Previous speakers & Topics



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Veterans in Agriculture
Sustainable Ag Lecture Series (Spring 2015):

Veterans in Agriculture

A panel discussion featuring representatives from Archi's Acres,
the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and the making of the film 'Ground Operations'

Wednesday, June 3

7 - 9 pm
College of Business Rotunda, Bldg. 03 - Rm. 213
Save the Date!


Representative from Archi's Acres and the VSAT Program

Archis AcresColin and Karen Archipley are the co-founders of Archi’s Acres Organic Farming Enterprise, and co-creators of the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program (VSAT) in Escondido, California. As a successful greenhouse operation, Archi’s Acres uses innovative hydro-organic farming technology and growing methods to deliver USDA-certified produce to local communities while maximizing available natural resources, and creating well-paying agribusiness careers.

Archis Acres logoThe VSAT program aims to expose young leaders to the entrepreneurial opportunities which exist in the agriculture industry today. Although working with vets is the foundation, VSAT is now open to the public, providing training to anyone interested in learning more about the business behind sustainable agriculture. The VSAT program has offered over 350 graduates and their families the opportunity to establish successful, well-paying careers in agriculture as farm owners and managers, soil-testing pioneers, restauranteurs, and owners of food companies.

Director/Producer of Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields

Dulanie EllisDulanie Ellis has been a filmmaker for the last 25 years.  For many of those years she worked as a Script Supervisor on feature films, television series and commercials in Hollywood.  After the birth of her daughter, she turned to documentary filmmaking and became the Associate Producer on four social justice films with Tell The Truth Pictures, in Ojai, CA. “Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

In 2002, Dulanie launched her own production company, Walk Your Talk Productions. Concerned about the loss of farmland to development, she beganGround Operations film making a series of films that addressed various elements of sustainable agriculture. Producing films about the environmental stewardship of farming, farmland protection and housing for its field workers prepared her for the most compelling story of her career, Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields.  In a world full of problems, Ground Operations is a story about solutions.

Representative of the Farmer Veteran Coalition

Emma FVCEmma Koefoed is the Outreach Coordinator at Farmer Veteran Coalition. Growing up on a farm in Northern California, Emma has always had a vested interest in agriculture. Her parents started Soul Food Farm in 1998 and she grew up working farmers markets, meeting food writers and chefs, attending farming events, as well as helping around Farmer Veteran Coalition the farm.  In 2011, after attempting a career in the culinary arts, she switched gears and decided to apply for the UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program.  After she completed that degree in 2014, she attempted again at a culinary career, but found herself at Farmer Veteran Coalition instead.  She was drawn to the Farmer Veteran Coalition's ability to see both a growing need for farmers and a growing population of veterans returning home with limited career prospects.  Emma’s unique background, personal experience, and education in farming allows her to give honest and insightful advice to those looking to start new careers in agriculture and makes her a strong asset to the FVC team.

Cal Poly alumni, veterans and owners of Pepper Creek Farms

Morgan BoydMorgan Boyd spent 12 1/2 years in the Army, served as a Scout in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was medically retired as a Captain in 2014. Morgan earned his bachelor’s in Political Science and History from Charleston Southern University and is currently in his first year at Cal Poly working on his Master’s in Public Policy. Morgan also manages the row crop production and orchards at his family's farm in Arroyo Grande andPepper Creek Farms is in the process of initiating a sustainable agriculture program for Gulf War II Era Veterans.

Eric Boyd
Eric Boyd
produces high quality living herbs, tomatoes and greens for local Farmer's Markets and high end restaurants. Eric retired from the Army in 2006 after completing two tours in Iraq. He completed his B.S. in Soil Science at Cal Poly and graduated from Veteran's Sustainable Agriculture Training  (VSAT), where he now teaches a course on sustainable soils management.



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