February 5, 2022

Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting 2022

Join us for our annual gathering of farmers, food system partners and friends on Saturday, February 5. This event will be online only.

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If you haven’t yet received the link to join the event and you have registered, please email mary@cultivatekc.org.

Every spring, Cultivate KC convenes local and regional farmers to connect, converse and contribute ideas regarding issues affecting our city’s urban farming community. This year’s virtual event will include adaptations to ensure the impact of the gathering is not lost among attendees. This year’s event includes breakout sessions for attendees to exchange ideas about specific topics with local presenters.

“The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America”

Presented by Sean Sherman, Food Educator & Founder/CEO Chef The Sioux Chef

Keynote speaker Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and World for the last 30 years. His main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context.

Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.

In 2014, he opened the business titled The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  In 2015 in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he also helped to design and open the Tatanka Truck food truck, which featured pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.  Chef Sean and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in numerous articles and radio shows, along with dinners at the James Beard House in Manhattan and Milan, along with teaching and sharing his knowledge to gatherings and crowds at Yale, the Culinary Institute of America, the United Nations, and many more.

Sean has been the recipient of a 2015 First Peoples Fund Fellowship, 2018 Bush Foundation Fellowship, National Center’s 2018 First American Entrepreneurship Award, 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award.

The Sioux Chef team works to make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible. To open opportunities for more people to learn about Native cuisine and develop food enterprises in their tribal communities, we founded the nonprofit North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) and are working to launch the first Indigenous Food Lab restaurant and training center in Minneapolis.

“I could easily name over 100 European recipes off the top of my head, but I could count fewer than 10 Lakota recipes. I realized there was a complete absence of Indigenous cuisine in the culinary world, and this prompted me to try to better understand the food of my own ancestors.”
Sean Sherman to National Geographic


Learn more about The Sioux Chef here.


Breakout Session 1

Farm Resilience and Climate Change Mitigation Strategies

Presented by Linda F. Hezel, Prairie Birthday Farm LLC

Agriculture is impacted by and a source of greenhouse gases. Agriculture and ecosystems are necessary for survival. Our continued existence relies on the regeneration and preservation of healthy biological and ecological systems. This presentation is intended to inspire growers of many crops at different scales to incorporate production strategies for resilience and climate change mitigation.

Race, Gentrification, and Urban Agriculture in Kansas City (& Other Midwestern Cities): What the Research Tells Us

Presented by Chhaya Kolavalli

Chhaya’s ethnographic research in Kansas City, Mo. explored urban agriculture policy, food insecurity, and the experiences of urban farmers—specifically, looking at how race, gender, and class impact experiences within our urban food system. In this presentation, she will share findings from this research, and will also highlight findings from other US cities, discussing how gentrification and racial inequality are often enmeshed in food systems work. She’ll also highlight research-informed methods and approaches for increasing inclusion and equity in food systems.

Good in the “Hood”

Presented by Dina Newman, Kansas City Black Urban Growers; UMKC Center for Neighborhoods

Dina Newman will share the journey of how she helped to plant a seed of change in one Kansas City community and how that seed grew to transform lives and the land. She will also share how, in her current role as the Director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Center for Neighborhoods, she works to engage, equip and empower neighborhood leaders to work towards a community culture of health.

Improving urban soils with low-cost materials

Presented by Dan Krull, Biological Services & Regenerative Agriculture Design consultant

How urban farmers and growers can source and use low-cost materials such as mulched leaves to improve their soil microbiome.

Managing, Reversing, Neutralizing and Contributing to Climate Change

Presented by Thomas Ruggieri, Fair Share Farm

Efforts surrounding the mitigation of climate change at Fair Share Farm will be presented. This will include the results of 20 years of soil building, the recent installation of over 7,500 feet of berms and swales, shade cloth use for summer seeding and perennial plantings. Our use of plastics and fossil fuels will also be discussed, as well as the history of our land and farm.


Breakout Session 2

I Am One

Presented by Gail Fuller, Fuller Farms and Great Plains Regeneration

Soil is the answer, what is the question? There isn’t one single issue facing mankind today that can’t be solved with healthy soil. Let that soak in for a minute. One man’s journey into regenerating his farm, his community and himself.

Kansas City Indian Center’s Food Sovereignty Initiatives

Presented by Ed Smith, Kansas City Indian Center

Food sovereignty initiatives being done at the Kansas City Indian Center and how COVID spurred the community to take control of its own food system.

Collaboration and Innovation among Local Flower Farmers

Presented by Mary Dollins, The Quite Contrary Garden

Five flower farmers present on collaboration and innovation in flower farming. Kirsten Bosnak of Blue Morning Glory, Colleen McCoole Payne of Farmstrong Flowers, Molly McCleary of Maypop Flower Farm, and Kayli Greer of Sol Flower.

Equity in Agriculture

Presented by Daniel Robinson, Cultivate KC; KC National Young Farmers

The National Young Farmer’s Coalition has worked diligently onputting together a racial equity toolkit. This kit consists of key terms, vocabulary, and dozens of resources on to explore thee topics. I’ll be exploring how to lay the foundation for exploring this frame work with your organization.



  • 12:45 pm Zoom opens
  • 1:00-1:30 pm Introduction, land acknowledgement, announcements
  • 1:30-2:30 pm Keynote with Sean Sherman of The Sioux Chef
  • 2:30-2:35 pm Break
  • 2:35-3:25 pm Breakout session 1
  • 3:25-3:30 pm Break
  • 3:30-4:20 pm Breakout session 2
  • 4:30 pm Wrap up

Thank you to our event sponsors