Gulf Coast Institute

Heirloom Tomato

opportunity still available

Fresh Citrus

Kevin & Evelyn Shanley

Gulf Coast Economic Development District

Mixed Greens Sponsors

City of Clear Lake Shores

Gulf Coast Small Business Finance Corporation

Smith Point Oyster Sponsors

Last Organic Outpost

North Montrose Community Garden

let's eat!
Food and Sustainable Prosperity
for the Houston region
A conference on farming, land use, community food security, and local food.

Thursday, September 4, 2008
8:30 - 5:30


U.S. Congresman Nick Lampson
John E. Ikerd, Ph.D.
John L. Park, Ph.D.
John Jacob, Ph.D.
Joseph G. Masabni, Ph.D
Christine McCullum-Gomez, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.
Bob Randall, Ph.D.
David Crossley
Gary Edmondson
Chuck Wemple, Houston-Galveston Area Council
Carol Courville, San Bernard Electrical Cooperative
John Kreger, The Houston Food Bank
Carlos Meltzer, Recipe for Success
Brent Moon, City of Houston
Donna Roth, Knopp Branch Farm

U.S. Congressman Nick Lampson
Representing the 22nd District of Texas

For nearly two decades, Lampson served as a popular voter registrar and tax assessor. He modernized the office and improved collection rates. In 1996, Lampson was elected to his first term to the United States Congress.

Congressman Nick Lampson and his family have a rich history in Texas's 22nd Congressional District. Both his maternal and paternal grandparents came to Texas from Italy nearly one hundred years ago. They settled in Stafford, Fort Bend County, where they raised their children on adjacent farms and were founding members of a church that still stands today. Congressman Lampson's parents grew up, met and married in Fort Bend County. He and his siblings spent many hours on their grandparents' farms. There they picked cotton and okra, and learned the importance of working together as a team, as a family and as a community larger than themselves. Congressman Lampson knows that family and community are the real backbone of America. He has been married to his wife, Susan for 35 years. They have two grown daughters, and three grandchildren.

Congressman Lampson serves the 22nd Congressional District with only one priority -- the people who are living, working, and raising their families here. He always puts his constituents first, and many agree.  A 2002 Houston Chronicle survey showed that Congressman Lampson had taken more constituent cases than any other Houston area representative.

John E. Ikerd, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics
University of Missouri Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Recent papers

As state co-coordinator of extension programs in sustainable agriculture, Ikerd was responsible for implementing a national professional development program for extension workers and others who provided Missouri with information related to sustainable agriculture.    Other major research and educational programs included participatory on-farm research and demonstration programs and evaluation of impacts of sustainable agriculture on quality of life of farm families and others in rural communities.   Dr. Ikerd was project leader for a three-state, five-year program, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which linked sustainable agriculture and sustainable community development.

John L. Park, Ph.D.
Roy B. Davis Professor of Agricultural Cooperation
Department of Agricultural Economics
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M University

Dr. John Park is an associate professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University and holder of the Roy B. Davis Professorship in Agricultural Cooperation. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Food Industry Management. He continued his study of agricultural marketing with an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Utah State University and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University.

In 1996, Dr. Park began his career in food product marketing and strategic business management at Cornell University where he conducted research for the Food Industry Management Program, renown for its research and executive training in food retailing. In 2000 Dr. Park returned to Texas as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University teaching agribusiness marketing and management. In 2003 he was invited to stay on in the department as an associate professor and extension specialist. Today he puts his skills to use for Texas cooperatives.

Dr. Park is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Research and Communication and the Patrick J. Byrne Award for Emerging Leadership, both presented by the Food Distribution Research Society. In addition, Dr. Park has served the Society in various leadership capacities, and is currently Secretary-Treasurer. Dr. Park provides statewide leadership and coordination for Extension educational programs and research for agricultural cooperatives in Texas. He works closely with the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council and is a member of the board of directors for that organization.

John Jacob, Ph.D.
Director, Texas Coastal Watershed Program
Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences

Texas Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist
Extension Environmental Quality Specialist 
Texas Sea Grant and Texas Agrilife Extension Service
The Texas A&M University System

John Jacob holds a joint appointment with the Texas Sea Grant College Program and the Texas Cooperative Extension (Department of Soil and Crop Sciences - Texas A&M University). He has coast wide responsibility for inland environmental problems that have a direct impact on the quality of our bays, estuaries and coastal waters. Preeminent among these issues are the mitigation and abatement of nonpoint source pollution from both rural and urban sources, and the preservation and restoration of valuable natural habitats such as wetlands.

Jacob is trained as a soil scientist with B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He worked several years for the National Cooperative Soil Survey program in Texas, mainly in the coastal plain area. He is a recognized expert on Texas wetlands, having been active in consulting and research aspects of wetlands for more than 10 years. Jacob has participated in the development and refinement of wetland indicators on the Gulf Coast. The Society of Wetland Scientists and a Certified Professional Soil Scientist by the American Society of Agronomy recognize him as a Professional Wetland Scientist.

Joseph G. Masabni, Ph.D.
Vegetable Extension Specialist
Department of Horticulture, Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Dr. Joe Masabni was recently hired as a statewide vegetable extension specialist, with focus on east Texas.  He received all his graduate degrees from Michigan State University. He worked full-time as a research assistant while studying for his PhD.  He was hired as a fruit and vegetable specialist with the University of Kentucky from 2002 to 2008 and moved to Texas A&M on August 1st.

Dr. Masabni specialized in weed control in fruit, small fruit, and vegetable crops. He evaluated new and improved rootstocks for apple and peach. He also evaluated newly released cultivars of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and grape, in addition to various vegetable cultivars.

Dr. Masabni worked closely with small-sized farms in Kentucky and understands their needs and concerns.

Christine McCullum-Gomez, PhD, RD, LD

Christine McCullum-Gomez is a private consultant with areas of expertise in food security and food systems, organic agriculture, sustainability, and school and work site wellness. She serves as a column editor for the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (JHEN) and is a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. Her work on food security and food systems is cited in the 2007 American Dietetic Association Position Paper on Ecological Sustainability, the 2006 American Dietetic Association Position Paper on Food Insecurity and Hunger in the United States, and the 2007 Dietitians of Canada Position Paper on Community Food Security. She serves on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the Organic Center – an organization that provides the public with credible information on the science behind organic foods.

Dr. McCullum-Gomez has worked with diverse organizations on biotechnology policy development and has participated in the development of international food safety and environmental standards. In addition, she has held positions as assistant professor, clinical dietitian, nutrition educator, and dietetic program director at Mansfield University. She received a PhD in Nutritional Sciences form Cornell University with minors in Program Evaluation and Public Affairs/Public Policy. She earned her BS and MS degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. McCullum-Gomez has served on the Board of Directors for the Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) and has received numerous awards including a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Post-Doctoral Fellowship, SNE’s Sustainable Carrot Award and the Excellence in Environmental Nutrition Award from the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (HEN) Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association.

Bob Randall, Ph.D.

Bob was one of the eight founders of Urban Harvest, Inc in 1994 and Executive Director from its inception until he retired in early 2008.  He continues to teach and write. While he led Urban Harvest, it grew from $500 initially to an annual budget of over $800,000 with the equivalent of 11 full time staff. When he retired, Urban Harvest was teaching about 75 food and other gardening and farming classes a year, worked with 130 community garden projects, provided staff for a 20 after-school instruction programs, ran both a farmers’ market with about 30 venders and an organic landscapers’ education organization with 110 business members. He is a 29-year resident of Houston, and is author of the best selling Year Round Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Metro Houston-- A Natural Approach Using Ecology, 12th ed. He writes a monthly Sunday gardening column in the Sunday Houston Chronicle In the Garden with Urban Harvest.

Bob has a Ph.D. in Ecological Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley (1977) and has been involved with food and ecology issues both as a university researcher on international issues and as a local food-shed NGO leader for more than 40 years. During the late nineties, he was Chair of the Houston Environmental Foresight socioeconomic science panel assessing risk to food quality in the eight metropolitan counties. His residential garden has been described in American Horticulturist, in Pomona (Journal of the North American Fruit Explorers), and in Houston Metropolitan Magazine. He has taught gardening in seven different County Extension Master Gardening programs and consulted widely on food issues in Texas, nationally, and internationally.

Awards and honors include Urban Harvest Founders Award, the Citizens Environmental Coalition Lifetime Achievement Award, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities $50,000 Community Health Leadership Award, Texas Conservation History Narrator List, Target Hunger Harvesting Hope Humanitarian Award, Houston Chronicle People Spotlight, Citizens Environmental Coalition Synergy Award for Community Activism, Men’s Council of the Houston Area Award, KTRH Radio Everyday Hero Award, Houston Peace and Justice Center Sustainable Global Environment Award, Teacher of the Year-- University of Houston Honors Program.

David Crossley

David Crossley is president of the Gulf Coast Institute, which has led the Livable Houston/Smart Growth Initiative in Houston since 1998. He was a co-founder of Blueprint Houston, and serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Houston-Galveston Area Council. He serves on the national board of Smart Growth America, the steering committee of America 2050, and is associate director of the Houston Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Gary Edmondson

Gary Edmondson is currently serving as the Director of Education at Urban Harvest.  For the past 15 he has designed vegetable gardens, habitat gardens, and ponds at schools and community gardens.  For the past eight years he has been teaching garden classes. Currently he coordinates classes and directs the Urban Harvest After School Programs.

and more tba...