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Speakers
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Speakers

The Cable Center
2000 Buchtel Boulevard South
Denver, CO 80210

Marco Antonio Abarca

CEO - Ready Foods Inc
 

CEO - Ready Foods Inc

Marco grew up in Denver and graduated from Regis Jesuit High School. After attending Yale College and Stanford Law School, he spent four years working with the Migrant Farmworker Project of California Rural Legal Assistance. Marco returned to Denver in 1992 and began working in his family's Mexican food business. In the nearly thirty years he has been with Ready Foods, Marco has transformed the company into a medium sized soup and sauce company. This year, Marco and his wife Cathy have become empty nesters. They are looking forward to finally tackling their large stack of unread books.

Jordan Beezley

Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs - Colorado Department of Agriculture

Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs - Colorado Department of Agriculture

Jordan Beezley is the Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. He oversees the Department's overall policy, legislative and budget strategy, including serving as the Legislative Liaison. Jordan provides oversight and makes recommendations to the Commissioner and senior staff on policy matters impacting the department and the larger agricultural community in Colorado.

Terrance Boyd

CEO - Wild Boyd Farm LLC

CEO - Wild Boyd Farm LLC

Terrance K Boyd is the CEO of Wild Boyd Farm and currently lives in Matheson, Colorado. Terrance can be witty and reserved at the same time. He started Wild Boyd Farm business to provide for his family. During the pandemic it became a bigger vision to provide to his community while learning new skills. Terrance finds it highly motivating to use his analytical skills in the agricultural industry. He was most recently interviewed and featured on Denver Channel 7, local news, and, featured in Rocky Mountain PBS. For more information about Terrance and Wild Boyd Farm visit: www.Investingwithyou.org.

Brian Coppom

Colorado Agricultural Future Loans Program Manager - CO Department of Agriculture

Colorado Agricultural Future Loans Program Manager - CO Department of Agriculture

Brian is the Program Manager for the CDA's newly launched loan program, focused on making capital accessible to beginning, underserved, and underrepresented farmers, ranchers, and food processors. Prior to joining the CDA, Brian served as the Executive Director of the Boulder County Farmers Market for eight years and has 20+ years of experience in business development and grow-stage companies.

Adam DeGroot

CEO - DeGroot's Vegetable Farms
 

CEO - DeGroot's Vegetable Farms

Adam DeGroot is the founder of DeGroot Logistics, a 3PL based in Chicago focused on food & beverage markets. He also operates 4D Farm Product Sales, a fruit & vegetable sales and brokerage business. From his background in production agriculture from growing up on a 4th generation grain and vegetable farm in central IL, he developed an early appreciation for commodity markets and the transportation markets that make them tick.

Jim Ehrlich

Executive Director - Colorado Potato Administrative Committee

Executive Director - Colorado Potato Administrative Committee

Jim Ehrlich is the Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Jim has a B.S. in Agronomy from Colorado State University and has spent his entire adult life working in agriculture. First as a farmer, then as an agronomist for Coors Brewing Company, and now represents Colorado’s potato growers with a true passion for potatoes and potato growers. His mantra is potatoes are good for you, and farmers are the life blood of our country.

Hanmei Hoffman

Farmer - Hoffman Farms
 

Farmer - Hoffman Farms

Hanmei was born and raised in southern China. Her family farmed and raised sweet potatoes and mangos. She came to America as an immigrant, eventually meeting her future husband. They were married in 2012 and have 3 young daughters together. Hanmei became a US citizen in 2016. Hanmei had the idea to take their family garden that consisted of 1 acre and turn it into an urban farm in 2014. From there their operation grew and they now farm over 100 acres in mixed vegetables and commodity corn in the Greeley area.

Megan Moore

Program Manager - Pueblo Food Project
 

Program Manager - Pueblo Food Project

Megan Moore is a Pueblo native working as the Pueblo Food Project Program Manager. She graduated from CSU Pueblo in 2020 with a degree in communications. Megan started as an intern for the Pueblo Food Project in Jan of 2020 and was promoted to full-time in 2022. Finding incredible passion in food systems, she hopes to continue the gift that is this work for years to come.

Laura Smith

Program Director of Workforce Development - Chef Ann Foundation

Program Director of Workforce Development - Chef Ann Foundation

Laura joined the Chef Ann Foundation team in May 2022 as Program Director of Workforce Development. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the first-ever federally registered Fellowship program cultivating the next generation of diverse leaders in scratch-cook school food operations. She is also leading the collaboration with CDE and other Colorado-based partners to establish the Colorado Healthy School Food Pathway, a work-based learning experience that aims to prepare individuals for job opportunities in healthy, scratch-cook school food programs. Laura has a B.A. in Psychology (Bates College) and Masters of Public Health (Colorado School of Public Health).

Jessica Wright

Director of Healthy Food in Institutions - Nourish Colorado

Director of Healthy Food in Institutions - Nourish Colorado

Chef Jessica Wright leads the work Nourish Colorado does to support Healthy Food in Institutions with a focus on creating sustainable farm-to-institution programs where nourishing, from-scratch meals are the standard. She brings extensive experience from the restaurant world where she handled multi-restaurant purchasing bids, implemented menu-management software, developed training programs, and opened restaurants. She is passionate about elevating the roles of the people who work in institutional kitchens, reinforcing the value they provide in feeding their community, while supporting their professional development through enhanced operating practices and culinary skills.

More Speakers Coming Soon!

THE PLANNING COMMITTEE

Given the focus on leveraging food policy, we our planning committee is made up of representatives from each of the state’s food policy councils/coalitions, which are in turn representative of the diversity of Colorado’s food systems.

Stay Up to Date

We invite anyone connected to Colorado’s food system to be a part of this important discussion. Please add your email here to stay up to date with the latest information about the regional and statewide gatherings.

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