Interview with Ashlen Busick, Kendra Kimbirauskas & Terry Spence of SRAP: Socially Responsible Agriculture Project – 09.24.15

Ashlen BusickCommunity Organizerashlenb@sraproject.org

As the granddaughter of Terry Spence and neighbor to a massive hog operation, Ashlen has been immersed in the issues of factory farming from the age of 5. She joins the SRAP Team now, 20 years later, to lend her passion to the movement for sustainable agriculture.

Ashlen graduated with a BSBA from the University of Central Missouri and has worked as the Director of Fundraising and Development for the Central Missouri Christian Campus House. While in Warrensburg, she served alongside local non-profits as the secretary for Johnson County Cares and helped organize various community events for people in poverty and for environmental sustainability.

Her husband’s hire as the high school choir director for Trenton, Missouri brought her back to the northern part of the state and provided an avenue for her to join in her grandfather’s legacy of advocating for the small farmer.

Kendra Kimbirauskas, Chief Executive Officer- kendrak@sraproject.org

Kendra grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest. After earning her degrees from Michigan State University, she became a community organizer for the Sierra Club, helping communities threatened by factory farms. Kendra’s community organizing work took her to rural communities in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota before she moved to Oregon in 2003. Kendra took a brief hiatus from anti-factory farm organizing and worked on political campaigns for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. In 2005, Kendra co-founded the group, Friends of Family Farmers, an Oregon-based non-profit that organized to fight Threemile Canyon Farms, a 55,000-head dairy factory outside of Boardman, Oregon. In 2006, she began consulting work for the Grace Factory Farming Project and started a small farm in Colton, Oregon. Kendra later joined SRAP, and in 2012, she became CEO of SRAP. Kendra and her husband currently farm 70 acres, in Scio, Oregon where they raise heritage breeds of pigs, chickens, goats and turkeys. Kendra is an avid equestrian, and in her spare time, she’s usually riding her horse.

Terry Spencetespence@nemr.net

owns and operates a livestock farm in northeast Missouri, near the Iowa border, where he was born and raised. Terry is president of Citizens Legal Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) and of Family Farms for the Future (FFFF), and is a certified level III volunteer water quality monitor for Missouri Stream Team # 714. He has been active over the last 18 years in organizing and working with groups throughout Missouri, and various other states which are facing the factory farm problem. He has presented testimony before the U.S. House Sub-committee on CAFO’s, and at numerous Missouri Clean Water Commission Hearings, Missouri Air Conservation Commission Hearings, and has worked with various environmental organizations on a state and national level.

Terry was selected as one of the Thirty Heroes for each of the thirty years of the Federal Clean Water Act, and received the 2010 Justice Award from the Missouri Attorney General for dedication and commitment to Environmental Protection, and has served two terms as a member of the USDA Agriculture Air Quality Task Force. Terry is a former advisory board member at the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins and has presented an online lecture relating to Food Production, Public Health, and the Environment.

Terry is an independent consultant for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) which focuses on working with rural citizens and groups throughout the United States that are being impacted by Industrialized Agriculture Operations. He also is associated with the Renewable Harvest Project of SRAP that focuses on sustainable alternatives that benefits small farmers and rural communities.


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Pear Ginger Chutney

16 cups of peeled, diced pears

½ cup unsweetened, organic, pomegranate juice

1 Tbs. Lemon juice

½ cup ginger, grated

¼ t. sea salt

1/8 t. ground cinnamon

¼ cup honey

½ t. pepper

½ t. cumin

1 t. ground cardamon

½ t. garam masala

½ cup fresh cilantro

In a heavy saucepan, combine the pears, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, salt, ginger, cinnamon, honey, pepper, cumin, cardamon and garam masala. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft. Using an immersion blender, puree the chutney, either smooth or chunky. Add the fresh cilantro and serve as a condiment for samosas, potato pancakes, macaroni and cheese, or eat alone. Can be served hot or cold.