All 2018 Acres U.S.A. Conference Lecture & Workshop Audio on USB

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A lineup so helpful and so unique, you won’t find it anywhere else.

With a total of 45 audio lectures covering more than 50 hours of information about all aspects of modern agriculture, this one-of-a-kind set includes proven tactics from leaders in the industry. Learn ecological-based growing methods, how to navigate the current organic market, how to manage livestock, and the full connection between soil health and human health.

For large-scale and small-scale farmers, growers, ranchers and even gardeners, this set should pay for itself, and create a healthy ROI. This information is first and foremost focused on helping you run a profitable farm. Learn from others doing exactly that: Gabe Brown, John Kempf, Nicole Delcogliano, Eliot Coleman, Joel Salatin, Don Huber, Leilani Zimmer Durand, Mark Shepard and many more.

Recorded live Dec. 5-7, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Delivered on a Acres USA custom USB Drive. Alternative formats are available. Choose also from DVD Data Discs or Individual CDs for additional fees.

Here is the audio available in this one-of-a-kind set:

  1. Eliot Coleman: 50 Years of Organic Agriculture

1 hour, 3 minutes (23.4 MB)

2018 Keynote. Eliot Coleman walks a packed crowd in Louisville, Kentucky, through the beginning of the modern organic movement, and how his daily chores guided him from ax-in-hand homesteader to a successful farmer, author and advocate. Mr. Coleman has over 50 years experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower (1st and 2nd editions), Four-Season Harvest, and The Winter Harvest Handbook, as well as the instructional workshop DVD Year-Round Vegetable Production with Eliot Coleman. Coleman and his wife, Barbara Damrosch, presently operate a commercial year-round market garden, in addition to horticultural research projects, at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine.

  1. Joel Salatin: Can We Feed the World?

1 hour, 8 minutes (24.6 MB)

2018 Keynote. Joel Salatin passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm. Four generations of his family currently live and work on the farm. Mr. Salatin, 61, co-owns, with his family, Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, where four generations of his family currently live and work on the farm. Polyface Farm services more than 5,000 families, 50 restaurants, 10 retail outlets, and a farmers’ market with salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry, and forestry products.

  1. Daniela Ibarra-Howell: Rebuilding & Nurturing True Wealth

39 minutes, 22 seconds (14.2 MB)

2018 Keynote. Daniela co-founded with Allan Savory and other colleagues the Savory Institute in 2009, and became its CEO in 2011. She has served as an advisor to sustainability initiatives such as UN Global Compact, UN Rio+20 informal-informals, Solidaridad’s Farmers Support Program (FSP), Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), Sustainable Food Lab, Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), and others.

  1. Nick Barnard: Love Your Biomes

1 hour, 3 minutes (22.9 MB)

So much in the press recently revealing how little we know about the flora and fauna of our gut — the micro, or human biome — and how the diversity and health of the gut dictates more than just our physical health and functionality, but also our mental health … well that’s great, but if such revelations show just how little we know about our gut, and the arrogance of medical science in ignoring it’s central role, then just think about how little we know about the soil biome, where 95% of all biomass resides.

Just as we have weakened/damaged our human biome through the use of antibiotics, chemical insults, industrial pollutants and an increasingly poor nutrient quality diet lacking in diversity, so we have unwittingly dealt the same hand to our relationship with the soil biome — worldwide. We have pursued a monoculture, industrial agricultural model, flooded with microbial and insect destructive chemicals, extracted the water and released the carbon.

In other words we have dumbed down the biology in both biomes, with the same outcome: impoverished soils alongside an ever-weakening population. It’s time to recognize that we need to love and nurture both biomes because they are inseparable.

Writer of more than 16 nonfiction titles, in 2016 Nick released his first cookbook, Eat Right, an inspirational and upbeat celebration of positive eating.

  1. Edwin Blosser: Creating Humus-Rich Soil with Compost

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.1 MB)

Longtime Midwest composting consultant, Edwin Blosser, will explain the reasons for using compost and then walk attendees through steps to simplify the process of making compost on a farm-scale. He will also share six critical starting principles with the goal of delivering to the soil most of the energy that originally went into growing the organic matter. Gain a deeper understanding of the role of humus in farming and the unique ability of compost to deliver on its promise.

Edwin Blosser founded Midwest Bio-Systems (MBS) in 1993 after having graduated from an intensive 7-year experiential training series, during which he had to prove he mastered the application of the training in renewable farming systems.

  1. Nicolette Hahn Niman, Gabe Brown, Fred Provenza & Charles Massy: Panel on Breaking Down Barriers in Agriculture

1 hour, 13 minutes (26.4 MB)

In this unique meeting of the minds, three perspectives on farming, behavior and soil health will converge. North Dakota regenerative farmer Gabe Brown, behavioral ecologist and author Fred Provenza, and farmer turned behavioral ecologist and author Charles Massy, will provide deeper understanding of the complex connections between human and animal behavior, soil and plant health, human health and the overall health of our planet. They will set the stage for building a framework for addressing the damaging agricultural systems that predominate today and explore the various systems and solutions that regenerative agriculture can offer today and for the future. You won’t want to miss this chance to hear from and engage with these influential thought leaders, including rancher, environmental attorney and author Nicolette Hahn Niman.

Moderated by Nicolette Hahn Niman, the author of Defending Beef. She previously served as senior attorney for the Waterkeeper Alliance, running their campaign to reform the concentrated production of livestock and poultry.

Gabe Brown is a pioneer of the soil-health movement and has been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States.

Fred Provenza is professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University. He is also the author of Foraging Behavior and the co-author of The Art & Science of Shepherding.

Charles Massy gained a Bachelor of Science at Australian National University (ANU) in 1976 before going farming for 35 years and developing the prominent Merino sheep stud “Severn Park”. He recently wrote Call of the Reed Warbler.

  1. Mike Callicrate: Building a Healthy, Humane, and Fair Food System: Making Regenerative Agriculture Ecologically and Economically Sustainable

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.4 MB)

Regenerative producers are leading the effort to save our soils, but they can’t sustain their work within the same extractive ag economy that has caused rural economic decline and major soil loss.

Mike Callicrate will discuss the “why” and “how” a better and more profitable pathway to market can exist — one that considers the investments and returns of a new regenerative approach to agriculture and food that heals the land, improves animal welfare and provides farmers, ranchers and workers living incomes, while bringing prosperity back to rural farming and ranching communities.

Mike Callicrate is a farmer-rancher, business entrepreneur and family farm advocate. Widely sought for his expertise on the negative consequences of industrial meat production, he served as an advisor for the films Food Inc. and FRESH and for several best-selling books including Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

  1. Nicole DelCogliano: Holistic Goal Setting

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.3 MB)

Holistic goal setting can help set you on the path to farm success. This is a proven tool born out of Holistic Management for sustainable farm management used by new and existing farmers to ensure that farmer values and goals are articulated and that there is a road map to achieve them. You will learn what Whole Farm Planning is, why it is central to successful farms, how it promotes farm sustainability and how to use it to increase the success of your farm. You will also learn how to use the Holistic Goal in whole farm planning to develop an effective framework for decision-making that reflects your personal values, goals and life vision. Farm Start Up resources will be provided to help new farmers get on the path to launching a farm business.

Nicole DelCogliano has owned and operated Green Toe Ground farm since 2001 in western North Carolina. She and her husband farm biodynamic vegetables and sell into the Asheville market. She is the Farmer Programs Coordinator with the Organic Growers School, running their year-long farmer training program, Farm Beginnings.

  1. Steve Diver: Soil Testing and Mineral Balancingfor Nutrient-Dense Crops

1 hour, 2 minutes (22.6 MB)

The importance of soil testing and balanced mineral nutrition for soil, animal, and human health were established as one of the founding principles of eco-agriculture, pioneered by Dr. William Albrecht and Carey Reams, MD.  This session will emphasize the importance of amending your soils with a suite of minerals and trace elements to produce nutrient-dense crops, which possess sought-after flavor and promote pest resistance. Learn about soil testing laboratories that offer a holistic soil test, how to interpret soil test results, and how to apply a blend of balanced soil minerals. Learn why soil mineralization and soil biology management have a synergistic effect.

Steve Diver is the Farm Superintendent at the Horticulture Research Farm, University of Kentucky. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in horticulture.

9B. Steve Diver: Biodynamic Agriculture: A Legacy of Quantum Physics and Advanced Humus Farming

55 minutes (20 MB)

Biodynamic farming is known for its keen insights into producing superb food quality in alternative farming circles, but remains an enigma to many American farmers.  This session will review the historical foundations and modern applications of biodynamic agriculture and how it can improve soil and crop vitality on your farm.  Biodynamics has a rich history of working with soil humus and microbiology, while also integrating bio-energetic or dynamic practices. A hallmark of biodynamics is the use of qualitative bio-assay tests to assess improvements in soils, composts, and food.

  1. Vail Dixon: So You Want to be Organic AND No-Till

Strategies for Transition, plus tips on preventing and solving common challenges.  

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.1 MB)

Are you interested in, or currently growing organic and want to avoid tillage? Many organic growers utilize tillage as their main tool to manage weeds, but this can destroy soil tilth, structure and beneficial microbes, which can cause or exacerbate other growing challenges like poor performance, pests, weeds and diseases.  Learn strategies and tips for how to transition into organic without tillage, or how to improve your results if you have already made the commitment. Learn how proactive prevention can be much easier and effective than reactive management of “problems”. Build confidence to unravel the sequence of what choices will bring you the most bang for your buck and the quickest results.

Vail Dixon is a regenerative farmer and holistic grazing mentor and founder of Simple Soil Solutions, Grazing Power, Grow Your Soil, and ABC Beef (About Being Conscious Grass Beef). Vail intensively researches and demonstrates ways to repair damaged soil biologically, and economically, fostering a connection between soil, plant, animal, ecosystem and human health.

10B. Vail Dixon: The Soil Solutions (SOIL-ution) to Weedy Pastures

1 hour, 5 minutes (23.4 MB)

Learn how to work with nature and use the weeds in your pasture to radically improve your soil. Get to the root of your weed problem and heal your soil — naturally! Did you know that you can prevent weed germination, instead of fighting them once they are dominating? Learn how you can use wastes you already have to quickly change the soil in your weediest areas to increase diversity and boost health. Know how to feed the soil so that you can grow what you want. The secret is in the soil!

10C. Vail Dixon: Soil Strategies to Reduce Weeds

1 hour, 5 minutes (23.8 MB)

Applying the same strategies discussed in her session “The SOIL-ution to WEEDY Pastures,” Vail will teach attendees how to work with nature to use weeds to radically improve their soil. Get to the root of your weed problem and heal your soil — naturally! Did you know that you can prevent weed germination, instead of fighting them once they are dominating? Learn how you can use wastes you already have to quickly change the soil in your weediest areas to increase diversity and boost health. Know how to feed the soil so that you can grow what you want. The secret is in the soil!

  1. Paul Dorrance: Leveraging Your Animals’ Movement: Lessons in Grazing Strategies

1 hour, 4 minutes (22.8 MB)

Rotational, Management-Intensive, Mob grazing … these terms all describe varying aspects of the same theme: movement. Movement of grazing animals has been shown to build soil health, benefit animals, reduce pest and parasite loads, and increase profitability. Paul Dorrance of Pastured Providence Farmstead in Ohio will discuss the terminology, benefits, techniques, and tools required to leverage animal movement for the benefit of your land, your livestock, and your farm’s bottom line.

Paul Dorrance owns and operates a pasture-based livestock operation, marketing 100 percent grass-fed beef and lamb, as well as pastured non-GMO pork, poultry, and eggs, directly to consumers. Previously an active duty Air Force officer, Paul still serves our nation as a pilot in the Air Force Reserves.

11B. Paul Dorrance: Using Multi-Species Synergies to Your Advantage

1 hour, 1 minute (22 MB)

Diversity is widely recognized in vegetable agriculture as a benefit to the land and plants, as well as a critical risk-mitigation tool. This same concept is just as true in animal agriculture. Paul Dorrance of Pastured Providence Farmstead will discuss how multiple species like cattle, sheep, chickens, and hogs can work together to bring ecological and marketing benefits to a diversified pasture-based farm. 

  1. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin: Poultry-Centered Regenerative Agriculture

2 hours, 19 minutes (50.1 MB)

From design to farm deployment, this session will cover the foundational aspects of scalable, replicable small-scale poultry-centered regenerative farming systems developed at the Main Street Project. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is the chief architect of this system and will share with the audience the highlights and the inside story and processes that make this system unique and adaptable for aggregating and standardization of large-scale production throughout regions of small farming operations.

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin leads the innovative poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system at the heart of Main Street Project. He focuses on the development of multi-level strategies for building triple bottom-line regenerative food and agriculture systems.

12B. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin: Building a Regenerative Agriculture Industry

1 hour, 0 minutes (21.8 MB)

In this session, author and regenerative agriculture leader Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin will take his poultry-centered work into an industry-level design and frame the emerging national effort to bring together farmers, aggregators, processors, investors, leading corporations and other agriculture sectors moving into the regenerative landscape to build the infrastructure and capacity to scale nationally. Promising models such as the Main Street Project’s poultry-centered design are critical for a regenerative agriculture industry to become a reality at scale, but combining this with other differentiated and leading sectors with models ready to move to scale is critical for a new regenerative agriculture movement and industry-level infrastructure to emerge. He will share the strategy, approach, plans and successes in moving this agenda forward. This session is structured primarily for farmers seeking to organize and deploy regional systems, industry leaders, and others who seek the larger-scale potential and want to join this effort to build a truly regenerative agriculture industry.

  1. Julia Hofmeister: The Market Outlook for Organic & Non-GMO Growers

56 minutes, 29 seconds (20.3 MB)

Julia Hofmeister is the Director of Member Relations with Mercaris, an ag tech start-up that provides up-to-the-minute data and analysis around organic & non-GMO commodity markets, as well as an online auctions platform. Julia is start-up veteran, having worked with several food-tech startups throughout her career—including San Francisco-based AgLocal, a where she helped sustainable family farmers better market their value-added protein products. She will lead an engaging and informative discussion — targeted toward farmers but inclusive of all players in the organic and non-GMO grain supply chain — around using data and new technological tools for improved marketing, decision-making and better business outcomes for organic, non-GMO and identity-preserved (IP) commodities. Hofmeister will make a presentation around price discovery of organic, non-GMO, and IP commodities, and using data for increased market transparency and efficiency.

  1. Dr. Don Huber: The 2018 Update on GMOs

2 hours, 27 minutes (53.2 MB)

Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University, has researched the epidemiology and control of soilborne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, nutrient-disease interactions, pesticide-disease interactions, physiology of host-parasite relationships; impact of GMSs and pesticides on soil, crop, animal and human health; and techniques for rapid microbial identification for 55 years.

  1. John Kempf: Prioritizing On-Farm Strategies

58 minutes, 59 seconds (21.2 MB) 

In recent decades the information and knowledge base around regenerative agriculture management systems has grown very rapidly. This knowledge base is necessarily based around thinking of the entire farm as a complex ecosystem. Because of the amount of diverse and valuable information, it can be overwhelming to process everything needed to manage this system. How do we determine the priorities for our farm? Will we get the best response from remineralizing our soils? Should we consider microbial inoculants and biostimulants? Or do we ignore these until we first get our soils covered with growing plants and cover crops?

In this presentation, John will describe the relative impact of various cultural management practices and their hierarchy of importance. Nutrient and soil amendment applications, microbial products, cover crops, and other factors all have co-dependencies. Understanding these interdependencies can help us choose the products, and develop synergistic stacks, which can improve crop performance and soil health the most rapidly with the least amount of inputs.

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

15A: Live Podcast: Biological Breeding

56 minutes, 53 seconds (20.5 MB)

With Ed Curry. Join John Kempf, founder of AEA and host of The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast for a special LIVE recording of the podcast on stage featuring Arizona chili pepper seed breeder and grower, Ed Curry. Ed Curry has 40 years of experience in breeding the top chile varieties in the industry and his farm, Curry Seed & Chile Company, provides most of the chile pepper seed to growers in the U.S. and Mexico. Ed is one of the state’s advocates for sustainable growing and has personal experience producing disease suppressive soils. Ed understands the role of nutrition in changing the plant’s genetic expression, and in producing high-quality seed. Listen in as Ed, one of the grandfathers of biological breeding is interviewed by John Kempf, the host of the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast.

  1. Dan Kittredge: Bionutrient-Rich Food Principles

2 hours, 4 minutes (44.8 MB)

Dan Kittredge will discuss some of the key principles and concepts for successful bionutrient-rich crop production including monitoring soil conductivity, measuring and understand Brix, soil and water testing, biological inoculation and protein synthesis. He will explain how these keys can help you produce high-quality nutrition as well as achieve high yields.

Dan Kittredge has been an organic farmer for more than 30 years, and is the founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, an 8-year old non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “increase quality in the food supply”. His Real Food Campaign has engineered the prototype of a hand-held consumer spectrometer that is designed to test nutrient density at point of purchase, thereby empowering the consumer to choose for nutrient quality.

16B. Dan Kittredge: Defining Food Quality: Tools, Science and Collaboration

1 hour, 2 minutes (22.6 MB)

How do you define “healthy” food, and how do you maintain the quality of that food through eco-farming systems? Dan Kittredge will discuss some of the key principles and tools for successful bionutrient-rich food production, diving into Brix and other indicators and metrics, as well as soil and plant health considerations to support nutrient-dense crop production.

  1. Matthew D. Kleinhenz, Ph.D.: What Sustainable-Organic Vegetable Growers Should Know About Grafting

Two files: A 1 hour, 1 minute (21.9 MB) & B (Demo) 47 minutes, 20 seconds (45.4 MB)

Grafted plants are “physical” hybrids combining the traits of at least two varieties, one selected for its root system (rootstock) and at least one selected for its shoot and fruit (scion). As such, grafted plants offer potentially significant opportunities and benefits. For example, grafted plants can be prepared on-farm by their user (i.e., the tomato, pepper, eggplant, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber grower) or by a propagator/transplant producer who masters the process, thereby creating opportunities for income.

Grafted plants appeal to users because they can out-yield ungrafted plants (especially when conditions are sub-optimal) and they can be used effectively in any setting (field, high tunnel, greenhouse) and number (tens to thousands) by gardeners and commercial growers. Still, growers often find that there can be much to learn in order to capitalize on making and using grafted plants. Join us for A-to-Z summary of grafted plants as a tool and, possibly, a source of income.

The session will have two parts. In Part 1, we will summarize the ins-and-outs of grafting as well as opportunities and challenges associated with making and using grafted plants.

Part 2 will be even more interactive, with opportunities to listen to the showing of grafted plants being prepared, to try the process firsthand with guidance, and to discuss related topics.

17C. Matthew D. Kleinhenz, Ph.D.: Biofertilizers in Your Farming Toolbox

1 hour, 2 minutes (22.5 MB)

Microbe-containing crop biostimulants/biofertilizers are plentiful and used on increasing numbers of farms and crops. Whether growers are gaining as much as possible from product use is much less clear. Returns on investment from product application can be undercut by multiple biological and procedural factors. In this session you’ll learn more about microbe-containing crop biostimulants/biofertilizers as products and their possible role in your farming toolbox. Matthew will offer unique input based on studying products in collaboration with farmers, manufacturers, consultants, and other investigators and educators.

  1. Hugh Lovel: Subtle Energies, State of the Arts

1 hour, 19 minutes (28.6 MB)

Various types of radionic gear are available, and a couple modern types will be discussed. Acres has always been a forum for pioneers of radionics, and old-timers like T. Galen Hieronymus, Jerry Friedenstine, Cary Reams, Dan Skow, Arden Andersen, Don Mattioda and many others have found a receptive audience with Acres farmers. Over the years, articles and books have been published and a plethora of methods have been introduced. Morning and evening scanning of an agricultural enterprise and setting up radionic programs — from assessment lists to automated programs — should be a daily routine. How will we carry this forward into the 21st century? No doubt everyone will have a different take on this.

Hugh Lovel is a farmer, multi-disciplinary scientist and international teacher of Biodynamic and Quantum Agriculture. Author of A Biodynamic Farm and Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond, his articles appear in ACRES U.S.A., News Leaf (Biodynamic Agriculture Australia Journal) and Biodynamics, the Journal of the American Biodynamic Association (BDA).

18B. Hugh Lovel: Subtle Energies in Agriculture

1 hour, 8 minutes (24.8 MB)

We are at the threshold of transition in what is deemed practical by those who like to get things done. Computers have been a revolution, but transfer of energy patterns over distance by non-locality and entanglement can effect more changes than chemical fertilizers and poisons ever remotely promised. With such powerful potential come moral considerations. How does one get started with radionics, and what can be achieved for better or worse? Do you have a map of your overall farm? Do you need rain? Are deer reducing your soy yields? What is your worst problem weed or worst livestock health issues? All this and more is what radionics can address, but working with nature requires understanding nature. Most important is how we humans work and how we do that morally. What gives growers the right to shift how their environments work, and what are the consequences? Let us discuss the foundation of an entirely new approach to agriculture.

  1. Pamela Marrone: Bio-Based Solutions for Pest Management

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.1 MB)

As growers seek to increase pest resistance, regulations on environmental and worker safety become more stringent, and consumers demand safer, more sustainable, and organic food, biologicals (biopesticides and biostimulants) are enjoying an increasingly prominent role in crop protection programs. In fact, they are the fastest growing category of crop inputs. The evolution of biologicals as a more trusted and reliable tool in a grower’s toolbox, however, would not have been possible without advances in science, technology and manufacturing processes that have made biologicals more effective. There is a parallel explosion of ag technology tools that are being integrated to increase the reliability and sustainability of crop production and pest management systems. New delivery methods for pheromones, trap cropping combined with a bioinsecticide, characterization of the soil microbiome, drone spraying, robotic weeders, and spectral imaging of pest and pathogen outbreaks are just a few of the exciting tools here today. The majority of growers may have heard the terms “biopesticides” or “biologicals,” but may be unclear on their modes of action and when and how to use them successfully in integrated pest management and crop production programs. This talk outlines the foundational concepts of the biologicals category, discuss how and when to use them and illustrate some of the exciting new developments.

Pamela Marrone is 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. 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.

  1. Judith McGeary: Government Policy and What it Means

1 hour, 5 minutes (23.7 MB)

Judith McGeary is an attorney, activist and sustainable farmer. After seeing how government regulations benefit industrial agriculture at the expense of family farms, she founded the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance to promote common-sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.

  1. Jeff Moyer: Understanding Regenerative Organic Certification

1 hour, 20 minutes (28.9 MB)

Jeff Moyer is a world-renowned authority in organic agriculture. His expertise includes organic crop production systems with a focus on weed management, cover crops, crop rotations, equipment modification and use, and facilities design. Jeff is perhaps most well-known for conceptualizing and popularizing the No-Till Roller Crimper for use in organic agriculture. In 2011, he wrote Organic No-Till Farming, a publication that has become a resource for farmers throughout the world. He also received the 2018 Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Award.

  1. Kris Nichols: Regenerating Resilient Soils Through Soil Biology

1 hour, 14 minutes (27 MB)

By taking a systems approach to regenerate soils through soil biology, farmers will increase resilience and profitability by maximizing nutrient and water use efficiencies and utilizing biology to address pest and disease issues. Integrating dynamic principles to synergize biologically based practices to address fertility, pest and disease issues will increase nutritive quality in grains, produce, meat and dairy to potentially enhance human health. The soil is the foundation for any system to work while the management practices are the tools, and that means that this presentation will discuss crop diversity, including perennials and annuals as well as cover and companion crops, reduced soil disturbance, and managed grazing.

Dr. Kris Nichols is the founder and principal scientist of KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils) Systems Education & Consultation and a sub-contractor with Soil Health Consulting, Inc. Her current focus is using soil health to identify biological methods for agricultural production.

  1. Glen Rabenberg: Decoding the Connection Between Soil and Animal Nutrition

1 hour, 12 minutes (25.9 MB)

Much like human health can be tied closely to the foods we eat, animal health can also be linked to the soils used to produce animal food. Diseases found in animals are often the result of nutritional deficiencies from poor grains and forage that the animals were consuming. In this session, Glen Rabenberg brings his deep knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil. He will explain how many of the same required nutritional ratios shared by humans, animals, and plants are reflected in the soil and show how to identify the relationship between specific soil characteristics and animal health.

Glen Rabenberg is the founder and owner of Soil Works LLC. Born and raised in Bancroft, South Dakota, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, General Agriculture and Agriculture Economics from South Dakota State University in 1985. He still maintains his third generation farm in Bancroft, South Dakota and travels the world solving the world’s soil problems with a little bit of simplicity and the “rite” tools.

  1. Brendon Rockey: Biotic Farming Fundamentals: Comprehending the Carbon Cycle to Support a Healthy Farm System

1 hour, 9 minutes (24.9 MB)

Third-generation farmer Brendon Rockey will explain how past destructive farming practices and drought were catalysts for adopting his biotic farming methods. The Rockey Farms journey includes the development of a systematic approach founded on carbon cycling and water efficiency, and demonstrate how synthetic inputs and the absence of life break down soil resiliency and, in turn, how a biological farming system supports not only soil health, but the farm’s overall health.

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, including companion crops, animals, cover crops and flowers replace synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

24B. Brendon Rockey: Biotic Farming Applications at Scale

1 hour, 19 minutes (28.7 MB)

Building off of Session One: Biotic Farming Fundamentals, Brendon Rockey will bridge the gap between theory and practice. He will show how he successfully integrates biological diversity into his 500-acre, irrigated farming operation, confirming how cover crop rotations, livestock grazing, companion plants and beneficial insect populations come together to make a biotic farming system work. He will touch on how biotic farming affects his economics in regards to inputs and yields as well as the local and national food and farm system. 

  1. Joel Salatin: Who is Going to Help Me?

1 hour, 9 minutes (25.2 MB)

Hourly employee orthodoxy carries lots of risk and tension. Performance-oriented, shared-risk options offer business growth opportunities in a less hierarchical model. Using his autonomous fiefdom model developed at Polyface Farms, Joel Salatin addresses the critical labor needs in a comprehensive innovative strategy.

  1. Mark Shepard: Water Management on My Farm

1 hour, 4 minutes (23.3 MB)

Based on more than 20 years of real-world experience, Mark Shepard has modified the fundamental tenets of Yeoman’s Keyline design to work on North American farms and takes into account land ownership boundaries, crop water needs, and more. In this session, Mark will explain simple, inexpensive earth-shaping and cultivation techniques to optimize water distribution on the farm. These strategies will help encourage water penetration into the soil, increase soil organic matter, increase the depth of humic layers and can sequester atmospheric carbon more rapidly than any other known technique.

Mark Shepard is a Wisconsin-based permaculture designer, agroforester and ecological farming consultant. He and his family have transformed a typical 140-acre row-crop dairy farm into a permaculture-based perennial-agricultural ecosystem using oak savannah, successional brushland and Eastern woodlands as ecological models. He is the author of Restoration Agriculture and the subject of the video Restoration Agriculture in Practice. He is currently working on a new book for Acres U.S.A. on water management.

  1. Steve Tucker: No-Till and Cover Cropping

1 hour, 0 minutes (21. 6 MB)

This session will be a thoughtful look at the role no-till and cover cropping play in soil health, farm resiliency, profitability, as well as a look at how one converts a large-scale operation to regenerative practices.

Steve Tucker is a dryland, no-till farmer in Venango, Nebraska. The transition of the farm away from conventional methods of tillage to a complete no-till system was not easy. Steve studied and experimented along with his grandfather to find methods that worked on the farm that only averages 14 inches of moisture a year. It didn’t take long to see that no-till farming practices were going to help increase efficiency, soil quality, reduce erosion and increase the bottom line.

  1. Aaron Weaver & Raymond Yoder Jr.: Strategies for Organic Vegetable Production

1 hour, 1 minute (22.2 MB)

In this session, the pair will cover a broad array of strategies for building a thriving produce operation, including building a healthy soil, integrating cover crops and crop rotation, managing plant health early in the season for optimal fruit set and yield, controlling diseases and insects with nutritional sprays, using bio-pesticides and more.

Aaron Weaver Aaron Weaver and his wife Ella live on a 2.5-acre property in Wayne County, Ohio, with their children. Aaron is the Field Coordinator for Green Field Farms, working with farmers to grow quality, nutrient-dense produce, and helping them with disease and pest control.

Raymond Yoder Jr. owns 50 acres in the Nebo Valley area of Wayne County with his wife Ruth and two children, Eva and David. They grow 20 acres of organic vegetables and have 300 blueberry bushes. They also operate an organic state-licensed processing facility for raw sauerkraut.

  1. Wayne Wengerd: A Case Study in Cooperation

59 minutes (21.3 MB)

In 2003, a group of 20 Amish farmers and business owners from Holms County, Ohio, assembled to address their concerns over the significant loss of farming as a viable livelihood within their communities. What came from this meeting was a thoughtful, research-based plan to create a cooperative that connected their farming community with consumers willing to pay a premium for quality farm-grown food. Today, Green Field Farms Co-Operative serves as a model for success for all farm communities. In this session, Green Field Farms Co-op board member, Wayne Wengerd, will share this inspiring story and outline the keys for co-op success.

Wayne Wengerd was one of the founders of Green Field Farms – a cooperative of organic farmers that started in 2003 in the Holmes County, Ohio Amish community. Wayne served on the Board of Directors for 14 years. Wayne Wengerd is also the founder of Pioneer Equipment Inc. – a company that manufactures horse drawn farm machinery in northeast Ohio.

  1. Dr. Nasha Winters: Restoring Our Rhythms: Strategies for Thriving in Modern Times

56 minutes (20.3 MB)

Studies show that paying attention to our circadian rhythms is critical to treatment and prevention of disease. Reconnecting with this rhythm allows one to better take cues from the external environment. Dr. Nasha Winters brings her 25-plus years of experience in the Integrative Oncology world to bridge the gap between research and the reality. The intention of this presentation is to take a deep dive into circadian rhythm biology and help folks find their way back to a more balanced way of being on the planet today. Participants will gain clarity in how to assess their own circadian rhythm and understand the importance of taking steps required to prevent further imbalance in their circadian rhythm biology.

Dr. Nasha Winters ND, FABNO, L.Ac, Dipl.OM is the visionary and CEO as well as best-selling author, lecturer, and the primary consultant of Optimal TerrainTM. Passionate about nourishing, quality food and its implications in healing or poisoning the body while targeting many of the processes that drive cancer and chronic illness, Dr. Nasha Winters, along with her co-author Jess Higgins Kelley, MNT authored the book, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer as it serves as the foundation in which Optimal Terrain approaches each and every client.

  1. Gary Zimmer: Biofarming, Beyond the Basics

1 hour, 0 minutes (21.8 MB)

What makes soil truly healthy? And keep in mind that healthy does not necessarily mean healthy, high-yielding, profitable crops. There are a lot of healthy dairy cows on farms that don’t produce much milk. The principles of Biological Farming include the management of the biological, physical and chemical (nutrients) properties in the soil. The standard rules to soil health are good, but don’t include the whole story. In today’s world many farmers, consultants and researchers understand there are 20-plus minerals needed to grow a good crop. They also understand they need to be exchangeable, which requires biology and plants. They recognize the need to create an ideal home for the soil life and feed them — it’s all about diversity and balance. They also know they need to take care of the crop, making sure it is well fed and able to withstand stresses. This session will dig into the rest of the biological farming story beyond basic soil health.

Gary Zimmer is is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He owns Otter Creek Organic Farm, a family-operated, award-winning 1,000 acre farm near Lone Rock, Wisconsin, and has been on the board of Taliesin Preservation Inc. since 2011. 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.

  1. Leilani Zimmer Durand: Building Your Microbe Bridge

53 minutes (19.1 MB)

Microbes are essential for bridging the gap between minerals in the soil and available nutrients taken in by plant roots. The soil may be abundant in minerals, but that doesn’t mean your plants can get to those needed nutrients without some help. In this session, Leilani Zimmer Durand will talk about some of the key functions microbes perform in making soil minerals available for plants, and what you as a farmer can do to support the microbial diversity and balance most beneficial for your crops.

Leilani Zimmer Durand is Vice President of Education Initiatives at Midwestern BioAg where she heads the training and education programs and works closely with the R&D team. Since joining the company in 2006, Leilani has authored numerous articles and a biological farming book with her father, Gary Zimmer, and speaks both nationally and internationally on the connection between healthy soils and healthy, high-yielding crops.

 

Free Podcast

Humusphere: A New Book Release from Acres U.S.A.

In this breakthrough work — now available in English for the first time — the independent German-Norwegian explorer of soil life, graduate permaculture designer and graduate engineer Herwig Pommeresche shares his lifetime of research into humus.

#7488 • Copyright 2018 • Softcover • 264 pages