2020 Confirmed Speakers


The Good Acre

Lachelle's passion is to impact people through food. She believes food has the power to heal us nutritionally, mentally and socially.

Lachelle started teaching and building cooking curriculum back in culinary school when she started teaching cooking classes through Minneapolis Community Ed while she also launched her catering business, Chelles' Kitchen LLC. Immediately upon graduating culinary school, she dove right into the restaurant industry, becoming the founding Executive Chef of Breaking Bread Cafe & Catering, a program of local food justice organization, Appetite for Change (AFC). In that role, Lachelle was able to gain experience and make connections in local restaurant and social justice work. After leaving AFC in 2018, she relaunched her catering business and became a culinary instructor at Saint Paul College (SPC). Additionally, Lachelle also began teaching food business classes through the Neighborhood Development Center's (of which she is also an alumni and vice board chair) entrepreneurship program. When the opportunity to become the Culinary Education Coordinator at The Good Acre (TGA) arose, it only made perfect since to Lachelle who already had an aligning vision of creating a culinary vocational curriculum.

In her free time, Lachelle loves spending time with her family, 2 sons (Lyric 16 & Luke 13), enjoying nature, foraging, studying nutritional healing/plant medicine, being active and enjoying all forms of art, especially music and painting.


University of Minnesota Extension Educator

Natalie is an Extension educator with the University of Minnesota working with vegetable producers on all aspects of production from Integrated Pest Management to soil health. Natalie studied agronomy at the University of Copenhagen, and has worked on diversified vegetable farms around the world. 




Swiss-born Bertrand Weber's career spans over 35 years of combined management experience in the hospitality industry and school food service. Trained in hotel management in Switzerland, Bertrand has managed some of the finest hotels and resorts on the east coast. His compassion for the well-being and future of our children and our environment led Bertrand to the Hopkins School District, MN in 2003.

Bertrand's progressive thinking at Hopkins received national recognition. His efforts were the focus of several University of Minnesota research papers, including Analyzing Health Innovations in a School Lunch Program and The Power of Three: A Whole Grain Intervention. In 2004 he initiated one of Minnesota first Farm to School Program which led to another research paper in 2005 "Making the Farm to School Connection".

From 2006 until 2011, Bertrand worked for Taher, Inc. as Director of Wellness, Nutrition and Culinary Standards and was responsible for the implementation of the Food for Life initiative. Now, as Director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Wellness Services since January 2012, Bertrand wasted no time rethinking MPS School Lunch. Market Cart Salad Bars have been introduced in 58 schools, all 7 high schools, 5 Junior High Schools and 12 elementary schools have returned to scratch cooking with 10 more scheduled for the 2016-2017 school year. MPS is on the leading edge of the Farm to School movement and introduced MN Thursday during the 14-15 School year.

Bertrand is currently the Vice Chair of the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board, the Lead District of School Food Focus Midwest, Chair of SNA Major City Committee and Advisory Board Member of the Chef Ann Foundation Lunch Box.


Jenny Breen has been a professional chef and advocate for local and sustainably raised foods working directly with farmers and producers in the Twin Cities area since the mid 1980's.  She was co-owner of Good Life Cafe and Catering, a sustainable and whole foods business from 1996-2013. She is a 2009 Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and completed her MPH in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota in 2011 while working to build strong networks within health and food systems for greater access to food, support for sustainable farming, and understanding of cooking as a health strategy. Her first cookbook, Cooking up the Good Life, emphasizes local, seasonal whole foods cooking for families, and was released in April of 2011 from the University of Minnesota Press. She currently teaches 3 courses at the University of Minnesota: an undergraduate cooking class called Healthy Foods Healthy Lives, cooking on a Student's Budget through HFHL, and an undergraduate on line course called Food choices, healing the earth, healing ourselves, and a graduate cooking course called Food Matters, cook as if your life depends on it for health professional students (through the Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing). She contracts as a food and nutrition Public Health educator with local health departments, school districts and non profit food and farming organizations.




Tim Wilson is a farmer and biologist from Illinois who has worked with different urban and rural communities to expand alternative agriculture enterprises and train new farmers. Tim has a Bachelor's degree in Agroecology from Sterling College in Vermont, and did his graduate work examining the effect of plant nutrition on a forest disease at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Tim has managed profitable vegetable production and community gardens in Chicago on city property since 2003. He moved and built gardens for free leases and utilities on abandoned lots as the Director of the Resource Center's City Farm for five years.


Bundle & Save! 2-Day Bundle
Add this conference to your registration for a discounted fee!
Schoolyard Gardens Conference
Friday, March 6, 2020


Call 612-301-1210
Email: ArbEdu@umn.edu

Cancellation Policy: Registration cancellations must be made two weeks prior to class date in order to receive refund. A $5 processing fee will apply.


Holiday Inn Chanhassen  Holiday Inn & Suites,   Chanhassen-
  Schoolyard Gardens Conference rate:  $134.00 plus tax 

As a partner of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Holiday in Express & Suites offers Arboretum visitors hotel discounts. The hotel is just a few minutes east of the Arboretum in downtown Chanhassen. 

Certificates of attendance will be available