Jim Gerrish

Jim Gerrish teaches livestock producers the importance of caring for forages and soils first.
(Progressive Farmer image by Robert Waggener)

If you want to farm for environmental benefits and make money, Jim Gerrish will help you get the most out of your pastures by focusing on things you can control.  With more than 20 years of experience in beef-forage systems research, and 20-plus years raising cattle and sheep, Jim has dedicated his life the aiding farmers and ranchers more effectively manage their grazing lands for economic and environmental sustainability.

Author of Management Intensive Grazing, the Grassroots of Grass Farming and Kick the Hay Habit: A Practical Guide to Year-around Grazing, Jim has a wealth of knowledge on how to capture more solar energy with every acre, how to get more water into your soil, how to keep minerals cycling efficiently through your pastures, and how to create more biodiversity across and through your pasture landscape.

Jim has 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty at the University of Missouri, and co-founded a multi-day grazing management program that has been duplicated in fifteen other states. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing. Jim’s work has been recognized with awards from the American Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, National Center for Appropriate Technology, USDA-NRCS, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Progressive Farmer, and American Agricultural Editors Association.

Jim and his wife, Dawn, own and operate American Grazing Lands Services LLC, offering consultation services as well as equipment to support farmers and ranchers. Jim provides services to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across five continents.  He is an instructor in the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy held twice annually near Salmon ID. He typically speaks at 40 to 50 producer oriented workshops, seminars, and field days around the US and Canada each year.  He currently resides in the Pahsimeroi Valley of Idaho, where he manages a ranch unit consisting of 450 center pivot irrigated pastures, 90 acres of flood ground, and several hundred acres of rangeland.

Dr. Vandana Shiva

A Time magazine “Environmental Hero”, one of Forbes seven most powerful women on the globe, and internally acclaimed author, Dr. Vandana Shiva is one of the world’s most dynamic and provocative thinkers on food sovereignty.

Trained as a quantum physicist, and with a lifetime of ecological activism, Dr. Vandana Shiva has spent the last 35 years applying her knowledge of non-separation and interconnectedness to help create healthier food and agriculture systems across the globe.

In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially seeds – and promote organic farming and fair trade. Navdanya has trained over 900,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped setup the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country.   She will share practical knowledge from these experiences to benefit family farmers here in the United States.

Dr. Shiva combines sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism. She works internationally with governments, non-profits, and grass roots movements to protect natural resources, indigenous rights, women’s rights and more. Her work spans from teaching at universities worldwide, to working with peasants in rural India, and from serving on Prince Charles’s expert group on Sustainable Agriculture to working with the Government of Bhutan to make Bhutan 100% organic.

Dr. Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind pose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. Through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest and Water Wars, Dr. Shiva has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalization. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, an honor known as an “Alternative Nobel Prize”.  Read more about Vandana Shiva’s work.








Jeff Lowenfel

Jeff is the award winning author of the  best-selling books, Teaming With Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to The Soil Food Web, Teaming With Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition and Teaming With Fungi, The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae. His first book, Teaming with Microbes, was reviewed as the most important new gardening book in the last 25 years.

Jeff also writes the longest running garden column in North America and is also a highly respected and popular national garden writer and has been inducted into the Garden Writer’s Hall of Fame, the highest honor a garden writer can achieve.

He is the founder of a national program, “Plant a Row for The Hungry.”  The program is active in all 50 states and Canada and has resulted in millions of pounds of garden produce being donated to feed the hungry every year.

Jeff grew up on his father’s hobby farm in Scarsdale, New York where he helped out with the farm until he left to pursue a degree in Geology at Harvard College.

Doniga Markegard

doniga markegard

Author of Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild, regenerative rancher, Doniga brings a perspective rooted in nature. Mentored by leading wildlife trackers, naturalists and Native Spiritual leaders and with a background in permaculture Doniga brings a unique perspective to Regenerative Agricultural practices. She is dedicated to working the with the land and her community through regenerative ranching practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture and purify water and enhance habitat.

Along with her husband and four children, Doniga owns and operates Markegard Family Grass-Fed LLC raising grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork, chicken and dairy supplying the Bay Area with local, nutrient dense foods. The family ranch leases coastal ranches throughout the Bay Area spanning over 10,000 acres.

Elizabeth & Paul Kaiser

Farmers Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resources management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America and Northern California, they had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 400%, while drastically reducing their water use. Singing Frogs Farm has demonstrated that ecological sustainability can mean economic sustainability, with up to 10 times the sales per acre compared to similar farms. Recently, Paul and Elizabeth have focused on teaching their model of successful small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production locally and abroad.


Daphne Miller, M.D.

On a quest to discover the hidden connections between how we care for our bodies and how we grow our food, Daphne Miller M.D. ventured out of her medical office and traveled to seven innovative family farms around the country.  What she discovered changed the way she approached treating many of her patients.

Come to the 2018 Sustainable Food and Farm Conference to hear to how Miller weaves together biomedical science, soil health and stories from her own medical practice to illustrate the health benefits of local, organic farms and gardens.  Learn the connection between microbes in the soil and in our bodies; why local, organic farm produce is healthier, and why spending time in organic gardens and farms can promote health in a number of different of ways.

Miller is a practicing family physician, author and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco. For the past fifteen years, her leadership, advocacy, research and writing have focused on the connections between food production, ecology and health.

Her writings and profiles can be found in many publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Vogue, Orion Magazine, Yes! Magazine, Food and Wine, The Guardian UK and Harvard Medical Magazine and JAMA. She is author of Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up (HarperCollins 2013), published in four languages and the basis for the award-winning documentary In Search of Balance. She is also the author of The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets from Around the World, Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You (HarperCollins 2008).

Miller is an internationally recognized speaker in the emerging field of planetary health and a leader in the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative, an effort spearheaded by the National Parks Service to build linkages between our medical system and our park system. Her 2009 Washington Post article “Take a Hike and Call Me in the Morning” is widely credited with introducing “park prescriptions,” a concept that is rapidly gaining traction across the United States.

In 2000, Miller founded WholefamilyMD, the first integrative primary care practice in San Francisco. She is a graduate of Brown University where she majored in medical anthropology. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency and NIH-funded research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She was a Senior Fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute and a Bravewell Fellow at the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine. She serves as an advisor and/or board member to a number of non-profits, including the Institute of the Golden Gate, Education Outside, Mandela Marketplace and the Edible Schoolyard Foundation and Prevention Institute.

Miller lives and gardens in Berkeley, California. Visit her website www.DrDaphne.com