Featured Keynote Speakers
Dr. David Montgomery
University of Washington
David R. Montgomery is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist who studies landscape evolution and the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies.
An author of award-winning popular-science books, he has been featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a wide variety of TV and radio programs, including NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Fox and Friends, and All Things Considered. His books have been translated into nine languages. He lives in Seattle, with his wife Anne Biklé and their black lab guide-dog dropout Loki. Connect with him at www.dig2grow.com or follow him on Twitter (@dig2grow).
Gabe Brown is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on the regeneration of our resources.
Gabe, along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, own and operate Brown’s Ranch, a diversified 5,000 acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The ranch consists of several thousand acres of native perennial rangeland along with perennial pastureland and cropland. Their ranch focuses on farming and ranching in nature’s image.
The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all natural grass finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers and swine. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides.
The Browns are part owners of a state inspected abattoir which allows them to direct market their products. They believe that healthy soil leads to clean air, clean water, healthy plants, animals, and people.
Over 2,000 people visit the Brown’s Ranch annually to see this unique operation. They have had visitors from all fifty states and twenty-six foreign countries. Gabe and Brown’s Ranch have received many forms of recognition for their work, including a Growing Green award from the Natural Resource Defense Council, an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and a Zero-Till Producer of the Year Award, to name a few. Gabe has also been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States.
Gabe recently authored the book, “Dirt to Soil, One Family’s Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture.” He is a partner, along with Ray Archuleta and Dr. Allen Williams, in Understanding Ag LLC. He is also an instructor for Soil Health Academy, which focuses on teaching others the power and importance of healthy functioning ecosystems.
Welcome Address by Tom Watson
Montana NRCS State Conservationist
Tom Watson became State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana in July 2018. Prior to that, he served as the Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy in Oregon for six years. In that role, he supervised both the administrative and operational functions of the agency.
Tom is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Range Management degree where his career started at a local field office. Through his 28-year career, he has held various positions in the field and at the state level in several states.
Born and raised on a small farm in western Nebraska, Tom has spent his whole life connected to agriculture. Tom and his wife, Cheryl, have two sons, Eric and Kasey, two grandsons, Coy and Rye, and two labs, Tucker and Abbi.
With breakout presentations by:
Paul Brown, Derek Axten, Lana Shaw, Lance Gunderson, Jonathan Lundgren, Paul Jasa, Race King, Cooper Hibbard, Dave Hayden, Jim Stone, Kim Erickson, Kate Vogel, Dirk O’Connor, Cavin Steiger, Brock Linker and more!