Orr Farms was established in 1987. They primarily farm in Clinton County with some additional acreage and custom services in the surrounding counties. They pride themselves in being a sustainable operation and are striving to be one of the most environmentally conscious operations in the Midwest. All of their acres receive cover crops, are no-tilled or strip-tilled, and use manures, variable rate technologies, reduced soil compaction, intensive soil testing, and various other conservation practices.
The farm was recognized in 2011 as the Conservation Partner of the Year by the Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District. In 2013, Clint Orr received the River Friendly Farmer award. In 2015, Clint was elected to the Soil and Water Conservation District Board. And in 2018, Clint was confirmed to the Indiana State FSA Board.
The Orr family currently farms over 3,000 acres in cropland. They raise waxy corn for Primient Grain, white food grade corn for Cargill, and seed beans for Pioneer. They raise beef cattle and partner with chicken and hog operations in the use of their manures for natural fertilizer.
Dr. Alejandro Plastina is an Associate Professor/Extension Economist in the Department of Economics at Iowa State University (ISU). His area of specialization is agricultural production and technology, with an emphasis on farm business and financial management. His research focuses on the socioeconomic drivers of conservation practices, voluntary pest resistance management, carbon programs, and agricultural productivity.
He is an Associate Director of the ISU-Iowa Bankers Association and an Academic Member of the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraiser. He serves as Advisor to the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, Chair of the ISU Farm Financial Stress Task Force, and past Chair of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee.
He has been recognized as the first Farm Foundation Agricultural Economics Fellow (2021), and has received the Dean's Citation for Extraordinary Contributions to the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2022), the ISU Office of the President Excellence in Remote Instruction Award (2021), the ISU Extension and Outreach Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award (2020), the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Distinguished Extension Program Award (2019), the ISU ANR Programming Innovation Award (2018), and the ISU Extension and Outreach Impacting Iowa Award (2015).
Prior to joining ISU in 2014, Dr. Plastina was Senior Economist at the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington, DC. He graduated with a BA in Economics from the University of La Plata (Argentina) in 2000, and an MS in Statistics and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2005 and 2007, respectively.
Jake Linneman grew up in northeast South Dakota on his family farm. He received a B.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences from North Dakota State University and a M.S. also in Plant and Soil Science from Oklahoma State University. Jake spent three years as a seed branded agronomist in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. He moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, and sold seed for three years before joining Indigo Ag in 2017 as a field agronomist. He currently resides in Stillwater with his wife, Kami, and three kids (Mya, Lane, and Remi).
Lauren grew up on her family’s six-generation corn, soy, and wheat farm in Iowa, the Blue Diamond Farming Company. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Sociology in 2015, and has led marketing efforts for major brands across the ag industry, including Farm Journal Media, Kent Nutrition Group, Case IH, Granular, Asgrow/DEKALB, and Bayer CropScience. At Indigo, she serves as a Product Marketer focused on Carbon, where she uses her lifetime of experience in ag to help inform how Indigo solutions can help benefit growers the most. Lauren also continues to be actively involved in her family’s farm.
Ryan Stockwell serves as the Sr. Manager, Partner & Grower Advocacy. Previously, he served as the Director of Sustainable Agriculture for the National Wildlife Federation. In that role, he led the cover crops program, including policy development in the Farm Bill, research coordination, and farmer champion communication training. He also worked on strategies to communicate regenerative agriculture to farmers in ways that best meet their decision-making methodologies. In his spare time he farms near Medford, Wisconsin, using regenerative practices.
Tom Cannon farms the fourth generation of Goodson Ranch pioneer farmer/ranchers. Tom became unable to complete his collegiate education due to his father’s debilitating pickup wreck in 1997.
Finding the soil at 1% OM, Tom attended his first No-Till on the Plains conference in January 1998, a life-changing experience. The new Goodson Ranch CEO sold all tillage equipment and converted to 100% no-till – and now, among other radical experiences, he finds his soil testing at over 3% OM. Soil and the soils biological relationships are foundational to the success of the Goodson Ranch.
Sharing his successes and failures on regenerative agriculture though public speaking engagements and the personal relations gained at these engagements are an increasing priority.
He was later awarded the Oklahoma Governor’s Conservation award, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Stewardship award, NRCS Cooperator of the year for Oklahoma, Quail & Pheasants forever conservation award, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship awards.
Bianca leads AFT’s national Climate Initiative. Her program focuses on ensuring agriculture continues to move toward fully functioning healthy soils and systems that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and regenerate and maintain resilient, diverse, effective, environmentally, socially, and economically viable production systems on the nation’s varied agricultural lands, in collaboration with partner organizations. Her program works collaboratively across partners and stakeholders to scale successful approaches, on-ramp innovations, quantify outcomes, and reach new audiences for impact. The goal is to ensure that producers, the agricultural and conservation community, researchers, and policymakers have access to resources, technical advice, transformational connections, and policy facilitators that expand climate-smart, regenerative agriculture, and food systems in diverse ways.
Before joining AFT, Bianca served as the founding Director of the Soil Health Division with the USDA-NRCS from 2014-2021. She led the deployment and integration of the new division’s staff of regional and national specialists who provide leadership on NRCS strategy, policy, tools, training, direct assistance, science, and technology integration, and soil health efforts across the country. She led the establishment of national soil health resource concerns, soil health requirements for agency-certified conservation planners, soil health in-field and laboratory assessments, and soil health management planning for which NRCS now provides technical and financial assistance, and virtual training and outreach to millions of customers. Prior to NRCS, Bianca served on the faculty of Cornell University as a Senior Extension Associate and Lecturer, where her research and extension work focused on agricultural management impacts on soil health and nitrogen dynamics. She also taught a class in Sustainable Soil Management. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed and extension publications, NRCS national technical material and policy, and has provided workshops and trainings nationally and internationally. She holds Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Hampshire, all in soil science.