About our Speakers - 2022 SHOW CANCELLED

Bevin Cohen is an author, herbalist, gardener, seed saver and educator. He is the owner of Small House Farm and the founder of Michigan Seed Library Network, a community seed sharing initiative that has helped establish nearly one hundred seed library programs. Bevin offers workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs and locally grown food and has published numerous works on these topics including the best selling book, 'Saving Our Seeds' and his latest book, 'The Artisan Herbalist'. He serves on the board of the International Herb Association and the advisory council for the Community Seed Network, a multi-national education and networking platform.

Chef Robert Rhymes is a professional chef and educational consultant who is a native of Clarksdale, Mississippi and now resides in Centralia, IL. He currently serves as the Executive Chef/Program Coordinator for the Kaskaskia College Department of Culinary Arts; the owner and executive chef of Spirals Gourmet Foods: Great Food with A Twist, a traveling personal chef and catering company; and as the owner and lead consultant of Robert Rhymes Consulting.  He has over 18 years of professional culinary experience and 14 years of culinary educational experience. He is an avid traveler and has visited and studied the authentic cooking techniques of over 18 foreign nations.

Birds-I-View - Steve and Regina Garr have spent decades presenting programs on attracting desirable wildlife to almost any setting. They are co-founders of two state Bluebird societies and Steve is a past president of the North America Bluebird Society. From Hummingbird Research to leading "Owl Prowls", Steve and Regina try to stay involved in all aspects of enjoying wild birds!

Illinois Botanizer - Chris Benda is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society (2015-2016). Currently, he works as a Researcher at Southern Illinois University, where he coordinates the Plants of Concern Southern Illinois Program and teaches The Flora of Southern Illinois. Besides working at SIU, he conducts botanical fieldwork around the world, teaches a variety of classes at The Morton Arboretum and leads nature tours for Camp Ondessonk. He has research appointments with the University of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, and is an accomplished photographer and author of several publications about natural areas in Illinois. He is also known as Illinois Botanizer and can be reached by email at [email protected]