Organizing conferences, workshops and other events can be hard. So we want to give you a hand by helping you find speakers.
These On Pasture authors might be just what you’re looking for. Please contact them directly to check on their availability, discuss your event and what kind of information they can share with your audience, and to make arrangements for covering costs for travel and speaking fees.
Management-Intensive Grazier in Louisiana
Topics: With over 6 decades of experience, Don has a wealth of information to draw on for his presentations. He’s a colorful, no-nonsense story-teller who brings humor and a sense of history to his talks. Visit the On Pasture Special Collection of his articles to get an idea of topics you can invite Don to speak about.
Availability: Don prefers staying close to home. He’s available throughout Louisiana and nearby states.
My name is Don Ashford and my wife is Betty and we live in Ethel, LA. It would be impossible for me to write a bio about myself without including Betty in it. We have been together since high school. I was in the senior class of 1955 and she was in the class of 1957. Do the math. We have raised cattle since 1959 except for a little time that I spent with Uncle Sam. We have grazed stockers, owned several cow- calf herds and custom grazed cattle for other folks. I worked as a pipefitter for more than 25 years. Until we went into the dairy business in 1977 we were as most people down here part-timers or week-end ranchers. Later after we had learned enough about MIG to talk about it so that it would be understood by others we put together a pasture-walk group to introduce it to our friends and neighbors. We belong to more farm groups then we probably should but we get great joy working with other people. What makes us most proud are our son and daughter, our 5 grandkids and our 7 great-grand kids. It has been a hell of a trip so far, but we are not done yet.
The Grass Whisperer, Farmer, and Grazing Specialist at Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District
Availability: Northeast and mid-Atlantic states Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is a seasoned grazier and grasslands advocate who owns, manages and linger-grazes at Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raise dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased pastures. Troy also mentors farmers on holistic land management for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. He is constantly working to improve his grazing, speaking and writing skills and as a result, he’s received numerous awards for his free-lance writer, essays and photography maintains a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com. Troy helped get On Pasture started and has supported it with lots of great articles. You can read all of them here.
Availability: Northeast and mid-Atlantic states
Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is a seasoned grazier and grasslands advocate who owns, manages and linger-grazes at Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raise dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased pastures. Troy also mentors farmers on holistic land management for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. He is constantly working to improve his grazing, speaking and writing skills and as a result, he’s received numerous awards for his free-lance writer, essays and photography maintains a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com. Troy helped get On Pasture started and has supported it with lots of great articles. You can read all of them here.
Grazier and Pasture Program Coordinator, University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Availability: Nationally and Internationally
Jenn manages grazing and livestock programming statewide as the University of Vermont Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Pasture Program Coordinator. She feels very lucky to work with a close-knit team of passionate graziers, technical assistance providers and researchers around grass-based livestock as a solution to many challenges at the intersection of agriculture, community and environment. Jenn works regionally through the Vermont Farm to Plate Network and Long Island Sound Watershed Resource Conservation Partnership Program; statewide through grants with VT-NRCS and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets; and locally through service on the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional [Planning] Commission and Randolph Technical Career Center Diversified Agriculture Program boards.
Outside of official Extension work, Jenn teaches grazing and livestock courses part time at Sterling College and Vermont Technical College. She has operated a diversified meat livestock farm in the Randolph, Vermont area since 2000 and recently relocated the farm to a new location with new challenges. Jenn and her husband Chris Sargent competed in Kansas City-style barbecue contests around New England for more than a decade; a skill they are capitalizing on as they build the new farm business.
Custom Grazier, Grass Seedstock Producer, Author and Speaker
Availability: Continental 48 United States and Canada
I received my Bachelor’s degree in livestock science and management from West Virginia University in 2012. I graduated with a minor in agricultural business and won a statewide entrepreneurship contest as a senior. My entry was a patentable design for video-assisted artificial breeding of cattle. After graduation, I interned for mob-grazing expert Greg Judy in Missouri. Greg taught me everything I know about using cattle to improve land through grazing, selecting for the best grass genetics, and eliminating purchased inputs. I also interned on ranches and veterinary clinics in Montana and Texas, giving me experiences in both the holistic and conventional beef industries.
I came home to western New York State and started Rhinestone Cattle Co. LLC. I am raising and custom grazing 100% grassfed beef and breeding stock on leased land. My vision for RCC is to be a resource to regenerative cattle graziers through using and teaching the principles of low-input management and grass genetic development. I want to help new farmers get started by creating a reproducible model for growing a full-time, profitable business from scratch.
My articles have been published in Acres USA, The Stockman Grass Farmer, the Mother Earth News online blog, OnPasture.com, Country Folks, and Progressive Forage Grower. Past speaking engagements include the 2015 Grassworks Conference in Wisconsin, Permaculture Voices II in San Diego, a pasture walk at Essex Farm Institute, and the Northeast Custom Grazing Summit. I have been a podcast contributor for The Ruminant, Agricultural Insights, and a new production coming soon from Leanna Mulvihill at Four Legs Farm.
Author, and C.F.O., Co-owner and Chef at Sap Bush Hollow Farm, LLC
Topics: Shannon is just the kind of inspiring speaker conferences want to invite. A visit to her blog gives a taste of the thoughtful and creative attitude she brings to farm life; something she can share while talking about relationships, stress reduction, building new enterprises, entrepreneurship, good food, rural economic survival, and balanced family and community life. Check out her On Pasture articles for ideas for presentation topics, or contact her directly.
Availability: National or International travel possible from November through April.
Shannon Hayes (also known as “The Radical Homemaker”) works with three generations of her family producing grassfed meats on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in upstate New York, and runs a farm-to-table café and espresso bar (Sap Bush Hollow Café & Farm Store), as well as a Farm-to-Table vacation rental. She is the author of six books, including The Grassfed Gourmet, The Farmer and the Grill, Radical Homemakers, Long Way on a Little, Cooking Grassfed Beef and, most recently, Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled. Hayes holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she studied sustainable agriculture and community development. She blogs weekly at her Radical Homemaker website.
Editor of Stockmanship Journal
Topics: Whit’s clinics cover the fundamentals of low-stress livestock handling including its origins, principles, techniques, and practical applications. His objective is to give attendees enough of an understanding that they can go home to their respective outfits and successfully apply it. He is also available to speak about cattle handling facilities design, and stockmanship and range management.
Whit Hibbard is a fourth generation Montana cattle rancher, former national park mounted ranger, editor of Stockmanship Journal (www.stockmanshipjournal.com), and writes on stockmanship for Drovers, On Pasture, and Progressive Cattleman. He spent 38 years handling cattle conventionally, then made a paradigm shift to low-stress livestock handling (LSLH) as taught by Bud Williams, which he has studied and practiced since 2005. He believes strongly in the importance and value of LSLH and has been teaching clinics and consulting since 2012. You can read all his On Pasture articles here.
Grazier and Author
Topics: Greg’s popularity as a speaker and author comes from his willingness to describe how anyone can use his grazing and business techniques to create lush forage, a sustainable environment and a successful business. From fencing systems, to managing a mob, building healthy forage and soils with only livestock for inputs, working with the right animals, and working with landowners to build a business on leased land, Greg gives clear, precise instructions on how to get out of debt, leave your off-farm job and be a happy successful farmer/rancher.
Availability: Nationally or Internationally
Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1600 acres of leased land that includes 11 farms. Their successful custom grazing business is founded on holistic, high-density, planned grazing. They run cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, stockers, a hair sheep flock, a goat herd, and Tamworth pigs. They also direct market grass-fed beef, lamb and pork, bulls from their herd, and trained livestock guardian dogs. Greg and Jan pass their knowledge on at their annual May grazing school and by working with interns to build the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Greg is a down-to-earth speaker who works hard to make his success accessible to everyone around him. His example, shared in the two books he authored, has inspired people to change the way people look at their farming and ranching operations. Comeback Farms covers multi-species grazing, developing parasite-resistant hair sheep flocks and grass-genetic cattle, and how to select, train and care for livestock guardian dogs. It includes High Density Grazing fencing techniques, diagrams for HDG fencing and paddock moves; and how to calve with HDG. No Risk Ranching describes how he found and managed his first and subsequent leases, taking him from dead broke to a custom grazing operation of 1100cattle. He offers a detailed guide for other graziers to follow on how to find idle land to lease; calculate the cost of a lease, draft and write a land lease contract (with examples included), develop good water and portable fencing on leased land, promote wildlife and improve timber stands, keep accurate records and more. Greg also writes for On Pasture and you can read all his articles here.
Grazier and Author
Contact: Dawn Stuart at Books in Common, 541-318-6288, firstname.lastname@example.org
Availability: Nationally and Internationally
Forrest Pritchard is a seventh generation farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William & Mary. Upon returning from college in the mid 90s, he took over his grandparents’ farm ⎯primarily growing GMO corn and soybeans⎯ hoping to make the land profitable for the first time in decades. On harvest day, when five tractor-trailer loads of grain reaped a meager paycheck of $18.16, he realized his family’s farm must radically change course. The following season, he devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.
Twenty years later, Smith Meadows Farm is one of the oldest grass finished farms in the country, and sells at leading farmers markets in Washington DC. Chronicling his farming adventures, Forrest’s book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table, and made the New York Times Bestseller list. His second book, Growing Tomorrow, goes behind the scenes with 18 extraordinary sustainable farmers from across the country, an inspiring farm-to-table journey in story, photos and recipes. His upcoming book, Start Your Farm – The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer, will be out this fall.
Sandra Kay Miller
Grazier and On Pasture author
Sandra Kay Miller is a female farmer, damn good cook and witty writer slicing her finger open on the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture. Visiting her Painted Hand Farm is like living a crash course on all that’s right with food and farming today – taught by one of the most delightful people ever to rebuild an antique Babson Surge Milker (and use it!) or raise a goat from birth to curry pot. Sandra has served on the boards of many organizations and has been instrumental in developing farmers markets. She’s a prolific writer and speaker sharing her knowledge and experience with others.
Co-Owner, along with wife, Jenny, of Montana Highland Lamb, Whitehall, MT
Livestock Specialist, National Center for Appropriate Technology
406-287-3886 • 406-490-7596 (cell)
“Practical, useable advice – excited to try it!” and “Whole new way of thinking about pasture, soil, and animals and what’s best for them…” are what just a few of Dave’s audience members have said about his talks.
You can read Dave’s On Pasture articles here. Dave has also authored and co-authored many NCAT ATTRA publications, videos, and online tutorials on managed grazing, soil health, direct marketing of lamb,and small ruminant internal parasite management. You can find them by searching for Dave Scott on the ATTRA website.
Availability: Nationally or Canada
Dave and Jenny run 200 Polypay ewes and their lambs on 32 irrigated acres at 4200 feet above sea level. Dave’s grazing knowledge stems from necessity and from visiting with others. Urgently requiring a way to feed 75 Guernsey dairy cows on 30 acres of irrigated pasture when he and his wife began dairying in 1982, they turned to intensive grazing, moving stock twice daily. They continue with their sheep today. Dave specializes in using simple monitoring techniques to identify root problems and addressing them with holistic adaptation. Direct marketing of their lamb, grazing to control sheep parasites, and producing six to seven tons of grass per year without commercial nitrogen have been the outcomes. In a down to earth style, Dave is a farmer who is happy to share his practical experiences with others.
Publisher/Editor of On Pasture
Owner, Livestock for Landscapes
Availability: Nationally or Internationally
Kathy Voth is publisher and editor of On Pasture, a free, weekly, online grazing magazine that translates research and experience into practices that graziers can use to be more sustainable and profitable. Readers have flocked to the site, saying that On Pasture has become their go to source for up-to-date, scientifically accurate, accessible information for raising livestock on pasture. As a result, in just five short years, readership has grown to 100,000 a month.
Kathy’s background includes 12 years with the Bureau of Land Management where her specialty was education and research. She created an award-winning internship program for students transitioning to land management agencies, and her research on using goats for fire danger reduction resulted in the only handbook on best management practices for prescribed goat grazing. Her awards include a National Conservation Service Award from the Department of the Interior for her work creating a 150-mile mountain bike trail, and an Excellence in Environmental Education for developing a novel internship program to help students transition to working for land management agencies.