2018 Keynote Speaker Bios – Custer, WI
Investigative Journalist, Author, and Co-Founder of The Intercept
Saturday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m.
Jeremy Scahill confronts America’s War on Terror—a campaign of assassinations, drone strikes, surveillance, and covert ops—with rare insight. In talks, he draws from his nearly two decades of investigative reporting to illuminate the biased media coverage and hidden agendas of US foreign policy. In so doing, he offers an ethical appeal for greater transparency and accountability in both election coverage and international journalism.
An investigative reporter and war correspondent, Jeremy Scahill is one of the three founding editors of The Intercept. His latest book, featuring a foreword by Edward Snowden and written with the staff of The Intercept, is The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program. He is also the international bestselling author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield. The film adaptation of Dirty Wars, which he wrote, produced, and narrates, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Teju Cole calls the book “[A] courageous and exhaustive examination of the way a number of clandestine campaigns—full of crimes, cover-ups, and assassinations—became the United States’ main strategy for combating terrorism.”
Scahill has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. He has served as the national security correspondent for The Nation and Democracy Now!. His work has sparked several congressional investigations and has twice won the George Polk Book Award—one of journalism’s highest honors.
“[A] fantastic piece of investigative reporting.”—Noam Chomsky on Dirty Wars
Lily Raff McCaulou is a journalist based in Bend, OR whose writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times and The Atlantic. Her memoir, Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner, was named one of the best books of 2012 by The San Francisco Chronicle. Lily grew up outside of Washington, D.C., studied at Wesleyan University, and worked in New York City’s independent film industry before moving across the country to write about rural OR for a small-town newspaper. This new life forced her to rethink her negative assumptions about hunters and hunting, and she soon learned to shoot and hunt for wild food. Learn more. Sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Michael Perry is a New York Times bestselling author, humorist, playwright, and radio show host from New Auburn, WI.
Perry’s bestselling memoirs include Population 485, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, Visiting Tom, and his latest, Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy. His first book for young readers, The Scavengers, was published in 2014 and his first novel for adult readers, The Jesus Cow, was published in May of 2015. Raised on a small Midwestern dairy farm, Perry put himself through nursing school while working on a ranch in WY, then wandered into writing. He lives with his wife and two daughters in rural WI, where he serves on the local volunteer fire and rescue service, and is an intermittent pig farmer. He hosts the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio,” performs widely as a humorist, and tours with his band—the Long Beds (currently recording their third album). He has recorded three live humor albums including Never Stand Behind A Sneezing Cow and The Clodhopper Monologues, and can be found online at www.sneezingcow.com.
Perry’s essays and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, The Oxford American, Backpacker, Outside, Runner’s World, and Salon.com. His writing assignments have taken him to the top of Mt. Rainier with Iraq War veterans, into the same room as the frozen head of Ted Williams, across the United States with truckers and country music singers, and—once—buck naked into a spray-tan booth. “As a writer,” says Perry, “I find my greatest privilege lies not in telling my story; it lies in being trusted to tell the story of another.”
In the essay collection Off Main Street, Perry wrote of how his nursing education prepared him to become a writer by training him in human assessment, and he credits singer-songwriters like Steve Earle and John Prine and poets like Lucille Clifton with helping him understand that art need not dress fancy. Above all, he gives credit to his parents, of whom he says, “Anything good is because of them, everything else is simply not their fault.” His mother taught him to read and filled the house with books; his father taught him how to clean calf pens, of which Perry has written, “a childhood spent slinging manure – the metaphorical basis for a writing career.”
Perry has recently been involved in several musical collaborations, including as lyricist for Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and (with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon) as author of the liner notes for the John Prine tribute album “Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows,” and the Blind Boys of Alabama album “I’ll Find A Way.” Perry also collaborated with Vernon and Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne on a project that began when Vernon approached Perry and said, “Say, you’re a nurse…” The results were bloody, but then that was the point. More recently Perry composed and performed “Winter Sleeper” with S. Carey and Ben Lester.
Of all his experiences, Perry says the single most meaningful thing he has ever done is serve 12 years beside his neighbors on the New Auburn Area Fire Department.
If I had to sum up my ‘career’ in one word, it would be gratitude. I get to write and tell stories all around the country, then come home to be with my family and occasionally hang out at the fire hall. It’s a good life and I’m lucky to have it.
Jonathan has worked in sustainable agriculture and food systems for eight years—currently for Organic Valley: America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. His work is focused at the nexus of energy, water, and food systems. He leads Organic Valley’s efforts in natural resource conservation, renewable energy production, environmental research, and employee engagement.
Jonathan’s experience spans sustainability strategy, non‐profit management, food systems policy, renewable energy, and green design. He currently serves on the board of the Sustainable Food Trade Association. Jonathan earned his MA in Environment & Community from Antioch University Seattle.
“Solar Roots – The Pioneers of PV” is the true story of how a small group of backwoods engineers and business hippies brought solar electric (PV) technology down from space, and into homes around the world delivering “solar power to the people”.
Filmmakers Jeff Spies and Jason Vetterli spent two years traveling the country interviewing over 50 pioneers of the PV industry in the making of this educational, funny, and touching film. The story starts in the 1800’s with early scientific discoveries, and quickly progresses through the development of the Bell Silicon Cell in the 1950’s, the rapid deployment of PV in the space race of the 60’s, and the debut of terrestrial PV in the 70’s, before finally focusing on the colorful group of men and women who gave birth to the PV home power movement in the early 80’s, which eventually grew to define the modern day solar industry.
This documentary film will be screened at gatherings of solar professionals over the coming year. We hope you can participate. Run time is 2 hours and 5 minutes.
- Jennifer B. “A wonderful walk through solar history!”
- Don O. “Jeff Spies and Jason Vetterli have produced a beautiful and inspiring film… The film weaves the complex and diverse strands of these early Solar Pioneers into a coherent and moving tapestry.
- Kyle B. “Entertaining, Educational, Inspirational and a true gift to honor the founders of this revolution”
- Jonny H. “This film skillfully documents the birth of the seed that has flowered into a huge industry”