2015 Trainers

Greg Judy – Holistic Management & Grazing, Feb 3-5 2015

Greg Judy Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1400 acres of leased land that is made up from 11 farms. Greg and Jan went from near bankruptcy in 1999 to paying off a 200 acre farm and house in 3 years with custom grazing on leased land and are completely debt free. Holistic High Density Planned Grazing is used to graze cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, horses, and stockers. They have also started direct marketing grass-fed beef, lamb and pork.

Greg is absolutely convinced that there is no better way to get into the grazing business then to lease some fallow land, employ high density grazing and use other people’s livestock to do it. Since switching from Management Intensive Grazing to Holistic High Density Grazing 3 years ago, the results have been breathtaking. The Judy’s use no lime, no fertilizer, no seeding, no chemicals, no equipment. The Judy’s focus solely on increasing animal density, trampling plants to form the litter bank, animal performance and long grass recovery periods between grazing. Plant diversity has exploded along with increased grass quantity each successive year combined with increased profit.

Greg has written several books about starting financially profitable soil-building ranching operations including “NO RISK RANCHING, Custom Grazing On Leased Land” and “COMEBACK FARMS, Rejuvenating Soils, Pastures and Profits with Livestock Grazing Management.” Greg has traveled the United States teaching the benefits of Holistic High Density Planned Grazing, multi-species grazing, custom grazing and wildlife management. Greg does consultant work for other people interested in setting up HHDG grazing systems.

Abe Collins – Keyline Farming, Feb 6-8 2015

Abe Collins is a Vermont-based grazier, educator and consultant who works for topsoil formation and farmer leadership in achieving grassland productivity and environmental security. Abe has milked cows, herded sheep, and finished beef cattle.

Abe’s company Collins Grazing focuses on new topsoil outcomes for producers and communities via farm design and construction, environmental monitoring and accelerated gains in soil health, grass health and livestock gains.

Abe is the co-founder and a board member of the Soil Carbon Coalition, a board member of the Grassfed Exchange, and the Chair of the Soil and Water Task Force of the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative. He has helped clients on ranches and farms in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia to grow more and better grasslands, improve topsoil health, design scientific research initiatives, design and build farm infrastructure and deploy simple and advanced soil and environmental monitoring technologies.

Eric Toensmeier – Carbon Farming Intensive: Science, Crops, & Enterprises, Feb 10-14 2015

Eric ToensmeierEric Toensmeier is an appointed lecturer at Yale University, and an international trainer, presenting in English and Spanish in the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. He is the award-winning author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables, and the co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. Eric is currently writing Carbon Farming: a Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices. He has studied permaculture and useful plants of the world for over two decades. Eric managed an urban farm project for five years, ran a seed company, and co-developed a farm business training curriculum that is now used in eight US states and three Canadian provinces.

Dr. Elaine Ingham – Living Soils, Feb 17-19 2015

Dr. Elaine Ingham

Dr. Elaine Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who continues to study the microbial life of the soil, which in large part explains why organic “works.”   Elaine founded Soil Foodweb, Inc. in 1996, helping farmers all over the world to grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving their soil life. She is also an affiliate professor at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and has served in academia for three decades.

Elaine started her academic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN graduating in 1974 with a double major, cum laude, in Biology and Chemistry. Elaine earned her Master of Science in Microbiology in 1977 at Texas A & M University and her doctorate degree in soil microbiology from Colorado State University in 1981, after which she worked as a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1985, Elaine accepted a Research Associate Fellowship at the University of Georgia. In 1986, Elaine joined the faculty at Oregon State University, with a split appointment in Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology, until 2001, when her work with Soil Foodweb Inc. required her to focus on the world-wide network that was developing.  Between January, 2011 and October of 2013, Dr. Ingham served as Chief Scientist at the Rodale Institute, but currently has returned to Soil Foodweb Inc. and is focusing on research, consulting and communicating information about functions and processes performed by soil life.

Mark Shepard – Restoration Agriculture, Feb 18-20 2015 

Mark Shepard Headshot

Mark Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural forest considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States. New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment is powered with locally produced biofuels that are not taken from the human food chain.

Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production. Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison, the founder of the international Permaculture movement.

Mark is founder and board President for Restoration Agriculture Institute and serves on the board of the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide. Mark is a farmer member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the worlds largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, and is the founder and chief Cydermaker for the Shepard’s Hard Cyder winery in Viola, Wisconsin.

Additional Past Trainers

Dr. Ann Adams – Holistic Management, 2012

Dr. Ann AdamsDr. Ann Adams has designed and implemented training programs for both trainers and practitioners, including a USDA-funded, three-year $800,000 training program for beginning farmers. She regularly teaches classes (onsite and distance learning) and offers consulting in Holistic Management for family farms and ranches with a particular focus on goalsetting facilitation and financial planning. Trained as a mediator for the Albuquerque Metropolitan Court System, Ann also has experience with other conflict resolution processes that she brings to her facilitations. Ann received her B.S. Ed. in English from Ohio University, and a PhD. in American Literature from Indiana University. She has also been a Holistic Management Certified Educator since 1998 and has written countless articles, helped develop agriculture-based software for financial and grazing planning, and written a training handbook, At Home with Holistic Management: Creating a Life of Meaning, published in 1999. She owns a small farm in the Manzano Mountains, southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico where she raises goats and chickens.

Darren Doherty – Keyline Farming, 2012

Darren DohertyDarren J. Doherty has had extensive experience across the planet in permaculture project design, development & management, with a focus on retrofitting broad-acre agricultural systems, and has been acclaimed as a pioneer in this important & often overlooked field.  He is a qualified Whole Farm Planner (University of Melbourne), an Approved Keyline Designer, & Accredited Permaculture Trainer (APT).

Dr. Wes Jackson – Perennial Agriculture, 2012

Dr. Wes JacksonDr. Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute, was born in 1936 on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. After attending Kansas Wesleyan University (B.A Biology, 1958), he studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and later established the Environmental Studies department at California State University – Sacramento.  He resigned that position in 1976 to found The Land Institute.

Dr. Jackson’s writings include both papers and books. His most recent work, Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture, was published by Counterpoint Press in 2010.Becoming Native to This Place(1994), sketches his vision for the resettlement of America’s rural communities. New Roots for Agriculture (1980) outlines the basis for the agricultural research at The Land Institute.

The work of The Land Institute has been featured extensively in the popular media including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, National Geographic, Time Magazine, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” In the November 2005 issue, Smithsonian named him one of “35 Who Made a Difference” and in March 2009 Wes was included in Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”  Dr. Jackson is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), the Right Livelihood Award (Stockholm, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, 2000), and the Louis Bromfield Award (2010). He has received four honorary doctorates and in 2007 received the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Award.

Dave Jacke – Perennial Agriculture, 2012

Dave JackeDave Jacke has been a student of ecology and design since the 1970s, and has run his own ecological design firm—Dynamics Ecological Design—since 1984. Dave is an engaging and passionate teacher of ecological design and permaculture, and a meticulous designer. He has consulted on, designed, built, and planted landscapes, homes, farms, and communities in the many parts of the United States, as well as overseas, but mainly in the Northeast.  A cofounder of the Land Trust at Gap Mountain in Jaffrey, NH, he homesteaded there for many years. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Simon’s Rock College (1980) and a M.A. in Landscape Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design (1984).  Dave is the primary author of the award-winning, two-volume ecological design text Edible Forest Gardens and is currently co-authoring his second book, Coppice Agroforestry.


Jason Aramburu – Biochar Colloquium, 2012

Jason AramburuJason Aramburu is founder and president of Re:Char, an eco-social biochar enterprise.  Re:Char empowers subsistence farmers in the developing world to enhance their crop yields and supplement their income while trapping atmospheric carbon and enriching depleted soils.  Jason graduated from Princeton University with a degree cum laude in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a certificate in Environmental Studies. He has extensive research experience in both the lab and field, having spent significant time studying and working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama and at Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative.  Named a 2009 Social Innovation fellow by Pop!Tech and a 2010 Echoing Green fellow, Jason believes climate change and rural poverty are the two greatest global challenges and is excited to take part in solving them.

Joel Salatin – Local Food Systems, 2012

Joel SalatinJoel Salatin, 53, is a farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full time in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas. The farm services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing.

The family’s farm, Polyface Inc. (“The Farm of Many Faces”) has been featured in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, GOURMET and countless other radio,television and print media. It achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA by food writer Michael Pollan.

Joel Salatin has authored six books.  His speaking and writing reflect dirt-under-the-fingernails experience punctuated with mischievous humor.  He passionately defends small farms, local food systems, and the right to opt out of the conventional food paradigm.