November 10, 2022
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PST
Join WCS for a virtual event panel discussion on agriculture and ways to increase adoption of sustainable practices, from creating new technologies to educating local farmers and providing funding to those making big impacts.
Agriculture plays a vital role in our ecosystem, economy, and lives, but as the world’s population continues to grow and the effects of climate change become more pronounced, many of our current agricultural practices can’t be sustained. Luckily, there are many companies and people working to create new technologies and adopt innovative practices that increase the sustainability of agriculture while also meeting growing demand.
Join WCS for an event panel discussion on Sustainable Agriculture. We will discuss the three main objectives of sustainable agriculture, a healthy environment, economic profitability, and social and economic equality. We will discuss the ways in which startups have assisted in getting innovative practices adopted by companies and small farmers; and how sustainable agriculture crosses disciplinary lines, combining biology, chemistry, engineering, economics, and community.
The three speakers at the first WCS sustainable agriculture panel each have a unique perspective on ways to increase adoption of sustainable practices, from creating new technologies to educating local farmers to providing funding to those making big impacts. Join us to hear more about their work and how agriculture is changing for the better.
Panel Agenda (PT)
- 5:00 – 5:05 Arrival, introductions, and housekeeping
- 5:05 – 5:40 Panel discussion
- 5:40 – 5:55 Q&A from the audience
- 5:55 – 6:00 Thank you and wrap-up
Soil Health and Composting Educator
Consultant at Groundwork
Virginia Lamb, Groundwork Education and Consulting, is an Environmental Educator with over 25 years’ experience in recycling, composting, soil health and organic gardening. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Stockton University, an MS in Soil Science from UMass Amherst, and is a NJ Certified Recycling Professional. Virginia has extensive experience with municipal and county governments, non-profit organizations and colleges. She has been a freelance educator/consultant since 2000, working with schools, companies, governments, environmental/community groups and gardening organizations throughout the region. Virginia is a member of the NJ Composting Council’s Education and Outreach Committee, the NRCS Soil Health Technical Advisory Committee for NJ, and on the NJ Climate Change Alliance Organics Working Group. She is a long time member and former board member of the Association of NJ Recyclers and in 2020 was appointed to the Green Team in her home community of Maplewood NJ.
Alissa Welker has spent her career working in a variety of roles for food and ag start-up businesses. Alissa spent several years at an ag-tech start-up in Silicon Valley working on sustainability programs for large-scale producers. After her time in Silicon Valley, she spent some time consulting, traveling, and working on farms before landing at Steward. Steward is a private lender for regenerative farm and food systems projects. She has enjoyed working with a wide variety of regenerative producers ranging from farmers, ranchers, and food infrastructure businesses, and walking them through Steward’s agricultural lending process. Alissa enjoys bringing her background in food systems, social justice, and business operations to her day-to-day work. Outside of work you can find Alissa camping, backpacking, and biking, often traveling with a carrot or two as her go-to favorite snack – and favorite vegetable!
Senior Product Manager, Grid Tractor
Michelle is an engineering alum from UC San Diego with a passion for sustainability. She has spent the last decade working at the intersection of transportation and energy, researching battery storage and electric vehicles at some of the industry’s leading organizations. Through her career spanning prior work in the non-profit space at the Center for Sustainable Energy, the global automotive industry at BMW of North America, and in the utility sector leading vehicle-grid integration pilots at Pacific Gas and Electric, she’s gained a unique and broad perspective. Michelle currently works as a Sr. Product Manager at Gridtractor where she’s leading one of the nation’s first bidirectional charging pilots in the agricultural sector.
Board Secretary, Women in Cleantech & Sustainability
Julie is the Board Secretary for Women in Cleantech & Sustainability (WCS) and the President of Product Rehab. She is a customer-centric executive with 20+ years of experience identifying new revenue opportunities for Fortune 500 companies in technology, health, and financial services. She is a strategist, a visionary, and a diplomat with a polished and proven approach to leading and motivating key stakeholders to leverage customer voice data, inclusiveness, and objectivity. She holds an MBA from George Washington University.