ACES Presents Next Jessica Catto Leadership Dialogue

ACES Staff

June 13, 2014

ACES Presents Next Jessica Catto Leadership Dialogue
Featuring sustainable farming advocate Craig McNamara
Aspen, Colorado (June 13, 2014) — On Wednesday, June 18th, Craig McNamara, President and owner of Sierra Orchards and President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, will present “The Future of Sustainable Agriculture: A Farmer’s Perspective” for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ (ACES) Jessica Catto Leadership Dialogue series. The event will take place at 5:30pm at Theatre Aspen’s Hurst Theatre in Rio Grande Park, Aspen, and is free and open to the public.
Craig’s presentation will focus on how by connecting people, policy, and agricultural best practices, we can protect the land that feeds us, promote social justice, and support the next generation of farmers. Says Craig “I believe that a healthy, sustainable food system is essential for a creative and meaningful life.”
ACES’ Rock Bottom Ranch Director, Jason Smith, says “ACES is so pleased to present Craig’s work to the Roaring Fork Valley. His role as an advocate for sustainable production and the future of farming speaks to the mission of ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch, where we are focused on educating our community and students on where food products come from, and how to produce them in a sustainable manner. Craig’s talk will focus on these concepts at a national level.” 
“ACES is honored to host Craig days before the Food and Wine Classic kicks of in Aspen,” says ACES CEO Chris Lane. “The future of agriculture is a critical issue relevant to foodies, farmers, and consumers everywhere. Craig is at the forefront of an agricultural revolution essential to the health of our economy and natural ecosystems.”
Craig is the founder of the Center for Land-Based Learning, an innovative program that helps high school students build greater social and human capital in their communities. He serves on the University of California President’s Advisory Commission and the UC Davis Dean’s Advisory Council. He is an advisory board member of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, and active in the American Farmland Trust, Roots of Change, and the Public Policy Institute of California. He is the recipient of several awards including California Agriculturalist of the Year 2014, James Irving Leadership Award, Leopold Conservation Award, the California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the UC Davis Award of Distinction and Outstanding Alumnus Award.
ACES’ Jessica Catto Leadership Dialogues honor the environmental legacy of Jessica Hobby Catto through a speaker series featuring visionary thinkers and doers. Past speakers include: conservation scientist M. Sanjayan, Bill McKibben, founder of, Terry Tempest Williams, environmental author, Maggie L. Fox, founder of The Alliance for Climate Protection, among others. Jessica Catto was a remarkable woman, courageous in her resolve to be an effective voice for the Earth, and never hesitant to speak out. She has been and will continue to be an inspiration and a beacon for environmental stewards. The series is supported by The Catto Family in Jessica’s memory.
For more information and a full listing of ACES offerings, visit

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