Featured Speakers:

Bill McKibben – Author and Environmentalist – Vermont

Bill is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature (1989). He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him “the planet’s best green journalist.” In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

William deBuys – Author and Conservationist – El Valle, NM

Bill deBuys’ books include A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American West (2011, Oxford University Press) and River of Traps (a 1991 Pulitzer finalist). He was a 2008-2009 Guggenheim Fellow. As a conservationist, he has helped protect more than 150,000 acres in New Mexico, Arizona, and North Carolina. From 1997 to 2004 he directed the Valle Grande Grass Bank in San Miguel County, NM, and from 2001 to 2005, he served as founding chairman of the Valles Caldera Trust.

Featured Mentors:

Deborah Madison – Chef and Author – Galisteo, NM

Deborah was the founding chef of Greens in San Francisco in l979, one of the first farm-to-table restaurants. She is the author of eleven books, including Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers Markets, was twice the recipient of the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award, and four James Beard Awards. She has written innumerable articles on food and farming, managed the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, and has been actively involved with Slow Food, both here and in Italy.

Miguel Santistevan – Taos, NM

Miguel is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Biology at UNM. His researches the traditional acequia-irrigated and dryland agricultural systems of the Upper Rio Grande. Miguel is certified in Permaculture and ZERI Design, has been a high school science teacher in Pecos, Peñasco and Taos, and has directed youth-in-agriculture programs such as Sembrando Semillas of the NM Acequia Association. Miguel maintains a conservation farm with his wife and daughter called Sol Feliz, where many visitors participate in hands-on workshops. He coordinates a “Living Seed Library” through Agriculture Implementation, Research and Education, a nonprofit he co-founded.

Jim Gerrish – American GrazingLands Services – May, Idaho

Jim is an independent grazing lands consultant for private and public lands across the U.S. and Canada. He works with farmers and ranchers using irrigated pastures and native rangeland. He received a B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and a M.S. in Crop Ecology from University of Kentucky. His experience includes over 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri, as well as 22 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on his family farm in northern Missouri. He writes regular columns in The Stockman Grass-Farmer magazine and has authored two books: Management-intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming (2004) and Kick the Hay Habit: A practical guide to year-around grazing (2010).

YOUNG AGRARIAN SPEAKERS:

Bryce Andrews – Ranchlands Program Manager – Montana

Bryce manages a cattle ranch in the Deer Lodge Valley, in the heart of the nation’s largest Superfund Site. He works toward achieving innovative and environmentally sustainable land management practices on deeded and leased land. When not herding cattle and fixing fence, Bryce works on community building and outreach. His experience includes ranching in the Madison Valley, on the doorstep of Yellowstone Park, where he worked on finding a balance between the needs of livestock and wildlife. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana.

Dorn Cox – Farmer – Lee, NH

Dorn Cox is making a concerted effort to push farming squarely into the 21st century by building what he refers to as a “biological system” for his farm. By integrating the disciplines of plant biology and environmental engineering, he is constructing a near complete carbon cycle, making the farm largely self sufficient, reducing production costs and limiting off-farm purchases. Dorn is a two-time NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant awardee. He has completed his 2006 grant for Farm-based Biofuel: Production, Storage, Co-generation and Education. He is also a 2007 New Hampshire Young Farmer Achievement Award recipient.

Ben Forsyth – Manager, Three Rivers Station – Meekatharra, Western Australia

Passionate about rangeland sustainability, Ben is the manager of his family’s 1.3 million acre, “Three Rivers” Station on the headwaters of the Gascoyne River in Western Australia, where he is undertaking an extensive landscape regeneration project. Ben is a 2008 Nuffield Scholar, former WA Director of the national Future Farmers Network and a Councilor of the Australian Rangelands Society. He is studying for a Masters in Rangeland Management at the University of Queensland and recently became involved in the Meat & Livestock Australia Environmental Advocates Program. Ben has been instrumental in the development of “Grazebook,” an online forum for producers, practitioners and agencies.

Jeff Gossage – Ranch Operations Manager – Mosca, Colorado

“My parents owned the Stirrup Ranch in south central Colorado. My uncle and aunt ran it as a working cattle ranch using holistic management. I have been ranching ever since graduating high school. I have been managing the Medano-Zapata Ranch for The Nature Conservancy for the last six years. A couple other years were spent on other ranches in other states experiencing other kinds of operations and ranching styles. My passion is preserving ranching as a traditional and progressive way of life and a means to preserve our rangeland.”

Tyffany Herrera – Erosion Control Crew Leader – Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation, NM

“I’ve lived on the Navajo Reservation since I was 6 years old. I’ve learned a lot about ranching and farming. I’ve built erosion control structures, identified problem areas on the range, and fixed problems on my ranch. I’m currently attending NM State University, pursuing a degree in Soil Science with a minor in Business and English. I hope to learn more because I want to continue Walking in Beauty.”

Lilian Hill – Hopi Tutswka Permaculture – Kykotsmovi, Hopi Nation, AZ

Lilian is a member of the Tobacco (Pipwungwa) clan and is the mother of three children.
She has studied Applied Indigenous Studies at Northern Arizona University, focusing on Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and at the North American School of Natural Building. With her husband and children, Lilian is building a home in her village utilizing permaculture principles and encouraging the conditions for sustainability.

Sarahlee Lawrence – Rainshadow Organics – Sisters, Oregon

Rainshadow Organics is a market garden at Lawrence Farms where Sarahlee has farmed and gardened for twenty-five years. Dozens of varieties of certified organic vegetables, herbs, berries and flowers are grown there on 27 acres. All of the crops are distributed within 50 miles through a CSA program to local restaurants and farmers’ markets.
Growing up in remote central Oregon, Sarahlee dreamed of leaving in search of adventure. By the age of twenty-one, she had rafted some of the world’s most dangerous rivers. But living her dream as guide and advocate, led her back to her family’s ranch. Her book, River House is the beautiful chronicle of a daughter’s return and her relationship with her father.

Nikiko Masumoto – Masumoto Family Farm – Fresno, CA

Nikiko first learned to love food as a young child slurping overripe organic peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm. Since then she has never missed a harvest. In 2007 she graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies and will soon complete a Master of Arts in Performance as Public Practice from UT Austin. She is now back in the Central Valley of California farming with her family, working on a cookbook, and developing “agrarian arts” projects.

Annie Novak – Growing Chefs – Brooklyn, NY

Annie Novak is founder and director of nonprofit Growing Chefs, in the education department at the NY Botanical Gardens, and co-founder and head farmer of the first commercial rooftop farm in the country, the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Annie has worked with Slow Food and Just Food, promoting urban agriculture throughout NYC. Her work has been featured internationally as well as locally in New York Magazine, the New York Times, Grist and the Martha Stewart Show, among others.

A lifelong vegetarian, Annie’s passion for agriculture began while working in Ghana with West African chocolate farmers. She has since followed food to its roots in Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Turkey, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Alaska, through the West and Midwest.

Rochelle Vandever – Hasbidito Youth Advisory Council – Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation, N.M.
Rochelle is from the small community of Torreon, NM. She is currently attending NMSU in Las Cruces, majoring in Civil Engineering. At 14 she began working with Ojo Encino Chapter. She learned a lot about sheep, cattle and horses and wanted to become a veterinarian. When she worked with the Rio Puerco Management Committee she became interested in restoring the land for livestock. Her goal is to receive a B.A. degree in civil engineering and to attend graduate school.

Hai Võ – Real Food Challenge – Irvine, CA

Hai coordinates Live Real, an emerging community of young leaders focused on historical and current injustices of our food system. He is a 2009 recipient of the Earth Island Institute‘s Brower Youth Award for his efforts with the Real Food Challenge, a U.S. campaign of over 350 colleges and 3,000 students reallocating university procurement of “real food” that’s ecologically-sound, community-based, humane and fair. He is a 2008-2009 Sustainable Agrifood Systems Fellow with UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Hai is also an aspiring agro-ecologist, passionate about traditional foods, and yearns to own and steward land.

Severine von Tscharner Fleming – The Greenhorns – Hudson Valley, NY

Severine produced and directed a documentary film about young farmers who are reclaiming, restoring and retrofitting this country. That film, “The Greenhorns,” grew into a small nonprofit organization that produces a weekly radio show on Heritage Radio Network, a popular blog, a wiki-based resource guide for beginning farmers, and educational events all around the country. Severine attended Pomona College and UC Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/Agro-Ecology. She founded UC Berkeley’s Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology, as well as co-founding the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Katie Wallace – Sustainability Specialist, New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO

Katie is the Sustainability Specialist at the employee-owned New Belgium Brewing Company. She helps set the strategic direction of NBB’s sustainability efforts and engages coworkers in these initiatives. Her formal education in Economics and Finance prepared her for analyzing trends and forecasting sales. She has a passion for cultural innovation, environmental sustainability and lifelong learning.