2020 Speakers

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin

President/CEO Regenerative Agriculture Alliance

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin began working on economic development projects with indigenous Guatemalan communities in 1988. He served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and as an advisor to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. He was a founding member of the Fair-Trade Federation in 1994.

Regi served as Director of the Fair-Trade Program for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy from 1995 to 1998, and led the creation, strategic positioning, start-up and launch of Peace Coffee, a Minnesota-based fair-trade coffee company.

Before coming to the U.S. in 1992, Regi worked with artisan communities across the highlands of Guatemala, connecting their small enterprises with fair trade networks in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. He settled in Minnesota, co-founded a number of fair-trade organizing initiatives and became a key organizer of US fair trade efforts. Regi worked with woodland owners in the Midwest and traveled back to Guatemala where he supported the organization of several Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified cooperative businesses.

Haslett-Marroquin was named one of the Twin Cities International Citizens of the Year in 1996. In 2008 he received both the Northfield and College City Sertoma Service to Mankind Award, as well as their district award. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Resource Center of the Americas, North Country Development Fund (currently Shared Capital Cooperative), the Northfield Area Foundation and the Northfield Area YMCA. He is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Northfield, a board member with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, owner-founder of Regeneration Farms LLC, and Founder and President of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance. Regi was awarded a prestigious lifetime Ashoka Fellowship in 2018 for his work in Regenerative Poultry Systems.

Regi’s has pioneered innovations in a Regenerative Poultry System that is at the center of a multitude of national and international initiatives. This system is designed to be uniquely aligned with the social, economic and ecological conditions of small farms and marginalized communities and is designed for large-scale and global impact. At the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, Regi works on system-level strategies designed for global application, currently, his work covers communities in the US (Northfield, MN, Omaha, Mead and Winnebago NE, Pine Ridge SD), Hazelton British Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

A native Guatemalan, Regi received his agronomy degree from the Central National School of Agriculture, studied at the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala and graduated from Augsburg University in Minneapolis with a major in international business administration and a minor in communications. Regi currently lives in Northfield Minnesota with his wife Amy and their kids William, Ana Nicktae, and Lars Decarlo.

Most recently, Regi authored a book titled “In the Shadow of Green Man”, My Journey from Poverty and Hunger to Food Security and Hope. It can be ordered from the publisher acresusa.org, Amazon and numerous other book sellers.

 

Ray Archuleta

Agroecologist, Founding Partner of Understanding Ag

Ray Archuleta is a farmer from Seymour, MO. He teaches Biomimicry Strategies and Agroecology principles on a national scale for improving soil function. He has over 30 years of work experience has a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He worked in the following states: New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina. He is also a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with Soil Science Society of America. He also served two years in Guatemala as a Livestock Specialist in the Peace Corps. He received A.S. in Livestock Science from Northern New Mexico College and a B.S. in Agricultural Biology plus 30 hours of graduate school in soil-related classes from New Mexico State University.

 

Lance Gunderson

President Regen Ag Lab

Lance attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney earning his Bachelors in biology/chemistry in 2005 and his Masters in biology in 2012. He is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln seeking a Doctoral degree in agronomy with an interest in soil microbial ecology and soil health.

Lance Gunderson served as the Director of Soil Health and New Test Development at Ward Laboratories for nearly eight years where he and his team implemented and performed Haney, PLFA, soil enzymes, aggregate stability and water holding capacity tests. In 2018, Lance also started Soil Health Innovations, which offers the SR-1 instrument for measuring soil respiration and consulting services surrounding the Haney Test. He is a founding member and President of Regen Ag Lab, which he hopes will be open for business in early 2020. Regen Ag Lab will continue to focus on agronomic tests designed to aid producers managing their operations under the regenerative ag model. We will offer many of the established tests as well as explore new testing options as they are developed.

 

Gail Fuller

Fuller Farms

Gail has been experimenting with no-till since the mid-1980’s and has been 100% since 1995. The further he gets into his journey, the more regenerating soil health has become his main focus. “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself” (FDR) is one of his favorite quotes and one he lives by!

Gail thinks the way to grow soil is through biodiversity. He believes diversity, both above and below ground, are key to growing healthy soil. Besides annual cover crops he uses companion crops and perennial cover crops. When it comes to livestock, again, diversity is key. He uses cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks to graze his covers utilizing intensive rotational or “mob” grazing. “The key to no-till is cover, and the key to covers is livestock.”

When Gail started looking into what it would mean for his family farm to be ecologically regenerative, he found himself learning the science behind soil life, photosynthesis, and the carbon, mineral and water cycles. He also started finding direct correlations between the health of the soil and his own health. His exploration led him to organize an annual “Field School” that draws speakers and guests from around the world to share the latest knowledge on regenerative agricultural practices.

For Gail, Regenerative Agriculture is not just regenerating soil, but the (re)growing of communities. This includes human, wildlife, and microbial communities. Helping to make them stronger and more resilient.

 

Kevin Fulton

Fulton Farms

Kevin operates Fulton Farms, a holistically managed organic farming operation near Litchfield Nebraska. This diversified farm includes a pasture based multi-species livestock operation along with hay, grains, cover crops and custom grazing enterprises. Fulton Farms has drawn visitors from around the world and has been featured in numerous publications, books and documentaries. Kevin has presented at events from New York City to Los Angeles, educating consumers, farmers, advocacy groups, and university students and faculty.

In 2014, Kevin and his children received the Farm Family of the Year Award from the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society.
 

Liz Haney, Ph.D.

Soil Regen

My passion is working with the people that spend their living caring for our soil and helping them to achieve profitability and resilience.

After almost 20 years of service with the State of Texas and private labs, I started my own consulting company, where I focus on regeneration, reclamation, and restoration of land using the principles of soil health. Me and my husband are responsible for developing the Haney Test as a more holistic way of measuring the soil ecosystem. I have extensive knowledge in soil testing and interpretation of data as it relates to management and environmental conditions.

I also have experience in systems modeling using various data input platforms aimed at understanding nitrogen fertility, soil calibration, water quality and climate predictions.
 

Mitchell Hora

Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag

Mitchell founded Continuum Ag, where he has developed a global network and expertise in soil health assessment and improvement.

Mitchell Hora, a no-tiller, soil health consultant and CEO of Continuum Ag, will in his general session outline specific processes and data that can be used by no-tillers to both quantify and improve soil health on their operations. In his classroom, Hora will show attendees how they can take what they’ve learned from the Haney soil health test and make adjustments to their management to improve soil resiliency and function. He’ll also provide an overview of emerging credit markets for sequestered carbon and what opportunities may exist with carbon credits in the future for no-tillers.

Mitchell is a young entrepreneur and 7th generation farmer from Southeast Iowa. With his father, he deploys regenerative systems on 800ac of corn and soybeans. Mitchell started Continuum Ag 4 years ago and has amassed a footprint of 40 states and 8 countries.

 

Rick Haney, Ph.D.

Soil Scientist – USDA-ARS

Researcher Rick Haney travels the U.S. preaching the benefits of healthy soils. His message is simple: Although the United States has some of the richest soils in the world, decades of agricultural abuse have taken their toll, depleting the dirt of essential nutrients and killing off bacteria and fungi that create organic material essential to plants. “Our mindset nowadays is that if you don’t put down fertilizer, nothing grows,” says Haney, who has developed a well-known method for testing soil health. “But that’s just not true, and it never has been.”

The Haney test uses unique soil extracts in the lab to determine what quantity of soil nutrients are available to soil microbes. This test also evaluates soil health indicators such as soil respiration (Solvita CO2 burst test), water-soluble organic carbon and organic nitrogen and their ratio. These results indicate the amount of food that is readily available to soil microbes and is sensitive to measuring root exudates and decomposed organic material. These numbers should be used as a comparison over time to determine progress in improving soil health.

Dr. Rick Haney received his master’s and PhD in Soil Fertility/Chemistry/Microbial Ecology from Texas A&M University in 2001. He has worked as a research scientist for the past 17 years as a Research Soil Scientist for the USDA-ARS, at the Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, Texas. He is responsible for developing research on soil microbial activity, soil testing methodologies, and cropping systems for organic and conventional farming. This research includes the development of soil test methods for evaluation of short-term soil microbial activity as a tool for assessing the nutritive potential of various land management systems and the characterization of the role of various soil organic C and N fractions (i.e., microbial biomass, and mineralizable C, N and P) in nutrient cycling and biophysical alteration of soil as well as a new soil extractant that mimics a growing plant root. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Haney was employed as an apartment manager, had a furniture upholstery business and also worked as a part-time farmer in western Oklahoma. He is married with two daughters ages 6 and 10.

 

Tom Cannon

Goodson Ranch

Born March 6, 1968, in Blackwell, Oklahoma, the fourth generation of Goodson Ranch pioneer farmer/ranchers. Tom Cannon became unable to complete his Oklahoma State University education due to his father’s debilitating pickup wreck in 1997. He was later awarded the Oklahoma Governor’s Conservation award, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Stewardship award, NRCS Cooperator of the year for Oklahoma, Quail & Pheasants forever conservation award, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship awards.

Finding the soil at 1% OM, Tom attended his first No Till on the Plains in January, 1998, a life-changing experience. The new Goodson Ranch CEO sold all tillage equipment and converted to 100% no-till – and now, among other radical experiences, he finds his soil testing at over 3% OM.

Sharing his successes and failures on Regenerative Ag though public speaking engagements and the personal relations gleamed at these engagements are an increasing priority. Relationships with God, family, and friends tops his list of priorities. Soil and the soils biological relationships are foundational to the success of the Goodson Ranch.

Tom says, “I have a passion for our creation and an even greater passion for the Creator. Responsibility for good stewardship tops my list of occupational duties.”

 

Trisha Jackson, PhD

Lead Scientist & Co-Owner of Hometree Gardens, LLC

Hailing from central Kansas, Dr. Jackson learned from experience to value prairies and rural community. Her educational and personal adventures took her around the world, where she admired diverse cultures, foods, and landscapes.

Through her graduate studies in climatology and soil science, she came to understand the importance of soil health and decentralized food systems to create truly resilient rural communities brimming with healthy, delicious food. Today she teaches science at Pratt Community College and is the Lead Scientist at Hometree Gardens, LLC her family’s farm venture where rich, fertile soil is the number one crop.