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Tuesday Pre-Conference
February 6, 2024

12 – 1pm

Registration

1 – 5pm

Pre-conference workshop with Tara and Josh Dukart

Join Joshua and Tara Dukart, along with their 10 and 12-year-old children for candid confessions revealing how they applied the principles of Holistic Management and regenerative ranching practices to make a 180° mindset shift, ditch their “day jobs” and do-the-thing-they-said-they-would-never-do: move to the family ranch.
Come and get a sneak peek into how YOU can use the Holistic Management decision-making framework to provide the profitability and clarity your family and team is craving.
Holistic Management provides a framework for decision-making that is rooted in the fundamentals of ecosystem processes. It also provides a suite of planning procedures that includes planned grazing, land planning, financial planning, and ecological monitoring. This framework has assisted many regenerative farms and ranches with their goals and objectives, not only for production and profitability, but for healing the land, growing nutritious food, and supporting thriving communities.

Wednesday Symposium
February 7, 2024

8 – 9am

Registration and Breakfast

9 – 9:15am

Welcome

9:15 – 10:30am

Main Room

Keynote: An Overview of the 1000 Farms Initiative

Jonathan Lundgren

The “1000 Farms Initiative”, pioneered by Jonathan Lundgren and the Ecdysis Foundation, has been referred to as “the most ambitious agroecology experiment ever conducted”. This initiative aims to validate the efficacy of regenerative agricultural systems in contrast to traditional approaches. The disconnect between human well-being, environmental resilience, and modern industrial agriculture necessitates a shift toward regenerative practices, and this initiative aims to demonstrate the power and efficacy of regenerative systems by assessing 1000 farms in various stages of regenerative adoption. By 2023, this groundbreaking endeavor aims to provide insights into the impact of regenerative practices on soil health, productivity, and social and economic health and well being, offering producers the tools and evidence needed to adopt regenerative practices and influence national agricultural policies.

BREAK

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

11 – 12:30pm

Virtual Fencing for Pasture Management

Leo Barthelmess, Ryan and Megan Green

Secure fencing is a necessity for livestock management, but physical, barbed wire fences can also impede wildlife migration and require ongoing upkeep, using valuable time, cost, and labor. Virtual fencing can eliminate these issues by allowing ranchers to track livestock, easily adjust boundaries for rotational grazing and diverse terrain, and support local wildlife without the burden of maintaining physical fencing. Montana ranchers Leo Barthelmess and Megan and Ryan Green will share their experiences transitioning to virtual fencing and discuss benefits, unexpected outcomes, and the costs and profit potential of integrating this technology into a grazing business.

11 – 12:30pm

Winter Grazing

Cooper Hibbard

Cooper Hibbard is the manager of his generational ranch in Adel, Montana. In this breakout session, he will share how his family has increased production and resiliency on their ranch by implementing winter grazing as a regenerative practice.

11 – 12:30pm

Intercropping and Flour Milling

Derek Axten

Derek Axten’s multi-generational farm in Minton, Canada, is dedicated to growing healthy grains through regenerative practices, and prioritizing land stewardship and soil health as well as supporting their community through food production. In this session, Derek will share his experience implementing intercropping and flour milling as techniques to improve soil health and production on his ranch.

11 – 12:30pm

Using the Soil Health Principles as Offensive Management Tools

Mitchell Hora

The Soil Health movement continues to gain momentum, but a core issue remains: the soil health principles are continuing to be promoted to farmers as defensive tools rather than offensive one. Learn how Mitchell approaches the principles on his 7th generation Iowa farm and across his company Continuum Ag’s Topsoil network spanning 43 states and 20 countries. Also, tune in to hear about Carbon Intensity and the future of sustainability driven supply chains.

12:30 – 1:45pm

Main Room

Lunch

2 – 3:15pm

Main Room

Keynote: What Your Food Ate and Why it Matters

Anne Biklé

Are you really what you eat? Anne Biklé takes us far beyond this well-worn adage to a new truth: the roots of good health start on farms and ranches. Marshaling evidence from recent and forgotten science, she’ll connect the dots linking soil health to human health. The pathway winds through the bodies of crops, livestock, and microbiomes, eventually reaching us. It turns out that nourishing people begins with nourishing the land.

BREAK

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

3:45 – 5pm

Geothermal Greenhouses and Community Agriculture

Todd Barkley

Barkley’s Home Grown built a year-round greenhouse to provide local produce to the people and businesses in Baker, Montana. Learn how a geothermal greenhouse works on the Barkley ranch and how they are using it as an enterprise unit. Todd Barkley explains the regenerative practices used in the greenhouse and encourages everyone to pursue community based agriculture.

3:45 – 5pm

Making Your Own Compost Extract for Large Scale Acreages

Larry Johnson, Shawn Preputin, Alec McIntosh

Larry Johnson, Alec McIntosh, and Shawn Preputin all started their farming careers in Hill County, Montana, using conventional agricultural practices, and witnessed the consequences of ongoing soil erosion on their community and environment. Through soil health education, experimentation, and developing an ongoing relationship with NRCS, they are now leaders in soil health innovation and have teamed up to fine-tune a Johnson-Su bioreactor composting system. Learn how to create and utilize compost extract on your own land for improved soil health!

3:45 – 5pm

Red Solo Cup Cow

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell, an Idaho rancher and owner of Tailor Made Cattle, has found a unique method of identifying healthy, easy-keeping cattle – their resemblance to red Solo cups! By identifying specific physical attributes that resemble the shape of these iconic cups, Campbell explains how to improve animal selection for increased herd efficiency, fertility, and profit within sustainable ranching operations. His approach highlights how healthy, resilient animals like the “red solo cup cow” not only contribute to enhanced profitability within ranching operations but also promote a more sustainable and resilient agricultural landscape.

3:45 – 5pm

Optimizing Plant Nutrition with Foliar Feeding

Joel Williams

Adequate levels of essential macro and micro nutrients are fundamental to driving plant growth processes that determine yield, quality and plant health. Foliar applications can provide an efficient and rapid delivery of these essential nutrients to optimize plant growth. However, understanding the factors that influence leaf uptake and spray mix quality is key to avoiding a ‘spray and pray’ approach. This presentation will cover aspects of plant nutrition and foliar application technology providing strategic tips for a top response.

5 – 7pm

Main Room

RECEPTION (light appetizers)

Thursday Symposium
February 8, 2024

7 – 8am

Main Room

Breakfast

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

8 – 9:15am

Working With The Hidden Half of Nature

Anne Biklé

From crop to cow, we need a more nuanced view of the microbial world in 21st century farming and ranching. The big picture is clear: practices that support the needs of microbiomes become the springboard for their plant and animal hosts to function and flourish. And in the long run, working with the hidden half of nature can help solve problems and save money for producers facing weird weather, new pests, and supply chain vagaries.

8 – 9:15am

Minerals, Toxins, and Epigenetics

Steve Campbell

In an increasingly challenging agricultural landscape, the issue of abundant toxins from neighboring sources and the deficiency of vital minerals in our soils poses a significant hurdle for livestock to thrive and meet their full genetic potential for productivity. Steve Campbell, an Idaho rancher and owner of Tailor Made Cattle, offers several natural products and solutions to address these issues without breaking the bank.

8 – 9:15am

An In-Depth Look at the 1000 Farms Research in Montana

Jonathan Lundgren

In this breakout session, Ecdysis Foundation executive director Jonathan Lundgren will provide an in-depth look at the data collected from farms in Montana as part of the 1000 Farms Initiative. Explore how these findings demonstrate the power and efficacy of regenerative practices, paving the way for a transition to sustainable agriculture on a larger scale.

8 – 9:15am

LEGOs, Legacy, and Leadership

Tara and Joshua Dukart

Communication is WAY MORE than words. So how do we know if our current communication is building a strong foundation or unintentionally creating a debilitating barrier?
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering,
“Is my spouse married to ME or the FARM?”
“WHEN will my parents ever step aside?”
“WILL my kids ever step UP?”
or “Hey, sorry for what I said when we were working cattle…”

Then join us for a fun, revealing, interactive breakout session – designed for all ages. (You’re gonna want to see what the LEGOs have to say.)

BREAK

9:45 – 11am

Main Room

Keynote: Modeling Regenerative Partnerships to Promote Soil Health

Kelsey Scott

Regenerating our soil health will demand partnerships built in reciprocity, transparency, and values aligned leadership. How can we model regenerative systems through our dynamic partnership engagements? Who should be at the table, where should we build the table, and what should the table be built with? Join Kelsey Scott, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal land steward and Chief Strategy Officer of the Intertribal Agriculture Council (a 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Billings, MT) for a native inspired view of what genuine, meaningful partnership in soil regeneration efforts looks and feels like.

BREAK

11:30 – 12:15pm

Main Room

Q&A Panel with Keynote Speakers Jonathan Lundgren, Anne Biklé, and Kelsey Scott

12:15 – 1:15pm

Main Room

Lunch

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