CFAR: Session 3, January 24 - 28, 2022

For session three, we invited Dr. Jason Roundtree, soil scientist, Savory Hub leader and professor at Michigan State University. Jason also was the lead scientist on the General Mills/White Oak Pastures Life Cycle Assessment for White Oak Pastures, which showed that White Oak Pastures sequesters 3.5 lbs of carbon dioxide equivalent for every pound of beef sold.  

Two massive hurricanes devastated Louisiana agriculture in 2005. While helping farmers recover from the twin disasters, Dr. Jason Rowntree then realized his life’s work would be developing systems to increase the resilience of food production worldwide. As an associate professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University, he coordinates Lake City and UPREC AgBioResearch and Extension Centers where he addresses economic, environmental and social complexity in agriculture. He has obtained more than $6 million in funding to study how grazing livestock can improve land and mitigate climate change by capturing carbon and providing other ecosystem services. As an affiliate of the Center for Regional Food Systems, he strives to increase local food systems that strengthen local communities. He is former chair of the Grassfed Exchange, a leading U.S. grass-fed beef educational organization, serves on the board of the American Grassfed Association, is an accredited Holistic Management Educator and is an advisor of Standard Soil, a startup corporation that aims to meet the nation’s growing demand for grass-finished beef while restoring the ecosystems they manage. Jason's objective is to develop low-cost, low-input beef production systems for the Upper Great Lakes. As Faculty Coordinator of Lake City Experiment Station, his research and extension focuses on forage utilization of grazing beef cattle, extending the grazing season and forage-finishing. Another facet of his work is to improve economics of small and medium size beef producers through local and regional beef production and distribution system development. Bovine tuberculosis is a challenge to northern Michigan beef cattle producers, and they aim to develop holistic approaches to beef cattle and white-tail deer management through selective forage plot establishment, hay feeding and fencing strategies.

We also relied on Tre Cates of nRhythm to moderate these big vision conversation to keep participants engaged. Maria Soledad Perez, Agency 21, prepared a special and delicious farm fresh feast. Last but not least, the White Oak Pastures management team + directors played a big part in taking these big picture frameworks and relating them back to White Oak Pastures 30+ year journey to this type of farming.

Session three was packed with rich content and valuable networking. If you have interest in joining us for a session, please apply here. Scholarships available.