Diane Stott

Diane Stott

Diane Stott is a member of the USDA-ARS at the National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory. Her research over the past 30 years included soil quality assessment, soil metabolic activity, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. These interests applied to the development of best management practices to maximize benefits and minimize environmental impacts. In 2014 joined the new Soil Health Division of the USDA-NRCS, where she served as the first National Soil Health Specialist.

Steve Ela

Steve Ela

Steve Ela and his partner manage Ela Family Farms - a one-hundred acre, organic, family fruit farm in Hotchkiss, Colorado. He is a fourth generation grower – his family has operated orchards in western Colorado since 1907. He began the transition to organic production in 1994 and the farm is currently 100% certified organic. Steve is also a member of the National Organic Standards Board.

Jennifer Reeve

Jennifer Reeve

Jennifer is associate professor of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture in the Department of Plants Soils and Climate at Utah State University. Her research focuses on nutrient management and soil health in organic and integrated small grain, pasture, vegetable and tree fruit systems. She has over twelve years of experience working on compost legacy effects in organic dryland wheat. Originally from England, she earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors in...

Tamara Thomas

Tamara Thomas

Tamara is a licensed environmental engineer in the State of Washington, who manages Terre-Source to help composters utilize waste organics and create valuable soil amendments. She has extensive background in soil science and engineering with Master’s degrees in each and approaches each client’s composting projects from the perspective of prevention.

Caitlin Youngquist

Caitlin Youngquist

Dr. Caitlin Youngquist is a University if Wyoming Extension Educator specializing in compost and soil management. She earned both her graduate degrees from Washington State University and has conducted research on large-animal mortality composting, antibiotic reduction in biosolids compost, and compost as livestock bedding.

Amy Stafford

Amy Stafford

Amy Griner Stafford is an organic certification specialist and inspector for OneCert, a USDA-accredited organic certification agency. She is responsible for conducting inspections for compliance with federal regulations for crops, food and feed products labeled as organic. She is based in Colorado, and currently inspects farming and food processing operations nationwide. She has worked in the organic certification industry since 1999, prior to the implementation of the National Organic Program.

Tessa Peters

Tessa Peters

Tessa grew up in eastern Wyoming. She has a B.S. in physics from Colorado State University. She worked as a geophysicist in the energy industry, working on ships in the waters of 5 different continents for several years before pivoting and, once again, enjoying the solid foundation of a landlubber’s life. In fact, she began working intimately with the land on organic farms in Ecuador and in Wyoming...

Brandon Hernandez

Brandon Hernandez

After earning a B.S. in biology from Colorado State University, Brandon began his career in food safety at Zateca Foods (now Teasdale Latin Foods). Today he is the co-founder of Whole Brain Consulting—a robust team of experienced food industry experts that provide a wide range of services, from co-manufacturer sourcing and contract negotiation to R&D, food quality, food safety and supply chain, logistics and operations management services.

Dawn Thilmany

Dawn Thilmany

Dawn is a Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Economist with Colorado State University, serving in that role since 1997 and became the Associate Director for CSU’s Office of Community and Economic Development in 2019. She specializes in economic development related to local, organic and other value-added food market supply chains, as well as food market analysis and consumer behavior...

Emily Prisco

Emily Prisco

Emily Prisco is an Auditor with the USDA National Organic Program Compliance and Enforcement division. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Western, NY she has been a part of agriculture her whole life. She has been a part of the organic industry for 20 years and lives in Colorado. Today she will be speaking to the organic regulations, the roles of stakeholders and crop certification.

Carrie Eberle

Carrie Eberle

Carrie is an assistant professor of agronomy and cropping systems and the University of Wyoming. She researches agronomic practices and alternative crops in both dryland and irrigated cropping systems that provide agronomic advancements to growers and promote complete ecosystem health.

Jim Self

Jim Self

At the Soil, Water, and Plant Testing Lab, we analyze environmental samples for ranchers, farmers, consultants, government agencies, and university researchers from all over the world. We analyze for the mineral content of samples which include the elements in the periodic table, as well as physical properties of soils such as sand, silt, and clay. My research is primarily in improving laboratory methods and in the development of new procedures that are needed to analyze different sample...

Merle Vigil

Merle Vigil

Dr. Vigil is a soil scientist and Research Leader for the USDA-ARS Soil Management and Sugar beet Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colorado. He also has served (for the past 20 years) as the Research Leader for the Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron Colorado. For the last 27 years Dr. Vigil has worked on the development of sustainable dryland no-till wheat based cropping systems.

Steve Fonte

Steve Fonte

Dr. Steven Fonte is an associate professor of agroecosystem ecology. His work takes an ecological approach towards understanding multiple functions and drivers within agroecosystems and then seeks to apply this knowledge towards the sustainable management of soils and farming systems around the globe. This work is done largely in collaboration with farmers and other stakeholders across a range of agricultural contexts.

Tunsisa Hurisso

Tunsisa Hurisso

Dr. Hurisso has extensive experience carrying out research on subjects ranging from soil organic matter dynamics in a variety of agroecosystems to soil health indicators. He has been at the forefront of advancing soil health research and his work on this particular subject matter includes development of soil protein as rapid and cost-effective indicator of potentially available organic nitrogen. He has published several relevant articles including a book chapter (currently in review)...

Andrew Kniss

Andrew Kniss

Department Head and Professor of Weed Science at University of Wyoming. The main objective of my research is to develop sustainable weed management programs, especially in agronomic crops like sugarbeet, winter wheat, corn, and dry beans. My research program is relatively diverse in scope, but most of my research program fits within the following themes: non-target impacts of weed management, herbicide physiology, weed seedbank ecology, weed management in sugarbeet...

Tyler Mason

Tyler Mason

The Specialty Crops Program at Colorado State University has been evaluating post-emergent herbicides for certified organic systems since 2017. Since 2018, two new herbicides have been approved for use (with restrictions) in organic systems. This talk will focus on our evaluation of four herbicides (Horticultural vinegar, Suppress®, Weed Slayer®, and Homeplate®) with regard to their weed control ability, cost/acre, and the percent weed control achieved...

Steve Gaither

Steve Gaither

Steve Gaither is the Chief Marketing Officer at C.A. Fortune, and leads the C.A. Branding pillar. Founded as JB Chicago, C.A. Branding is an integrated marketing agency whose clients range from Fortune 500, middle-market, to emerging brands. As a mentor at the Good Food Business Accelerator, ICNC, the Food Foundry, Chicagoland Food and Bev, and The Hatchery, his relationships with entrepreneurs led him to co-found the Windy City Troublemakers, an...

Rick Novak

Rick Novak

Rick has been the Director of Seed Programs at Colorado State University (CSU) for the past seven years. These programs include the Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA), Colorado Seed Laboratory (CSL), and Agronomy Foundation Seed (AFS) in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. He supervises the Managers of the Seed Certification, Seed Testing and Foundation Seed Programs. In addition to these responsibilities, he is also...

Brad Lebsock

Brad Lebsock

In 2016 Brad joined the family business, Lebsock 7, LLLP (The 7 standing for the 7 Lebsock children) as a general manager of L7 Trading, LLC, which bought and sold sunflower seeds and millet. L7 Ag, LLC was formed in June of 2018 with the purpose of cultivating industrial hemp in Colorado under the pilot program created by the 2016 farm bill. Brad is currently the general manager of L7 Ag, and he and his six siblings and parents continue to farm hemp in Sterling.

Janis Kieft

Janis Kieft

Janis Kieft is the Organic Program Manager for the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. She joined the CDA in August, 2017 and has worked with organic growers, companies and suppliers since 2000. Prior to her current position, Janis worked in the seed industry for 20 years. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Horticultural Science and an MA in Agricultural Education...

doug miyamoto

Doug is the Director for Wyoming's Department of Agriculture.

Ben Pfeffer

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 Goertz

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 Powell-Palm

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 Rabou

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 Loyd

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 Urrea

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 McVay

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.

Cristy Dice

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 Scasta, PhD

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 Fox

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 Rael

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 Ippolito, PhD

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 Brummer

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 Norton, PhD

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.

Blake Hauptman

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.

Brent Young, PhD

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 Youngquist, PhD

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 Mitchell

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 Talmadge

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 Stewart, PhD

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.

Michael Stein

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 Brauer

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 Norton, PhD

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.

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Andrew Kniss

Department Head and Professor of Weed Science at University of Wyoming. The main objective of my research is to develop sustainable weed management programs, especially in agronomic crops like sugarbeet, winter wheat, corn, and dry beans. My research program is relatively diverse in scope, but most of my research program fits within the following themes: non-target impacts of weed management, herbicide physiology, weed seedbank ecology, weed management in sugarbeet...

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