New for 2018 - Hands-on workshops!!!
2018 Coop Camp Presenters
Gwenne, a retired nurse and passionate chicken ambassador, serves as a consultant for towns and residents seeking consensus on requirements for keeping chickens within city limits. She has brokered agreements in eight communities and is currently working with six others.
But her biggest passion is providing comfort and assistance to special populations through therapy chickens. Certified in Chicken Therapy, Gwenne and her red sex-link Rosebud work with assisted living facilities, an elderly daycare program and populations of developmentally-challenged individuals from special education students to adults.
Her program is also affiliated with the Academy of Natural Sciences Autism Program. Find Rosebud on Facebook on her page On the Road with Rosebud, the Therapy Chicken.
ANDREW BRAKE | AGRARIAN & NAPTOWN CHICKENS
Andrew Brake’s wife, Lindsay, asked him to install a garbage disposal seven years ago when they bought their first home. Instead, they got chickens. Fast forward to today and they still don’t have a garbage disposal .. but Andrew owns an urban chicken farming business, Nap Town Chickens, and has helped hundreds of people launch their chicken keeping dreams.
JILLIAN D’AQUINO | NEW COUNTRY ORGANICS
Jillian is New Country Organics’ Farm and Garden Consultant. She handles a variety of tasks, primarily organic certification of NCO’s two mill locations, feed safety and testing, educational content development for NCO’s blog and social media pages, soil testing and consultation, and animal nutrition and management consultation. She also assists with sales, scheduling, and occasionally travels periodically to educational conferences and agricultural events as an exhibitor as well as the occasional speaker. In her spare time, she enjoys farming with her husband.
BRIAN DREBBER | DREBBIEVILLE HIVES & THE BEE SHOP
Brian Drebber and granddaughter Kylie began beekeeping in 2011 with two traditional Langstroth hives — both of which failed to survive their first winter. Undaunted, they began again in 2012 with three hives which became eight and eventually over two dozen colonies — before discovering the Slovenian AZ hive system in 2014.
Pioneering the use of this century-old European design and adapting it to the needs of American beekeepers, Drebbieville Hives manufactures the “Original American AZ Hive” in Dawsonville Georgia and maintains their two-dozen hive beehouse at their home nearby — nicknamed “Drebbieville”. An entertaining flock of chickens is an important part of their Integrated Pest Management system at Drebbieville, as well.
MICHELLE GEISS | A COVEN OF CACKLING HENS
An urban homesteader in Arizona, Michelle Geiss has a long list of passions including gardening, seed saving, sculptural welding, painting and CHICKENS!
Michelle has mastered the art of keeping chickens healthy in the harsh climate of Arizona summers… and her soft heart calls her to care for special needs chickens like her scissor beak, Francesca. Michelle created an all-natural mash recipe to assure Francesca got the nutrition she needed.
Michelle loves sharing her knowledge and helping others with their chicken questions on her Facebook page A Coven of Cackling Hens. Occasionally, you will find some of her art there, as well. To Michelle, chickens are friend, muse, therapist and gifts from Mother Nature. She hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming a REAL farm girl very soon.
SEI-HEE & SHANNON MYERS | TWO CREATIVE CHICKS
The Two Creative Chicks Facebook page was hatched in 2014 to share ideas for keeping chickens entertained in an enclosed run situation, and to connect with others who are passionate about pet chickens. Bored chickens are not healthy or happy chickens.
To alleviate boredom in their flock, the Two Chicks (Shannon Myers and Sei-Hee) made treat dispensers, swings, perches, and placed musical instruments (xylophone, drums, and piano) in the run.
In January 2017, a video showing Jokgu, their tiny bantam buff brahma, playing keyboard went viral. Hollywood also took notice, leading to appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and America’s Got Talent. Jokgu has also been featured in commercials, videos, and several American Greetings e-cards.
These appearances have given the Two Creative Chicks the opportunity to bring pet chickens into the eye of the mainstream public. What started out as a way to keep their chickens entertained, has now turned into a way to entertain the world.
ERICA HOPKINS | OWNER, TWIN WILLOWS FARM
Erica Hopkins is a corporate trainer and educator, and owner of Twin Willows Farm in Logansport, Indiana. Erica has been raising a herd of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats since 2011. Her herd participates in many goat shows and performance programs through ADGA and AGS.
Erica enjoys educating people about goats, and making products with her goats’ milk including cheese, ice cream, lotions, and soap, which she sells at her local farmer’s market. In her spare time, she loves to paint animal portraits, and create goat related art.
TWAIN LOCKHART | NUTRENA FEED
Born and raised on the central coast of California. Twain Lockhart grew up in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Years of working at the local feed store acquainted him with all kinds of chickens and chicken issues.
After a hitch in the Coast Guard, Twain returned home and purchased the same feed store, shifting the focus to premium pet and poultry products. Using the store as a home base, he helped get people started in backyard chickens long before it was cooI. In addition to the store, Twain was the founding father of a large poultry club, “The Seaside Feather Fanciers”.
With the exception of his time in the Coast Guard, Twain has owned poultry of some type all of his life. Since 201o, Twain has worked for Nutrena as a game bird consultant for the pheasant industry and later, as a small flock chicken consultant.
BRIGID MCCREA, PhD | AUBURN UNIVERSITY – EXTENSION SPECIALIST
Dr. Brigid McCrea is an Extension Specialist at Auburn University working with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Avian Science are from the University of California at Davis, and Ph.D. in Poultry Science is from Auburn University. She specializes in small flocks; niche market poultry products; and both pre– and post-harvest food safety. She is also the co-author of “The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens” and “Chicken Fact or Chicken Poop.”
RACHAEL PORTER | THE PORTER FARMS
Growing up in Kansas, you might assume that chickens and farm life came naturally to Rachael but that’s not how her story started. From a background of photography, she couldn’t have been further from the farm life.
A love for sustainability and a passion for living an eco-friendly life fueled her enthusiasm for raising her own chickens. It seemed like a natural progression.
Her little farm came from humble beginnings with a few raised beds, a dozen chickens, and a passion for helping and teaching others to get more involved with their own lives.
Know where your food comes from; be an active member of that process. This is her motto and she wants to help others to do the same.
PATRICIA WAKENELL, DVM, PhD | PURDUE UNIVERSITY
PATRICIA WAKENELL, DVM, PhD is a professor of poultry medicine at Purdue University and Head of Avian Diagnostics at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory since 2008. Dr. Wakenell established the endowed Wakenell-Eilenfeldt Avian Diagnostic Residency program at Purdue in 2012 and is the Director, performs diagnostic service including farm visits, and teaches 4 poultry courses. Her unofficial titles are Poultry Princess and Duck Duchess. Pat carries her poultry work with her everywhere as numerous poultry purses and poultry themed clothes make her a legitimate poultry fashionista. Previously, Pat was a professor at the University of California-Davis since 1990. She served as the Chief of the Poultry Medical Service, taught 7 courses and conducted research in embryo vaccination, genetics, and pathology.
Pat received her B.S, in horticulture, and DVM from Michigan State University. She practiced veterinary medicine (all species) in Massachusetts and Michigan and then returned to MSU for a residency in pathology (all species including human) in 1980. Pat received a Ph.D. in pathology from MSU and the USDA Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory in 1985, writing a doctoral thesis on embryo vaccination (patented by USDA). She became board certified in veterinary clinical pathology and served as Director of Poultry Research and IACOC veterinarian at Sanofi Animal Health. Pat is a past president of both the Western Poultry Disease Conference and the American Association of Avian Pathologists.