Currently hailing from Manhattan, Kansas, Jess Gnad’s path in soil health started with a curiosity about healthy food options in rural communities. A dedicated soil health advocate with more than a decade of experience in the food, finance, and farming industries. Combining deep industry knowledge with experience to help guide campaign development, product launches, and content strategy for news media publications and event planning. Excelling in leadership, fundraising, and building infrastructure to launch a local food movement and farmers market as a community champion. Jess is a leader in her community with a Bachelor of Science - BS focused in Social Sciences of Diversity from Kansas State University.
John is a hemp innovator, serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, writer and champion of regenerative agriculture.
As the founder of the organic superfoods brand Nutiva, he has sourced and formulated close to $1B in retail sales of organic superfoods in the past 20 years. John is also an executive producer of the regenerative agriculture film Kiss the Ground, which is narrated by Woody Harrelson and featured on Netflix. Today, he is an investor, supporter and advisor to various companies and organizations in the “better for you and planet” sector.
Over his career, John has founded six non-profit organizations, including Great Plains Regeneration and GMOInside. His passionate hemp advocacy brought him to sue the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This long legal battle culminated in a historic 2004 federal court victory to keep hemp foods legal. He is a pioneer of the modern home-composting movement and has authored four books on hemp and composting.
Graham Christensen is a 5th-generation farmer from Oakland, Nebraska. Together with his brother Max, they are transitioning their family's farm to a regenerative farm. Christensen is also the Founder and President of GC Resolve, a communications and consulting company, who focuses on grassroots community development, mobilization, and education with an emphasis on the environment and the creation of more resilient communities. Current projects under GC Resolve include raising awareness about Nebraska’s rising water quality issues, and educating and advocating for a change in the food production system to “regenerative” farming and ranching principles. Through these efforts, the RegeNErate Nebraska network was founded. Christensen owns and operates a second business GC ReVOLT, a solar and alternative energy development company, and is the State Secretary and a Director for the Nebraska Farmers Union.
Gail’s life journey has taken him on a path from a 3200-acre conventional farm that grew Roundup Ready corn and soy (extractive agriculture) to a 162-acre food farm that grows multiple species of livestock and literally dozens of different grains, fruit, nut, and vegetable crops (regenerative). Along the way, he has learned the value of healthy ecosystems to both his farming operation as well as his own health. Fuller puts emphasis on principles, not practices and thinks farming should be about (re)growing communities. As his farm was transitioning, he was contemplating certifying his farm organic when he came across a startling revelation. Fuller believes we need to be growing our food in systems designed to live. “Humans have this desire to conquer”, says Fuller. “More often than not, we need to get out of the way and let nature do her thing.”
Steve resides in northern Kay County Oklahoma where he operates a small, diversified crop production and cattle grazing operation. His transition to applying soil health principles began in 2014 when he sought to end a long, losing battle against nature, discovered the soil health movement and the wealth of knowledge available from those that were well down the regenerative path. The quest for more knowledge of soil biology and solar energy exposed Steve to the connection between healthy soils, healthy food, healthy humans and instilled a desire to become involved in their improvement.
In addition to actively farming, Steve has had a 30 year career in Agribusiness in a variety of rolesincluding Business Development, Market Analysis, Grain Trading & Price Risk Management and most recently US/Global Fertilizer Trading Analytical Support. Steve graduated from Oklahoma State University with degrees in Agriculture Education and Finance.
Ashton Brunk is a junior at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in agricultural communications and journalism. Ashton is from Windom, KS, and comes from a strong agriculture background. She is the fifth-generation on her family’s regenerative no-till farm. Over the past several years, Ashton has developed a deeper love for the agriculture industry and strives to be an advocate for the industry through her work in communications.
With a degree in environmental science as well as photography, Nicol has created imagery with an emphasis on cause driven storytelling that does not cause dispute but rather reconfigure who we are. An aesthetic meant to push boundaries and bridge difference. A long term photographic and film exploration into humanity’s relationship to cul
With a degree in environmental science as well as photography, Nicol has created imagery with an emphasis on cause driven storytelling that does not cause dispute but rather reconfigure who we are. An aesthetic meant to push boundaries and bridge difference. A long term photographic and film exploration into humanity’s relationship to culture and the wild, Nicol finds culture to be an accumulation of ideas where we explore ways of exploring. This infinite play is where she’s found the best terrain to collaborate, listen carefully and recognize expansion due to authoring and co-authoring. After having directed the film, FARMERS FOOTPRINT, she has continued in the growing movement of Regenerative Agriculture to document work from RCS Australia as well as black farming in Oklahoma. Currently she is building the non-profit REGENERATE OKLAHOMA - a statewide soil health initiative that seeks to advance the practices of regenerative agriculture.
Nicol was born in Oklahoma, and valued dual citizenship there and in Colorado as a child. She worked in the craft of imagery for 18 years in Los Angeles to then return back to red-dirt roots, creating a home on Oklahoma’s RAGLAND RANCH.
Nicol's work can be seen @ https://www.nicolragland.com/
Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years of experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During his tenure with the NRCS Ray served in New Mexico, Missouri, O
Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years of experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During his tenure with the NRCS Ray served in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina. Ray received his AS degree in Livestock Science from Northern New Mexico College and a BS degree in Agricultural Biology plus 30 hours of graduate work in soil-related courses from New Mexico State University. He served in the Peace Corps for two years in Guatemala as a Livestock Specialist.After his retirement from the NRCS in 2017, Ray founded Understanding Ag, LLC, and Soil Health Academy, to teach Biomimicry strategies and Agroecology principles for improving soil function on a national scale. Ray also owns and operates a 150-acre farm near Seymour, Missouri that he operates along with his wife and family.
Robyn O’Brien is co-founder of rePlant Capital, an impact investment firm, deploying integrated capital from soil to shelf to support American farmers and the food industry in their conversion to regenerative, organic agriculture. With a twenty-year background in food and finance, Robyn O’Brien triggered an allergic reaction in the food i
Robyn O’Brien is co-founder of rePlant Capital, an impact investment firm, deploying integrated capital from soil to shelf to support American farmers and the food industry in their conversion to regenerative, organic agriculture. With a twenty-year background in food and finance, Robyn O’Brien triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked: “Are we allergic to food, or what’s been done to it?” She has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by Bloomberg and the New York Times. Originally from a conservative Texas family, Robyn earned an MBA on a full scholarship from Rice University, graduating as the top woman in her class before going to work as a financial analyst that covered the food industry. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington and Lee, where she was also Phi Beta Kappa and is an adjunct professor at Rice University.
Mr. Blackhawk was born and raised in Northeast Nebraska in a small town called Winnebago. He is also an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Trey is passionate about growing a variety of foods that are in abundance! He aims to help Tribal nations and rural communities establish sustainability and food sovereignty through local food systems. Trey is the Manager at the Winnebago Tribal Farm for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, he is also a part of the Future Leaders in Agriculture program for the USDA, and a part of the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program. Trey is pursuing two majors, one in Biology and the other in Agriculture. Growing up in a food desert with limited access to fresh and nutritious foods is what led him to pursue a career in Agriculture and take an internship with the Office of Tribal Relations within the USDA.
Lynnette Miller grew up on a large cow/calf ranch in Olpe, Kansas. She graduated from Emporia State University and raised two children on a farmstead outside of Olpe. Lynnette joined with Gail Fuller in a venture to provide regeneratively grown food to the local food systems in 2015. She owns and holistically manages a flock of Katahdin ewes, along with laying hens, pastured pigs, and meat chickens. She spends the fall canning & preserving the harvest and also makes most of their beauty care products. Lynnette and Gail recently relocated their farm to Severy and are in the early stages of building a 162-acre food farm including grass-based meats, produce, value-added products, and education events. Their goal is to help revitalize rural communities by reshaping the way we grow food. Lynnette is continually changing and learning to provide a healthy life while protecting and regenerating the environment and land.
Laura grew up in rural Nebraska and has had the privilege to live, study and extensively travel nationally and globally. She is an international nonprofit and social impact sector researcher, consultant and director based in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her Masters of Science in International Mission Driven Organizations from the SIT Graduate Institute (formerly named the School for International Training) in Brattleboro, Vermont. She is the Communications and Partnership Manager for GC Resolve and the senior advisor for the Nebraska World Affairs Council. Her greatest joy and most important role is raising her incredible five-year-old son Grayson.
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