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Miguel Santistevan & Ian McSweeney

Miguel Santistevan & Ian McSweeney
With a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Science degree in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, Miguel Santistevan is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Biology at the University of New Mexico. His research interests are in the traditional acequia-irrigated and dryland agricultural systems of the Upper Rio Grande and Sangre de Cristo mountains. Miguel is certified in Permaculture and ZERI Design and has been a High School science teacher in Pecos, Peñasco, and Taos school districts. He has directed youth-in-agriculture programs such as ePlaza and Sembrando Semillas of the New Mexico Acequia Association. He has produced video and public radio programming (¡Que Vivan las Acequias!) with Cultural Energy, of which he is a Board Member. He maintains a conservation farm with his wife and daughter in Taos called Sol Feliz where many visitors have participated in educational presentations, tours, and hands-on workshops. Miguel coordinates a `Living Seed Library' program through the Agriculture Implementation, Research, and Education non-profit corporation he is co-founding.

Agriculture Implementation Research & Education, AIRE is a non-profit organization was formed to help reconnect people with the land, their food, and ecology while addressing the growing problems associated with the industrial food system, climate change, & nature deficit disorder. Our programs include agricultural educational presentations and programs; research in and demonstration of innovative agricultural management for resiliency in times of climate change and drought; and media production projects for inspiration and education.

As Director of the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation, Ian McSweeney works on assisting landowners and farmers through a customized approach to permanent protection of land and soils, secure access and tenure to farmland and sustainable holistic food production. McSweeney participates and consults on a variety of farmland conservation, farmland access and farm and food system initiatives. Ian also sits on the advisory board of Agrarian Trust.

The Russell Foundation was established in 2003 as a private foundation under Section 501(c)(3) and a 509(a) of the Internal revenue Code (IRC). Initially, operating as the Russell Piscataquog River Watershed Foundation with a primary mission to protect, preserve, and study the natural attributes of the Piscataquog Watershed. In 2012 the Foundation evolved, and is now the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation with a focus on conserving and supporting the viability of active sustainable farm and forest land in New Hampshire. The Russell Foundation provides customized assistance to accelerate the pace of important farm and forest land conservation and to secure access for farmers. The Russell Foundation prioritizes support toward the protection of critically important soils and local economically sustainable farms.