This year EcoFarm is hosting several field days during the Spring and Summer months. Field days give attendees a chance to get out on the land and learn directly from leading farmers and ranchers

EcoFarm 2022: Two Field Days Focusing on Regenerative Ranching and Indigenous Foodways!

By: Kathy Webster

Kathy Webster TomKat RanchEach year since 1980, EcoFarm has hosted an annual conference—usually at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds. It is a great place to attend workshops, network, hear from successful farmers, and find inspiration for those passionate about food and farming. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 conference is going virtual. Field days in the Spring and Summer will get participants out on the land learning directly from leading farmers and ranchers making an impact in their communities and for the environment.  We are particularly excited about two field days this year that are focused on regenerative agriculture and food systems.

Stemple Creek Ranch logo

Regenerative Grazing and Direct Marketing at Stemple Creek Ranch in Marin County was a sold out event held Sunday, May 1st. Stemple Creek Ranch was also one of the keynote presenters for this year’s EcoFarm Successful Farmers.

Loren Poncia, owner of Stemple Creek Ranch, is a fourth-generation regenerative rancher. Loren with his wife, Lisa, raise grass-finished beef and lamb as well as pastured pork. They are dedicated practitioners of regenerative principles focused on supporting soil health, increasing diversity above and below ground, and increasing the water infiltration and holding capacity of their land by using holistic livestock grazing management. 

During the field day, attendees were able to hear stories from Loren and Lisa about their trials, tribulations, and successes as well as their innovations in pre-seeded compost applications as part of a Healthy Soils grant—and see a demonstration of their ingenious electric fence pivot system!

Click on the image below to start the slideshow!

Stemple Creek has been able to maintain quality and transparency while scaling their business via direct marketing and value added meat products. They were also the first ranch in the U.S. to implement a carbon farm plan.

Footnote: Stemple Creek is also working with the Beef to Institute pilot project (a joint project started with Healthcare Without Harm, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and TomKat Ranch) to get more grass-fed beef into California schools and hospitals.

Pie Ranch logoThe other field day coming up on May 10th is, Honoring Ancestral Foodways, Indigenous Land Rematriation, and Regenerative Food Production at Pie Ranch, a neighbor of ours in Pescadero. This field day will focus on Pie Ranch’s collaborative programs with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust and other local land stakeholders, as well as the broader Indigenous food sovereignty movement.

“This field day will highlight the ongoing Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust’s natural and cultural resource management programs in collaboration with Pie Ranch and others along the central California coast. We will provide an overview of the broader Indigenous food sovereignty movement and discuss a vision of food production that centers on Indigenous partnerships. The Amah Mutsun Land Trust is working to return traditional indigenous land stewardship to Awaswas territory to ensure the Awaswas people are never forgotten. Join the team at Pie Ranch and the Amah Mutsun Land Trust for a day discussing and experiencing effective pathways toward healing our relationships with each other and Mother Earth.”

The Pie Ranch/EcoFarm field day will be Tuesday, May 10th, 8:30 – 5 p.m., cost is $105.

Register for any and all field days here.