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Regenerative Agriculture Field Day at Swanton Pacific Ranch

Getting Down and Dirty - Bringing Life Back Onto the Land

“The rules developed for decision making in conventional systems often don’t apply to regenerative agriculture,” Jonathan Lundgren

The loss of biodiversity is cause for concern in the future of agriculture and our food systems. This special pre-conference field day will give attendees the opportunity to delve into the vital importance of biodiversity both above and below ground with some of the most dynamic speakers on the topic. Discover the function of deeply twisted roots, restoring water cycles, beneficial insects, and the importance of complexity in increasing resiliency in farms and rangelands. Deepen your understanding of how soil health relates to the whole. Join us for a day out in the field with expert scientists, long time ranchers, and the team from Swanton Pacific Ranch. 

 

Logistics:

Tuesday, January 21

8:30am - 5:00pm

Swanton Pacific Ranch

Cost: $100 per person (includes a delicious locally sourced organic lunch)

Swanton Pacific Ranch is located outside of Davenport, CA about 1.5 hours drive from Asilomar. Lodging is not available at Swanton Ranch, however, Tuesday night conference lodging is available at Asilomar Conference Grounds, Deer Haven, and Pacific Gardens in Pacific Grove.

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Sponsored By: 
Paicines Ranch, TomKat Ranch, & CalPoly Swanton Pacific Ranch

Track and Session Info

Track: 
Regenerative Agriculture

Date and Location

Day: 
Tuesday
Presenter(s): 

Gordon Claassen

Title: 
Gordon Claassen
Presenter Affiliation: 
Livestock Manager, Swanton Pacific Ranch
Bio: 
Gordon Claasen homesteaded on the central coast of California and grew up on the family ranch near Paso Robles. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Veterinary Specialist, after completing his B.S. at Cal Poly SLO. At Cal Poly he worked for the CP Animal Science Dept. in their beef operations and was student manager of the CP feedlot. This diverse background gave him the foundation to manage 8 different ranch operations in California over his career. For the past 14 years, he served as the Livestock Manager of Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch in the Davenport area of coastal California. A significant part of his role was instructing students in Swanton’s Stocker Enterprise as well as its cow/calf operation and grass-fed beef program. His greatest pleasure was helping students and others to develop knowledge of land and livestock in keeping with holistic management principles (learning to make complex, informed decisions consistent with the environment under their care). Early in his career, he began to see a noticeable inadequacy in ordinary management practices, and the level of productivity seemed to stall out. Attending a Holistic Resource Management in-practice course taught by Allan Savory re-directed his thinking about land and livestock management and altered the course of his career. Instead of relying on informed assumptions or conventional practices, he learned how to watch what was happening on the land, monitoring for changes, and adjusting as needed. From this, he developed a new humility and has become a better practitioner and student of the land.

Dr. Grey Hayes

Title: 
Dr. Grey Hayes
Presenter Affiliation: 
Education and Research Coordinator, Swanton Pacific Ranch
Bio: 
Since 1986, Dr. Grey Hayes has focused on agroecology and natural systems ecology and conservation along California’s central coast. In addition to “spare time” work managing organic orchards and advising many groups about ecosystem management and conservation, Dr. Hayes is currently Education and Research Coordinator for Swanton Pacific Ranch. Swanton Pacific Ranch is a field station on a working ranch focusing on delivering hands-on skills and education to students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. 

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren

Title: 
Dr. Jonathan Lundgren
Presenter Affiliation: 
Founder and Director, Ecdysis Foundation
Bio: 
Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is an agroecologist, Director Ecdysis Foundation, and CEO for Blue Dasher Farm. He received his PhD in Entomology from the University of Illinois in 2004, and was a top scientist with USDA-ARS for 11 years. Lundgren received the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering by the White House. Lundgren has served as an advisor for national grant panels and regulatory agencies on pesticide and GM crop risk assessments. Lundgren has written 126 peer-reviewed journal articles, several book chapters, authored the book “Relationships of Natural Enemies and Non-prey Foods”, and has received more than $6 million in grants. He has trained 5 post-docs and 14 graduate students from around the world. One of his priorities is to make science applicable to end-users, and he regularly interacts with the public and farmers regarding pest and farm management and insect biology. His ecological research focuses heavily on conserving healthy biological communities within agroecosystems by reducing disturbance and increasing biodiversity within cropland.

Nicole Masters

Title: 
Nicole Masters
Presenter Affiliation: 
Founder, Integrity Soils
Bio: 
Nicole Masters is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker and educator. She has a formal background in ecology, soil science, and organizational learning. She has been providing agricultural consulting and extension services since 2003. Nicole is recognized as a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker on the topic of soil health. Her team of soil coaches at Integrity Soils work alongside producers in the U.S., Canada and across Australasia. Supporting producers in taking their operations to the next level in nutrient density, profitability, and environmental outcomes. She is one of a growing number of people who are facilitating a rapidly expanding world of quality food production and biological economies.

Loren Poncia

Title: 
Loren Poncia
Presenter Affiliation: 
Owner and Rancher, Stemple Creek Ranch
Bio: 
Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch is a 4th generation Marin County organic rancher who has redefined small-scale family ranching. Loren started Stemple Creek Ranch with the dream of raising quality, grass-finished beef and lamb to work with, not against, mother nature. His ranch had the first carbon farm plan in the U.S. and Loren is proud to be part of the Marin Carbon Project. A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a major in Dairy Science and Ag Business, Loren always dreamed of coming back to the family ranch to pursue his passion in agriculture. He oversees the entire ranching operation and spends countless hours carefully studying genetics with the goal of raising grass-fed and finished beef that is tender, well-marbled, and tastes great. Stemple Creek Ranch sells its products to grocery stores, butcher shops, restaurants, and directly to consumers. 

Kara Porterfield

Title: 
Kara Porterfield
Presenter Affiliation: 
Livestock Manager, Swanton Pacific Ranch
Bio: 
Kara Porterfield grew up in far North California working on her family’s commercial cow-calf and hay ranch, and being an active member of her community through 4-H, FFA, and sports.  She has a passion for cattle, horses, and wildlife. She attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Systems Management.  During college she was involved with all projects involving beef cattle, Cal Poly Young Cattlemen, and San Luis Obispo Cattlemen. After graduation she did an internship at a purebred cattle ranch in Kansas, then returned to her family’s operation to assist with day-to-day operations and ranch planning.  She is now the Livestock Manager for Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch.

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Thank you to our EcoFarm 2020 sponsors!