HERD Fellowship

2018 Regenerate Herd Fellows

Leiloni Begaye

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM

Leiloni Begaye is an Indigenous women, originally from Dinétah in western terms “Navajo Nation” from a rural community of Greasewood Springs, Arizona. She is from the Coyote Pass Jemez clan, born for the Water Flow Together clan, her maternal grandfather is from the Red Running into the Water clan and her paternal grandfather is from the Red Bottom clan. She has a background in Natural Resources and Agriculture with an emphasis in Rangeland Science and currently a graduate student at University of New Mexico and studying her Master of Arts degree in Native American Studies. Her traditional upbringing instilled a great appreciation for her culture and language and she believes that sustaining our environment and land starts with communities to have healthy communities.

Tavia Benjamin

Southern SAWG, Tierra Negra Farms

Durham, NC

Tavia Benjamin, an inquisitive and wandering soul, has deep love for their Black Southern roots, traditions, and foodways. With experience as an organizer, facilitator, trainer, and nonprofit professional, they enjoy bringing people from disparate backgrounds together with language, creative space making, and radically inclusive facilitation and connecting them to land. They have worked in the several issue areas, including: healthy food access, racial equity, land equity, queer mental health and transcending historical trauma. Figuring out how communities can heal and be their whole selves is what motivates and excites Tavia about working towards a more equitable and just world.

Brenda Calderon

Bainbridge Vineyards, Full Tilth Farm

Bainbridge Island, WA

Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, I craved a slower pace and a smaller scale. I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico to pursue my bachelors degree in art and fell in love with the warmth of the small town community. I relocated back to LA after graduation and decided to delve into the world of plants and agriculture. These new endeavors ignited a passion for sustainability, food equality in farming and my life. I can no longer imagine any other life/work that does not put me outside with the elements, the landscape, the food, and its people.

Drew Clarkson

Oregon State University

Camas, WA

I am a Rangeland Science Major and played football at Oregon State University. I have always wanted to ranch since I was a little kid, I came across regenerative agriculture three years ago and immediately knew I had found what I was looking for. I have been working at the OSU Beef Ranch as a student employee for the past year and was nominated by my department for a ranching internship that I completed this summer. I will be graduating after this fall quarter, I genuinely want a career involved in Regenerative Agriculture and hope to one day have my own ranch.

Curtis Chesney

Abundant Generations LLC

Taos, NM


Graham Christensen

GC Resolve

Omaha, NE


Megan Davey

Western Colorado University

Gunnison, CO

Megan has split her time across the western U.S., spending time in California, Oregon, and Colorado. While in Oregon, she graduated from Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology and a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership. She is now a part of the Masters in Environmental Management program at Western Colorado University, where she works with Coldharbour Institute. Coldharbour hosts the Coldharbour Regenerative Network, a recently certified hub of the Savory Global Network. Megan is passionate about growing food (especially at high altitude!) and regenerating our food systems to be more holistic, inclusive, and equitable.

Wilber De La Rosa

Main Street Project, Tabula Rasa Farm

Northfield, MN

Is an Agronomist specialized in agricultural science and production. He is an expert in the management of crops (grains and vegetables) and in livestock management (animal production). He currently serves as Main Street Project’s Production Manager and is responsible for the proper management of all production undertaken by the organization, including chicken production (eggs and meat) and the production of crops (vegetables, grains and perennial crops). He is also responsible for collecting, processing, presenting, and reporting all production data. As a Hispanic immigrant, he believes that all people deserve fair access to food produced with high quality standards that promote food justice and good nutrition for all communities and cultures within this great country. Before joining Main Street Project, Wilber graduated as an Agronomist at the Adolfo V. Hall Civic Military Institute in Guatemala and as an Agronomist at the prestigious Pan-American Agricultural School El Zamorano in Honduras. He also worked as a generator of demand and technical assistance for two major companies; one operated nationally and the other was an international company, both within Guatemala.

Kelsey Ducheneaux

DX Ranch, Intertribal Agriculture Council

Eagle Butte, SD

Kelsey Ducheneaux is the 4th generation of The DX Ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. She is the owner of DX Beef, which offers locally raised beef for direct sale, and serves Project H3LP!, a nonprofit organization which utilizes horses to practice their Lifemanship philosophies with youth. Kelsey also works as the Natural Resources Director and Youth Programs Coordinator for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, which presents her with a unique opportunity to support the improvement of Indian lands for Indian peoples across the nation.

James Ellsworth

Ellsworth Ranch

Fort Thompson, SD

My name is James Ellsworth, I am a second generation rancher from central South Dakota. My family and I operate a black angus cow-calf operation and a row crop operation. I work with my parents and my brother. I am a assistant manager with a preferred interest in the cattle side of things. I am also a recent graduate of South Dakota State University with an Animal Science major and Ag Business minor. Recently my family purchased a ranch near Wasta, SD. This is the main reason I am wanting to attend this conference. I would like to bring back new ideas and new way to better manage the grass and cattle on our new operation.

Aidee Guzman

UC Berkeley

Berkeley, CA


Yvette Gibson

Oregon State University

Durango, CO


Virginia Hamilton

Warren Wilson College

Asheville, NC


Reuben Hendricks

Cabriejo Ranch, Savory Hub

Koshkonong, MO

I help manage Cabriejo Ranch and Hub, our family ranch in the Missouri Ozarks. We raise Dorper/ Dorset ewes, stocker calves, working dogs and horses, and finished grassfed lambs. We are a 2018 Savory Influencer Hub Candidate. Both my father Trent and I are Accredited Field Professionals with the Savory Institute, and will be offering Ecological Outcome Verification services and consulting to industry producers.

Luis Hernandez

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM


Ruby Hopkins


Bloomington, IN

I grew up on a farm in Hawai’i and later I worked summers home from college on my family’s new farm in Colorado raising pastured pigs (and two cows. And chickens. And a few horses. A donkey…). After graduating school, I was lucky enough to get a grant to allow me to intern in Sweden on a holistically managed sheep farm. I originally went to school to become a diplomat (swearing up and down along the way that I never wanted to farm). My degree is in Government and Environmental Studies. However, I came to realize that my true interest is soil and land. I am working towards working in policy and land remediation (currently working on classes to qualify for a Master’s program at Indiana University), and having a farm of my own.

Adam Hudson

Refresh Appalachia

Wayne, WV

Adam is the director of a small nonprofit called Refresh Appalachia, a social enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation that is based in Southwestern West Virginia. He grew up on a small farm in Wayne County, West Virginia, where he worked alongside his grandfather in the garden and the greenhouses. After graduating high school, Adam moved to Berea, Kentucky. There he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources from Berea College. During that time, he worked on the college farm. He is an active member of the Wayne County Fair board and volunteers with 4-H.

Jacey Jessop

Jessop Ranch

Pierre, SD

Jacey Jessop is a recent South Dakota State University graduate where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Affairs, with minors in Agriculture Business and Marketing. She grew up in central South Dakota where her family practices high-intensity rotational grazing with yearlings and cow/calf pairs. Jacey works full-time for the South Dakota Department of Tourism where she is able to promote agritourism within the state. She is grateful for the opportunity to attend the Regenerate Conference and learn more about the best practices of rangeland management as she begins to assist with the decision making on her family’s operation.

Max Kirks

High Pine Produce

Durango, CO

Hello! My name is Max and I have just wrapped up my third season of owning and running an organic veggie farm through an Incubator program outside of Durango, CO. I became interested in Regenerative agriculture after reading Mark Shepards “Restorative Agriculture” and have since then completed my PDC through Oregon State University as well as moved into a shipping container house on 35 acres. I am hoping to expand my production strategies in the future to incorporate integrated crop and animal systems in a dryland high desert environment. I also love the mountains!

Karen Mann

Heart & Bones Hollow

Scottsville, VA

Karen is both a UCC pastor and a farmer exploring the connections between spirituality and agriculture. She owns and operates Heart & Bones Hollow a small farm in central Virginia where she raises produce in a market garden and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs for pork. In addition to the farm, she and her partner Bones are raising two free range kids – Ella and Jake.

Katie Miller

Heritage Belle Farms

Calhan, CO


Stanton Ott

James Ranch, Principia

Durango, CO

I grew up on the James Ranch in Durango Colorado where we practice holistic management, as well as many regenerative practices. I am now attending Principia College in Elsah Illinois and am studying Biology, focused on Ecology and land management. I love what I grew up doing, and I hope to continue the life style!

Jenna Palczewski


Bowman, ND

I am grew up on a farm and ranch in SW North Dakota. I currently have a small cattle herd while I am interning as a Rangeland Management Specialist for the NRCS and finishing up a B.S. in Animal Science.

Samuel Ruhala

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO

About to graduate from UCCS with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, I’m eager to secure my next step. My viewpoints and work expertise are best defined by permaculture and perennial agriculture.

Taylor Sanchez

New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM

Hello! My name is Taylor Sanchez, I am an undergraduate student at New Mexico State University majoring in Range Science. I was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. During the school semester I work for Dr. Amy Ganguli as a research assistant, we work on various projects related to rangeland management. During the summer I have a Pathways internship with the USDA- NRCS. This past summer I worked for Team 4 in Las Vegas, NM. I enjoy working with private land owners by helping them improve their land and I am looking forward to continuing my education and broadening my horizons with organizations such as this.

Taylor Sanders

Rock Bottom Ranch

Basalt, CO

I am a 24 year old female farmer and food-lover from the desert of Arizona. I went to the UofA for “Sustainable Plant Systems” where I begrudgingly learned all about fertilizers and pesticides. My passion was climate change and most of my learning happened outside on a student run compost farm. When I began working for a farm in Boulder, CO after college, I became hooked on the lifestyle and mission of regenerative agriculture. I have been traveling around the world ever since, learning how to be a responsible steward of the land and enjoying the delicious food that comes as a result.

Sam Starsiak

Farmer, Vista Grande High School

Taos, NM

Educator and Farmer in Norther New Mexico beginning regenerative agriculture practice with pasture, orchard and market gardening and sharing those practices with students.

Osvaldo Lopez

Farmer, Bernalillo County Grow the Growers Program

Albuquerque, NM

Hello! My name is Osvaldo Lopez. I was raised in a small agricultural town in Chihuahua, Mexico named Casas Grandes. I moved to the heart of Albuquerque at the age of 9. As I started gaining more and more interest in nature, I ended up at a local farm doing volunteer work for a program called Grow The Growers. I found that agriculture was a real calling for me which lead me to the decision to try and make a living from this lifestyle with the chance of being part of the community. While still figuring a lot of things out, it was easy to see the amount of possibilities available even though I do not own land myself. Thinking big with small opportunity, I started raising meat rabbits in a small shed in my yard for me and my family with future interest of marketing. My first year cultivating has definitely not been easy. Thankfully it has taught me a lot about myself, the plants I’ve grown, and how to go about running a farm. The number one thing I have learned this year is the importance of soil health. As a new farmer I wish to learn to care for the land in matter that will, in return, take care of us and most importantly itself for years to come in a natural and healthy way.