On April 29th, we are having an event focused on  Nebraska’s Food Systems. Learn more about our panelists below:

Charles Francis, Professor of Agronomy & Horticulture, UNL

Bio: Charles grew up in California and has lived and studied Plant Breeding in New York State, the Philippines, and Colombia. He has graduate degrees from Cornell University, and honorary doctoral degrees from Helsinki University and the Swedish Agricultural University. He currently teaches agroecology, organic farming, and land use courses at UNL. His research is in diversified cropping systems, rotations, organic systems, and local food and rural communities. For two months each year he teaches agroecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and supervises graduate student thesis research there and in UNL.

Pamela Edwards, Assistant Director, UNL Housing & Dining Services

Bio: Pam Edwards MBA, MS, RD, is the Assistant Director of University Dining Services in University Housing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln UNL). Pam has been involved with the University’s local foods dining program that began in 2006, currently branded “Nebraska. Local. “Nebraska. Local.” is a popular program among the students, staff, faculty and the community and has been a model for schools and organizations throughout Nebraska.Pam notes that the success of the local food program is due to the team effort of the farmers,producers and manufacturers, Cather and East Dining Centers and University Dining Services, Nebraska Cooperative Development Center, UNL Food Processing Center, The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and the support of University Housing and UNL administration.

Matt Pirog, Growing Farmers Program Manager, Community Crops

Bio: Matt Pirog is the Growing Farmers program manager at Community Crops where he manages a 5-acre incubator farm and training program dedicated to lowering barriers for aspiring farmers who want to enter direct-market farming. He is also the co-owner of RhizoCity Farms – an 1/8th acre micro-farm selling produce to restaurants, grocery stores, and hospitals in Lincoln, NE.

Mike Shambaugh-Miller, Executive Director, Produce from the Heart

Bio: Dr. Mike Shambaugh-Miller holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Geography with a specialization in geographic information systems and remote sensing. After receiving his degree he spent ten years overseeing the Public Health GIS Center of the Dept. of Health Services Research and Administration at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Following his time at UNMC Mike continued to teach part-time at Nebraska Wesleyan University and The Food Bank of Lincoln where he was the Rural Outreach Coordinator. During this time he started the hunger relief non-profit, Produce From the Heart. PFTH works to relieve systemic hunger in Nebraska and Iowa while also helping preserve our environment. His organization does this by collecting fresh, edible produce that is destined for landfills or livestock and redirects it to pantries, food banks and shelters in Nebraska and Western Iowa.