• Michael Specter, staff writer, The New Yorker View Full Bio
    Michael Specter New Yorker Staff Writer

    Michael Specter has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998. He focuses on science, technology, and public health. Since joining the magazine, he has written about agricultural biotechnology, the global AIDS epidemic, avian influenza, malaria, and the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, synthetic biology, the debate over the meaning of our carbon footprint, the effort to produce genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue fever and new ways to edit DNA. He has also published many Profiles of subjects including Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA, Dr. Oz, the ethicist Peter Singer, Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Manolo Blahnik, Miuccia Prada and Richard Branson.

    Specter came to The New Yorker from the New York Times, where he had been a roving foreign correspondent based in Rome. From 1995 to 1998, Specter served as the Times Moscow bureau chief. Before working at the Times, he spent six years at the Washington Post, first covering local news, and then becoming the Post’s national science reporter and, later, the newspaper’s New York bureau chief.

    In 1996, Specter received the Overseas Press Club’s Citation for Excellence for his reporting of the war in Chechnya. He has twice received the Global Health Council’s annual Excellence in Media Award, first for his 2001 article about AIDS, “India’s Plague,” and secondly for his 2004 article “The Devastation,” about the ethics of testing H.I.V. vaccines in Africa. He also received the 2002 AAAS Science Journalism Award, for his article, “Rethinking the Brain,” on the scientific basis of how we learn. His 2009 book, “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” received the Robert P. Balles Annual Prize in Critical Thinking, presented by The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Specter received the 2014 Mirror Prize, awarded by Newhouse School of Public Communications, for his 2013 profile of Mehmet Oz, “The Operator. He also won the James Beard prize in 2014 for his New Yorker article “Against the Grain,” which explored the American obsession with gluten-free products.

    Since 2012, Specter has been a Visiting Professor at Bard College, in the department of Environmental and Urban Affairs.


  • Michelle Miller, associate director, The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, University of Wisconsin-Madison View Full Bio

    Michelle Miller is Associate Director at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the sustainable agriculture research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. She is a practicing economic anthropologist engaged in participatory research with business leaders in food supply chains. A Wisconsin native, she holds degrees in landscape architecture (emphasis: regional planning and restorative ecology), and on sustainable development (emphasis: agriculture and food) from the UW. In the 1980s she worked for the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. In the 1990s, Michelle worked for World Wildlife Fund on agricultural pollution prevention. For the last 15 years she has worked at the Center with fruit growers to assist them in their efforts to reduce pesticide risk and build regional markets. Current projects focus on agriculture of the middle and regional food economies, food freight transportation for cities, labor and land tenure, resiliency and climate change.

  • Greg Zwald, farmer, White Pine Berry Farm View Full Bio

    Greg Zwald and his wife Irma are co-owners of White Pine Berry Farm established in 2012.  They raise 8 acres of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants and asparagus, all of which was recently certified organic in 2015.  They also raise pumpkins and vegetables, along with corn, soybeans and alfalfa on additional acres, all which are being transitioned to organic certification.  Most of the produce is marketed as U-pick, but some is directly marketed to local stores or sold at two local farmers' markets.  They also have some ag-tourism events, including a corn maze.  The barn is a beautiful setting for weddings, but we are very limited by county zoning. We have a website and have been on Facebook since the inception of the farm.

    Prior to 2012, Greg had been a partner with his brother at Bomaz, Inc., a Registered Holstein herd of 1300 head(575 cows) and farmed 1400 acres.

    Greg has been involved with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and has had the opportunity to serve on many of the organization's state committees.  He is a graduate of Leadership Wisconsin.  Greg served as a board member for their milk cooperative(AMPI) for 15 years.  Currently, Greg is a board member of the Wisconsin Dept. of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection.

  • Steve Peterson, food industry sustainability expert 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.

  • Lauren Lindsley, RDN, CD, dietitian manager, Skogen’s Festival Foods View Full Bio
    Lauren is a nationally accredited, state-certified Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist. As the Dietitian Manager and Green Bay Regional Dietitian, she leads the regional dietitian team in developing innovative nutrition programs across the company. Lauren partners with national organizations and movements to promote good nutrition through a wide variety of media, including television and social. She also collaborates with a variety of community groups, including health care systems, schools, government agencies, area businesses, non-profit organizations and universities, to help community members learn to shop smarter in the supermarket. She designs and conducts group and individual nutrition and culinary classes, events, store tours and presentations in the community. Lauren is very passionate about helping people find achievable ways to live longer, healthier, happier lives.
    Lauren is committed to giving back to her profession. She serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a preceptor to dietetic students and interns annually. She is also on the advisory committee for the Wellness and Health Promotions program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. 
    YOU Magazine named Lauren one of the “20 Women to Know” in its 2015 issue, which features influential women who are inspiring conversations, shaping their organizations and changing the way women do business in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • Steve Richter, director of conservation programs for The Nature Conservancy View Full Bio
    Steve Richter coordinates Wisconsin chapter conservation strategies in agricultural landscapes. In two such projects, The Nature Conservancy works with partners and farmers to change farm practices in ways that work with farmers and improve water quality in Wisconsin’s lakes and streams. In southwest Wisconsin, the Conservancy owns and manages land where prairie is planted and grazing and haying is done by neighboring farmers. 
    Steve supervises staff leading three other projects in Wisconsin, in two of which the chapter has a long history of owning and managing land. In all our projects the Conservancy works with partners to impact conservation work in working landscapes. He leads a water fund strategy team of Conservancy staff from five states on the Upper Mississippi River project. 
    Steve has worked for the Wisconsin Chapter since 1991. In his earlier positions with the chapter, Steve conducted land management projects, such as prescribed fire, clearing of trees, brush and invasive species and planting prairie on Conservancy lands. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from UW-Madison. 
  • Kim Kroll, farmer, Rolling Hills Dairy View Full Bio

    Kim Kroll is part of a fifth-generation dairy farm family on the original homestead in Luxemburg, Wis. She works on the farm, Rolling Hills Dairy, with her husband, three children, ages 11, 9 and 7, her mom and dad, two brothers, two sisters in law and six nieces and nephews. Kim grew up on the farm and attended beauty college before opening a business in a Green Bay salon. She continued to farm on her days off. After her children were born, she returned to dairy farming full time. The family milks 1,200 cows and raises 1,100 calves.

  • Jude Capper, PhD, independent livestock sustainability consultant View Full Bio

    Jude Capper, Ph.D. is an independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant based in Oxfordshire, UK, who undertook her BSc and PhD in the UK, before undertaking post-doctoral research at Cornell University and a faculty position at Washington State University.

    Jude's current research focuses on modeling the environmental impact of livestock production systems, specifically dairy and beef - projects include the effect of specific management practices and technology use upon environmental impact. Her principal professional goal is to communicate the importance of livestock industry sustainability and the factors affecting sustainability to enhance the knowledge and understanding of stakeholders within food production from the rancher and farmer through to the retailer, policy-maker and consumer.

    She has an active social media presence and spends a considerable amount of time de-bunking some of the more commonly-heard myths relating to resource use and the environmental impact of livestock production. Jude maintains websites relating to her work at: and and has the Twitter handle of @Bovidiva.