The hybrid 2021 REGENERATE Conference hosted by the American Grassfed Association, the Quivira Coalition, and Holistic Management International on November 3-4, 2021 was an unmitigated success with over 605 registering for the conference (in person and virtually), 26 workshops, and 8 field days located in six states. This international conference had speakers and participants from 7 countries as well as 37 states throughout the U.S.
To address COVID concerns, the conference was held at the Old Town Farm in Albuquerque so that all plenaries, roundtables, and social events were held outside. Participants were encouraged to put a colored dot on their name tags to denote their comfort level regarding masks and social distancing (green, yellow, and red) to facilitate a comfortable way to encourage networking. In-person participants consistently said they loved the venue and being outdoors, although the cool mornings and evenings prompted a layered clothing approach along with some portable fire pits.
Given the 2021 conference theme, “Weaving Water, Land, and People,” there was a diverse group of presenters including Corine Pearce, Lucille Contreras, Alejandro Carrillo, Darryl Birkenfeld, Bluesette Campbell, Bill DeBuys, Sarah Parmar, Ken Lausten, Don Bixby, Daryl Vigil, Kate Zeigler, Amber Smith, Louis Martin, Sergio Schwartz, Kara Boyd, Silas Bernadoni, Michael Johnson, Renard Turner, Lastahia Redhouse, Emily Luscombe, Tomie Peterson, and Zach Ducheneaux.
Presenters covered topics as wide-ranging as Weaving to Heal Land and People, Navigating the Rivers of Our Future, A Water Future for All of Us, Grazing for Rain, Making Cents of Heritage Breeds, Adding Value Through the Way We Farm, Restoration of Indigenous Agriculture, A History of Black Farmers, Weaving a Water Future Together, You’re Gonna Have to Get Creative, and Contemplating the Federal Role in the Regenerative Movement. Roundtables on these topics followed the plenaries so participants could dive deep into the topics and share their experiences.
Delicious local food was served by The Street Food Institute for lunches, the pre-conference Social, and the Outdoor Barn Party on Wednesday night which included music by Lone Pinon. In addition, the evening included the presentation of the 2021 New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award to Tuda Crews and the Ute Creek Cattle Company.
An additional part of the conference included a week of virtual workshops on such topics as: Leasing Your Future, Standardbred Heritage Poultry Production, Land Conservation for a Changing Water Climate, So You Want to Buy a Farm.., Solar Grazing, The Meat Sales Matrix, Ground Water and Surface Water in the Law, Using Compost on Dry Rangelands, Getting More From the Other Half, Cultural Appropriation in Regenerative Agriculture, Heritage Cattle, Processor Relations, The Right Business Structure, Carbon Ranch Planning, Regenerating Your Soil Sponge, Introduction to Veterinarian Homeopathy, Leaving a Lasting Land Legacy, and Low-Cost, Low-Risk Grazing.
The conference also included options to participate in 8 in- person field days held from California to Georgia. Field days and topics included: Chispas Farm: Small Land, Big Possibilities: Holistic Management Practices for Urban Land Managers in Albuquerque, NM; The Regen Ranch: Healthy Soil, Healthy Livestock, Healthy People in Oakwood, TX; Rainshadow Organics: Vertically integrated farm-to-table cuisine focused on soil health, diversity, and conservation management in Sisters, OR; Ogallala Field Day: Shifting Production Practices for Effective Water Utilization & Aquifer Recharge in Hereford, TX; White Oak Pastures: Radically Traditional Farming in Bluffton, GA; Tomkat Ranch: A Day at the Ranch in Pescadero, CA; Mannix Ranch: Partnerships in Ranching and Land Stewardship in Helmville, MT; and Lazy M Ranch: Connecting Healthy Range To Healthy Livestock with Holistic Grazing in Angel Fire, NM.
The REGENERATE Conference partners would like to thank all our sponsors and business partners for their support of this event, particularly: The HERD, #NoRegretsInitiative, the Paicines Ranch, Grasslans Charitable Foundation, Thornburg Foundation, 11th Hour Project, Taos Ski Valley Foundation, Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, Lydia B. Stokes Foundation, Nancy Ranney and David Levi. Business partners included: Old Town Farm, Street Food Institute, Gunthrop Farms, Thousand Hills, Lone Pinon, Mosaic Event Management, Full Image Media, Polk’s Folly Farm, and Routes Bicycle Rentals.