September 27-29, 2022
Paicines Ranch, California
Sallie Calhoun, the Paicines Ranch Learning Center and the #NoRegrets Initiative team will be hosting a three-day immersive convening: Regeneration Through Agriculture: A Learning Journey for Investors and Funders at Paicines Ranch, September 27-29, 2022.
The Learning Journey takes place at Paicines Ranch, a regenerative ranch located two hours south of San Francisco in San Benito County, California.
— What is the Learning Journey? —
Designed for impact investors, philanthropists, and other financial activists, this land-based gathering illustrates the power of regenerative and relational agriculture to grow a thriving food system resilient to climate change – and the power of people like you to extend its practice and impact. It is what we have learned from using these agricultural practices at Paicines Ranch that has informed the way we think about philanthropy and investing, and is at the core of our land and asset management strategy.
— How it Works —
Expert-led demonstrations, group discussions, case studies, and nourishing meals will provide an open sharing and dissemination of the principles of regenerative farming and ranching in practice at Paicines Ranch. You will explore exciting topics such as: holistically managed rangeland using grazing to increase biodiversity and ecosystem health; a polyculture perennial-based vineyard designed to be managed by grazing livestock; diversified cropland integrating livestock in an annual system; and the role of context and conditions in creating systems change.
We will then take what we have learned on the land and layer it into discussions on how we rethink frameworks around investing and philanthropy; what questions address the root cause of a problem versus its symptoms; and how integrated capital can break down silos and redesign money flow by taking a whole "ecosystem function" approach to support practitioners on the land. By weaving in examples of these strategies at work throughout the agenda and in case studies, we will provide a practical understanding of the questions we ask and the #NoRegrets decision-making framework we use to deploy capital to the farmers, ranchers and organizations who are stewarding our lands.
— Who Should Attend —
Attendance for the Learning Journey is by invitation-only and is geared towards people who have and/or manage financial resources, and want to learn how to integrate regenerative agriculture and its principles into their decision-making framework. We welcome people with an open mind and open heart who are willing to learn from the land!
** Participation is by invitation only. If you are interested or know of others who might be, please email [email protected]
— Agenda Components —
Using the principles of living systems to inform investing and grant funding
Soil Ecology and Photosynthesis
We lay a foundation for understanding how regenerating soil using the power of photosynthesis is the fastest way to increase biodiversity, ecosystem cycling, water holding capacity and climate stability in order to grow a resilient food system. We will discuss our practical understanding of:
- The role of mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria, and other microbes in growing biodiversity and sequestering carbon
- Increasing soil nutrient availability, plant health, and nutrient density of crops
- Increasing resilience of soil in an unpredictable climate
- Reducing off-farm fertility inputs by optimizing photosynthesis
- The importance of context and conditions
- 6 principles of soil health and applications to support stable soil carbon sequestration
NoRegrets Initiative Regenerative Asset Management Strategy
This relationship-centered approach to land and asset management deploys human, ecological, and financial capital toward soil health and its effect on climate change. In conversation with the NRI team, we’ll share our vision of a world in which all agricultural ecosystems are managed for health, diversity, and long-term resiliency. Here are some of the themes we’ll dig into:
- The NoRegrets principles, driving questions and decision-making framework we use to deploy capital
- Challenging assumptions and re-imagining frameworks around investing and philanthropy, risk and return, and other ways of knowing
- Highlighting a diversity of leaders and experts from the NoRegrets portfolio
- Systems design that embraces complexity, creates conditions for change, and addresses the root cause of a problem versus its symptoms
- How integrated capital can break down silos and redesign money flow by taking a whole "ecosystem function" approach to support practitioners on the land
Exploring Decision Making Through Investing & Grant Funding Case Studies
We will workshop example investment and grant opportunities to practice incorporating regenerative principles and questions into decision-making. Participants will also have an opportunity to bring their own funding decisions or challenges in progress and receive peer coaching from the group to help clarify the path forward. By weaving in examples and case studies of the Regenerative Asset Management Strategy at work throughout the agenda, we will provide a practical understanding of the questions we ask and the decision-making framework we use to support those stewarding our lands and communities.
Regenerative Agricultural Principles in Practice at Paicines Ranch
The above sessions and conversations will be grounded with field tours out on the land to help integrate what you have learned:
Holistically Managed Rangeland
Paicines Ranch has 7,000 acres of rangeland managed to encourage biological diversity with multiple ecological and economic benefits including livestock for grazing/browsing, fiber, meat, and offspring; and plants for food, forage, shade, windbreak, deep nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration, and habitat for insects and wildlife. A field tour on the rangeland will allow participants to observe the outcomes of managing to improve ecosystem health, including water cycle, mineral cycle, diversity, and energy flow.
Regenerative Farming Practices
Paicines Ranch has 600 acres of diversified cropland integrating livestock grazing that is designed to treat soil as a complex living entity managed for maximum health. A field tour will compare previous management of an industrial organic agricultural system to one that is in transition to a biological-based agricultural system. Using simple monitoring devices, we will look at water infiltration, plant diversity, soil structure, soil temperature, and nutrient density.
From Design to Vine to Ovine to Wine - A Polyculture Vineyard
We will demonstrate what intentional design looks like by touring a diverse, perennial-based vineyard system that is designed to be managed by sheep to address multiple functions. These functions inclue nutrient cycling, vegetation control, suckering, pest suppression, and successional development of plants and soils.
Next Steps in Advancing Regenerative Agriculture
This gathering is designed to spark your imagination for the possibilities of regenerative and relational agriculture and what you can do to extend its practice and impact. We’ll explore different pathways and models for advancing regenerative agriculture - whether it be through financial, human, ecological, or other types of capital.
Unstructured Time to Connect, Network & Socialize
One of our goals is that you will come away from this gathering with a new community of peers to connect, collaborate, and find partnership with. With that in mind, we will carve out unstructured time throughout the agenda for networking, socializing and relaxed conversation as you get to know your peers.
— A Taste of the #NoRegrets Pantry —
You'll get to enjoy incredible meals featuring pastured meat raised on Paicines Ranch and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables. We'll also source from the #NoRegrets portfolio and showcase producers that are reimagining the food system while making delicious products. This includes special happy hours where you will taste your way through regenerative wines, spirits, and ciders!
Meals will be curated and prepared by Paicines Chef Carlos Canada, a master at creating fresh, in-season, organic, and local ingredient-driven meals.
— Facilitator —
If you’ve been lucky enough to experience facilitation by Nikki, you’ll know that she creates a brave space for sharing enlightened as well as difficult conversations and has an unparalleled ability to sense the room and shift energy when needed. Nikki can keep a group on track, for hours at a time and have us all be happy about it! She is a siren with a beckoning smile that lures you back into the room, back on topic and back on task, if you’re ever tempted to stray. She can pull threads from the group’s intentions, weave them together and create a beautiful tapestry reflected back with systems-level thinking garnered from a wealth of experience that gifts the group clarity and ways to proceed. Don’t think for a minute that you can hide when Nikki’s joy is captivating the room – she SEES YOU! Nikki connects with each dancer in the room, having them feel seen, heard and special all while keeping a dynamic group choreography running beautifully with an end result that is mesmerizing, deep and inspiring. And then there’s the little red wagon song… delivered with the full force of her sass and voice for an unforgettable experience of pure joy of being in a group enthusiastically singing with Nikki!
Nikki is the Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, a coaching and consulting firm bringing social and environmental entrepreneurs more impact in their work and joy in their lives.
— Team & Educators —
— Registration —
** Limited EARLY BIRD tickets available for $750 **
Full price registration is $850 which includes all meals and programming. Lodging is separate and can be booked while registering.
Please follow the below link to our Eventbrite page to register, and use the passcode you received in your invitation.
— Lodging —
Stay at the historic Paicines Ranch and explore that the area has to offer. Lodging consists of an assortment of cottages, full-kitchen houses, and private rooms with endless landscapes. Here are the lodging options:
- Private room/private bath
- Private room/shared bath
- Camping/RV space
Lodging at Paicines can be booked while registering.
Alternative lodging options are also available locally. Please contact any of the below for more information:
— Travel & Schedule —
For those booking flights, the closest airports to Paicines Ranch are San Jose (1.5 hours north) and Monterey (1 hour west) followed by San Francisco or Oakland (2 hours north).
A Note about Transportation: Unfortunately, there is not reliable public transportation all the way to the ranch as it is in a rural location so most people flying end up renting a car or carpooling. Please let us know if you need help with a ride and we'll do our best to arrange a carpool.
Our program will begin at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, September 27 (with check-in and an optional lunch beginning at 12:00pm), and will conclude with an optional lunch at 12:00pm on Thursday, September 29.
We recommend that you book flights arriving no later than 11:00am on Tuesday and leaving no earlier than 3:00pm on Thursday.
— Location: Paicines Ranch —
Located in central California's San Benito County, Paicines Ranch is a historic 7,600-acre ranch that works to regenerate ecosystems by growing healthy soil, nutrient-dense food and vibrant, diverse communities. Using the practices of regenerative agriculture, the ranch team manages this diverse landscape in partnership with nature and livestock to produce 100% grass-fed-and-finished lamb and beef, and pastured pork and turkey. They also grow organic forage crops, as well as organic winegrapes in their polyculture vineyard that is designed to be managed by sheep. Over the years, the ranch has become a renown destination for learning about regenerative agriculture through their practices, programs and educational workshops while also serving as a treasured location for weddings, retreats, and events.
— How We're Handling Covid-19 —
Paicines Ranch and the Paicines Ranch Learning Center follow all national, state and county guidelines with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our current policy for multi-day gatherings has been to require rapid Covid testing at check-in. Masks are not required when indoors and anyone may choose to wear a mask at any time. The Paicines Ranch Hospitality team and NRI staff are all fully vaccinated with boosters, or with a medical exemption from the booster. We'll be meeting in a partially open-air barn and outdoors, and meals will have indoors and outdoor seating options.
We will review our Covid testing and mask policies two weeks prior to the gathering and will send out any updates as necessary.
Refund Policy: We understand that we continue to live in uncertain times, especially when it comes to travel. Tickets and lodging are 100% refundable up until September 17 (10 days prior to the event start). If you need to cancel after that point, we ask you to hold onto your ticket for the next Learning Journey but will honor refund requests on a case by case basis. If the event is cancelled or postponed for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or you also have the option to roll over your tickets to the next Learning Journey.
— Conveners —
The Learning Journey is a program of the Paicines Ranch Learning Center (PRLC) whose mission is to educate, inspire and connect people with new ideas and networks that advance healthy soil and healthy communities. Life in the soil is at the core of each gathering, convening and workshop that we hold. And the land is our key collaborator in the work to solve complex ecological and social problems. With our regenerative agricultural community, we are exploring and mapping a radically different path forward, and a commitment to educating ourselves.
The PRLC is a part of the #NoRegrets Initiative which is an integrated relationship-centered approach to land and asset management that uses a variety of capital – human, natural, investment, and philanthropic – to affect change in our agricultural food system.