Guest Speakers

Honey Lab (Presented By UC DAVIS)

 

Billy Synk

Billy Synk, Director of Pollination Programs for Project Apis m., manages the ‘Seeds for Bees’ program which installed over 6,000 acres of bee forage cover crops in California’s almond orchards last year. He was trained in beekeeping by noted bee breeder-geneticist Sue Cobey at Ohio State University, where he received a BS in environmental policy and management. Billy moved California in 2009 to work in the hybrid seed industry. After gaining experience with production agriculture he joined UC Davis, where he managed bees and participated in bee research projects with Drs. Brian Johnson, Neal Williams and Elina Niño.
Title
“California Almonds and the Upper Midwest: What’s the Link and How Does It Affect Hive Health”
Abstract Project Apis m.’s (PAm) mission is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production. In addition to having funded over 140 research projects, Project Apis m. has programs to replace lost bee forage. This presentation will take the audience on a year-round journey of a migratory beekeeper and the challenges they face with decreasing forage. Highlights will include information about The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, and Seeds for Bees forage projects. Want to know the connection between a California Almond and the grasslands of North Dakota? Attend this presentation to find out how disappearing forage and habitat impacts bee health and our nation’s food supply.


Dr. Elina L. Nino

Elina L. Niño is an Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension in Apiculture, UC ANR UCCE located in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. Through her extension activities, Dr. Niño works to support beekeepers and the beekeeping industry. She serves as the research liaison on the CSBA Board and as a member of the Bee Taskforce for the Almond Board of California. Her lab also offers a variety of beekeeping courses and educational opportunities for beekeepers, future beekeepers, other agricultural professionals and the public. Most recently, her lab has implemented the first California Master Beekeeper Program. Dr. Niño’s research interests encompass basic and applied approaches to understanding and improving honey bee health and particularly honey bee queen health. Ongoing research projects include understanding queen mating and reproductive processes, testing novel biopesticides for efficacy against varroa mites, and evaluating orchard management practices with a goal of improving honey bee health. If you would like to learn more about the E. L. Niño Bee Lab you can visit http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/

 

 

 


 

James E. Sherman
Pollinator Partnership

A graduate of UC Berkeley in evolutionary biology, Jamie has been an energy project financier, C-level finance and operations manager, and water resource executive. He has also served on the boards of private and not for profit organizations, the later in chairman and development roles. In addition to natural history, Jamie enjoys fishing, ranching, sailing and woodworking. A fifth generation San Franciscan, he has lived and worked in Chicago, London, Sydney, and Los Angeles during his career. Jamie is married to his high school sweetheart, and is the father of three children, and a faithful Labrador.

As managing Director of the Pollinator Partnership in San Francisco, Jamie has met extensively with beekeepers, honey producers, and agricultural groups to discuss honey bee health and pollination practices. He is currently leading the Bee Friendly Farming  program, and working with the team developing a national bee mite census that will be rolled out this spring across North America.  Jamie is responsible for friend-making and fund-raising at Pollinator Partnership, and is pleased to discuss both of those with you!


Kate Frey is a noted garden designer, eloquent advocate for pollinators, and popular garden speaker and educator. She designed and managed noted and widely admired gardens such as the famous organic public garden at Fetzer Vineyards, the Melissa Garden in Healdsburg, and the gardens at Lynmar Winery in Sebastopol. Her gardens won 2 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, a rare honor for an American designer. Kate currently writes two gardening columns for the Press Democrat newspaper and her book, The Bee-Friendly Garden, was published in 2016 by Ten Speed Press and was selected as one of the best gardening books of the year in 2017 by The American Horticultural Society. Her newest educational venture, The American Garden School, made its debut in 2017. Kate holds a B.A. Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in English at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California.

Talk title:

How to Design Bee-Friendly Flower Gardens

Flower-filled gardens make us happy, support many species of bees and much other biodiversity beneficial to our gardens and our lives. We all desire our gardens to be full of color and interest for many months of the year, yet what flowers appeal to which bees and why? How can we put them together in compositions that work well with the parameters of our site, in combinations that suit us, and cater to bee’s needs? This talk will show you how look at your garden with new eyes, and how to create beautiful and inspirational landscapes that will forever transform your relationship with your yard.



Gene Brandi

After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 1974, I entered the world of commercial beekeeping. I have owned and operated my own business, Gene Brandi Apiaries, since 1978. Today my son and I operate approximately 2,000 colonies for honey production and crop pollination in Central California. Over the years I have been involved in many bee industry organizations as indicated on the attached bio, but the most important are: The California State Beekeepers Association where I served on the Board of Directors for 37 years, including one year as President and 20 years as Legislative Chairman; served two terms on the National Honey Board including 3 years as Chairman; my service with the American Beekeeping Federation as a Board member, Vice President and most recently as President. I have attached a photo which you can edit to just a facial shot.
Talk Title: Beekeeping and Honey Production in California.


Title: Where do bees go and how do we know?
Presentation Abstract: To properly conserve species, we must know how much land they require, how connected their habitat is, and the impact of travel on individual survival. For instance, there’s a big difference between being told there’s free burritos in the room next door versus free burritos in Scotland. The intercontinental burritos probably aren’t worth the travel cost. For bees, it’s especially important we understand their movement, as it directly relates to their pollination of crop and wild plants. Despite this importance, studying bee movement has been limited by the difficulty of tracking individuals. Unlike birds or large mammals, we can’t just attach radio collars and follow them around. For honey bees, we can study their iconic dances to understand where they forage, but for most bees there are no dances and we are left to attempt creative ideas. Everything from Darwin’s children shouting, “Here’s a bee!” to the questionable use of tinsel tied to bees to recent molecular genetics. In this talk, we will explore the myriad of ways researchers have tried (and often failed) to track bee movement.
Bio: John Mola is a PhD candidate in the Williams Lab at UC Davis. He studies pollinator ecology, population genetics, and landscape ecology – mostly with bumble bees. He has a master’s degree from Humboldt State University where he studied pollination of organic orchards by wild bees, and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University.


Mason Partak, at only fourteen years old, is a kid with a passion for cooking. Not only does he love to cook, but believes other kids love to cook, too. “I’ve been baking with my mom since I was two years old, now I’m fourteen and I can cook anything I have a recipe for and some things I just make up. I want to show other kids that they can cook, so I have recorded videos on YouTube to show kids how easy it is.” Mason has tutorials to make complete recipes and videos that show how to do specific techniques. Mason says cooking is cool and kids who can learn to cook feel like they can accomplish anything else they set their minds to – in the kitchen and in life!
Mason has been wowing judges and audiences at cooking demonstrations and recipe contests since 2010 when he won his first cash prize for a cookie recipe at a local community festival. He is often the youngest contestant in the recipe contests he enters, and it is not uncommon for him to be competing with adults who have 20 or more years of experience baking and cooking. He often places in the top three!
In the third grade, Mason set a goal to raise $25,000 to improve his elementary school kitchen. In just 18 short months, he surpassed his goal by raising $26,052 which not only improved his school kitchen but also installed a Culinary Sciences Lab so elementary school kids can learn to cook.
In 2015, Mason went to New York to compete on season one of Chopped Junior on Food Network and he won his episode! Mason came back to Auburn a Chopped Junior Champion with $10,000 and the first thing he did was donate a portion back to his elementary school to help the first year of the culinary sciences lab get off the ground.
Mason makes it known, “Kids need other kids to show them they can cook, they can do it – even if we have to learn together as we go!” He has published his first cook-booklet, “Mason Made, Favorite Recipes” and is on tap to publish 3 more this year. You can find them on Amazon.com.
Beyond the culinary world, Mason has started an Entrepreneur Club at his middles school. He is showing kids how they can brainstorm ideas, start a business, and make money all before they are legal to work in the real world and drive!
To see more of Mason and his culinary creations, find out where you can meet Mason and see him do live cooking demonstrations, enter his giveaways, or contact him with your questions, visit www.masonpartak.com You can also find Mason on Facebook – “Mason Made it,” Instagram, Twitter, and on his channel on YouTube at – Mason Partak.


 

Executive Chef Justin Severson is a local boy turned kitchen master at an early age. He began his career at the young age of 16 at Gorman’s in Yolo. By age 19 he began working in such famed establishments as Morrison’s Upstairs, Paragary’s Bar & Grill, Zinfandel Grill, Slocum House, City Treasure, Tazzina Bistro, The Nest at Wild Wings Golf Course, and Road Trip. And now Father Paddy’s is blessed to have him at the helm in their kitchen. Chef Justin’s passion for fresh, honest food sourced locally drives him, and his expertise elicits joy and satisfaction to their customers.


 


COOKING DEMO STAGE

 

HEAT AND FLAVOR
Straight from the Firehouse
In 1996, firefighter Kevin was in search of a sauce that would add some heat and flavor to the food he cooked for the others at the fire house. He created Fire Brothers Smoky Chipotle Sauce, which went well on everything from beef, chicken, pork and veggies, to burritos, sandwiches and more. In 2016, we decided to bottle up the smoky chipotle goodness so you can experience the heat in your own home.
Fire Brothers is all about giving back to our community. A portion of all sales is donated to local charities.

 

 

 

 


 

 


Toby Barajas

SEASONAL. LOCAL. CREATIVE. These descriptions fully define the passion and characteristics that guide Executive Chef Santana Diaz at UC Davis Health. Chef Diaz’ vision has always been to bring a true Farm-to-Fork, restaurant-style culinary experience to all facets of all food venues that he has had the privilege to lead. Most recently joining the UC Davis Health team after setting up the Golden 1 Center food program with the most successful farm-to-fork production in sports as their Executive Chef, his drive to create an impactful program via healthcare intrigued him and offered him more opportunity to impact our local community. Working with the dieticians and nutritionists of UC Davis Health will continue his path of food education that will be expressed via new food offerings in not only the medical center cafe’s, but also the new in room dining program, catering, and all specialty/sponsored off-site events. He is vital in finalizing menus and working with local purveyors to execute the new UC Davis Health farm-to-fork food vision. The need to fulfill the request of better and healthier food options versus the “processed staples” is the direction that he is proud to support and provide.
Most recently, Chef joins our UC Davis Health family from not only the Golden 1 Center here in Sacramento, but also Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. He was the Head Chef for Super Bowl 50 in 2016 and executed the most farm-to-fork Super Bowl in history while there. Chef Diaz returned to the local Sacramento food scene armed with plenty of enthusiasm! Moving back to the area with his wife Christi and family now completes his recipe for success in his culinary world. Chef Diaz, a regional local from Yuba City, originally worked in the recognized Farm-to-Fork capital of California where he honed his skills at the James Beard acknowledged Taste Restaurant in Plymouth, The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, and as the personal sous chef for the NBA Sacramento Kings years ago. He moved on to the East and South Bays developing the culinary teams at Neiman Marcus and Hyatt Regency hotels before making his move back to sports and assisting with the opening of Levi’s Stadium. His love of sports and food proved to be the inspiration he needed to become the Executive Chef at the most innovative facility in the country which he now plans to bring to our UC Davis Health community.
Here in the Sacramento region, Chef and his new team have the opportunity work with the best vendors, artisans and restaurateurs in the marketplace. Ultimately the new direction of UC Davis Health will enhance the patient, visitor and staff experience via food service of the facility and bring the quality to another level. The unique relationships Chef Diaz has established with the local chefs in Sacramento ensures that UC Davis Health will be the culinary blueprint for healthcare facilities in the future. Every effort is made to incorporate quality, local ingredients, seasonality, and sustainable products whenever possible.

 

 

 


 

Chef Terry is currently the Executive Pastry Chef at Cache Creek Casino Resort. He is an east-coast native, started cooking at home as a kid for family & social events; at 15 he was already working in the culinary field. At 17, he left home to pursue his culinary passion. Acquired his degree in Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, then moved out west. He advanced his career in Tahoe & Las Vegas for 20 year, working with talented & prominent chefs. In 2003, he decided to move to Northern California so they could be closer to his spouse’s family & has been with Cache Creek Casino Resort ever since.
Terry grew up around Amish country, where he developed his taste & desire for excellent
home-cooked foods. His goal is to make desserts healthier but maintain exquisite flavor using local ingredients. His true passion is in teaching & education people that dessert & all culinary cuisine can be healthier & flavorful.


Chef Terry is currently the Executive Pastry Chef at Cache Creek Casino Resort. He is an east-coast native, started cooking at home as a kid for family & social events; at 15 he was already working in the culinary field. At 17, he left home to pursue his culinary passion. Acquired his degree in Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, then moved out west. He advanced his career in Tahoe & Las Vegas for 20 year, working with talented & prominent chefs. In 2003, he decided to move to Northern California so they could be closer to his spouse’s family & has been with Cache Creek Casino Resort ever since.
Terry grew up around Amish country, where he developed his taste & desire for excellent home-cooked foods. His goal is to make desserts healthier but maintain exquisite flavor using local ingredients. His true passion is in teaching & education people that dessert & all culinary cuisine can be healthier & flavorful.

 GARDENING STAGE

 

 

Ellen Zagory serves as a spokesperson for the UC Davis Arboretum in their education and outreach program promoting more sustainable garden plants and practices.
She has appeared on Hewell Howser’s PBS Road trip, DIY TV and KFBK’s Get Growing with Farmer Fred. She also has written a series for Pacific Horticulture Magazine on the UC Davis Arboretum All Star program, and travels the state lecturing to UCCE master Gardeners and regional garden clubs about beautiful heat-tolerant and low-water-use plants. A resident and gardener in the Central Valley for the past 24 years and a knowledgeable horticulturist, she recently has become more interested in the interactions our gardens have with the fauna of surrounding wild lands, and how our constructed landscapes can help support the biodiversity of native insects and other wildlife

 


Dr. Christine Casey

As the Program Representative for the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis, Christine manages the operations, outreach and education program of a pollinator eduation and research garden that has 5000 visitors per year. With a PhD in entomology from UC Davis, Christine has a long history of working with gardeners and sharing important information about pollinators such as honey bees.