FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT Graham Meriwether, graham, (802) 335-5059; or Heath Meriwether, heath, (860)806-3073

What better way to start Thanksgiving Week than to celebrate and listen to the people who put food on our tables – the American farmer. That’s the idea behind the three-day virtual Farmer Gratitude Summit that runs Monday, Nov. 20 through Wednesday, Nov. 22. ( that will feature some of the most innovative, hard-working farmers in America.

You’ll hear from the celebrated ‘lunatic farmer’ Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia, industry leaders like retired Organic Valley CEO George Siemon, Greg Gunthorp from Indiana, Mike Callicrate from Kansas, from veterans like Calvin Riggleman of West Virginia, Mike Lewis of Kentucky and Kelly Carlisle of California who translated their patriotism and military training into producing some of the best food and textiles in rural and urban America. You’ll also get to hear successful young farmers give their best advice to people starting out and even get a glimpse into the process of raising turkeys and vegetables for a Thanksgiving feast. And it all ends at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a Thanksgiving prayer by Joel Salatin.

The Farmer Gratitude Summit will be moderated by Graham Meriwether who directed the feature-length film, Farmers for America, that recently aired on PBS stations across the country. Many of the speakers at the Summit appear in the film, which highlights the trials and triumphs of America’s farmers and was narrated by American icon Mike Rowe. The film is partnered with some of the top farming non-profits in America including the Farmer Veteran Coalition, mikeroweWORKS, National Farmers Union, NCAT, Eager Farmer and NYFC. All who attend the summit will be able to view the film for free during the week of Thanksgiving.

Here is the schedule for speakers at the summit, which is free to all who sign up (for details on speakers, see website)


1:30 PM – ‘Supporting Young Farmers’’: Speakers Daniel Salatin, Davon Goodwin, Garrett Grider

3:00 PM – ‘Showing Love for America’: Veterans turned Farmers Calvin Riggleman and Mike Lewis

4:00 PM – ‘Passing the Farm to the Next Generation’: Chuck and Carson Wirtz

5:00 PM – ‘Saving Rural America,’: Mike Callicrate and Greg Gunthorp

7:30 PM – ‘Elevating Farmers’: Joel Salatin


Noon – ‘Bringing Milk to our Table’: Emily and Tim Zweber

12:45 PM – ‘Growing Sweet Potatoes and Corn’: Calvin Riggleman and Chuck Wirtz

1:30 PM – ‘Raising Turkeys with Gratitude’: Daniel Salatin and Jon McConaughy

3:00 PM – ‘Harvesting Turkeys with Gratitude’: Joel Salatin and Brandon Sheard


10:30 AM – ‘Showing Gratitude on the Farm’: Kelly Carlisle and Mickey Willenbring

1:30 PM – ‘A Gracious Family’: Brandon Sheard

3:00 PM – ‘Building Community – Large and Small’: George Siemon and Lu Yoder

4:00 PM – ‘Building Bridges between Rural and Urban America’: Matthew Keener

5:00 PM – ‘A Thanksgiving Prayer’: Joel Salatin