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Tilth Conference: Speakers

Tilth Conference 2019

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Javier Zamora

Elements, Connections and Partnerships to Make a Small Farm Successful

Javier Zamora,
JSM Organic Farms (CA)


A second-generation farmer, Javier Zamora grew up farming with his father in Michoacán, Mexico, where he worked until he came to the United States in his twenties. Javier started his farm, JSM Organic Farms, on 1.5 acres in Aromas and Royal Oaks in 2012 after completing the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) program in Salinas. Today, Javier grows certified organic berries, vegetables and flowers on nearly 200 acres in California and employs 25 full-time employees. His farm sells at farmers markets, retail stores and restaurants with a dedication to providing affordable, organic produce that is accessible to the local community.

He’s also a leader in his community. Javier sits on the board of local non-profits and agencies including ALBA, Eco-Farm and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, as well as the advisory committee for the USDA Small and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers program. He mentors seven local farmers and serves as a resource for local college students and ALBA farmers by giving tours of his farm and as a public speaker.

Join Javier as he shares his personal history, the importance of making connections with food eaters, and how we as a community can support small farms and aspiring farmers. 


Valerie Segrest thumbnail

Revitalizing Coast Salish Food Culture

Valerie Segrest,
Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project (WA)


Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot) is a native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she serves her community as the coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and also works as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. In 2010, she co-authored the book “Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture”. Valerie received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University in 2009 and a Masters Degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a culturally appropriate, common sense approach to eating.

Roots, berries, elk and salmon were at the center of traditional food culture for the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. During colonization these foods were replaced with a diet of a modern and dominant culture.  Today, tribal communities are faced with degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease as a result of this superimposition. Despite this disruption, a movement is rippling throughout Indian Country. Tribes are mobilizing by employing concepts of food sovereignty and reclaiming their food systems in order to collectively focus animating a culture of health for future generations. Join Valerie Segrest, a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe and a Native Foods Nutritionist as she shares her experiences connecting her students to traditional foods and plant medicine that nurture our body and our revolutionary spirits.

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