Regeneration Through Agriculture

A Learning Journey at Paicines Ranch

** An update on the Learning Journey **

The upcoming Learning Journey on Oct 5-7, 2021 has been cancelled. The #NoRegrets team made the tough decision to postpone the gathering into the future when people feel more comfortable about traveling, and are ready and excited to convene in person.

We will continue to eagerly anticipate the return of the Learning Journeys and being together at Paicines Ranch. 

CANCELLED: October 5-7, 2021

Paicines Ranch, California

After more than two years we are thrilled to be finally bringing our Learning Journey back in-person at Paicines Ranch! 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 at Paicines Ranch, October 5-7, 2021.

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? —

Lift Paicines Ranch-20191022-CCP_6703

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 incredible organic 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: diversified cropland integrating livestock in an annual system; holistically managed rangeland using grazing to increase diversity and ecosystem health; and a polyculture perennial-based vineyard designed to be managed by grazing livestock. We will then take what we have learned on the land and layer it into discussions and case studies on how we deploy financial resources, and to whom.


— 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 —

Soil Ecology and Photosynthesis

We lay a foundation for understanding how regenerating soil using the power of photosynthesis is the fastest way to increase diversity and ecosystem health, drawdown carbon out of the atmosphere, increase water holding capacity, decrease soil temperature, stabilize the climate, and grow a resilient food system. We will discuss our practical understanding of:

  • The role of mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria, and other microbes in sequestering carbon
  • Increasing soil nutrient availability and plant health
  • Increasing nutrient density of crops
  • Increasing resilience of soil in an unpredictable climate
  • Reducing off farm fertility inputs by optimizing photosynthesis
  • Principles 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. We will present our vision of a world in which all agricultural ecosystems are managed for health, diversity and long-term sustainability. Incorporating what we will have just learned on the land at Paicines, we will use case studies and discussions to show how to incorporate regenerative principles into decision-making for grants and investments. By weaving in these examples of this 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 the farmers, ranchers and organizations who are stewarding our lands.

Regenerative Agricultural Principles in Practice at Paicines Ranch

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.

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.

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.

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.

— Delicious Meals —

You'll get to enjoy farm-to-table breakfasts, lunches and dinners featuring pastured meat raised on Paicines Ranch and locally grown organic fruit and vegetables. We'll also source from the #NoRegrets portfolio of producers working on food system change.

Meals will be curated and prepared by Chef Carlos Canada, formerly with Flea Street in Silicon Valley and a master at creating fresh, in-season, organic, and local ingredient-driven meals.

wine invite 2

— Important Information: COVID-19 —

Paicines Ranch and the Paicines Ranch Learning Center follow all national, state and county guidelines with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. We prioritize guest and staff safety above all else and our entire team is working hard to be as thoughtful and thorough as possible in the midst of the rapidly changing landscape. We plan to host as much of the convening outdoors as possible, and will continue to monitor and continue to adapt as needed.
Vaccination status: Due to the spread of the Delta variant, we are limiting this convening to fully-vaccinated individuals only. If you are unvaccinated, we invite you to join us at a future Learning Journey.

— Facilitator —


Nikki Silvestri

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. As an entrepreneur and serial non-profit Executive Director, Nikki has invited thousands of leaders and hundreds of business and organizations into more in-depth conversations around the intersection of ecology, economy, and social equity. Her wide-ranging career has taken her from presentations at the White House and negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency to intimate workshops with local businesses and small retail organizing. A nationally recognized thought leader and international keynote speaker, her many honors include being named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans.

— Team & Educators —

Sallie Calhoun


Esther Park


Avery C. A. Sponholtz


Elaine Patarini


Karla Urata


Kelly Mulville


Greg Richardson


Megan Mendenhall


— Registration —

Registration is closed.

If you are interested in a future Learning Journey or know of others who might be, please email [email protected]


To learn about future PRLC events, join our mailing list below:

— 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.

These are the rates for the Learning Journey (for a 2 night stay):

  • Private room/private bath - $275 + tax
  • Private room/shared bath - $200 + tax
  • Camping/RV space - $25

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 airport to Paicines Ranch is San Jose (1.5 hours north) followed by San Francisco or Oakland (2 hours north). Our program will begin at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, October 5 (with check-in and an optional lunch beginning at 12:00pm), and will conclude with an optional lunch at 12:00pm on Thursday, October 7.
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, turkey and eggs. Paicines Ranch also grow organic grain, as well as organic grapes in a 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 programs and educational workshops while also serving as a treasured location for hosting weddings, retreats, and events.

— Questions? —

For questions, please contact Megan at [email protected]


— 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.