Ray Archuleta

Agroecologist, founding partner of Understanding Ag

Ray Archuleta is a certified professional soil scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years of experience as a soil conservationist, water quality specialist, and conservation agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. During his tenure with the NRCS, Ray served in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina. Archuleta received his associates degree in livestock science from Northern New Mexico College and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural biology plus 30 hours of graduate work in soil-related courses from New Mexico State University. He served in the Peace Corps for two years in Guatemala as a livestock specialist. After his retirement from the NRCS in 2017, Archuleta founded Understanding Ag, LLC, and Soil Health Academy, LLC, to teach biomimicry strategies and Agroecology principles for improving soil function on a national scale. Archuleta also owns and operates a 150-acre farm near Seymour, Missouri, that he operates along with his wife and family.

2020 presentations:

“How can I transition my farm to regenerative agriculture? Without the right WHY-you can’t do the HOW!”

“You have a great strategy to heal the farm- but poor logistics!”

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin

President-CEO of Regenerative Agriculture Alliance

Marroquin 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, Marroquin works on system-level strategies designed for global application, currently, his work covers communities in the U.S., British Columbia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. A native Guatemalan, Marroquin 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. Marroquin currently lives in Northfield, Minnesota, with his wife Amy and their kids William, Ana Nicktae, and Lars Decarlo.

2020 presentation:

“ Chickens, Climate, and Community” – This session will cover large-scale system-level planning, mid-level industry opportunities, and farm-level nuts and bolts of regenerative poultry as a powerful sector that can deliver high-impact short and long-term results with a triple bottom line strategy.

Lance Gunderson

Regen Ag Lab – president and co-owner

Gunderson attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney earning his bachelor’s in biology and chemistry in 2005 and his master’s 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. 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, Gunderson 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 in 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.

2020 presentations:

“What can soil health tests tell us?” Learn the theory of many different soil health tests such as PLFA, Haney, soil enzymes, aggregate stability, and water holding capacity. In understanding what each test measures, we will begin to understand how to choose the correct test based on the primary resource concern.

“The Haney Test: from Theory to Practice” Understanding the results provided by the Haney Test may seem overwhelming, but there is meaning behind the numbers. The goal of this presentation is to provide you with the tools and understanding of how to walk through your own results.

 

Adam Chappell

Chappell Brothers Farm LLC

Adam Chappell is a fourth-generation farmer in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, farming around 9,000 acres of cotton, corn, soybeans, with his brother, Seth Chappell. Adam earned a bachelor’s in botany from Arkansas State and a master’s. in entomology from the University of Arkansas. During this time, he developed an interest in research and ecological principles that led him to question the conventional methods of farming. Looking for a way to cut costs through cultural means, along with the need to control herbicide-resistant weeds, such as palmer amaranth, led to experimenting with cover crops and a passion for soil health. 

2020 presentation:

“Profitability: An Inevitable Result of Regenerative Ag”A discussion on how our transition from a conventional to a regenerative system has made our farm profitable by reducing the needs for technologies and inputs that we once deemed a necessity.

 

Brandon Schlautman, PhD

The Land Institute

Brandon Schlautman is the lead scientist of the perennial legumes program at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. His team is conducting agronomic studies to design dual-purpose intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) + perennial legume (alfalfa) mixtures that produce both Kernza perennial grain for human consumption and IWG + legume forage for livestock. Additionally, he leads a breeding program to develop perennial forage legumes for companion cropping and a domestication program to develop new perennial grain legume crops.

2020 presentation:

“Is the future of agriculture perennial?” – Could the natural agro-ecosystems from our past be the key to solving the cropland problems of our present?

 

Dale Strickler

Agronomist for Green Cover Seed

Dale Strickler is the author of “Managing Pasture and The Drought-Resilient Farm.” He is a leader in the soil health movement and an agronomist for Green Cover Seed, the nation’s leading cover crop-specific seed company. Strickler holds degrees in agronomy from Kansas State University and has taught at the collegiate level for 15 years.  Since 2000, Strickler has operated his own farm/ranch in north central Kansas.

2020 presentation:

“More carbon, more money” Learn techniques that improve profitability while simultaneously increasing soil carbon.

Darin Williams

Natural Ag Solutions, LLC.

Darin and Nancy Williams own an operate D&N Ag Farms in Waverly, Kansas. They farm 2,000 acres of diverse cash crops that consist of non-GMO soybeans, wheat, rye, barley, triticale, sunflowers, and corn. They raise grass-fed and finished beef with their herd of British White cattle. Layers, broilers, and turkeys are also in the mix of grass-finished products. Diversity in the crops and livestock is what the Williams think helps keep the biology in the soil alive and rejuvenated. Two years ago, Darin and his dad started Natural Ag Solution LLC in Moran, Kansas, to help supply cover crop seed. The company is also a non-GMO seed supplier and makes custom wildlife blends. Teaching customers and helping them understand regenerative ag principals comes first. Selling them seed comes second. Whether it is cash crops, livestock, or deer plots, organic matter is the key to profitability.

2020 presentation:

“Regenerating Degraded Soils With Cover Crops and Livestock” – Livestock are so important. Attend this presentation to learn how to add them to your system.

Gail Fuller

Fuller Farms

Fuller has been experimenting with no-till in Kansas since the mid-1980s and has been 100% since 1995. The further he gets into his journey, the more regenerating soil health has become his main focus. When Fuller 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.

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.

2020 presentations:

“Chickens, Climate, and Community: How does this relate in Kansas?” – 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.

“The key to no-till is cover crops and the key to cover crops is livestock” – The way to grow soil is through biodiversity, both above and below ground

Kevin Fulton

Fulton Farms

Fulton 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. Fulton has presented at events from New York City to Los Angeles, educating consumers, farmers, advocacy groups, university students and faculty.

2020 presentation:

“Regenerative Agriculture: Revitalizing Rural Communities and Family Farm Agriculture” – This presentation will address problems and outline strategies and solutions for farmers and rural advocates in an effort to revitalize family farms and rural communities.

Liz Haney, Ph.D.

Soil Regen

Haney’s passion is working with the people that spend their lives 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, she started her own consulting company focusing on regeneration, reclamation, and restoration of land using the principles of soil health. Haney and her husband are responsible for developing the Haney Test as a more holistic way of measuring the soil ecosystem. Haney has extensive knowledge of soil testing and interpretation of data as it relates to management and environmental conditions. She also has experience in systems modeling using various data input platforms aimed at understanding nitrogen fertility, soil calibration, water quality, and climate predictions.

2020 presentation:

“Women in Regenerative Agriculture” Panel Discussion – Women, who are often considered the backbone of agricultural operations, are stepping up to the forefront of regenerative agriculture. Hear from women leaders in regenerative agriculture about their experiences and journeys.

Macauley Kincaid

Kincaid Farms

Macauley Kincaid is a 25-year-old regenerative farmer. His operation consists of 500 acres of row crops and pasture. Kincaid embraces all the soil health principles on his operation. He truly believes self-education and dedication are important to making a farm function accordingly and profitably. Kincaid’s motto is “It’s not about what you make, it’s about what you save.”

2020 presentation:

“Soil Health Producer Panel”

This session will take place in Lance Gunderson’s Day 2 presentation.

Mitchell Hora

Founder and CEO Continuum Ag

Hora is a young entrepreneur and seventh-generation farmer from southeast Iowa. With his father, he deploys regenerative systems on 800 acres of corn and soybeans. Horal started Continuum Ag four years ago and has amassed a footprint of 40 states and 8 countries.

2020 presentation:

“Quantifying the Living. Dynamic. Continuum.” – Stop treating your soil like dirt and stop quantifying it as a dead, static growing medium. The soil is alive and technology is available to help us work with our soil as a Living. Dynamic. Continuum. Learn about quantifying soil health, the Haney Soil Health test, making money with soil health, and the future of sustainable agriculture.

Rick Haney, Ph.D.

Soil Scientist – U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service

Rick Haney received his master’s and a doctorate in soil fertility, chemistry and 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 carbon and nitrogen fractions in nutrient cycling and biophysical alteration of soil as well as a new soil extractant that mimics a growing plant root.

2020 presentation:

“Soil Testing for the 21st Century” Researcher Rick Haney preaches the benefits of healthy soils. His message is simple: Although the U.S. 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.

 

Shawn Tiffany

Tiffany Cattle Co.

Shawn Tiffany co-owns Tiffany Cattle Company in Herington, Kansas, with his brother Shane. Tiffany Cattle Company operates custom cattle finishing facilities in Morris and McPherson counties with a combined capacity of 32,000 head. The business has earned the Certified Angus Beef Feedlot Commitment to Excellence Award and focuses on feeding front end genetics for producers throughout the Midwest. Shawn manages the business’s farmland which includes a regenerative no-till and cover crop strategy on which customer cattle are grazed and feedstuffs for the feedlot are raised. TCC typically has cattle in grazing systems 10 months of the year and produces all of the business’s silage needs. Soil health is a big part of the operation’s focus and cover crops and grazing plays an integral role in that philosophy.

2020 presentation:

“Soil Health as a Driver of Profitability & Flexibility” – Discussion of different philosophies including the integration of livestock, use of biological foliar feeding in place of synthetic inputs, and using covers as a self-insured concept.

 

Tom Cannon

Goodson Ranch

Cannon cut short his Oklahoma State University education due to his father’s debilitating pickup wreck in 1997. He came back to the farm to discover his soil was at 1% organic matter. Cannon 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% organic matter. He has since received numerous conservation awards but telling others about his farm’s transformation is his focus. Sharing his successes and failures on regenerative ag through public speaking engagements and the personal relations gleaned at these engagements are an increasing priority. Soil and the soil’s biological relationships are foundational to the success of the Goodson Ranch.

2020 presentation:

“Is your farming operation going extinct?” – How to keep production ag from becoming a dinosaur. With so many changes in the farming atmosphere, this presentation will discuss ways not to get left behind.

Trisha Jackson, PhD

Lead scientist and co-owner of Hometree Gardens LLC

Hailing from central Kansas, 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.

2020 presentation:

“How Healthy Soils Grow Resiliency of People and Places” – From the ground up, healthy soils contribute to clean water and air. This talk will touch on the science of healthy soil, expressions of resilience from sustainability science, and provide several case studies illustrating how healthy soils make dramatic impacts on all these systems. One case study will include Dr. Jackson’s most recent research on integrating biochar into agricultural systems and the realized and potential impacts on soil health, agricultural economics, and rural communities.

Linda Pechin-Long

Graze The Prairie

After more than 25 years as a chef,  Long joined her husband, Keith, in the grass-fed beef business. They created Graze The Prairie in 2012 and started direct marketing in 2013. They are stewards of the land and work in concert with nature mimicking the way the prairie evolved. Linda is a Holistic Management International certified practitioner and recognized by HMI as an outstanding Holistic Management Demonstration Site. She’s also on track to become an HMI certified educator.

2020 presentation:

“Women in Regenerative Agriculture” Panel Discussion – Women, who are often considered the backbone of agricultural operations, are stepping up to the forefront of regenerative agriculture. Hear from women leaders in regenerative agriculture about their experiences and journeys.

Lucinda Stuenkel

Sunny Day Farms

“Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” Lucinda Hardesty Stuenkel grew up on a dairy farm where her responsibilities were the bulls,  replacement heifers, and the show cattle. After college, she became a college professor but gave that up when she married a farmer. Nine years ago, Lucinda’s farmer husband and farm partner brother-in-law were killed in an accident. With women and children running the operation, some things needed to be done differently. Through trial and error, Lucinda has learned these labor-saving techniques for managing a cow/calf herd and a grass-fed/grass-finished beef herd. She has adopted ways to accomplish the same tasks without having to lift and carry everything.

2020 presentation:

“Weed or Forage: what is it to your livestock?”

Michael Thompson

Thompson Farm & Ranch

Michael, Brian, and Richard Thompson farm in Furnas County, Nebraska, and Norton County, Kansas. They have been no-till since 2000 and integrated cover crops and grazing cattle on cropland in 2009. The addition of livestock has helped improve the soil on their farms. The cover crops provide a diverse feed for their cow/calf operation.  Cover crops have been used to replace 100 percent of summer fallow. Rotational grazing is used to maintain as much groundcover and limit compaction as much as possible. The focus on grazing, cover crops and keeping growing crops on farmland have helped to grow organic matter to 3 percent and keep chemical-resistant weeds at bay.

2020 presentation:

“Why is Soil Health Important?”– This presentation will cover how we use no-till, cover crops, and grazing cattle on farmland to build healthy carbon-rich soil.

Brian Alexander

Brian Alexander

Alexander Ranch

Alexander Ranch, located in Barber County, Kansas, aims to manage all integrated resources in order to maximize the production of protein, shape a harmonious existence with nature and maintain economic viability. Brian, son of Ted Alexander, returned to the ranch in 2006 and manages the day-to-day operation.  Brian is a grazing engineer; he solves land problems with livestock. They operate a 7,000-acre cattle ranch in south central Kansas using a managed intensive grazing system.

2020 presentation:

“Pastures Need soil health too” – I’ll be talking about the 35+ year holistic Journey of the Alexander Ranch. I live in a unique landscape and I’m using forward-thinking adaptive management, leveraging new technology, to bring Range Management to a new level.

Russell Hedrick

JRH Grain Farms LLC

Russell Hedrick is a first-generation farmer that has a dedication to growing some of the finest grain and livestock in his region of the southeast. After forming JRH Grain Farms, his exceptional use of new technologies and cover crops led him to be awarded the North Carolina Innovative Young Farmer of the Year by the North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in 2014. Hedrick has been a featured producer in Farm Press magazine “National No-till Farmer” for maximizing his cover crop benefits, the integration of cattle onto covers and for using the Haney test to reduce fertilizer inputs on cash crops. Through hard work, his operation has grown to almost 1,000 acres. Hedrick’s operation focuses on maximizing profits and direct consumer marketing for all their products, including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, pastured beef, and pork. He has also partnered with Foothills Distillery to produce the first bourbon in North Carolina since prohibition. Hedrick enjoys time on the farm with his daughter Emmalynn Hedrick, teaching the next generation about regenerative agriculture and the value of hard work.

2020 presentation:

“Systems Approach to Soil Health” – This program will cover the multiple benefits of adopting soil health practices, how to maximize their benefits and reduce the inputs needed to increase your farm’s profitability.

Jake Bevan

Agronomist

Bevan is an agronomist and regenerative farmer and rancher in south-central Kansas. As an independent crop consultant and Certified Crop Advisor, he has consulted with producers for the past seven years while delving into regenerative agriculture for the past three. During this time, Bevan’s goal has been to provide agronomic advice to benefit producers to every possible extent, while considering the environmental impact of our practices. Currently, Bevan works with Indigo Ag as an agronomist serving producers in the High Plains. He aims to help growers expand their business and increase profitability beyond a single season by providing year-round partnership, agronomic advice, and the support to optimize regenerative systems. Bevan’s work and love of the outdoors motivates him to continue to learn, seek, and grow while preserving natural resources along the way.

2020 presentation:

“Regenerative Agronomy Panel Discussion”

Andrew Lyon

Kansas Department of Health and Environment – WRAPS

Andrew Lyon is the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Technical Unit program manager based out of KDHE. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural technology management from Kansas State University. His secondary major was in natural resource and environmental science and his minor was in agronomy. He also earned a master’s from Oklahoma State University in environmental science with an emphasis in watershed management and best management practice effectiveness. He ranches with his father and brother east of Emporia.

2020 presentation:

”KS WRAPS – Soil Health Implementation Update” – This short presentation will update the attendees on KS WRAPS water quality program and innovative soil health opportunities being used in Kansas to improve water quality.

Jessica Gnad

Soil Health Content Consultant – High Plains Journal 

Gnad’s path in soil health started with a curiosity about healthy food options in rural communities more than a decade ago. It was while she was living in Pratt, Kansas, and starting her family with her husband that Gnad worked to form a farmer’s market, a local food coop, and a Regenerative Ag School Garden with support from General Mills. She served as an executive board member for Kansas State Research and Extension, and as a healthy food/farm consultant with Pratt Regional Medical Center’s Health Coalition. She counts her background as a row crop farmer and an avid gardener growing fruits and vegetables as her foundation for her passion for regenerative agriculture. She and her husband owned and operated Crop Vision Consulting, an independent crop consulting agency servicing 20,000 acres in south-central Kansas. Today, they live in Manhattan, Kansas, with their three children. Jessica recently joined the HPJ team as the Soil Health U content consultant.