Regenerative Ag Guru, author of DIRT TO SOIL, and partner in Understanding Ag, LLC. With his wife and son, Gabe owns and operates Brown's Ranch, a diversified 5,000 acre ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The Browns practice holistic management, integrating grazing and no-till cropping systems, and grow a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all natural grass finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers and swine. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides. The Browns are part owners of a state inspected abattoir which allows them to direct market their products. They believe that healthy soil leads to clean air, clean water, healthy plants, animals, and people.
DR. RICK HANEY
Soil Chemist/Microbiologist and Research Farmer at USDA-ARS, and creator of the Haney Soil Health Test. Rick grew up farming in Custer County, OK before he earned his PhD in soil microbial ecology and chemistry from Texas A&M University. Rick has researched soil ecology and soil testing for more than 20 years. Rick was awarded the USDA's 2017 Plains Area and 2017 National Technology Transfer Awards. Rick was also awarded the 2018 USDA REE Under Secretary's award for the Haney Test and the 2018 Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for for the USDA's strategic goal of strengthening the stewardship of private lands through technology and research.
Deborah Clark and her husband Emry Birdwell run a stocker operation of 5,000–7,000 head on the 14,000-acre Birdwell & Clark Ranch in Clay County, Texas. The enterprise mix consists of 2,000 stocker cattle on leased wheat acres and one herd of approximately 5,000 head at the ranch using a high density grazing management plan. The primary goals of the grazing practice are to consistently improve range conditions, soil health, and cattle productivity. Another interest is assessing and monitoring the impact of high density grazing on wildlife and habitat with a focus on bobwhite quail. Deborah has been involved in Holistic Management since 2009. As a Certified Educator Deborah works to help others learn to manage their resources in a way that keeps the business, land, family, and community healthy.
See the Birdwell and Clark ranch here!
DR. RICHARD TEAGUE
Professor & Associate Resident Director - Research Texas AgriLife Research, Vernon, TX.
Dr. Teague grew up and received his schooling in Zimbabwe, Africa. He received his BS (1972) in Grassland Science, from the University of Natal, Pietermaritsburg, South Africa and Ph.D. (1987)in Botany-Ecology at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has practical and research experience in grazing management systems, brush control with fire and chemicals on semi-arid rangeland in Africa and North America. He joined the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon in late 1991 as an Associate Professor.
He believes that research and service must provide the linkage that enables managers to base decisions for sustainable land use on the principles of ecosystem function. He has used four key elements to enhance this linkage: a systems research program, resource accounting, long-term assessment and partnering with rancher clientele. He uses a systems approach in developing land and livestock management practices that sustain natural rangeland resources and the people depending on the land. His goals are to (1) broaden the understanding of requirements needed to sustain rangeland resources and economic viability, and (2) generate science based information to allow producers to improve management practices on rangeland.
JULIA AND CODY SPENCER
Julia and Cody went through great lengths to come to Texas all the way from Canada to manage Roam Ranch. They have the experience and thirst for knowledge to bring regenerative ag from visualization to realization.
Cody and Julia have extensive knowledge of ranch and animal management coupled with local food supply economics. Cody, having managed his own bison herd and Julia, having owned and operated a grocery store featuring locally produced foods, first in Canada and now in Texas, are with us to share their first hand experience in the regenerative farm to table production model.
Located in the heart of the majestic hill country, Roam Ranch sits on over 1000 acres of awe inspiring river bottom land on the outskirts of Fredericksburg, TX. Started by first generation ranchers, Katie and Taylor’s journey was based on a vision to positively impact large-scale agriculture through producing nourishing food that improves the lives of animals, enriches the health of consumers, and regenerates the land on which we depend. ROAM Ranch focuses on restoring ecological health by focusing on soil. Through monitoring key soil health indicators such as organic matter, carbon concentration, water permeability, and a handful of other biological markers, ROAM Ranch is able to track and document ecological restoration over time!
DR. DAVID JOHNSON
David is a molecular biologist conducting research at the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University and an Adjunct Professor in the Regenerative Agricultural Initiative at California State University, Chico. He works with growers, Arizona State University, Texas A&M, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Globetrotter Foundation and the Thornburg Foundation exploring paths to improve food security, reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and increase farm and rangeland productivity and profitability through the development of beneficial soil microbial communities.
Jonathan Cobb is a fourth generation steward of his family’s land in the Blackland Prairie of central Texas. After earning his business degree and spending several years away from the farm, he and his wife, Kaylyn, decided to leave the urban life and continue the farming tradition. Five years into row crop farming with his father, Jonathan nearly left the farm because he didn’t see a future for him in the commodity row crop model. Thankfully before leaving the farm, they were exposed to regenerative agriculture and learned there was hope to both regenerate their land and enhance profitability.
Jonathan and his family have now converted the once row cropped farm to fully pasture based. They have employed the use of diverse cover crops and adaptive forage and grazing management to improve the health of their soil. They graze both cattle and sheep, using a combination of perennial pasture and annual forage crops as they are establishing native perennial pastures on much of their acreage. Their stacked enterprises include marketing grass-finished beef and grass-finished lamb direct to consumer and through branded buyers, and marketing sheep breeding stock.
LIZ HANEY, PHD - MODERATOR / ORGANIZER
Liz Haney is the owner of Soil Regen, LLC and her passion is regenerative agriculture outreach and education.
Dr. Haney has degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries (B.S), Soil (M.S.) and Ecosystem Science (PhD). She previously worked for the State of Texas as a Natural Resource Specialist focusing on the reclamation of mined lands and at Texas AgriLife Research performing watershed analysis of conservation practices. Her and her husband, Dr. Rick Haney developed the Haney test as a more holistic way of measuring soil nutrient requirements and health. She has been involved in the regenerative agriculture movement for over 7 years.