Conference Presenters

Sunday, June 10

Image: Penny Brady

Penny Brady

Penny Brady is the Meetings and Conventions Sales Manager for the Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. She was instrumental in support our local hosts with activities, sites and events in the Harrisburg/Hershey area.

Penny was instrumental in helping us find our Sunday evening entertainment! Our musical guests Greg Burgess and Beverly Conrad will provide an enjoyable variety of eclectic Americana, including folk traditional, jazz and European ethnic string music. Greg is an accomplished pianist and Beverly is a talented vocalist and fiddle and banjo player. Greg's and Beverly's performances are family friendly, and they love audience participation.

[ back to top ]

Monday, June 11

Image: Russell C. Redding

Russell C. Redding

Opening Remarks/Plenary

Governor Tom Wolf nominated Russell C. Redding to serve as the 26th Secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in January 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate on May 14, 2015. Redding is the former dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College. Redding has extensive experience as a public servant, having spent more than 20 years serving Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and Washington D.C. He worked on Capitol Hill as Ag Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and served for 16 years in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, serving as secretary from 2009-2011 under Governor Rendell.

[ back to top ]

Image: Jeffrey Hyde

Jeffrey Hyde, PhD

Jeffrey Hyde, PhD provides leadership for the development and delivery of high-quality, relevant and impactful extension educational programs, products and services. With an eye toward expanding reach and access to science-based education across Pennsylvania, Hyde oversees and guides assistant directors of programs and statewide program teams.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Frostburg State University in Maryland and master's and doctoral degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University

[ back to top ]

Image: John Block

John Block

Former Secretary of Agriculture

Senior Policy Advisor at OFW Law, John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food, and health. His accomplishments in agriculture began with the building of a large and successful hog operation in his home state of Illinois where he also served as the Director of Agriculture from 1977-1981. He was tapped by President Reagan to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of Food Distributors International (formerly National American Wholesale Grocers Association) from 1986-January 2003.

John has served on the Board of Directors of John Deere, Hormel Foods, and Friends of the World Food Program. He currently serves on the Board of Aemetis, Inc., The Graduate School, The Farm Foundation, and the CNFA Agrabusiness Alliance. Moreover, he delivers a weekly radio commentary, John Block Reports From Washington, wherein he addresses matters of concern to the farm community. Mr. Block is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.

[ back to top ]

Image: Hannah Smith-Brubaker

Hannah Smith-Brubaker

Executive Director Hannah Smith-Brubaker comes to PASA having most recently served as Pennsylvania Agriculture Deputy Secretary. As Deputy, she focused on agricultural markets and economic development, farmland preservation, and the charitable food system.

Hannah with her partner Debra Brubaker and family, operates Village Acres Farm & FoodShed, an organic produce and pastured poultry farm in Juniata County for 35 years, 25 of which have been organically certified and nearly 20 of which have involved year-round community supported agriculture.

[ back to top ]

Image: Christian Herr

Christian Herr

As Executive Vice President of PennAg Industries Association, Christian Herr is responsible for the overall management of the association, service-corporation and PennAg Insurance Group. He is responsible for staff oversight, managing the day to day programs and financial affairs and its operating councils. PennAg Industries Association, mission is achieved by monitoring regulations and legislation, networking among agricultural organizations and educating decision-makers on the importance of agribusiness to the communities of the Commonwealth.

[ back to top ]

Image: Leslie Zuck

Leslie Zuck

Pennsylvania Certified Organic founding Executive Director, Leslie Zuck, wears many hats: Farmer, lawyer and community volunteer. She owns and operates Common Ground Organic Farm, raising organic vegetables, seedlings, sheep and dairy heifers. Her volunteer work includes fostering homeless dogs, managing a farmers market and serving on advisory boards for organic research projects and a non-profit educational farm.

[ back to top ]

Image: Ela Chapin

Ela Chapin

Ela Chapin has been the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program Director since 2006, helping to improve the quality of program services and providing professional development opportunities to strengthen the network of agricultural service providers in Vermont. She has a MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Ela is also an avid gardener and dancer and lives in East Montpelier.

[ back to top ]

Image: Mark Cannella

Mark Cannella

Mark Cannella, Extension Assistant Professor: Farm Business Management Specialist at the University of Vermont Extension, has been working in the field of agriculture in Vermont for over ten years. He has managed farm operations in vegetable production, maple sugaring and agricultural education. His current focus is the management and delivery of farm business planning programs, business management trainings and farm economic research. Mark contributes to programs that serve a diverse audience of farm producers raising different products at different scales.

[ back to top ]

Image: Chris Houser

Chris Houser

Assistant Director: Agronomy and Natural Resources, Chris Houser began his Penn State career in 2005 as a research technologist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. In 2013, he became a county-based field-crop extension educator, developing and delivering educational programming and performing on-farm research trials. Prior to joining Penn State, Houser managed his family's farm, Houserdale Farm, for 18 years. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University and a master's degree in agronomy from Penn State.

[ back to top ]

Image: Becca Jablonski

Becca Jablonski

Becca Jablonski is an Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. As part of her position, she facilitates the Colorado Governor’s Food Systems Advisory Council and is a co-leader of Colorado State University’s Food Systems Extension Team. Dr. Jablonski’s research and extension program is comprised of two primary components: 1) evaluating the farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through non-commodity markets (e.g., local food markets, certification, or other product differentiation strategies); and, 2) assessing the community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs. Dr. Jablonski holds a PhD from Cornell University.

[ back to top ]

Last Update: 6/12/18