Photo of Sue ConleySue Conley, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery.

Food and community have followed Sue Conley just about everywhere. She found herself fronting the house of a local campus joint during her time at University of Tennessee. When she moved to San Francisco in 1976, she made her way into the kitchen and that’s where she met Bette, the namesake of their joint business venture, Bette’s Oceanview Diner. After 11 remarkable years of serving delicious everyday meals to an eclectic mix of Berkeley students, workers and neighbors, she sought a quieter pace, migrating to Point Reyes Station with longtime companion and ex-park ranger, Nan Haynes.

It was here that Sue met Ellen Straus, matriarch of the Straus Family Creamery, her husband Bill, and their kids Albert and Vivien. Inspired by the Strauses, Sue decided to sell her shares in Bette’s Diner and find herself a place in West Marin’s growing dairy and organic farm community. Having shared interests and kitchens throughout the years, Sue’s dear friend Peggy decided to join in these efforts. They’ve been making friends and cheese ever since.

Photo of Peggy SmithPeggy Smith, Co-Founder of Cowgirl Creamery

Peggy knows her way around a kitchen. She started her culinary career serving hearty suppers to food and folk music lovers at Gallagher’s in Washington, DC. Her move to San Francisco in 1976 coincided with the food revolution begun by Alice Waters. In 1980, she was hired to cook at Chez Panisse’s new upstairs Café. For the next 17 years, Peggy worked the stove, preparing dishes made from vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight out of the sea.

Over the years, Peggy learned the philosophies the family used in selecting and caring for artisanal cheeses. Then the folks from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London brought fine English farmhouse cheeses for the chefs to taste, and Peggy was hooked. When Sue asked her to consider starting a cheese company in Point Reyes, she agreed.

Keynote Speaker

Photo of Sheri Castle holding a basket of fruits and veggies

Sheri Castle is an award winning professional food writer, cook, and raconteur.

Sheri Castle hails from Watauga County, but came down off the mountain to go to Carolina and now lives in Fearrington Village. She is a writer, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and popular public speaker. She is fueled by mountains, excellent bourbon, farmers’ markets, and searching for the right word. Sheri believes that stories happen only to those who can tell them.


 Amy Campbell, portrait artist, producer of the podcast & broadcast Tennessee Farm Table
Amy Campbell is creator and producer of the Tennessee Farm Table Podcast & Broadcast Show. Her show highlights the people, foods and culture of the Appalachian region.


Eric McNew and Stanton Webster, Owners of Post Modern Spirits

Learn about the art of fermentation and sample their special potables.


Steve Kaufman
Steve Kaufman is a Three Time Winner of the National Flatpicking Championships. His various kamps are visited by students from around the world. In addition to his teaching, touring, writing books, recording videos and CDs, he owns The Palace Theater in downtown Maryville, TN. We are very excited to have him be a part of our event!