In the 1970s, with a degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic, Chellie Pingree started an organic farm on the island of North Haven, Maine. Chellie still owns Turner Farm – a diversified organic farm in her hometown on the island. In Congress, Chellie has been an advocate for reforming federal policy to better support American agriculture, including sustainable, organic and locally focused farming. Many provisions from comprehensive legislation she introduced to make these reforms were passed in the 2014 Farm Bill. With her current seat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Chellie is focused on making more reforms in the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill. She has introduced legislation to increase investment in organic research, support the growth of local and regional agriculture markets, and reduce the nation’s food waste.
The Kirschenmann Lecture was launched in 2015 in honor of organic farming pioneer and agroecological leader Fred Kirschenmann, Stone Barns Center’s Board president.
The annual lecture is designed to explore many of the topics that Fred is most passionate about, including resource depletion, the principle of shared value, the land ethic and fostering resilient agriculture.