Karen Vanek is the Division Manager for Forest Agriculture Nursery as well as the Senior Project Coordinator for Restoration Agriculture Development, both headquartered in Viola, WI. For the past thirteen years, she has been been a part of designing and installing food systems from intensive quarter-acre edible landscapes to dynamic ecological agricultural systems spanning hundreds of acres and tens of thousands of crop-producing trees and shrubs with emphasis on hazelnuts and chestnuts in establishing integrative staple foods cropping systems.
Forest Agriculture Nursery supplies crop-producing tree and shrub seedlings that have gone through an extensive adaptive breeding program and chosen for their compatibility in many kinds of agricultural systems. Restoration Agriculture Development performs site consultations, designs and installations for establishing ecological agricultural systems that provide ecological restoration, the foundation that supports regenerative agriculture and associated enterprises that improve the asset value of the real estate in question.
Karen’s studied Biology and Ecology at Loyola University Chicago as well as Ecological Economics and Design at Prescott College. She is certified in Ecological Design from the Ecosa Institute and had been a lab technician in Terrestrial Ecology at Argonne National Laboratory and Protein Biochemistry at the University of Chicago. Karen also began surveying forests, savannas and prairies through the Student Conservation Association and carries on these practices to this day!