Our 2020 Speaker Lineup
Thank you 2019 Speakers!!!
Doug is the Director for Wyoming's Department of Agriculture.
Ben owns and operates Raisin' Roots Farm in Fort Collins, Colo. Raisin' Roots is a diversified vegetable and small livestock operation on 3 acres of privately leased land. The two acres of vegetables are densely planted and managed through crop rotation and pesticide-free growing practices with an emphasis on companion planting and low tunnel production. The acre of livestock includes 130 laying hens and pastured pigs.
Gregor raises both organic certified and no till wheat, direct marketing natural beef through the family owned business Wyoming Pure Natural Beef. He has served as the Platte County Commissioner and the Wyoming State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency for eight years.
Nate first landed in the world of organics in 2008 when he applied for and received organic certification from the Montana Department of Agriculture. He has served as both the Vice President and President of the Montana Organic Producers Coop, a 22-member certified organic beef marketing cooperative. He currently serves on the governing council of the Organic Farmers Association. Nate holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Montana State University.
Ron owns and operates Rabou Farm, Inc. in Southeastern Wyoming. The farm, a certified organic operation and raises wheat, proso millet, garbanzo beans, lentils and yellow peas, was recently recognized by Farm Journal Media as one of three nationwide finalists for Top Producer of the Year. Rabou also speaks nationwide on various topics involving agriculture and is an author and past radio host.
Corey and his wife own and operate a family farm and ranch near Carpenter, Wyoming called C & J Farms along with their four children. He has been in the farming business since he was a young boy helping out on his grandfather and dad's family farm. They started their own farm in 2013. They run a cow-calf operation, as well as an organic drylands farm. They raise mainly wheat, proso millet, and or hay millet in rotations. They also run a local custom harvesting operation.
Carlos is a dry bean breeder from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He breeds to select plants that are resistant to rust, white mold, common bacteria blight, and root rots, that have desirable qualities related to water efficiency and minimum tillage systems and have a more upright architecture allowing for direct harvest.
Kent is the Extension Cropping Systems Specialist for Montana State University located at the Souther Agricultural Research Center near Huntly, Montana. He works in both drylands and irrigated production agriculture focusing on the use of rotations, cover crops and reduced tillage systems for sustainability. For the past several years he has evaluated malt barley response to applied nitrogen fertilizer for the barley breeding programs of Montana Stat University and MilelrCoors.
Christy is the Produce Safety Rule Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Her role is to implement the Produce Safety Rule in Colorado by developing policies, goals, objectives and strategies for the program. The program works closely with CSU Extension, grower organizations, and other states to create a program that is uniform and consistent with other programs.
Derek is a Rangeland Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor of rangeland management and herbivore interactions ecologist at the University of Wyoming. His overarching interest for all actives is to bridge the gap between agriculture and conservation on rangelands.
Minden currently serves as an instructor at Laramie County Community College focusing on marketing and entrepreneurship brining her marking industry experience to students. She also serves as a marketing consultant for small businesses, and recently started the Blue Box Fox company catering to those with food allergies and restricted diets.
Brianne graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Biological Science and minors in Biomedical Science and Spanish. She works for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a registered environmental health specialist. She is the primary contact for the cottage foods industry at the department and continues to build a relationship with them through forums, resources and regular phone and email correspondence with stakeholders.
Jim works for CSU as an associate professor of soil fertility/environmental quality in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. He will speak on long-term organic-based amendment application versus inorganic fertilizer applications and their effects on changes in soil quality.
Joe has worked for CSU since 1994, first at the Mountain Meadow Research Center in Gunnison for 12 years conducting research and extension programs in high-elevation forage and livestock production. He then moved to the main campus in Fort Collins in 2006. He will be discussing how cover crops can be used to provide forage for livestock while maintaining most of the other benefits typically associated with these crops.
Urszula works at UW in the Plant Sciences Department as an Associate Professor of Agroecology and Biogeochemistry. Her work focuses on soil-plant- atmosphere nutrient cycling and specifically, the effect of cropping systems and soil management on agroecosystem sustainability. She will talk about cover crops, soil quality and weedy species competition in drylands farming. She is also a faculty advisor to the UW Student ACRES farm.
Blanke, a UW Extension Educator, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Montana State University in animal and range science. He joined UW Extension in 2016 to serve the northeast area of Wyoming and has an interest in working with and learning from ranchers who are in search of knowledge and tools to help them improve the profitability of their businesses.
Dr. Young serves as an Agricultural Business Management Economist with Colorado State University Extension (CSUE). Prior to his appointment with CSUE, he served as an Associate Professor of Agricultural and Extension Education at North Dakota State University. This is his second position with CSUE, having served nine years as an agricultural marketing agent in the Tri River area.
Caitlin is an extension soil scientist with UW and a trained compost facility operator. Her research includes agricultural uses and public perceptions of biosolids compost from rural wastewater treatment plants, large animal mortality composting, soil nutrient management, and several soil fertility, management and quality assessment projects.
Brian is a first-year PhD student of horticulture at Colorado State University where ehe is also a 2018-19 Vice President of Research Fellow, the Graduate Student Council representative for his department and the Committee on Teaching and Learning, and a teaching and research assistant. His research focuses on cover crops in organic, irrigated vegetable systems and the incorporation of hemp into organic crop rotations.
Rebecca lives in Carpenter Wyoming along with her husband and two children. They have a certified organic farm and a grain elevator, ST Organics, LLC. in Hereford Colorado. She has been involved in farming in the area for most of her life and in organics since 2005. As the owner of ST Organics, she manages the storage of 500,000+ bu of organic wheat, works with several farmers in maintaining their certifications, offers inputs for organic farmers, and markets grain.
Whit is an Assistant Professor of Sheep Production and Extension Sheep Specialist at the University of Wyoming. His most important efforts in the sheep industry involve providing relevant information through applied research and educational programming that lead to enhanced decision making and increased profitability. He will discuss the art and science of sheep production, and specific management strategies for organic sheep operation from research-based findings.
Micheal is an attorney and scientist who is passionate about organic and sustainable agriculture. He has focused his career on implementing legal and policy tools to address the environmental, health, and economic impacts of our food system. He has worked extensively on food law and policy issues. Currently based in Washington, D.C., he advocates on behalf of organic agriculture to members of Congress and the federal government.
Kurtis is a 5th generation farmer on the south table of Cheyenne county NE. He is a graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln with bachelor's degrees in agronomy and plant pathology. He is also in training to become a Nebraska certified general real property appraiser. He has been an organic producer for he last 15 years on his family's drylands wheat and millet farm.
Jay is a faculty member at the University of Wyoming. he focuses on nutrient cycling in natural, disturbed, and agricultural settings from the perspective of landscape and soil organic matter dynamics. He is interested in learning how interactions among landscapes, plant communities, and land use affect resiliency and deflation-recovery processes as applied to on-the-ground ecological restoration and sustainable management.