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2015 Keynote Speakers

The Science of Dogs

Kathy Green pic

Kathy Green graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in finance.  She worked as a recycling coordinator for the town of Cheraw, SC. She then moved back to Tennessee where she worked as a purchasing agent. Her degree in finance was very helpful in acquiring bids and working with budgets.

When she moved to Murfreesboro she bought her first German Shepherds, Hershey and Unkas. She started training them in the sport of Schutzhund where she learned much about behavior. Kathy then started taking Unkas to several elementary schools in Rutherford County in order to help children with reading.  The combination of the German Shepherds instinct to protect and the size of the dog made Unkas the perfect literacy dog. He would “watch over” the children as they read to him and they could not hurt him because of his size.  Children will read to a dog because they are not judgmental and they enjoy listening.  Even children who are shy or struggle with reading found reading to Unkas a treat. Kathy then started her own nonprofit, Unkas Goes to School.  With her degree in finance she was able to apply for 501 C 3 tax exempt status. 

For ten years, until his death in 2012, Unkas went to schools all over Rutherford County and took part in several literacy awareness activities with Read to Succeed.  When Unkas died, Hershey took over until Kathy started working at MTSU in the Chemistry Department. Hershey has now graduated to college and has been going to Dr. Iriarte-Gross’ Honors Physical Science class on exam days to help de-stress students before they take their exams. Kathy has also started training a new puppy, Nannette, who has also been coming with Hershey to the Physical Science class.  Last year Kathy took part in EYH with “The Nose Knows”.  This workshop was all about the olfactory sense of dogs and how we can use their abilities not only in the military and law enforcement but also in the detection of seizures.  

Krista pic

From the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to owning Happy Valley Kennel, a nationally recognized business, Krista Wade’s desire to learn more about agriculture and animal behavior brought her to the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. MTSU offered Krista hands-on experiential learning in agriculture and animal behavior. Krista obtained her B.S. in Animal Science-Equine Science with a minor in Secondary Education, in 1989. She is licensed by the State of TN Dept of Education with endorsements in Agriculture Education, Biology and Earth Science.

With a desire to work in agriculture, Krista embarked on a career with Tyson Foods, Inc. As the first female broiler supervisor for the Shelbyville, TN complex, she managed over 1 million broiler chickens, two full-time employees, a company farm with 7 chicken houses, and approximately 30 contractual broiler growers. Working with the animals and growers was a rewarding experience.

In addition to a love for animals, Krista has always had a heart for children. In 1995, she turned her attention to teaching at the Coffee Co. High School in Manchester, TN, applying her knowledge of science, agriculture and teaching in her classroom. Never afraid to accept new challenges, Krista not only taught Biology and Earth Science to 10th – 12th grade students, she also started Coffee Co. High School’s first women’s soccer team. From the grass roots Krista instructed and taught young women not only the skills of soccer but life skills as well. Krista’s soccer team was awarded two national scholarships helping fund their team, as well as earning the team a personal clinic with 2006 US Olympic Gold Medalist and USA Team Captain Julie Foudy.

While teaching, Krista started training a Rottweiler she had purchased as a puppy. Her knowledge of animal behavior related to training horses and her experience teaching children aided her in training her dog. Before long Krista had a passion for training dogs that would open doors she had only dreamed about. Out of her passion for dogs and teaching, Happy Valley Kennel was born. Krista owns and operates Happy Valley Kennel (HVK) a canine training and breeding facility in Bell Buckle, TN. Krista and her staff train dogs of all breeds and ages, teaching dogs basic to advanced obedience, as well as behavior modification and environmental education. Coupled with their intensive training program HVK also prides itself in producing exceptional German Shepherds. Krista has a very selective breeding program to produce outstanding German Shepherds and Wire-haired Dachshunds. Additionally, Krista has been very successful in the sport of Schutzhund.  In 2012, she and her dog Berlin vom Glücklich Tal were Seiger National Vice-Champions of GSDCA-WDA. In 2010, they were selected as members of the 2010 USA Team attending the WUSV World Championships in Seville, Spain. Besides participating on the WUSV team, Berlin and Krista were high in Protection at the 2011 and 2012 GSDCA-WDA National Championships and high in Obedience in 2013. From 2009 to 2013 Berlin and Krista were always in the top 10 at national competitions. In 2006, Krista and her female German Shepherd Sybill were the AWDF IPO 2 National Champions and Krista was high female handler. Currently Krista is training a young German Shepherd she imported from Germany and is raising two puppies from HVK’s breeding program as future competition dogs. Happy Valley Kennel has placed German Shepherds and Wire-haired Dachshunds in family companion homes, in scent detection (diabetic) homes, in police departments as bomb and drug dogs, and some are serving to protect our military as well.

As a result of Krista’s education in Agriculture and Animal Behavior her passion for teaching, children, and animals has afforded her the opportunity to travel abroad, to own a nationally recognized business, and to embrace all that the future holds.