Mankato. She completed her dietetic internship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she also later worked as a clinical dietitian for seven years after the internship. In 2012, Jen received the Emerging Dietetic Leader Award from the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for her work in nutrition promotion through media and gardening programs for kids. And she recently delivered a TEDx Talk on “How Moms Can Change the World” featuring ideas for moms to impact the health of her kids through gardening and cooking together.
Jen currently holds the Greater Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson position and has extensive media experience including being a weekly columnist for more than five years, contributing and appearing in a weekly cooking segment for more than five years, and writing for national websites and magazines. Jen is also a member of Common Ground Minnesota, an organization working to start the conversation between the women who grow food and the women who buy it. She resides in Minnesota with her husband and two children.
- Rochelle Krusemark, corn, soybean, pork and beef farmer, Krusemark Farms, Trimont, MN View Full Bio
Krusemark is a partner in their fifth generation family farm, Krusemark Farms and doubles as a crop insurance claim adjuster. Krusemark didn’t always know she was destined for farming, receiving a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and business from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and graduate studies in emotional behavioral disorders and learning disabilities from Mankato State University. She enrolled in the farm management program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College after marrying Brad. Krusemark taught special education students and raised two sons while gaining a passion for farming. Rochelle serves on the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and is a proud spokesperson of the Minnesota farming community as a “Farming Today” speaker.