2023 Keynote Speakers

Javier Zamora, JSM Farms

Keynote: The Essentials of Building a Successful Farm Business
Javier knows what it takes to grow a successful ecological farm business from the ground up, because he has done it himself! As an immigrant from Mexico, he worked for years in the food industry and then started his farming business less than 15 years ago on 1.5 acres.  Today, JSM Organics operates on 200 acres of organic farmland in Monterrey County and employs 25 full-time workers, selling flowers, berries and annual vegetables year round.  Javier has become a respected voice in the organic farming movement.  He hosts college and university students on his farm and mentors others to build successful careers in diversified, organic farming.   Javier belongs to several boards and non-profits including Eco Farm and sits on the USDA Advisory Committee for Small and Beginning Farmers and RanchersLearn more about Javier.

Dr. Amélie Gaudin, UC Davis Agroecology

Keynote:  Building Ecologically Resilient Farms
Dr. Amélie Gaudin is a leading agroecologist in our region, specializing in farm-based research to help develop more sustainable and resilient farming systems.  Dr. Gaudin describes herself as “an aggie, agronomist by training and agroecologist at heart” with expertise in cropping systems, root ecology and physiology of crop tolerance.  Over the last 7 years, Dr. Gaudin has been involved in several projects aimed at increasing staple food crop production under drought or less intensive water and nitrogen management in developing countries and smallholder farming systems.  She will share her research on ecological and resilience outcomes of livestock integration, crop diversification and resilience to water stress, understanding how soil management impacts attractiveness to insect pests and transforming soil health into yield. Learn more about Amélie.

Marney Blair & Lisa Bjorn, Fulcrum Farm

Marney Blair and Lisa Bjorn founded Fulcrum Farm in 2000, providing biodynamic composting for local homes and gardens. Marney, affectionately known as the “Compost Queen,” is a consultant to Nevada County Recycling, and has been educating farmers on how to manage their animal manures, mainly through composting, for over 20 years.

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