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Tilth Conference: Speakers

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Thea Maria Carlson

Farming for Our Collective Future

Thea Maria Carlson
Farmer, Earth Steward, Facilitator

Farming is at the nexus of all of the crises we currently face, including climate change, wildfires, drought, massive social disparities and injustice, the failure of the industrial food system, escalating land prices, disappearing topsoil and biodiversity, and a pandemic with no end in sight. How can we grow food and steward land in a way that fully faces and embraces these crises with courage and innovation? Drawing on diverse streams of wisdom, we will explore what it might look like for farmers to lead the way to a more vibrant and just future for everyone.

Thea Maria Carlson is an earth steward, farmer, facilitator, community weaver, speaker, writer, and co-creator who collaborates with organizations, individuals, and communities at the intersections of food and agriculture, environmental stewardship, social justice, and regenerative economy. Thea has been building healthy and just food systems for more than two decades, including 10 years leading the Biodynamic Association in the United States. Thea’s diverse experience also includes biodynamic and organic farming, urban agriculture, education, community organizing, strategic communications, facilitation and leadership development. Thea lives in California on land originally stewarded by the Wappo people.


Katherine Un

We Hold the Answers: How WA Farmers Can Build a More Just and Sustainable Future

Katherine Un
National Young Farmers Coalition

Agriculture is looking for a future that is resilient and brings answers to climate change; that lives up to our vision for a more equitable society. To that end, we see a plethora of policy, resources, and educational opportunities focused on "transitioning" farmers to a new way of growing. Our future's richest resource is overlooked. Young and BIPOC farmers have the passion, drive, and expertise to disrupt the status quo. We don't need to be shown how, we simply need to be given true access to agriculture as a sector. Then, you will see us live into our true potential as we steward lands and heal communities in full recognition of the histories that have shaped this system we inherit and the tangible shifts in practice and policy necessary for a brighter farm future.

Katherine Un is passionate about finding creative ways to connect people to power in the movement for a just and sustainable farm and food future. As the Organizing and Advocacy Director with Young Farmers, Katherine oversees national campaigns and grassroots organizing for holistic, structural change in our agricultural system and beyond on issues such as: climate, land justice, student loan debt, government accountability and transparency, and immigration. She holds a Bachelor’s in American Studies and Biology from Tufts University and a Masters in Veterinary Public Health from the Royal Veterinary College. Katherine works from rural Washington State where she breaks and trains horses in our beautiful ranchlands. 

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