Wednesday, April 3
Dairy Tour – McClellands Dairy and Beretta Dairy
8:00 AM Buses depart for tour from the Flamingo Conference Center
4:00 PM Buses arrive at Flamingo Conference Center
Beef Tour – Stemple Creek Ranch and Grounded Grassfed
8:00 AM Buses depart for tour from the Flamingo Conference Center
4:00 PM Buses arrive at the Flamingo Conference Center
Dinner on your own
7:00 PM Farm Credit Finance Workshop at the Flamingo Conference Center
7:00 PM Chat with friends poolside at the Flamingo Conference Center (cash bar)
The Grounded Team is made up of two families who are wholly committed to regenerating ecology and producing healthy, tasty beef. We came to this because we love the natural world and we believe that properly managed herbivores are one of the best tools for healing the land. Between the families over the course our careers we have managed herds of thousands of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs, broiler chickens and layer chickens all for all sizes of farms and ranches. We have managed conception to consumption, direct market grass-fed cattle operations, organic farms, and large community supported agriculture farms with upwards of 1000 members. Currently Grounded Grassfed partners with Sonoma Mountain Institute to manage 8 ranches in Marin and Sonoma County of about 4500 acres and focus on grassland restoration and animal performance. Sonoma Mountain Institute also has over 60 monitoring locations on these ranches in order to evaluate the changes taking place across the landscapes. Grounded’s enterprises include custom grazing both organic beef and dairy animals, selling organic finished cattle wholesale and direct marketing natural grass-fed beef. They really don't anything to do with goats. Goats are evil. So please don’t mention goats.
Visit their website: www.stemplecreek.com
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.
Our history in Marin County began over a century ago when Angelo Poncia immigrated to the remote outpost of Fallon from his native Italy. The dairy he originally established on this land survived for three successive generations.
Today, Stemple Creek Ranch is proudly run by Angelo’s great-grandson Loren, and his wife Lisa, who have reinvented the family business with a vision for raising superior quality grass fed and finished meats. Their daughters Avery and Julianna, along with their cousins, will be the fifth generation to steward the land.
Sonoma County has a rich history in pasture-based dairy production owing to its favorable climate and multigenerational families that have been milking cows in this region for over 100 years. Although their numbers have dwindled significantly since 1950 (2,725 dairies in 1950 to 69 in 2018), the county's dairy industry remains vibrant through value-added production systems including labels and certification such as organic or grass-fed, and through the production of finished products such as butter and artisan cheese. These value-added production systems have allowed many of these farms to survive some of the most difficult socioeconomic conditions in recorded history. This tour will explore two well-established dairies in Sonoma County, the McClelland and Baretta dairies, both farms are involved in organic, grass-based milk production, a process that has added value to their milk in terms of net return and nutrient density. Organically certified dairies are required to graze all cows for the duration of the grazing season and at a minimum of 30% of their dry matter intake (DMI). The higher the DMI from lush green pasture, the more nutritious the milk. Data collected by CSU Chico shows grass-fed milk is higher in many of the major antioxidants including Vitamins A, E, CLA, TVA, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Both dairies have a strong pasture management program including compost applications, multi-species cool season no-till seeding, and rotational grazing. These practices improve the soil as well as the quality and quantity of grass. Managed grazing is an essential part of the pasture management program. On this tour, we will learn about the ranch history, discuss the overall effect of the pasture management on soil fertility, forage production, milk quality; and establish the important linkages between soil health and human health. This tour is co-sponsored by the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at CSU Chico and Clover Stornetta.
In 1948, Doug Beretta’s grandfather bought a ranch on Llano Road and started what would become Dairy of the Year in 1998. The dairy was an early adopter of environmentally friendly practices and has continued to champion management practices in regards to water quality, nutrient and pasture management. In 2007, Doug and his father transitioned the dairy to an organic operation. The decision was an easy one as many of the requirements were already implemented into their current management practices. In 2010, Doug purchased the dairy from his father and continues to run it with the help of his wife Sharon, their three children Jennifer, Lisa and Ryan, and what will be the 5th generation on the Beretta dairy, his 7 year old grandson Braydon. Doug said he always envisioned running the dairy someday with the help of his entire family. Today, Sharon and their children all have significant roles on the ranch. While Doug knows it is important for him to oversee all aspects of the ranch, he and his oldest daughter Jennifer share an appreciation specifically for the cow herd, while his son Ryan focuses on farming and ranch operations. Sharon not only still handles the books, but she spends an equal amount of time with their other daughter Lisa taking care of calves at the Dolcini Jersey Dairy. While everyone has their specialty, the whole family is well versed on all aspects of the dairy. He explained that at times, Ryan will help with the cows, and Jennifer has clocked several hours on a tractor. With such an important emphasis on a family run dairy, Doug’s future goals are to continue
Visit their website: www.mcclellandsdairy.com
Nestled in the rolling hills of Sonoma County California lies the McClelland’s Dairy, a family farm established and run by family members who are committed to the health and well-being of their cows, land and their customers. In a world that is getting more impersonal and complicated every day, the McClelland’s have succeeded in creating a farming environment where nature is the priority and their cows and chickens thrive. Because the McClelland cows and chickens are eating organic pasture with no GMO’s, pesticides, or commercial fertilizers, it’s believed that their milk and eggs have a variety of beneficial qualities including higher levels of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids. The McClelland’s provide their family and their customers with the highest quality products possible. It’s our belief that there is a direct correlation between the food that animals eat and the quality of the product being produced. It’s our quest for a top-quality product that drives our operation today as it will for the generations to come.