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Successful Organic Farmers

Javier Ledesma

Ledesma Farms
Hollister, CA
Photo credit: Splash Pad New
Javier and his son Isaac Ledesma grow more than 40 fruits and vegetables on a total of about 90 acres across Gustine, Hollister, and Watsonville, CA. Javier transitioned to organics in the mid-1980s. He was one of the early farmers to market salad greens and has established a variety of marketing outlets, including wholesale, direct to market, CSA, restaurant accounts, and a farmstand. He has developed a good working environment for his laborers which can serve as a model for others. Javier is originally from Valle de Santiago Guanajuato, MX.

Emily Oakley and Michael Appel

Three Springs Farm
Tulsa, OK
Emily Oakley and Mike Appel own and operate Three Springs Farm, a diversified, certified-organic vegetable farm in northeastern Oklahoma. They cultivate over three dozen different crops and more than 150 individual varieties on 3 acres of land. Their goal is to maintain a two-person operation that demonstrates the economic viability of small-scale farming. Their marketing strategies have evolved with time; Emily and Mike now sell their produce almost exclusively through a 250+ member CSA program. Now entering their 19th season of farming, their focus is on minimizing external inputs and finding the holy grail — work/life balance.

Loren and Lisa Poncia

Stemple Creek Ranch 
Tomales, CA
Loren & Lisa Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch have redefined small-scale family ranching. They started Stemple Creek Ranch in Marin County with the dream of raising quality, grass-finished beef and lamb to work with, not against, Mother Nature. Their ranch had the first carbon farm plan in the U.S. and they are proud to be part of the Marin Carbon Project. Loren is a fourth generation Marin County rancher and both Loren and Lisa are graduates of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Loren dreamed of coming back to the ranch to pursue his passion in agriculture and he and Lisa figured out a way to make this happen.  Loren spends countless hours carefully studying genetics with the goal of raising grass-fed and finished beef that is tender, well-marbled, and tastes just as good as, if not better than, grain-finished meat. Lisa focuses on the finance, operations, and marketing ends of the business. Stemple Creek Ranch sells its products to grocery stores, butcher shops, restaurants, and directly to consumers.
This session will be presented in English with Spanish interpretation.

Track and Session Info

En Español / In Spanish
Keynote I 9:00am - 10:15am

Date and Location




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