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2014 SPEAKERS

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The UN designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming and tasked it with the goal of raising the profile of family farmers (and ranchers) and the significant role they play in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, and protecting the environment. We have selected speakers for our conference who represent the diversity of the regenerative agriculture movement around the globe.

Radio Cafe Interviews with Quivira Conference Speakers by Mary Charlotte Domandi
Norine Ambrose

Norine Ambrose


Executive Director of Cows and Fish (Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society). Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Norine will explain how Cows and Fish encourages and supports proactive, voluntary stewardship through its extension and education program and on-the-ground leadership, especially under challenging climatic and economic conditions in Canada. She will share lessons learned from the past and discuss how 'old ways' as well as new can help future stewardship efforts.

QC Conference - Ambrose Audio
Cows and Fish Digital Stories and more

Gabe & Paul Brown - Day 1 Workshop

Gabe & Paul Brown - Day 1 Workshop


Ranchers, Brown's Ranch. East of Bismarck, ND,

Join Gabe and Paul Brown as they share their experiences of taking a degraded ranch and regenerating it through Holistic Practices. The Brown's have regenerated their landscape without the use of synthetic inputs. Just as species work together in a natural ecosystem the Browns follow this pattern by using diverse livestock species to address their resource concerns. This has given them a high quality of life while allowing for the transition of the ranch to the next generation. Paul will share how the operation has become highly profitable by focusing on soil health.

QC Conference Browns Audio Pt 1
QC Conference Browns Audio Pt 2


Browns interview on KSFR Radio Cafe

Peter Byck


Film director. Louisville, Kentucky

Peter Byck is an award winning documentary filmmaker and Professor of Practice in the Julie A. Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University.
Wednesday evening event - A provocative and informative conversation about carbon, climate, and cattle with author Judith D. Schwartz, and author and co-founder of the Quivira Coalition, Courtney White. read more...

Listen to the Carbon Conversation

Dorn Cox

Dorn Cox


Founding member and board president of Farm Hack. Lee, New Hampshire

Dorn will talk about Farm Hack, which bills itself as an "Open Source Community for a Resilient Agriculture." It began as a platform for discussing farm tools but is now a rapidly growing site where new farmers can start conversations with experienced agrarians, share the latest research, and make connections with like-minded individuals and organizations. As such, it demonstrates how farming and the Internet can work together for the benefit of all.

Dorn Cox 2014 Quivira Conference You Tube

QC Conference - Cox Audio

Christian Dupraz

Christian Dupraz


Agroforestry and Agrivoltaism scientist. France

Dr. Dupraz launched a trailblazing project that scientifically analyzed the possibilities of placing solar panels above farm fields in order to maximize renewable energy generation and food production from one plot of land. The project tackled one of the thorniest conflicts we face in the 21st century: should the limited amount of arable land on the planet be used to grow food or produce biofuels? Until now, landowners had to choose one or the other, but thanks to the agrivoltaic research of Christian Dupraz and his colleagues we have a `Back to the Future' alternative!

QC Conference - Dupraz Audio

Christian Dupraz 2014 Quivira Conference You Tube

Dr. Christine Jones

Dr. Christine Jones


Soil scientist. Australia

Dr. Christine Jones is a soil scientist whose pioneering research on soil carbon and regenerative agricultural practices has been inspirational to many of us. In this follow-up to her 2010 Quivira presentation, Dr. Jones will provide a brief overview of the practical implications of the Australian Federal Government's methodology for determining credits for soil carbon sequestration and reduced nitrogen use in livestock grazing systems, passed into legislation on 17 July 2014. Read more...

QC Conference - Jones Audio

Paul Kaiser


Farmer, Singing Frogs Farm. Sebastopol, California

Paul and his wife Elizabeth own Singing Frogs Farm, an innovative, award winning, and no-till organic vegetable CSA located near Sebastopol, California that is both highly regenerative and profitable. A typical organic vegetable farm in California grosses $12,000 per crop acre per year. Singing Frogs, however, grosses over $100,000 per crop acre per year and has simultaneously increased their Soil Organic Matter by over 300% in just 5 years through their no-till methods! Employing full-time, year-round workers, on-farm composting and non-stop farming, the farm is a model of how we can meet the rising challenges of food scarcity and climate change in the 21st century.

QC Conference - Kaiser Audio

Fred Kirschenmann


Farmer, author, professor and internationally recognized leader in sustainable agriculture. Iowa

He shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow with the Leopold Center in Iowa and the Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, NY and has served on numerous national committees, including the National Organic Standards Board. In 2010, the University Press of Kentucky published a book of his essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience that traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years. He converted his family's farm in North Dakota to a certified organic operation in 1976.

QC Conference - Kirschenmann Audio

Doniga Markegard


Markegard Family Grassfed and EarthAction Mentor. California

Doniga has organized and led permaculture trainings, carbon farming workshops, keyline
Design intensives, courses on homesteading and regenerative ranching. She is also founder
Of EarthAction Mentor, a nonprofit specializing in agriculture advocacy and mentoring. The vision of her familie's ranching business, Markegard Family Grass-Fed, is to aid inlarge-scale restoration of western rangeland through cattle grazing, which mimics patterns found in nature.

Doniga Markegard 2014 Quivira Conference You Tube

Bill McDonald


Rancher, Sycamore Ranch. Peloncillo Mountains, Arizona

Bill is an award-winning 4th-generation rancher and a founding member and Executive Director of the Malpai Borderlands Group, a path breaking nonprofit organization which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014. Bill coined the term "radical center" to describe our diverse but collaborative efforts to find common-sense solutions to long-standing challenges. In his presentation, Bill will reflect on ranching, conservation and twenty years in the radical center. Where do we go from here?

QC Conference - McDonald Audio

Nicholas Nelson

Nicholas Nelson


Director of the North American Office of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the lead agency for the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). Washington, D.C.

In addition to explaining the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, generally, Mr. Nelson will present an overview of the various research projects, educational activities, and celebrations taking place around the world to mark the IYFF. Mr. Nelson joined the FAO in 1986 and has worked a variety of leadership positions before becoming North American Director in 2012.

QC Conference - Nelson Audio

Jo Robinson


Bestselling, investigative journalist. Washington State

Jo is a pioneering author and researcher whose early work focused on the nutritional benefits of grassfed meat. Today, her work is focused on Eating on the Wild Side - the title of her 2013 book in which she explains that for 10,000 years we've unwittingly destroyed the nutritional value of our food by selecting plants that are high in starch and sugar and low in vitamins, minerals, fiber and, most of all, phytonutrients---compounds that plants produce to protect themselves but are proving to have remarkable health benefits for people who consume. Her `Back to the Future' solution is to choose modern varieties of fruits and vegetables that approach the nutritional content and health benefits of wild plants but that also please the modern palate.

QC Conference - Robinson Audio

Judith D. Schwartz


Freelance writer and author. Vermont

Author of Cows Save the Planet. And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth - Unmaking the Deserts, Rethinking Climate Change, Bringing Back Biodiversity, and Restoring Nutrients to our Food.
Wednesday evening event - A provocative and informative conversation about carbon, climate, and cattle with filmmaker Peter Byck, and author and co-founder of the Quivira Coalition, Courtney White. Read more...

Listen to the Carbon Conversation

Judith Schwartz interview on KSFR Radio Cafe

Judith Schwartz interview with Eric Greene KOAT TV

Robin Seydel

Robin Seydel


Consumer and a health and environment community organizer. Albuquerque, New Mexico

There are nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the U.S. of various kinds, accounting for two million jobs and $500 billion in annual revenues. They are a legally-sanctioned form of private ownership in the service of the public good and are motivated by the belief that cooperative behavior is the key to healthy communities. La Montañita Co-op has over 17,000 member households, employs nearly 300 people, operates a regional food hub, and has returned more than $4.5 million to its members. Robin Seydel, who has worked at La Montañita since 1985, will explain the benefits of the cooperative model, past and future.

QC Conference - Seydel Audio

Gregg Simonds


President, Open Range Consulting. Utah

A former manager of the Deseret Ranch in northern Utah, Gregg has spearheaded the development of an innovative GIS-based monitoring system that may very well revolutionize the way we manage rangelands. Recently peer-reviewed and published, this protocol creates a map of entire ranches, no matter how big or small, all at once. It can even look back in time! Using public data from satellites which is subsequently ground-truthed in the field, this unprecedented level of detail gives landowners valuable information on vegetation, water, and carbon trends on their land, pixel by pixel.

QC Conference - Simonds Audio

Courtney White



Author and Co-founder of the Quivira Coalition. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Wednesday evening event - A provocative and informative conversation about carbon, climate, and cattle with filmmaker Peter Byck, and author Judith Schwartz. Read more...

Listen to the Carbon Conversation

Bill Zeedyk - Day 1 Wetlands Workshop


Bill owns and operates a small consulting business, Zeedyk Ecological Consulting, LLC, specializing in the restoration of wetland and riparian habitats using low tech, hands-on methods and native materials. Sapello, New Mexico

Bill is familiar to Quivira audiences as the innovator of successful riparian restoration methods based on his philosophy of "thinking like a creek." He will share his latest ideas and new restoration strategies for adapting to the hotter and drier conditions that are beginning to develop across the Southwest. Other speakers at this all-day workshop include; Michelle Barnes, AT Cole,Shawn Conner, Kristina Fisher, George Long, Brett Redden, Matt Schultz, Craig Sponholtz, Dan Taylor,Mark Torres and Mollie Walton.

QC Conference - Zeedyk Audio
Collaborative Wetland Restoration In the Southwest Workshop Presentations

Zeedyk 2013 Quivira You Tube