Philip Taylor (Founder) I grew up in rural Maryland on farmland at the top of the Chesapeake Bay, raised by a family that taught me stewardship and my place in the world. I've always felt a deep purpose to ensure the beauty and wellbeing of the Earth, which humans are part and parcel of. I am drawn to agriculture because food is at the heart of our existence, and how we eat largely determines how the world is used. Humans are increasingly disconnected from food and the farmers that feed us all, which has driven a dramatic deterioration of global ecosystems, culture and economy. My life work is to create a world where people and ecosystem flourish together. I long to see coastal rivers rife with migrating fish, the prairies abundant with buffalo, the oceans churning with anchovies and whales, the Amazon rainforest left to stand, the bays rich with oysters and blue crabs, the mountains with glaciers and snow, and people living in their rightful place among it all. Seeking this vision of what was and could be requires us to be radical and work hard with wild creativity. Love must be the root of all action.
I am a fellow at the University of Colorado where I work as an ecologist. I study ecosystems and sustainability. I have diverse international experience in both private and public sectors, and led research and outreach campaigns throughout Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. From 2013-2014 I co-founded Aethos Energy, an exploratory PE fund for accelerating renewable energy in the global south. (Academic profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=J2DZI88AAAAJ&hl=en)
Nature tends to generate robust, diverse and complex ecosystems, which are highly optimized to their place in the world as evolved systems that respond and adapt to environmental change. Ecosystems are characterized by rhythms and cycles. We believe that nature should serve as a guide to design and build human systems. If we are to use nature as a guide, then we must deeply understand they way they work. I've studied ecosystems at land and sea across the world. My primary research focus has been understanding how old-growth rainforests work. These systems epitomize the beauty and function of life. I study the major biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus - the elements that make the world go round.
Pierre graduated from McGill University in 2016 with a degree in Economics and International Development Studies. He has an insatiable appetite for learning and works across a variety of projects at Mad Agriculture. His primary focus at Mad Ag is designing regenerative feed products and bringing them to market.
Emma Lietz Bilecky
Emma works primarily on communication at Mad Ag. She is currently a student at Duke University pursuing her M.S. degree in agrarian theology, and works remotely.