This session will bring together experience from the US and the UK to demonstrate how ruminants can be profitably raised solely off pasture.
Carrie Balkcom, American Grassfed Association
Carrie Balkcom is the Executive Director of the American Grassfed Association (AGA). AGA is the national, multispecies entity organised to protect and promote grassfed and pasture based farmers and ranchers. Carrie grew up on a Florida cattle ranch and has stayed connected to the agriculture and livestock industry. She has spoken, presented and coordinated numerous regional and national conferences and is well known in agricultural, culinary and sustainable agricultural circles.
Andrea Malmberg, Savory Institute (replacing Daniela Howell)
Andrea Malmberg is the Director of Research and Knowledge Management at the Savory Institute, a global network restoring the grasslands of the world. She was raised on the land with livestock and real food in the western United States and has run profitable land-based businesses for over fifteen years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master of Science in Natural Resources from Washington State University as well as a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing her studies in Zimbabwe and Argentina in 2007, Andrea became an Accredited Field Professional in Holistic Management. Over the last twenty years and in many different capacities, Andrea has facilitated researchers and citizens in gathering data and interpreting and understanding ecological, financial, and psycho-sociological phenomena so that they can make sound ecological, economic, and quality of life decisions.
Sara Gregson, Talking Grass
Sara is passionate about grass-based farming and sees it as the sustainable approach to beef, lamb and dairy production in the UK. She upholds that grass is the UK’s national crop but is currently under-valued and under-utilised. Although not a farmer, Sara has worked on livestock farms, and spent the past 25 years interviewing many producers and writing about them in the farming press. She has also been involved in industry-wide extension initiatives such as the EBLEX Better Returns Programme.
She has been a member of the British Grassland Society since completing her agriculture degree and has served on their Council for eight years. She edits their quarterly farmer magazine Grass and Forage Farmer. Awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2006, Sara sought to find ways of encouraging pastoral livestock farmers to use their grassland more effectively.
Fidelity Weston, PFLA
For the past 30 years, Fidelity has managed their 70ha family farm outside Sevenoaks in Kent on pasture-fed principles. The farm has been Soil Association registered since 2000 and they sell pasture-fed beef and lamb, and organic pork, poultry and eggs directly from the farm. Fidelity is involved in the Food For Life Programme providing an ongoing programme of educational visits and Open Days.
Fidelity was a trustee of Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) for 17 years until 2014, including a time as Chairman of the Trust and involvement in The Wildlife Trusts nationally sitting on their Strategic Development and Research Committee. She is particularly interested in the use of herbivores to maintain and enhance biodiverse habitats and the particular issues associated with selling produce with high credentials but on a small scale.