Conference Schedule

2019 GFE Agenda (Download)

Wednesday, April 3 
Greatness in Grazing: Pasture Management that will make the Neighbors Jealous – Dairy

8:00 AM  Buses depart for tour from the Flamingo Conference Center (Load buses at 7:30) 
4:00 PM  Buses arrive at Flamingo Conference Center 

Dr. Cynthia Daley leads a forage and pasture master class learning from some of the best grazers in the business. Dairy producers’ daily feedback mechanism, milk production, has allowed them to hone forage management and grazing skills to the highest level. This tour will explore two iconic dairies in Sonoma County, the McClelland and Beretta dairies that utilize Sonoma’s lush, green pastures expertly to produce nutrient-dense food for healthy people. Experience how they balance the intricacies of soil health, plant diversity, animal nutrition and production drivers. 

McClelland Dairy is an organic family farm and dairy committed to health and well-being.  Nature is the priority as they work hard to turn out the highest quality product for their customers.  Learn how they have grown their multispecies enterprises to include dairy products, eggs, European style butter, farm events, tourism, and how they deal with grazing challenges on non-irrigated, warm-season pastures.  There will also be a presentation on nutritional requirements for grazing lactating dairy cows. Tour Lead: Jana McClelland

Beretta Dairy is a family-run 100% organic dairy strongly focused on environmental stewardship. Learn about how they transitioned off chemical fertilizers to grazing pastures and growing their own feed. Learn about their grazing strategies on irrigated pastures, including using recycled water to avoid groundwater pumping, producing forage for cows even in months of little rain. Other presentations will focus on the economics of their soil amendment trials, and how forage diet affects the milk’s nutrient density. Tour Lead: Jen Beretta

Integrating Livestock for Land Restoration - Beef 

7:30 AM    Buses depart for tour from the Flamingo Conference Center (Load buses at 7:00) 

4:30 PM    Buses arrive at the Flamingo Conference Center

This tour will feature two different flavors of regenerative production.  Learn how one family operation is successfully navigating the challenges of modern production with a regenerative focus.  The other operation is built around leased ground and contract grazing to achieve environmental restoration. 
Stemple Creek Ranch nestled in the coastal hills of Northern California near the town of Tomales, Stemple Creek Ranch has been home to the Poncia family for four generations.  Learn how Loren and his wife Lisa have reinvented the family business with a vision for raising superior quality grass fed and finished meats.  Their homegrown company focuses on the direct-to-consumer market and is profitable and growing exponentially.  In addition, they will share results they are seeing from monitoring their regenerative practices and discuss how agritourism has been a key way for their operation to hedge risk.  Tour Lead: Loren Poncia 
Sonoma Mountain Institute (SMI) is a Non Profit that focuses on adaptive planned grazing as a tool to increase biodiversity and ecological health across Marin and Sonoma Counties. SMI manages 8 properties totaling 4500 acres across the counties running both organic beef cattle and organic dairy heifers. In collaboration with a local business, Grounded Land and Livestock, SMI has managed to increase plant biodiversity on their home ranch by 193%. Tour Lead: Byron Palmer 

Dinner on your own 
7:00 - 7:30 PM Peter Byck’s Film “Herd Impact” - Flamingo Hotel, Empire Room 
7:30 - 930 PM Farm Credit Workshop “Taking a Pasture Tour with Numbers” Flamingo Hotel Empire Room 

Have you always wondered how your grassfed operation could be better at making a profit?  This session will dive into the practical use of how to effectively integrate pasture mapping, resource management, cash flow budgeting, and enterprise planning.  Christine Su of PastureMap, Byron Palmer of Sonoma Mountain Institute, Gary Matteson of Farm Credit Council, and Tyler Matteson of AgriTheory will show how looking at the dollars will make sense out of taking a pasture tour.  This session will follow the Grassfed Exchange tour that includes Byron Palmer’s operation, so you can plan to see the operation on the ground, then see it through the lens of digital mapping, planning, and cash flow budgeting.  All with an eye toward giving you tools you can use on your own to achieve better results.          

Thursday, April 4  

8:00 AM    Welcome Kanyon Sayers-Roods "Indigenous Welcome and Regenerative Context" 

8:30 AM    Dr. Charles Massy “Regenerative Agriculture: The Great Disruptor to the Anthropocene?’ Saralee Barn

9:30 AM    Nikki Silvestri “Thriving in Chaos: What Soil Teaches Us” - Saralee Barn 

10:30 AM  Break and Trade Show - Finley Hall 

11:00 AM  Doniga Markegard “Regenerative Agriculture: Mimicking Nature to Find Your Path” - Saralee Barn 

12:00 PM  Lunch 

1:00 PM    Alejandro Carrillo & Daniel Suarez - Saralee Barn “Breaking the Green Code: The Story of  Regenerating Deserts and Dry Tropics”                

2:00 PM    Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin “Decolonizing Agriculture: Tree-Range (TM) Chicken, an Indigenous Regenerative Industry-level Strategy.” - Saralee Barn   

3:00 PM    Break and Trade Show - Finley Hall 

3:30 PM    Real Talk - “Helping the Next Generation of Young Producers Succeed” - Saralee Barn Dede Boies, Ariel Greenwood, Holly Heber, Byron Palmer 

5:00 PM    Trade Show and Social Hour - Finley Hall and Courtyard 

6:30 PM    Banquet and Awards - Saralee Barn 

7:30 PM    Dr. Zach Bush “The Crossroads of Soil and Human Health” - Saralee Barn 

The exponential rise in the prevalence of chronic disease in the developed world is staggering, and threatens the financial and political stability of the developed nations around the world. In the US, 46% of our children now carry a chronic disease diagnosis. This is in stark contrast to the chronic disease burden of 4% in the US population (including all ages) in the 1960s. Research from around the globe suggests that a combination of genomic, autoimmune, nutritional, and environmental factors are now contributing to the collapse of health in our children and adults. Not surprisingly, the diseases in our domesticated animals – from pets to livestock – have followed a similar trajectory. While this may seem overwhelming, the fact that each of these systems seemed to approach collapse at the same time, would suggest that there is a root cause event that has setoff the cascade of systemic complications. This talk explores the role of the microbiome and agriculture system as ground zero of this humanitarian crisis, providing new insights for consumers and health practitioners alike. 

Friday, April 5  

8:00 AM   Welcome and Announcements - Saralee Barn 

8:30 AM   Breakout Sessions A,C,F,G,I 

10:00 AM Break and Trade Show 

10:30 AM Breakout Sessions B,D,E,H,J 

12:00 PM Lunch 

1:00 PM   Breakout Sessions A,C,D,G,L 

2:30 PM   Break and Trade Show  

3:00 PM   Breakout Sessions B,F,E,H,K 

4:30 PM   Wrap Up “Regeneration Rising Together” - Saralee Barn

5:00 PM   Adjourn 


Breakout Sessions 

A.    Grazing: Basic Knowledge for Success - Showcase Building  

Join a seasoned pioneer and a rising leader as they break down the regenerative grazing game into the building blocks of the “How’s” and “Why’s” related to people, land and business. No question is off-limits in this master class on regenerative grazing management and creative ways a young person can get into the industry.  

Erin Kiley, PastureMap  

Joe Morris, Morris Grassfed Beef 

 B.    Grazing: Advanced Concepts and Principles - Showcase Building  

Advanced grazing management for those ready to take their ecological impact to the next level. Hear from leaders who have forged innovative grazing programs: AMP grazing for riparian restoration, "inherding" alongside wolves, coexisting with mountain lions, and creative partnerships with ecological partners to benefit their businesses.  

Glenn Elzinga, Alderspring Ranch

Doniga Markegard, Markegard Family Grassfed 

Louis Martin, Round River Resource Management
C.    The Science & Art of Multispecies Production - Saralee Barn  

Hear from successful multispecies about adding pastured pork, lamb, poultry enterprises to your resource base. Get your questions answered about multi-product marketing from three brands that build a national presence through creative sales, online e-commerce, and supply chain partnerships. 

Ethan Kelly, Alderspring Ranch 

Loren Poncia, Stemple Creek 

Jesse Solomon, Emmer & Co

D.    Downstream Supply Chain & Markets - Kraft Building 

How downstream food and fiber partners are reinventing categories, telling the story of climate beneficial wool into North Face, carbon farming branding on milk, up-cycling dairy cows, bringing soil health to the grocery shelf. 

Kirk Blanchard, Epic 

Rebecca Burgess, Fibershed 

Claire Herminjard, Mindful Meats 

Albert Straus, Straus Family Creamery 


E.  Regeneration Science: Building Resilience - Garrett Building  

The latest in regenerative science on GHG emissions drawdown, soil carbon data networks, methanereducing kelp supplements, and the launch of the Regenerative Agriculture Journal! Equip yourself with the knowledge and resources to educate your stakeholders.  

Cindy Daley, CSU Chico University Farm 

Kelly Garbach, Point Blue Conservation Science 

Joan Salwen, Elm Innovations 

Paige Stanley, UC Berkeley  

F.    Wildfire Prevention and Recovery: Prescribed Burning and Grazing Strategies - Kraft Building 

Learn about wildfire prevention strategies, and managing through disaster from ranchers who have been through it. Resources for wildfire prevention, grazing before and after catastrophic fire, and how to use prescribed burning from leaders with decades of experience using fire as a tool. 

Brian Alexander, Alexander Ranch 

Dr. Stephanie Larson, UC Extension Sonoma 

Kyle Farmer, Magruder Ranch 

G.    Activating Consumers: Be in the “know” - Garrett Building  

How do we drive regenerative consumer demand? Real talk from pioneers in the regenerative restaurant movement and consumer e-commerce about the opportunities and challenges in reshaping the consumer landscape.  

Anthony Myint, The Perennial Foundation 

Diana Rodgers, RD, Sustainable Dish 

Jesse Smith, Kiss the Ground  

H. Greening the Desert: Transformation in Practice - Saralee Building  

Learn more about how these two ranchers began to mimic nature and turned their land from places of drought and suffering into a desert oasis.              

Octovia Bermudez, Valle Colombia Ranch

Alejandro Carrillo, Las Damas Ranch               

Daniel Suarez, El Yaqui Ranch  

Sponsored Breakout Sessions (Presented One Time Each) 

I. Grassfed Alliance “Coming together to promote Authentic Grassfed”’ - Garden Building

    Tim Joseph, Maple Hill Creamery 

J. PastureMap "Something's Gotta Give: Make-or-Break Decisions in Ranch Profitability"Garden Building

Fireside discussion facilitated by Erin Kiley

    Deborah Clark, Birdwell & Clark Ranch

    Dave Pratt, Ranch Management Consultants    

    Christine Su, PastureMap

K. Insure My Forage “Income assurance...Protecting Profits and Mitigating Risks.” - Garden Building

    Jenita Qualm

 L. MaiaGrazing “Creating Drought Resilient Grazing Businesses”  - Garden Building

    Jim Gerrish, 

    Stuart Austin, Australian Rancher  

    Col Feilen, MaiaGrazing 

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