As the field of regenerative agriculture continues to take root, California State University, Chico is taking the lead, partnering with researchers, agriculturists and organizations across the region. The University will host Grazing for Change: Third Western Regional Grazing Conference on Saturday, February 24, at the University Farm Pavilion, located at 311 Nicholas C. Schouten Lane in Chico.

Chico State’s University Farm is committed to advancing the field of regenerative agriculture regionally.

Odile Lomas works in the soil in the Organic Vegetable Project space at Chico State’s University Farm, which is committed to advancing the field of regenerative agriculture regionally.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature speaker presentations, a discussion panel, and a social hour with refreshments, as well as a meal from makers of locally produced meats, grains and vegetables.

The conference is co-organized by the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management and the CSU, Chico Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, which consists of a group of multidisciplinary faculty that works to develop collaborative research, training and teaching strategies for the primary purpose of restoring the health of global soils and drawing down greenhouse gas emissions

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic land management practice that sequesters carbon to restore soil health and biodiversity through a variety of techniques, such as fungal dominant compost applications, cover crops, and other sustainable farming and grazing practices. The result is threefold: a reduction in carbon emissions, improved water retention and increased productivity.

A worm in the handful of soil in the grazing pasture at the University Farm is part of the regenerative soil program that makes efforts for sustainability farming possible.

A worm in the handful of soil in the grazing pasture at the University Farm is part of the regenerative soil program that makes efforts for sustainability farming possible.
(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

CSU, Chico is uniquely positioned to host a regenerative agriculture conference, due in large part to faculty like Daley, who boasts a background in conventional agriculture while also possessing expertise on how to build an ecosystem and soil system—practices that help characterize regenerative agriculture.

Tim LaSalle, co-founder and co-director of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, said the University and Chico community have a presence and possess leadership in the regenerative agriculture industry, with faculty like Daley leading the way.

“Chico State is unique in that not many universities have that background experience,” said LaSalle said.

During Grazing for Change, leaders and experts in the field of regenerative agriculture will explore many topics within the industry. Featured speakers include:

  • Will Harris, from White Oak Pastures, on making the break from commodity agriculture as a self-reliant, diversified farming operation that builds soil for future generations
  • Dan Kittredge, from Bio Nutrient Food Association, on understanding the connection between regenerative farming and grazing practices and nutrient-dense food
  • Sina McCullough, author of “Hands Off My Food!”, on how commoditizing our food system has contributed to the current health crisis in our nation

Other speakers include Abbey and Spencer Smith; Fallon Turner Stover; and CSU, Chico’s Daley.

For more information on Grazing for Change, visit www.grazingforchange.com.