Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line on February 22 & 23, 2022

Don Tanaka

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2022 Farming & Ranching for the Bottom Line
Biography Information for Speakers

Joel Williams

Joel is an independent plant and soil health educator and consultant.  He is a passionate presenter on soil biology, plant nutrition, and integrated approaches to sustainable farming.  Joel received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Australia specializing in plant and soil dynamics.  He has a keen interest in managing microbial ecology and crop & soil nutrition to optimize plant immunity, soil function, and carbon sequestration.  Joel has worked more recently throughout Europe with both conventional and organic farming systems where he integrates soil chemical & biological assessments, along with plant nutritional analyses as a joined-up strategy for managing crop production.  Joel is currently on sabbatical in Canada finishing an MSc in Food Policy and authoring a book on the links between soil and plant nutrition, microbiomes, and plant immunity. 

Contact Information:



Darrell Oswald

Darrell is an employee of the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District in Bismarck, ND.  For the last 20 plus years, he has worked with farmers and ranchers on conservation planning including cropping systems, grazing systems, tree plantings, and all things conservation.  Since 2016, Darrell has also managed the “Menoken Farm” a conservation demonstration farm owned and operated by the Burleigh SCD.  The farm was established in 2009 and is a combination of natural resource education and systems approach conservation.  Darrell also farms and ranches with his father, Darrell Sr., and two daughters, Audrey and Afton, near Wing ND.  They employ regenerative agricultural practices and manage their resources with a systems approach. 

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Bryan Jorgensen

Bryan was born and raised on the family farm in Ideal, SD, and is the fourth of four children.  His passion for agriculture, equipment, and crop production led him to get a BS in Mechanized Agriculture from South Dakota State University.  Upon graduation, he returned home to the family farm and married his high school sweetheart, Brenda.  Together they have three children.  Bryan is currently the Chief Agronomy Operations Officer for the family farm partnership, Jorgensen Land & Cattle.  His role includes planning and executing cropping plans on 12,000 acres of crop ground.  The crop plan, which has up to twelve different crops in rotation, also includes selecting and purchasing the needed inputs to grow the crops.  The main objective is to improve overall soil health, productivity, and return on investment of the soil assets.  This is done through an extensive no-till program, diverse rotations, and the implementation of cover crops.  Along with his wife, partners Cody and Nicholas, they own and operate the Lazy J Grand Lodge which is a 42-bed all-inclusive hunting lodge.  Over the course of his career, Bryan has been active in many different organizations including being the founding board member of the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition and serving on that board from 2015 to 2021.  He has received numerous recognitions in several areas of service. 

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Michael Larson

Michael is a 4th generation farmer in the Northern end of the Red River Valley.  He & his wife, Tara, are raising four wonderful girls.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from NDSU.  Michael and his father raise wheat, cereal rye, oats, corn, soybeans, sugarbeets, and alfalfa as cash crops and are looking at new crops to add to their rotation.  In 2021 they put in some full-season multispecies cover crops and brought in cattle to graze them.  They grow many variations of covers between and inter-seeded into cash crops to increase the diversity in their soils.  2021 was their fourth year raising true no-till sugar beets, and this is showing great promise.  They are hoping that the tillage caused by beet harvest and the subsequent light cultivation to level the fields after will be their only planned tillage in the whole rotation. Michael looks at farming with long-term goals of increasing infiltration rates to better utilize all the rain they receive, to increase soil organic matter, carbon, and biological diversity, while decreasing the need for inputs and always leaving the soil better than it was when they started.

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Dr. Mark Liebig

Mark is a Research Soil Scientist and has worked at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) since August 1999.  Mark works with a multidisciplinary team of scientists to develop soil, crop, and animal management practices for the Great Plains to overcome limitations to productivity while maintaining or enhancing environmental quality. As a team member, he leads basic and applied research to quantify management effects on soil properties and associated ecosystem services. In addition to core research responsibilities, Mark develops decision aids and evaluation tools for producers, conservationists, and scientists, and regularly contributes to research networks within and outside USDA-ARS.

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Dr. Kevin Sedivec

Kevin is an Extension Rangeland Management Specialist with North Dakota State University and Director of the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center near Streeter. His current research and extension programming focuses on adaptive grazing management strategies to improve livestock production while enhancing ecosystem services such as pollinator and wildlife habitat and increasing biodiversity across the landscape. Kevin received his Ph.D. in Animal and Range Sciences from North Dakota State University and has been working for NDSU Extension since 1989.  He has worked on grazing systems and invasive plants as well as adding the ecological application of prescribed fire.

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Dr. David Toledo 

David is a Rangeland Scientist with the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory where he works on the development and application of monitoring and assessment methods and on factors affecting landowner use of different land management practices. David received his Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Management from Texas A&M University, where he worked on the social and ecological factors influencing attitudes toward the application of high intensity prescribed burns to restore fire-adapted grassland ecosystems. Since moving to ND, he has continued to work on the social and ecological dimensions of the application of prescribed fire.

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Eric Rosenquist  

Eric currently works for the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust where he focuses on developing and delivering conservation programs for private landowners.  Prior to this, he spent nearly 25 years managing grasslands for The Nature Conservancy in ND.  During his time managing grasslands he regularly implemented both fire and grazing, together, to accomplish management objectives.  He has worked on several large grassland projects throughout North America during his career.

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Karen Smith

Karen worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1970 to 2002, transferring in 1977 to the 26,700-acre Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge where she applied prescribed fire followed with livestock grazing.  She used the basic concept of adaptive management for restoring Lostwood’s degraded grassland.  She has conducted over 60,000 acres of prescribed fire ranging in size from less than one to 5,000 acres.  Management Units receiving one burn were planned for several additional burns thereafter.  Grazing was initiated after a fire reduced woody species that allowed herbaceous species growth.  After retirement, she manages her own grassland using grazing and fire.  She was a member of the U.S. Forest Service’s scientific review team for the Dakota Prairie Grasslands (2002-2005), and a board member on the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center in ND (2010-2015).

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Brian Fuchs

Brian is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) located in Lincoln, NE.    Before coming to the NDMC, he worked for the High Plains Regional Climate Center as a regional climatologist.   While there, he worked with weather/climate data as well as on the development of the ACIS (Applied Climate Information System) and applied data products.   Brian’s responsibilities with the NDMC include working as a climatologist for the center along with other duties related to this position.  Brian participates with other NDMC staff in the production of the U.S. Drought Monitor and serves as a media contact for climate- and drought-related topics. Brian has a B.S. in geography with a major in meteorology/climatology and an M.S. in geosciences, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Dr. Cody Zilverberg

Cody grew up on the Bar JZ Ranch cattle ranch in central South Dakota.  He has worked on livestock integration and prairie renovation at the South Dakota State University Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre, SD since 2017.  Cody obtained his doctorate in agronomy at Texas Tech University where he studied crop-livestock systems.  His previous research at South Dakota State University and Texas A&M University was focused on grazing, prairie restoration, and prairie plant growth.

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Dr. Paulo Carvahlo

Paulo is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Agronomy of UFRGS and holds a doctorate degree in Animal Science from UNESP.  His thesis investigated the forage intake process by grazing animals.  The topics of his research include conservative management of pastoral ecosystems and integrated crop-livestock systems.   He was a visiting scientist at the Crop and Grassland Service of FAO, and Coordinator of the Animal Science Advisory Committee of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).  Paulo is a member of the Committee on Low Carbon Agriculture and Chair of the Intelligence Board of Intelligence Service in Agribusiness (SIA).  He is the currently Director of the Brazilian Society of Animal Production of Aliança SIPA and the President of the Brazilian Society of Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems.  Paulo has shared the authorship of 241 peer-reviewed scientific papers.  In 2020 he was awarded as “Outstanding Researcher in Agricultural Sciences” by FAPERGS.

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Dr. David Archer

Dave is the current Research Leader of the USDA-ARS-Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (NGPRL) in Mandan, ND.  He joined the NGPRL as an agricultural economist in 2007.  Before coming to Mandan, he was at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Morris, Minnesota.  Prior to joining ARS, Dave was a USDA-NRCS agricultural economist in Bismarck, North Dakota, and in Spokane and Colfax, Washington.  He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Iowa State University. Dave’s research focus is on economic performance and sustainability of agricultural systems, evaluating economic risks and returns, and quantifying tradeoffs between economic and environmental impacts of agricultural systems.   He has included a wide range of systems including strip-tillage and no-till systems, diverse rotations, cover crops, organic systems, bio feedstock production, and integrated crop-livestock systems in his research.

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Dr. Derek Faust

Derek is a faculty instructor in the Environmental Sciences & Technology program at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA.  He teaches courses across a broad array of subjects including chemistry, air pollution, GPS & GIS, hydrology, ecology, and wetlands.  Derek worked as a postdoctoral research biologist on the integrated crop-livestock project at Northern Great Plains Research Lab from 2016 to 2018, focusing on soil health, greenhouse gases, and water quality.  

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2021 Presentations: 

Being updated

2020 Presentations:

Industry Perspective: Presented by Dr. Tom Rabaey, General Mills


Rain, Rust & Ruts: Is there a Silver Lining in 2019?: Presented by Dr. Mark Liebig


Links Between Land Management & Food Quality: What can Archives Samples Tell Us?: Presented by Dr. Andrea Clemensen


USDA Soil Health/Human Health Project: Presented by Dr. Mike Grusak


NDSU Agribiome Initiative: Presented by Dr. Gregory Lardy & Dr. John McEvoy


Building Soil Health Across ND: Innovative Producer Panel: Moderated by Dr. Abbey Wick


Let Food and Feed Be Our Medicine: Presented by Dr. Fred Provenza


Mending Broken Linkages: Soil, Plants, Herbivores, & Humans: Presented by Dr. Fred Provenza


What Makes People Do What They Do on Their Fames & Ranches: Presented by Dr. David Toledo


Perspective From Both Sides of the Desk: Presented by John Pfaff, Security First Bank


Weather Crystal Ball: Presented by Laura Edwards


Restorative Agriculture: A Farmer's Perspective: Presented by Greg Busch

2019 Presentations: 


Bankers Perspective:


Couple Panel:

Dorito Effect:

Planned Grazing:


Bale Grazing:


Drought Conditions:

Cover My Crops:

Animal Behavior:


Livestock Handling:

2018 Presentations:


Crop and Livestock Prices -

Economics of Improved Soil Quality -

Reflection of ND Agriculture -

Grazing Strategies in a Dry Year -

Crop Production in a Dry Year -

Weather Crystal Ball -

Ag Lender Panel -

Day one is hosted by the Planning Team:

Susan Samson-Liebig, USDA NRCS 701.530.2018

Roberto Luciano, USDA NRCS , 701.934.1359

Renae Gress , NDSU Morton County Extension 701.667.3348

Beth Hill, North Dakota Forest Service

Jackie Buckley, Retired NDSU Extension Agent

Marco Davinic, Bismarck State College 701.224.5417

Tim Faller, NDSU Agricultural Experiment Stations 701.567.3030

John Hendrickson, USDA Agricultural Research Service 701.667.3015

Dave Archer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 701.667.3048

Ryan Kobilansky, Morton County SCD, 701.667.1163

Valarie Froelich, Morton County SCD, 701.667.1163

Connie Bryant, Burleigh County SCD, 701.250.4518

Darrell Oswald, Burleigh County SCD, 701.250.4518

Nolan Swenson, Burleigh County SCD, 701.250.4518

Chet Zapzalka, Burleigh County SCD, 701.250.4518

Chad Thorson, Burleigh County SCD, 701.250.4518

Day two is hosted by the Burleigh & Morton SCDs, Menoken Farm, NDSU, and the ND Grazing Coalition