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FFX Pocono:

Racing to Safeguard Agrobiodiversity

September 25th, 2020

The Experience

From Seed Bank to Farm to Plate
25 September
3 - 9 PM

On the “Global Day of Action” for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, you are invited to virtually join chefs, media, farmers, seed savers, educators, policy makers and consumers in an immersive experience designed to raise awareness of the importance of crop diversity and its connection to healthy soils and resilient, sustainable agricultural systems. Throughout the event, we will showcase what the future of food could be like if we conserve and use the amazing diversity of our foods.

Hosted by the Food Forever Initiative in partnership with Pocono Organics, Rodale Institute, and the Crop Trust, the Experience will be the first of its kind, and stream digital content from around the world, including from the farm at Pocono Organics, to the fields of the Rodale Institute, to genebanks, to chefs’ kitchens and many places in between.

Participants will also be the first audience to learn of new research findings presented by Rodale Institute which will use this occasion to announce a global white paper that looks at the potential of Regenerative Organic Agriculture to reduce emissions and maximize carbon sequestration in soils - as one solution to the climate crisis.

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Douglas Gayeton

Co-Founder & Chief Investigator,

The Lexicon

Zach Wolf

Farm Manager,

Caney Fork Farms

Dina Deleasa-Gonsar

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Jeff Moyer

CEO, Rodale Institute


Cary Fowler

Renowned Agriculturalist and Crop Trust Former Executive

Birgit Cameron

Managing Director, Patagonia Provisions

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Zach Bush

Founder, Seraphic Group &
Farmers Footprint


Danielle Nierenberg

President, Food Tank


Dr. Éliane Ubalijoro

Crop Trust Board Member

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Tom Newmark

Chairman, The Carbon Underground

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Dr. Yichao Rui

Soil Scientist, The Rodale Institute

Ska Mirriam Moteane

Chef, Consultant & Cookbook Author

Christa Essig

Global Sustainability Initiatives Manager, Compass

Robynne Anderson


Emerging Ag Inc. 

*Event MC

Dorothy Shaver

Global Sustainability Lead, Knorr and Registered Dietitian, Unilever


Emily Rose Haga

Executive Director, Seed Savers Exchange

Pierre Thiam

Chef, Author, & Social Activist, 

Teranga, Yolélé

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Dr. Ismahane Elouafi

Director General, 

International Center for Biosaline Agriculture

Erik Oberholtzer

Chef & Advisor 

Cohere, Tender Greens

Jeff Tkach

Chief Impact Officer, 

Rodale Institute 


Dan Barber

Chef and Co-owner of Blue Hill, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Row 7 Seed Company

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Ashley Walsh

Founder & President, 
Pocono Organics

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Stefan Schmitz

Executive Director, The Crop Trust

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Global Leaders 


Thematic Discussion



Creator, Writer, TV Personality,


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The Program:

— 10:00 AM — 
Ashley Walsh, Founder & President, Pocono Organics 
Are we on the right track? Feeding 9 Billion People by 2050
Stefan Schmitz, Crop Trust Executive Director 
Agrobiodiversity as a Resource for Food Security
Cary Fowler, Renowned Agriculturalist 
Turn One: Conservation & the Role of Genebanks 

How can seeds help us feed a growing global population in the midst of unprecedented agricultural challenges? What is the role of seed banks and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and why do we need a global system of conservation and use to end hunger by 2030. A conversation with: 

  • Emily Rose Haga, Seed Savers Exchange

  • Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture 

  • Eliane Ubajigoro, Crop Trust Board Member

— 11:00 AM —
Message for Chef Pierre Thiam 
Rodale Institute Global White Paper Announcement
Jeff Moyer, CEO of Rodale Insitute & Tom Newmark, Founder & Chair of the Carbon Underground 

Turn Two: From Seed Bank to Farm to Table 

What if forward-thinking chefs joined a network of farmers to bring uncommon crops to a new audience of diners starving for food-source connection and food diversity? In this lap, you’ll hear directly from farmers and chefs alike on how they are using seed banks and other resources to grow, eat and celebrate local biodiversity and face the climate crisis. A conversation with: 

  • Zach Wolf,  Farm Manager Caney Fork Farms 

  • Chef Erik Oberholtzer, Co-founder Tender Greens

  • Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank 

  • Dr. Yichao Rui, Soil Scientist Rodale Institue

Chefs as Drivers of Change
Chef Dan Barber, Chef and Co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barnes and the Co-founder Row 7 Seeds Co. 
Message from Chef Ska Mirriam Moteane 
Human and Planetary Transformation through Regenerative Agriculture
Zach Bush, Founder, Seraphic Group & Farmer's Footprint
— 12:00 PM —
Birgit Cameron, Managing Director of Patagonia Provisions
Agrobiodiversity as a Driver for Competitiveness of Business & Development 

There is a strong business case underpinning greater investment in crop conservation. By utilizing the wealth of diversity available, companies can create and access lucrative, niche markets and differentiate their brands. This lap will look at supply chains and how the private sector can help catalyze a shift in our food systems by helping to build markets for diverse ingredients and support sustainable sourcing. A conversation with April Redmond, Unilever-Knoor and other executive and industry leaders to be announced.

  • Dorothy Shaver, Global Sustainability Lead, Knorr and Registered Dietitian, Unilever

  • Douglas Gayeton, Co-Founder & Chief Investigator, The Lexicon

  • Christa Essig, Global Sustainability Initiatives Manager, Compass

  • Robynne Anderson, President, Emerging ag

— 1:00 PM —
Thank You & Wrap Up 



Join us!
The Food Forever Experience Pocono is the first of its kind, the Digital Experience is free of charge and open to everyone. Please feel free to share the event widely with your network!