New Faces At MFAI
June 23, 2011
WELCOME New Staff Members!
For those of you unfamiliar with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, we are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to cultivate the ecological, social, economic, and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through education, research, policy and market development. It is a privilege to announce the growth of MFAI with the following new staff members.
Ryan John (RJ) Ottaviano began work on February 1st, as a Research Technician for the corn breeding program at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. Ottaviano, a native of Rockford, Illinois graduated from the University of California – Davis with a Bachelors of Science degree in International Agricultural Development. He gained plant breeding and seed saving experience with an apprenticeship at Eel River Produce in Shively, California and has eight years of organic farming and gardening experience in California and Maine.
Marcos Heredia came to MFAI as a Research Intern April 1st from Ecuador through Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA). MESA sponsors international farmers to come to the United States for training and cultural exchange that promotes sustainable agriculture. Since 1997, MESA has sponsored nearly 500 global farm stewards at over 250 U.S. host placements.
Marcos works in the Crop & Soil Research Program. He is excited to experience North American culture and its language, learn more about research and the quality of corn, along with new alternative practices in sustainable agriculture. He hopes to be able to apply these alternatives when he returns back to Ecuador next April, 2012.
Mariama Conde began work as a Summer Intern on June 1st at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. Ms. Conde comes from Brittany, France, and has recently completed her law degree from Drake University Law School in Des Moines Iowa in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development. She will be devoting half of her time to the Policy and Advocacy Program area which operates out of the Michael Fields office in Madison and the other half in assisting the Administrative and Education Program. The internship will conclude on the 30th of August, 2011.
Through education, policy, and research, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute seeks to help both urban and rural populations meet common needs. We seek to advance an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable agriculture for all.