Chuck Peacock Soil Scientist, NRCS
Chuck Peacock is a Soil Scientist with NRCS based in Grand Junction, Colorado. He is currently the MLRA (Major Land Resource Area) Office Leader and supervises a small crew of 2 Soil Scientists and one Ecological Site Specialist. The office is responsible for soil surveys and ecological sites in the majority of Western Colorado and good chunk of Eastern Utah. His work primarily entails mapping soils for publication in soil surveys (Web Soil Survey) and assisting the public in using those surveys and educating people about the nature and properties of soils – and specifically “biologically active” healthy soil. He has been mapping soils and delivering these services in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming for over 25 years. Prior to NRCS he was a "lab rat" performing various soil, water, & tissue analysis at the CSU soil testing lab. Chuck is native of the North Fork Valley in Western Colorado. He has a Master's degree in Soil Genesis & Morphology from Colorado State University (CSU) and a Bachelor's degree in Agronomy/Soil Science also from CSU.
Dave Dearstyne Soil Scientist, Retired
Dave has been a soil scientist for over 35 years, and a Soil Health Technical Provider and passionate advocate for Soil Health for the past 12 years. Dave’s experience includes over 30 years as a soil scientist for NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) and includes several areas in the states of Colorado, Florida, and Maine. Since retiring from NRCS in December of 2014, Dave has continued to work in the soils field as a Soil Health Technical Advisor for the Shavano Conservation District, a National Resource Inventory specialist in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Nebraska, a soil scientist on a BAER team (Burn Area Emergency Response) for public land agencies, and as a Soil/Soil Health consultant. Dave has been actively involved with the Western Slope Soil Health conference for the past 10 years (since inception), serving in the capacity as Soil Health team moderator, conference emcee, and presenter. Dave is an avid gardener, teaching a local gardening series and helping other gardening enthusiasts learn about gardening and soil health.
Helen Silver Silver Sustainable Strategies, LLC.
Helen D. Silver is the principal of Silver Sustainable Strategies, LLC. Using her 15 years of experience in environmental law and policy, Helen works with nonprofits, agricultural organizations, and academic institutions to advance sustainable policies and programs. She is a member of the Coordination Team of the Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils, representing CSU Agriculture Experiment Stations, and has facilitated the development of proposed legislation for a Colorado Soil Health Program and works in close partnership with Colorado Department of Agriculture, conservation districts, producers, and other partners to develop critical parts of the soil health initiative, such as Colorado specific soil health test and adapting practice-based soil health assessments.
Jerry Allen Irrigation Water Management Specialist, SCD
Jerry is Irrigation Water management Specialist for the Shavano Conservation District and soil health team member. He is a retired agriculture education teacher and current recorder for the Uncompahgre Soil Health Team. Jerry is instrumental to the planning of the Food and Farm Forum and the Western Colorado Soil Health Conference.
Jim Ippolito Professor, Soil and Crop Sciences, CSU
Jim Ippolito received his BS in Plant Sciences with a concentration in Agronomy from the University of Delaware (1989), and a MS (1992) and PhD (2001) in Environmental Soil Chemistry/Quality from Colorado State University. He worked for CSU from 1989 to 2007, focusing on beneficial reuse of organic-based materials in production agricultural settings. He then worked for the USDA-ARS in Kimberly, ID (2007 to 2016) as a research soil scientist, focusing on water and soil contamination issues, and soil health. Jim currently works for CSU as a professor of soil fertility/soil health in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. His research focuses attention on quantifying soil health in dryland and irrigated agroecosystems, grazed rangelands/pasture/grassland settings, organic agroecosystems, CRP, and mine reclamation sites in the central and western US.
Ken Holsinger, Ecologist, Bureau of Land Management
Ken is an Ecologist with Bureau of Land Management in Montrose, Colorado. He has 21 years of experience working for the BLM in fire ecology, botany, rangeland ecology, and wildlife biology. Projects he is most frequently involved in are threatened and endangered species recovery, post fire stabilization and restoration, rangeland health evaluations, rangeland restoration, Assessment Inventory and Monitoring implementation and analysis.
Les Owen Conservation Services Division Director, CDA
Les Owen has been the Conservation Services Division Director with the Colorado Department of Agriculture since August of 2016. He provides oversight and coordination of the Department's efforts to protect and enhance the state's agriculture activities as they relate to land use and range management, conservation, soil and vegetation management, grazing on public lands, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, and endangered species. The Division also provides administrative and financial assistance to the 76 conservation districts; and oversight and administration of the noxious weed, weed free forage, bio-control (insectary), groundwater, chemigation, and renewable energy programs. Les moved here from New Mexico where he worked for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture on a variety of issues related to federal land management, threatened and endangered species, and other rules and regulations that affect natural resource management. He was raised near the small town of Corona, New Mexico where most of his time was spent working on the family ranch.
Lowell King Grand Valley Farmer - cover crops, no-till, & livestock integration
Lowell King, Regenerative Ag Farmer. Lowell farms 800 acres of hay, small grain, non GMO corn, and cover crops along with his brother Mark and brother in law Ed Weaver. He grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and moved to Western CO in 2005 . After dealing with the frustration that goes along with tillage, he ditched the plow in 2016. Today every acre of farm ground has living roots year around and the farm is full no till under furrow irrigation. In addition to farming, Lowell sells cover crop seed, Esch no till drills, and Furrow Runner no till creaser attachments. He is passionate about Soil Health after seeing how it has transformed the soil on his farm. Offering on farm consulting and field tours are just a few of the ways Lowell is using to further soil health across Western CO .
Marlon Winger NRCS Regional Soil Health Agronomist
Marlon earned a BS and MS degrees at Utah State University in Plant Science. He grew up on a family owned dairy farm in Dayton, Idaho, where he found his professional passion for life (Agriculture). Worked as a County Agricultural Agent for Utah State University Extension service for 9 years in Price, Utah. Has been working for the USDA - Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) for 17 years, as Area Agronomist in Northern Utah and State Agronomist in Idaho, currently works as the Regional Soil Health Specialist for MT, WY, UT, and Idaho. Marlon and his family lives on a ranchette in Casper, WY where the family raises, pasture, sheep, hogs, a few calves and a large garden.
Max Neumeyer Principal, Ground Up Consulting LLC
Max Neumeyer is the principal of Ground Up Consulting LLC and helps to coordinate the Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils (CCHS) and the Colorado Coalition to Enhance Working Lands (CO-CEWL). CCHS and CO-CEWL are bottom-up, big tent organizations working to bring the agricultural community together around soil health and good land management. Max comes to this work after a career as a science teacher and a graduate degree in public policy focused on soil health policy for Colorado. After graduation, he worked with Mad Agriculture and several other partners to launch the Collaborative in order to explore a new direction for soil health. He is now working in close partnership with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, conservation and conservancy districts, Colorado State University, and other entities to design, launch and fund a soil health program.
Philip Frank Green Cover Seed Rep & Farmer and Rancher
Philip Frank was born and raised in Colorado and had a fascination with agriculture from a very young age. Over time his fascination developed into a passion for all aspects of crop and livestock agriculture. He graduated from Colorado Mesa University in with an associate’s degree in agriculture science and a bachelor’s degree in business/entrepreneurship. He has been focusing on building his own farm and herd of commercial cattle for 6 years now, and has delved into the use of covercrops, no-till, and livestock integration to boost his sustainability, profitability, and his own personal enjoyment. He works directly with GreenCover Seed and is passionate about helping producers get started with cover crops, no-till farming, and livestock integration. He is glad to help farmers design a cover crop program that will best fit their goals, and if he can’t answer a producer’s question, he is more than willing to help connect producers to the people who have the answers they need.
Reed began gardening in the 1950s, selling his produce from a basket on his bike and working in a commercial greenhouse growing hothouse tomatoes and bedding plants. Gardening continued as he lived in Ohio, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. He applies what he learned in geology and soil & crop science graduate programs in different gardening situations. He especially enjoys growing different types of plants in unconventional ways that improve soil health and challenge conventional wisdom.
Steve Hale Business Development Specialist, Triton Environmental
Steve is a native of Montrose, CO. He operates his family’s 4th generation, Colorado Centennial farm and ranch, raising natural Grass-fed beef, and other farm enterprises. Steve graduated from CSU with a Bachelors in Agricultural Business. For past 11 years, Steve specialized in reclamation and surface management while working as an Environmental Specialist for oil and gas operations in Northwest Colorado and Utah. Currently, he is a Business Development Specialist for Triton Environmental, representing a wide range of environmental products for industry, agriculture, and construction. Steve served on Shavano Conservation District (Montrose area) from 1999-2008, and recently returned to the Board as a Supervisor. He also represented Gunnison and Colorado River Districts on the Colorado State Conservation Board from 2001 to 2005. Steve is a member of the Society for Range Management, serving on the Reclamation and Restoration Committee.
Steve Woodis Wildlife Biologist, Down To Earth Natural Resource Solutions, LLC
Steve worked for NRCS for most of his professional career as a wildlife biologist in the Montrose Colorado Field Office. He also worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service. He received his bachelors in wildlife biology and masters in range science from Colorado State University. He operates a small farm with his wife Peg a few miles west of Montrose. After retirement, Steve started his own consulting business and now works with landowners to help them address natural resource issues of varied sorts.