Healthy Soil Summit Speakers

We put together an expert speaker line-up with each one of our speakers bringing a wealth of information critical for transforming your operation’s productivity and overall resilience. 


KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Gary Zimmer
– Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Midwestern BioAg. Known as the “father” of biological agriculture, Zimmer is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He owns Otter Creek Organic Farm near Lone Rock, Wisconsin. Zimmer is the author of three books, The Biological Farmer (Second Edition), The Biological Farmer and Advancing Biological Farming, and numerous articles on soils and livestock nutrition. 


Bill Brush is an expert in soil fertility and water management. He has presented on soil fertility issues all over the world, including in the United States, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Philippines. Currently, Mr. Brush consults on more than 100 different crops around the world and providing California consulting services on tree crops, field crops, vegetables, berries, and sugar cane.


With recognition from the Illumina Accelerator, PlugandPlay, Terra Accelerator, Spanish Government, and MIT Technology Review and many awards like Sacramento Innovation, WINnovation, AgFunder— Adrian Ferrero, Co-founder and CEO of Biome Makers, is a self-described entrepreneur on a mission to change the world. Growing up in Spain, Adrian helped his grandfather with his wine harvest and winemaking process. This inspired him to co-found Biome Makers and develop its Microbiome Intelligence Platform to measuring soil health and functional biodiversity through DNA and Artificial Intelligence. Prior to Biome Makers, Adrian founded three startups, including AC-Gen Reading Life S.L., InnoEconomy, and Prevema. He has also worked as an innovation consultant for more than nine years focused on public funding in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, and the future of the internet. Adrian holds a Bachelor in Economic Science and Master in Environmental Technologies.  


JOHN KEMPF – Founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a leading crop nutrition consulting company, and a Managing Partner at Zeno Capital Partners — an investment fund working in the areas of agriculture, food production, medicine and clean energy. John is a leading crop health consultant and designer of innovative soil and plant management systems. He is a member of the Amish community and lives in Middlefield, Ohio.


Pam Marrone – CEO/Founder of Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), a company she started in 2006 to discover and develop bio‐based products for pest management and plant health. Dr. Marrone is the Treasurer of the Association for Women in Science and is past‐Treasurer of the Organic Farming Research Foundation. She has a B.S. in entomology with Honors and Distinction from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in entomology from North Carolina State University. 


Glen Rabenberg – Founder and owner of Soil Works LLC. Glen holds a B.S. in Animal Science, General Agriculture, and Agriculture Economics from South Dakota State University. When Glen worked for Walco International as an Animal Science Technical Advisor, he saw that many diseases were the result of nutritional deficiencies from poor grains and forage. Now, Glen brings his knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil. He still maintains his third-generation farm in Bancroft, South Dakota.


Brendon Rockey is a third-generation farmer in Center, Colorado. On Rockey Farms, he raises specialty potatoes and quinoa among fields of green manure, all cultivated in a living environment. Companion crops, animals, cover crops, and flowers replace synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. The 500-acre, irrigated farming system sustains yields, has greater water efficiency and it supports a flourishing ecosystem encouraging beneficial insects, soil microbes, and carbon cycling. Rockey Farms was awarded the 2014 National Potato Council Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2011 Colorado Association of Conservation Districts Farming Division Conservationist of the Year Award for its practices. In October, The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the National Association of Conservation Districts honored Brendon with the 2017 Farmer- Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award in Washington D.C. 


Vernon Peterson Vernon Peterson is a fourth-generation farmer who owns and operates Peterson Family Farm. He is president and founder of Abundant Harvest Organics, a farm share delivery service that brings organic fruits and vegetables to consumers across California. In 2017, the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and the Organic Produce Network (OPN) selected Vernon as the first-ever recipient of the Organic Grower Summit’s Grower of the Year award.

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