SPEAKERS

DAVID BRANDT

David Brandt is the father of regenerative agriculture.  David and his family farm in central Ohio's Fairfield County.  he began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978.  David actively researches on his farm cover crop blends to determine the benefits to the soil.  He is also growing non-gmo and open pollinated varieties for use in milling farm to consumer products.  He has received numerous awards for conservation practices, including the Ohio Conservation Educator Award from the Ohio No-Till Council, Ohio State University South Center's Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture's Man of the Year, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards.

RICK CLARK

Rick Clark is a 5th generation farmer from Williamsport, IN. The main goal on the farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with Mother Nature. Rick has developed and is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming. He is most proud of incorporating regenerative farming practices with all acres being certified organic. He calls it regenerative organic stewardship with no tillage. He will suppress weeds and build soil health with cover crops and no tillage. Rick also cares deeply about human health, as it is another important driver behind the organic no till style of farming. Rick is building a system that will be viable and profitable for generations to come. 

RUSSELL HEDRICK

Russell is a first-generation farmer in the foothills of Hickory, North Carolina, where he farms JRH Grain Farms, LLC. Russell is known as one of the most progressive young farmers in the country. Russell has been a featured producer in Top Producer Magazine, Furrow Magazine, and on RFD TV, Ag PhD, and National No-till Farmer for profitably farming by reducing fertilizer inputs and using soil health practices on cash crops . In 2017 he won the North Carolina Corn Yield contest, the first person to win in the state using regenerative practices.  Russell's operation focuses on maximizing profits and direct consumer marketing for all their products, including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, pastures beef and pork. He is the co-founder of Regen Mills and Heritage Ground, co-owner of Soil Regen, LLC, and has partnered with Foothills Distillery producing the first bourbon in North Carolina since prohibition.

LANCE GUNDERSON

Lance Gunderson founded Regen Ag Lab in 2019 after spending 17 years leading the soil health testing division as the Director of Soil Health and New Test Development at another lab. Regen Ag Lab offers Haney and PLFA tests, as well as soil enzymes, water stable aggregates, water holding capacity, TOC, along with more conventional soil, plant tissue and water analyses. Lance is a renowned expert on the Haney Test and PLFA test (fungal and bacterial test). His experience at reviewing over 100,000 soil health samples gives him unique insight into how soil health results relate to management in regenerative agriculture systems. In 2018, Lance also founded Soil Health Innovations, which offers the SR-1 instrument for measuring soil respiration and consulting services surrounding the Haney Test developed by Dr. Rick Haney.

JESSICA GNAD

Currently hailing from Manhattan, Kansas, Jess Gnad’s path in soil health started with a curiosity about healthy food options in rural communities. A dedicated soil health advocate with more than a decade of experience in the food, finance, and farming industries. Combining deep industry knowledge with experience to help guide campaign development, product launches, and content strategy for news media publications and event planning. Excelling in leadership, fundraising, and building infrastructure to launch a local food movement and farmers market as a community champion. Jess is a leader in her community with a Bachelor of Science - BS focused in Social Sciences of Diversity from Kansas State University. 

SARAH VARBLE

Sarah can often be found feeding calves, moving pastured turkeys, and developing soil training for farmers and agronomists. The most recent addition to her farm are pigs. She has extensive experience in business planning, direct marketing, horticulture, blueberry breeding, and carbon markets. Sarah also previously worked for Indigo Ag developing training programs for internal and external audiences about the importance of soil health. She started two regenerative farms in Oregon and Mississippi and is currently moving into heritage grain production. This all follows an MBA and a PhD in Environmental Resources + Policy, focused on how soil health practices can increase farmer resilience to climate change and 20 years in the ag industry. Sarah is the co-founder of Regen Mills and Heritage Ground and co-owner of Soil Regen with Russell and Liz.

MITCHELL HORA

Mitchell Hora is a 7th generation Iowa farmer and the Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag.  His farm has stressed the importance of no-till since 1978 and has become a hub for innovation in the adoption of diverse cover crops, interseeded covers, relay cropping, small grains, and other soil health practices.  Mitchell started Continuum Ag while attending Iowa State and has built it's footprint to 40 states and 15 countries.  The company launched the first soil health data tool, TopSoil, in 2020 and has amassed the largest, private soil health dataset.  Today, Mitchell and his team are working with farmers, consultants, and sustainability focused organizations to improve the on-farm monetization of soil health.
 

LIZ HANEY

Liz is a soil and ecosystem scientist with experience in soil testing and analyses, carbon and conservation practice modeling, and is the co-developer of the Haney soil health test.  Liz’s purpose, drive and passion are helping to improve producer profitability, environmental sustainability, and human health through regenerative practices and soil health.  Throughout her career she has developed an expansive network of scientists, thought leaders, consultants, farmers and ranchers within the sustainable agriculture space. Liz loves nothing more than creating community and is skilled at coordinating and conducting educational events, workshops and conferences bringing together today’s leading innovators in regenerative agriculture.  Liz is also a co-owner of Soil Regen, co-founder of Regen Mills and Heritage Ground with Sarah and Russell. 

JERRY HATFIELD

Dr. Hatfield received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1975 in the area of Agricultural Climatology and Statistics a M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Kentucky in 1972, and B.S. from Kansas State University in Agronomy in 1971.  He served on the faculty of the University of California-Davis as a biometeorologist from 1975 through 1983 and then joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Lubbock, Texas, as the Research Leader of the Plant Stress and Water Conservation Research Unit from 1983 through 1989. He was appointed Laboratory Director of the National Soil Tilth Laboratory in 1989 (renamed the Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in October 2009).  

He served as the USDA-ARS representative to the Heinz Center project on the State of the Nation's Ecosystems, the Key Indicators Initiative, National Audubon Society project on Waterbirds on Working Lands, and Agricultural Air Quality Task Force for USDA, and is the lead author on the Agriculture section of the Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 on "The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity". He was part of the IPCC process that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and currently serves on the IPCC special committee to evaluate the impact of extreme events on ecosystems. He served as a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, and Past-President of the American Society of Agronomy (2007). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and a member of American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society. He has numerous awards from different organizations.

LORAN STEINLAGE

Systems thinker and innovator from West Union, IA.  Loran joined his family farm in 1985. Loran is an expert in intercropping, diverse cropping systems, engineering and equipment manufacturing. Loran and his wife, Brenda, operate FLOLO farms, growing commodity and specialty crops for food production.   Loran is the recipient of the 2020 No-Till Innovator Award .