MEET OUR SPEAKERS
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Meet our Speakers
Ms. Karen Hudson is the Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Specialist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Karen provides a singularly focused point of contact for industry, communities and agencies whose actions directly or indirectly impact the conduct and expansion of shellfish aquaculture in Virginia. She is actively involved in fostering the development of applied research projects to address complex shellfish culture problems as well as facilitating the development of new techniques in shellfish culture. Karen provides advice and assistance for both commercial and non-commercial molluscan shellfish growers.
Dave Haider is co-founder of Urban Organics located in St. Paul, Minnesota in the long abandoned Hamm's Brewery. A St. Paul native, Dave grew up with close ties to the Hamm's Brewery. His great-grandfather worked there for more than 40 years, and today Urban Organics is helping transform the facility that sat vacant for nearly two decades after the brewery closed. Urban Organics grew out of a desire to grow healthy food where it's needed most, in the heart of the city. Drawing on years of hands-on experience with aquaculture, horticulture and water systems, Dave began planning for Urban Organics in 2010. Urban Organics grows organic produce and tilapia year-round in a state-of-the-art aquaponics operation with peak production estimated to be 720,000 pounds of organic produce and 150,000 pounds of tilapia for sale to area retailers. Pentair is a partner in the operation, providing equipment and expertise to create the sustainable, closed-loop system.
Carole R. Engle, PhD
Carole Engle is an Aquaculture Economist at the University of AR, Pine Bluff, with more than 30 years experience in the analysis of economics and marketing issues related to aquaculture businesses. She continues her research and extension efforts in the economics and marketing of aquaculture with particular emphasis on identifying farm management strategies that enhance efficiency and profitability. Her current research initiatives include analysis of triggers of technology adoption in aquaculture industries, economics of alternative aquaculture production systems, and measurement of the economic effects of increased regulatory burden and constraints on U.S. aquaculture.
For the past five years Debbie has been an influential figure in North Carolina's booming local foods sector, serving on the statewide Local Sustainable Foods Advisory Council. She is a member of the NC Aquaculture Development Conference Board, the NC Catch Board and advises more than a dozen additional specialty crops organizations within North Carolina agriculture. Debbie thrives on connecting diverse groups to focus on being proactive. She is equally comfortable communicating with multinational executives and a single-employee producer selling direct at small farmers markets. Her authentic style and genuine interest engenders trust across broad groups of people. Debbie joined North Carolina Farm Bureau in November 2004 as Director of Specialty Crops where she monitors a wide range of behind the scenes issues on behalf of specialty crops producers and provides analysis and interpretation of trends and policy. Prior to joining NCFB she spent nearly 20 years with Ball Publishing, West Chicago, IL serving as Editorial Director, Publisher and founder of FloraCulture International magazine among other roles. She resides in Raleigh with her husband Ed Gaines.
Anthony Marchetti joined Rappahannock River Oysters as the Director of Operations in 2008. As such, he oversees a company that averages 100,000 oysters in weekly sales with over 4 million sold annually. This has led the company to vertically integrate, resulting in the opening of 3 restaurants: Merroir in Topping, VA, Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market in Washington D.C., and Rappahannock Restaurant in Richmond, VA. Mr. Marchetti is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain whose hobbies include fly-fishing, boating and sailing.