2FAS PodcastJul 13, 2022
Eye In The Sky
John Myers is a dynamic professional who has harnessed his expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Spatial Analysis to support research in sustainable urban agriculture and natural resource management. With 8+ years in geospatial data science, he has leveraged his training into actionable insights for mapping, crop health, and sustainable land management. His skillset extends to spatial analysis and developing decision support systems to enhance sustainable outcomes.
The Power of Narrative
Dr. Lindsey Lunsford is an Assistant Professor for Food Systems Education and Policy at Tuskegee University’s Cooperative Extension. Lindsey first became involved with INFAS back in 2019 when she was herself a graduate fellow in INFAS's first pilot HBCU graduate student food system fellowship. Over the last several years Lindsey has been actively involved in our Justice Working Group. She played an instrumental part in the INFAS-Tuskegee partnership leading to the development of our current HBCU fellowship program. Both our IAC Tribal Fellowship Program and CISC-HBCU Fellowship Programs will be a major focus of her leadership in INFAS
Secure The Calf
Dr. Frank Abrahamsen completed a master’s degree in Animal Science and Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Pathobiology, where his research focused on ruminant nutrition and the immune system. While completing his Ph.D., he researched hempseed meal as a feedstuff for growing meat goats and assessed its impact on animal performance and immunity. After completing his Ph.D., he completed a short post-doctoral fellowship and was hired as an assistant professor and a livestock extension specialist. Currently, he is on a team that will continue to investigate hempseed meal as a feedstuff for ruminants with other classes of goats to seek FDA approval for this byproduct as an animal feed.
Thy Food, Thy Medicine
Adelia C. Bovell-Benjamin is a Professor of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Tuskegee University. She holds a PhD in Nutrition with a Designated Emphasis in International Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Brooklyn College and Queens College, City University of New York. Dr. Bovell-Benjamin has many postdoctoral certifications in various fields including health disparities, leadership development, diabetes education, and qualitative research. Her research focuses on product development, sensory science, the food environment, mycotoxins, and complementary feeding. She also addresses food and nutrition concerns related to cancer, diabetes, and obesity prevention within African American communities. She is actively involved in teaching, research, and has garnered honors for her contributions. She works on food and nutrition issues across Africa. Dr. Bovell-Benjamin has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books. She is a member of various professional organizations and sits on the editorial boards of different peer-reviewed journals, and also serves as a technical reviewer for several journals. Dr. Bovell-Benjamin has also been engaged in mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students and has played leadership roles within the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and Southeast IFT section.
Clean Earth, Clean Me
Ojarikre, Lydia Ovigueroye is a third-year Integrative Public Policy Development Ph.D. student at Tuskegee University. She has a passion for environmental health and its implications on human health.
Lydia Ojarikre has a Doctor of Optometry degree from Nigeria. She practiced for eight years as a senior Optometrist and later on as a practicing manager of one of the leading privately owned vision health centers in Lagos, Nigeria, before she relocated to the United States to further her studies. As a southern-born Nigerian with high crude oil production, she had firsthand experience of anthropogenic environmental activities such as air and water contamination. The incident stirred her interest in pursuing a master’s degree in public health in Environmental Health Sciences. After graduating in 2018, she worked as the first water resource specialist with the Fort Valley State University Extension, organizing awareness programs through workshops. She also authored many bulletins on water quality and conservation.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apart of an outside-the-box grantmaking organization supporting wild solutions, by unusual suspects, in the attempt to move mountains. We contribute to emerging alternatives for personal, collective, and planetary resilience.
Dr. Robert Zabawa has taught in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences for 31 years. Dr. Zabawa teaches Research Methods, Rural Development, Black Belt Policy, and Anthropology classes.
"Hooked on Ponics"
The world may debate about what hemp should be used for, but Antoine Mordican is dedicated to becoming an expert in where it comes from. Through research and “measured and managed” experiments, this master engineer has developed a signature method to grow premium cannabis using hydroponics. Today, his certified hemp-growing farm, Native Black Farm, is Birmingham’s source for the best organic, sustainable hemp that money can buy.
Originally from the west side of Chicago, Mordican migrated to the south for better opportunities to further his education. He landed at Alabama A&M University, pursuing finance, but he quickly discovered the field wasn’t challenging enough for him. He shifted his studies and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering before heading to Colombia Southern to get his MBA in project management. After entering the corporate world as a distribution engineer, Mordican developed a green thumb, which led to a curiosity about growing hemp. From there, he consumed himself with the hobby of researching and understanding everything he could about how to produce the plant efficiently and effectively.
Today, he operates his farm with the same hard work, innovation and commitment to be the best. Bigger than production, his true passion is to educate the masses on the hemp-making process while creating awareness for all the plant can do. As the State of Alabama Director for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, he is committed to raising awareness for the medicinal uses of hemp. Likewise, Mordican continues to experiment with all the benefits and forms of the plant and plans to process his own flower someday. When he’s not tending to his farm, Mordican spends time with his wife of six years and three children. In the coming years, he desires to join the advocacy and awareness crusades for legalizing marijuana — but for now, he’s just happy to inspire others to pursue their own unorthodox dreams, just like him.
"Get the Hemp"
Dreu VanHoose, 29 years old, my company is VanHoose Hemp Co. I have been growing organic cannabis for 5 years now. VanHoose Hemp Co is a minority- and woman-owned family business offering organic, sustainable hemp products straight from our family farm to the community. Our facilities are located in Alabama with plants grown with love. Our cannabis was crafted for those who are in need of a way to come back into their bodies and feel centered throughout the day. I want to continue to shed light and share in the healing benefits of hemp to create change. I first became interested in the healing properties of the hemp plant while an undergrad dealing with chronic back pain and spasms as well as anxiety. I began researching how the cannabinoids of the plant interact with our endocannabinoid system and from there I have been a cannabis advocate ever since. I am excited to share my knowledge of the hemp industry, hemp as an agricultural commodity, organic farming practices, and navigating the politics of the cannabis cultivation process with others. Lastly, we believe in leaving the planet in a better place than where we found it. In the words of the great Jack Herer "I don’t know if hemp’s going to save the world, but I’ll tell you this: It’s the only thing that can."
Tuskegee On My Mind
A native of Tuskegee, Alabama Norma McGowan Jackson (Umi Iyabode) is a retired public school educator, founder and director of Baobab Journey Rites of Passage for Girls, and a founding member of the Core Group of Infinite Possibilities. She received her B.S. degree from Tuskegee Institute, (now University) in 1978, and the M. Ed. from Auburn University @ Montgomery in 1987. Norma was employed by the Macon County Public Schools for 25 years as the kindergarten teacher at South Macon Elementary School. Since her retirement in 2003 she has served as director of Tiger Tots Daycare Center in Opelika, Alabama, and is recently retired from Lee County Youth Development Center, also located in Opelika.
In August of 2020, Norma was elected to the Tuskegee City Council for District 1. She hopes to be the catalyst for the revitalization of the community where she was born and raised, and continues to reside.
Married to her high school sweetheart, Grover Jackson, Sr. for 48 years, Mrs. Jackson is the proud mother of two adult children, and the proud grandmother of ten amazing grandchildren.
Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During his tenure with the NRCS Ray served in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina.
Dr. Shange is the director of the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center in Tuskegee Alabama. His major area of research and teaching interests is Ecology (Agroecology, Microbial Ecology, Molecular Ecology, and Ecological Engineering). The area is particularly centered on microbes in the environment (terrestrial and aquatic habitats) and their involvement in nutrient cycles. This is inclusive of the ecology of these organisms in production systems (farms and forestland) and their impact on food safety, plant and animal health. The ability to manipulate microbial communities for remediation and degradation poses another particular area of outreach and extension activities that focuses on irrigation/well water quality and composting.
No Justice, No Peas
Dr. Jasmine “Dr. Jas” Ratliff is an emerging leader in local food systems committed to creating community and economic development. She has spent the last five years developing research on community planning and studying the impacts of local food economy communities. Dr. Jas is currently most passionate about ensuring our communities have access to healthy and fresh foods by means of sustainable, self-determined foodways.
Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller, assumed the deanship of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS) and 1890 Research Director.