PART I: Catherine Bukowski, Community Food Forest Handbook
Catherine Bukowski is a researcher, author, educator and consultant. She is also a PhD candidate in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment at Virginia Tech, where her research has focused on the design and management of community food forests across the United States. She holds a graduate certificate in Collaborative Community Leadership and her research particularly focused on the social dimensions of community food forests by applying the Community Capitals Framework to her data analysis. Catherine has worked internationally and domestically in sustainable land use and natural resource management, agroforestry, permaculture and project planning to strengthen communities. She previously co-coordinated a forest farming virtual community for the online Cooperative Extension network and now sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Temperate Agroforestry. In response to the gap in literature on urban food forestry, Catherine and her advisor have translated her dissertation research into the book: The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places. More information on community food forests and ordering of the book is available on Catherine’s website: www.communityfoodforests.com/handbook
PART II: Rachel Borkowski, Animal Connection
Rachel is the founder of Animal Connection. Ever since Rachel got a leaflet from Mercy for Animals of a bloody baby pig, she knew she had to be vegan. She couldn’t fathom this type of violence happening to billions of innocent animals. Rachel started her career in NYC but felt unfulfilled without any connection to nature or animals. She decided to work on a goat dairy farm in Israel until one day saw one of the farmers kicking a sheep. The platform she used wouldn’t let her write a review, so she set out make a platform that ensures safety for all living beings. Over the years Rachel used many forms of activism to compel people to stop the contribution to abuse of animals, health deterioration and environmental destruction. She found the best method is through compassion, understanding and love. During her free time she enjoys singing, concerts, cuddling with her dog, making people laugh, and anything to do with vegan food. Her dream is to empty every cage and for everyone to be happy and free.