Meet the thought leaders who advise us

Our Advisory Council informs our programs with hands-on experience and relevant research. Made up of long-time and beginning farmers, scientists at our key partner organizations, and authors and business leaders who are shaping the movement for perennial agriculture.
Savanna Institute table with hats, water bottles and t-shirts.

Thank You Advisors

Steven I. Apfelbaum
Senior Ecologist, Founder, & Chairman, Applied Ecological  Services, Inc. – WI

Beverly Paul
Davenport Policy – DC

Dayna Burtness
Farmer, Nettle Valley Farm – MN

TJ Callahan
Owner, Farmhouse Taverns – IL

Casey Dahl
Farmer, Feral Farm (Jefferson, WI) – WI

DD Danforth Burlin
Founder, Sustainable and Local Food Investment Group – IL

Omar de Kok-Mercado
Midwest Regional Manager, MadAg – WI

Syovata (Vata) Edari 
Chocolatier & Lawyer, Cocovaa – WI

Narimah (Nimi) Ehr 
Senior Analyst, Micron Technologies – WI

Jose Franco, PhD 
Research Agronomist/Agroecologist, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center – WI

Leslie Freehill 
Attorney, Pines Bach LLP – WI

Paul Gaynor 
Owner, White Oak Savanna Events Farm and Sanctuary; Principal, G&R Public Law & Strategies – WI                    

Meghan Giroux, MSC 
Owner, Interlace Agroforestry LLC; Director, Interlace Commons Inc.

Michael Gold, PhD 
Professor, The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri – MO

John Graham, PhD 
Professor of Environmental Science and Biology, Madison College, WI

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquín 
President-CEO, Tree-Range® Farms – MN

Brooke Hecht, PhD 
President, Center for Humans and Nature – IL

Randy Jackson, PhD 
Professor of Grassland Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison – WI

Shibu Jose, PhD 
Associate Dean for Research, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources – MO

Margaret Krome
Policy Director, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute – WI

David LeZaks, PhD 
Managing Director, Food System 6 – WI

Theresa Marquez 
Mission Executive (retired), Organic Valley – WI

Diane Mayerfeld, PhD 
Sustainable Ag Outreach Specialist – WI

Erin Meier 
Director, Green Lands Blue Waters – MN

Curt Meine, PhD 
Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation – WI

Dave Miller 
Co-Founder, Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT – IL

Gary Nabhan 
W.K. Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security, University of Arizona – AZ

Valentin Picasso, PhD 
Associate Professor in Forages and Grazing, University of Wisconsin-Madison – WI

James (Jim) Pines 
Managing Director, Provenance Capital Group – WI

Odessa Piper
Food Advocate and Chef (former), Founder, L’Etoile – WI

Lindsay Rebhan 
Partner & Designer, Ecological Design – MN

George Reistad 
Food Policy Coordinator, City of Madison – WI

Abby Rose 
Podcaster, Farmerama – UK

Ricardo Salvador, PhD 
Director, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists – MD

Kathy Schmitt 
Bureau Chief, Wisconsin Farm Center, WI Department of Agriculture – WI (retired)

Eric Toensmeier 
Author, The Carbon Farming Solution – NY

Severine von Tscharner Fleming 
Founder and Director, The Greenhorns & Agrarian Trust – NY

Tom Wahl 
Farmer, Red Fern Farm – IA

Richard Omar Warner 
Past Director, Green Lands Blue Waters – WI

Sarah Wentzel-Fischer 
Executive Director, Quivara Coalition – NM

Sandra Williams, PhD 
Professor, Northeastern Illinois University; Partner, Fields Restored Farm – IL

Wendy Yang, PhD 
Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – IL

Gary Zimmer 
Founder, Midwestern BioAg – WI

See Our Programs

A one-stop shop for research, education, outreach, technical service, demonstration farms, and commercialization efforts, the Savanna Institute is working to scale up agroforestry so farmers can draw down carbon for generations to come.