2015 Green Lands
Blue Waters Conference
Bridges and Buffers, Farms and Cities:
Continuous Living Cover Farming Systems
Strategic Watershed Tour: Narrative Change for Restoration of Watershed Health
November 4, 8:30 am - 10:00 am
How can we advance a more grounded and expansive understanding (a picture) of agriculture and the communities across the watersheds where we work? How are/can we engage the broader community and farmers in an ongoing way, elicit what they want for the future of their land and communities and make a strong connection with adopting more continuous living cover farming? In this session, Deb Ryun of the St. Croix River Association will share lessons from using a membership base to reach communities throughout the St. Croix River Watershed, while George Boody and Terry VanDerPol from the Land Stewardship Project will draw on examples from farmer and community engagement in the Chippewa River Watershed. These examples will feed a group discussion about the idea of narrative change that can help individuals and the larger watershed embrace restoration of watershed health and more continuous living cover farming.
Executive Director, Land Stewardship Project
George Boody is the Executive Director of the Land Stewardship Project (LSP). In addition to management responsibilities, he co-directs interdisciplinary projects that measure and predict ecological and financial benefits from diversified farming systems and assists with federal and state policy initiatives. The Monitoring Project measured the impacts of farms transitioning to rotational grazing. The Chippewa 10% Project uses landscape-level modeling, monitoring and economic analyses to estimate changes to watershed-level ecosystem services from diversifying farms. This effort engages farmers to adopt profitable perennial systems to enhance stewardship and long-term profitability. George has co-authored several peer-reviewed papers on agriculture, ecosystem services and water quality. He received a Master's degree in Horticulture and Human Nutrition and a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota. George lives with his wife, Ann, in Minneapolis where they raised their family, built their house and love to garden, be outside, canoe, cross country ski and care for their grandchildren.
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Terry VanDerPol, Land Stewardship Project
Terry VanDerPol grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in western Minnesota. After studying Sociology and Psychology at the University of Mn –Morris, she worked in human services for about 15 years and came back to agriculture by joining as a member and a staff person of Land Stewardship Project. She also has a grass fed cattle operation in partnership with her brother, Jim VanDerPol and great-nephew Andy VanDerPol. She has worked with farmers in western Minnesota monitoring biological outcomes of various practices, and developing sustainable livestock systems. She currently directs the Community Based Food Systems program that works to construct food and farming systems to steward soil tilth, community health and wealth. The program’s work in the Root river watershed in southeast Minnesota and in the Chippewa watershed in western Minnesota works with farmers and landowners to find profitable ways to steward the soil and water through cover crops, building soil health, increasing diverse rotations and increasing perennials on sensitive land.
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Executive Director, St. Croix River Association
Deb Ryun has been the Executive Director of the St. Croix River Association (SCRA) since October 2009. She has extensive experience with management and coordination of multi-stakeholder initiatives; watershed-level planning; and implementation of on-the-ground projects to protect land and water. She provides overall leadership for and management of SCRA and is responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission by ensuring the development, implementation and monitoring of goals, policy and strategic initiatives and by developing sufficient human and financial resources for organizational growth and stability.