Featured Keynote Speaker
Mr. Greg Judy, a Missouri-based grass farmer, author, consultant
Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1600 acres of leased land that includes 11 farms. Their successful custom grazing business is founded on holistic, high-density, planned grazing. They run cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, stockers, a hair sheep flock, a goat herd, and Tamworth pigs. They also direct market grass-fed beef, lamb and pork, bulls from their herd, and trained livestock guardian dogs. Greg and Jan pass their knowledge on at their annual May grazing school and by working with interns to build the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Greg is a down-to-earth speaker who works hard to make his success accessible to everyone around him. His example, shared in the two books he authored, has inspired people to change the way people look at their farming and ranching operations. Comeback Farms covers multi-species grazing, developing parasite-resistant hair sheep flocks and grass-genetic cattle, and how to select, train and care for livestock guardian dogs. It includes High Density Grazing fencing techniques, diagrams for HDG fencing and paddock moves; and how to calve with HDG. No Risk Ranching describes how he found and managed his first and subsequent leases, taking him from dead broke to a custom grazing operation of 1100 cattle. He offers a detailed guide for other graziers to follow on how to find idle land to lease; calculate the cost of a lease, draft and write a land lease contract (with examples included), develop good water and portable fencing on leased land, promote wildlife and improve timber stands, keep accurate records and more. Greg also regularly writes columns about grazing management for On Pasture. More at https://onpasture.com/category/grazingmanagement/
Featured Conference Speakers
Michael W. Twitty is an African-American and Jewish writer, culinary historian, and educator. He is the author of The Cooking Gene, published by HarperCollins/Amistad, which won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Book of the Year as well as the category for writing. The book was also a finalist for The Kirkus Prize in nonfiction, the Art of Eating Prize and a Barnes and Noble New Discoveries finalist in nonfiction.
Camas Davis is a former editor and writer for magazines including Saveur and National Geographic Adventure. In 2009, she traveled to southwest France to study whole animal butchery and charcuterie and subsequently founded the Portland Meat Collective, a transparent, hands-on meat school that has become a local and national resource for meat education and reform. In 2014, Camas launched the Good Meat Project, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring responsible meat production and consumption through experiential education across the country. Camas and her work have been covered in media outlets such as the New York Times Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Cooking Light. She is also the author of Killing It, a memoir about her adventures in the world of meat. Camas lives in Portland, Oregon.
Adam Danforth is the James Beard award-winning author of two books, published by Storey Publishing, about slaughtering and butchering livestock. Adam trained at the professional meat processing program at SUNY Cobleskill, one of the only such programs in the United States, before going to work at Marlow and Daughters and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, both in New York. He leads experiential workshops worldwide on butchery and meat science for venues such as Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp, Google, and the National Bison Association. Adam also consults and provides education to restaurants including Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Bazaar Meat, The Perennial, and Maude. He is the American ambassador for the Butchers Manifesto and a board member of the Chefs Collaborative and the Good Meat Project. Adam lives in Ashland, Oregon, USA.
Gina is Vice President of Mission and Innovation Strategy at Applegate where she leads the company’s Powered By Applegate initiative, an incubator team charged with creating new products from regional supply chains that employ regenerative agriculture practices. She has worked closely with NGOs to raise awareness about the misuse of antibiotics in animals raised for food. She also led the production and marketing of the documentary film, RESISTANCE, garnering global distribution for the film on Netflix.
Gina is on the advisory boards of the Savory Institute, the Non-GMO Supply Working Group, the Sustainable Food Lab and The National Young Farmers Coalition.
Rebecca Thistlethwaite develops educational content related to local and regional meat processing issues and coordinates outreach and educational activities for the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN). She has a master’s degree in International Agricultural Development from the University of California-Davis and was formerly co-owner of TLC Ranch, a pastured poultry and livestock enterprise in California. She is also the author of two books on farming- Farms With a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business (2012) and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat (2015).
Over the past 17 years, Meredith has worked as a farmer, butcher, chef, teacher, non-profit executive director, and writer, all in pursuit of good food. She is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Butchery, Charcuterie, and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore, (3rd place, MFK Fisher Award 2015) and Pure Charcuterie: The Craft & Poetry of Curing Meats at Home. Meredith works part time for Living Web Farms, and she travels extensively teaching charcuterie and food production and processing. She also pursues other writing, namely poetry and nonfiction focused on the intersection of land and people, and land and the culinary sphere, with work featured in Crop Stories, various Edible publications, and Mother Earth News Magazine, among others. She lives with her partner and four children in Asheville, NC.
Lexie attended Cornell Ag & Life Sciences (’99) and University of Edinburgh, UK (’01) with a BS General Studies and MSc Sustainable Development Ecological Services Work: Lexie worked for the next 3 years in supporting biological research (Redwood National Labs, Watershed Steward Program) and Adirondack Aquatic Invasive Species Project, Adirondack Park Agency.
Farming in the Finger Lakes: Lexie bought a farm in the Finger Lakes, near Cornell University in 2003, and started raising her first livestock: sheep, highland cattle, horses. She co-founded Motherplants Ltd, a living roof plant nursery in 2005. Motherplants Ltd supplied green roof media, green roof plants, pre-grown green roof sedum mats, and consulting to the Northeast for 10 years. In 2015 Motherplants was sold to a Canadian firm. Following this Lexie reinvested in her sheep flock, building and buying infrastructure to launch a solar grazing business.
Energy Work: Lexie spent 8 years working for Snug Planet LLC as a building analyst. This work focused on the assessment and installation of energy saving measures in residential buildings. Starting in 2008 Lexie began volunteering for the Black Oak Wind Farm and was Secretary to the Board of Directors until its dissolution in 2018. Black Oak Wind was planned as a community owned wind farm in Tompkins County, with Cornell, NYSERDA, Onyx Capital, and GE as partners. It was never constructed due to a town moratorium on renewable energy development.
Returning to Asheville in 2010, Moore helped conceive the Blind Pig Supper Club, a fine-dining fundraising organization, which later held its first dinner in 2011. A collaboration of different chefs in the community, Blind Pig embodies the spirit of Asheville, creating a food scene built on creativity and directed toward the wellness of locals. In February 2013, Moore continued forging his path with the opening of Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder, a restaurant dedicated to Carolina crops and showcasing the American South. Not long after, he earned a 2013 StarChefs Rising Star Community Chef Award for his work.
Dr. Gregg Rentfrow, Ph.D. is an Associate Extension Professor of Meat Science at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Rentfrow has over 30 years’ experience in the meats industry after beginning his career as a retail meat cutter in 1989. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science and Meat Science, respectively, at the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in Meat Science and Muscle Biology at the University of Missouri. He joined the faculty in the Department of Animal and Food Science at the University of Kentucky in 2006. Dr. Rentfrow’s marque extension programs are the UK Meat Cutting School, the 4-H Country Ham Project, and the Food Systems Innovation Center. He lives in Madison County with his wife and daughter and his hobbies include Powerlifting, Martial Arts, and NASCAR.
Laura Lengnick has explored agriculture and food system sustainability through more than 30 years of work as a researcher, policy-maker, educator and farmer. Laura’s work in soil health and sustainable farming systems was nationally-recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor award in 2002 and she contributed to the 3rd National Climate Assessment as a lead author of the 2013 USDA report Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation. In 2016, Laura founded Cultivating Resilience, LLC, a private firm based in Asheville, NC offering climate risk and resilience services to business and community-based organizations. Her award-winning book, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate (New Society Publishers 2015), examines climate change, resilience and the future of food through the adaptation stories of 27 leading sustainable farmers and ranchers located across the U.S. You can learn more about Laura and her work at www.cultivatingresilience.com.
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This conference supports a growing community committed to advancing market opportunities and increasing customer access to pasture-based meats. Attendees can expect more than twenty innovative class sessions on diverse topics, butchery demos, special technical tracks for professionals, and many opportunities for social networking.