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Beyond Fencelines: Women in Ranching Confluence 2020

Nov 13 - Nov 15 2020

About Beyond Fencelines: Women in Ranching Confluence 2020

(Looking for the 2021 event? Click here!)

WLA’s first Women in Ranching Confluence!

A (virtual) gathering November 13-15, 2020

An inspiring and empowering gathering for anyone looking to make a Big Leap or take small steps into leadership in land stewardship, whether on your ranch, in your community, or beyond.

At this critical juncture, the face of rural leadership is changing. Women have always played a vital role in the care and stewardship of our lands, but in our traditional ranching communities, women’s work has historically been hidden work. Today, there are more women inheriting, acquiring, managing, studying, and in other ways stepping up and out as aspiring leaders in agriculture. WinR is expanding its reach with a core belief that investing in women means investing in strong rural communities, improved land stewardship and increased collaborative and creative approaches in the West.

Join us on this incredible journey, inspiring and supporting, connecting and growing an intricate network of resilient social capital!

Registration includes membership in the Western Landowners Alliance!

"The confluence this weekend fed my soul, reminding me of the connection that a diverse group of women can form. There are so many things I learned at a young age on the ranch and so many others that I was too stubborn to (like roping). Glad to be celebrating another year of life this coming weekend with the courage to keep learning and to do so being completely me."

- Sarah P., CO

Nikki Silvestri

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Inspirational, fun, and practical

Key Note Speakers


Robin Wall Kimmerer

Mother, author, decorated professor, and enrolled citizen of Potowatomi Nation
Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Nikki Silvestri

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Mentor

Nikki Silvestri 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.

Nikki has a master's degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles. She currently lives in Oakland, with her husband and son.

Special Guests


Chloe Smith

Rising Appalachia
Chloe Smith is an American singer, multi-instrumental musician and activist known for her role as musician and vocalist in Rising Appalachia together with her sister, front woman Leah Song. Her music is based in the traditions of Southern soul and international roots music.

Chloe will share a specially-recorded performance with Confluence attendees Friday evening, November 13th. Consider showing Rising Appalachia your love on their Patreon.

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Stephanie Nash


Stephanie Nash is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from Central California who’s songwriting and love of music is inspired by country voices of the ‘90s. While contributing to duties of the family farm, now located in Tennessee, Stephanie also pursues her passion for music and uses its platform to bring visibility to the agricultural community and the crises it faces.

Stephanie will perform during the Confluence on November 14th.


Camas Davis

Author, butcher, founder of the Good Meat Project
Camas Davis is a butcher, educator, and author. She is also the founder and executive director of the Good Meat Project whose mission is to build pathways toward responsible meat production and consumption. She is the founder and owner of the Portland Meat Collective, which brings hands-on, experiential meat education to consumers, producers and culinary professionals. She is also the author of Killing It: An Education. Originally from Alvadore, Oregon, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and three-year old daughter.

Jaimie Stoltzfus

Fellowship and sponsorship director, Art of the Cowgirl

Jaimie Stoltzfus from McLeod, MT is a ranch wife, mom, cowgirl, and entrepreneur. Jaimie is passionate about agriculture as well as helping to educate and empower people to cultivate positive change. She currently serves as the Fellowship and Sponsorship Director for Art of the Cowgirl, which is a gathering to celebrate cowgirls and western artists and their contributions to the western lifestyle and traditions.

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Heather McDonnell

Chef/Owner of Whole and Nourished

While working for over a decade in the ski industry, Heather pursued her many other interests as summer jobs and hobbies: holistic health, nutrition, organic farming and whole foods cooking to name a few. After seeing a need in her community for convenient, high-quality, full prepared meals, she started Whole and Nourished in May 2017.

Heather enjoys sharing what she is so passionate about: connecting with others through food while contributing to local agriculture and her community's overall health and wellness.


Barb Holliday

Somatic Coach and Bodyworker

A Strozzi Institute certified Somatic Coach and Bodyworker, Barb Holliday uses her intimate contact with land to establish a bridge for others to reconnect with their inherent dignity and emerging self. Her guided work assists others to meaningfully participate in the unfolding creation of their future self; bridging the self presently, into how one longs to show up in the world. Barb connects on a deep level and invites people to tap into soulful places in their own time and pace.


Chelsea Carey

Point Blue Conservation Science
Working Lands Research Director
As Working Lands Research Director and Principal Soil Ecologist, Chelsea develops and leads research projects and partnerships that help inform rangeland management across California (and around the world). Chelsea helps oversee Point Blue's partnership with TomKat Ranch. Her research works to identify ways that explicit consideration of the soil can improve success of conservation practices like riparian restoration.
McKay Fleck

McKay Fleck

Guitarist, fly fisherwoman, McKay Fleck and Chaz Cook music
McKay started playing music with her dad when she was 5. Everyone in her family played music and she continued to study multiple instruments in college. Currently she teaches guitar at Sheridan Community College. Bandmate Chaz Cook and McKay have been playing bluegrass and fly fishing together for 3 years.

McKay and Chaz will help close out each day of the Confluence with a musical moment!

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Eva Reil

Musician, Rancher, Teacher

Eva Reil is a rancher from Recluse, MT and she is raising the next generation to be aware of the importance of trying to find the best way to steward our land, livestock and the creation that we were given. She homeschools her children, loves to offer her musical talents to her community, has a passion for combining time on horseback and use of electric fence for good grazing management and is a budding photographer. In her own words, "I also really like to nerd-out on food and nourish my family with the gifts of our ranch." It is out of love and a desire to share her gifts that she is providing music for our community both Friday evening and Sunday morning.

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Wendy Millet

Ranch Director, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

Wendy Millet is the Ranch Director of TomKat Ranch, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation and LeftCoast Grassfed. For more than twenty years, Wendy has worked to bridge a love of conservation and working landscapes with practical economic solutions and effective partnerships. In addition to working for several years on ranches in Wyoming and Montana, she ran a local land trust, worked for a timber investment company, led education and leadership programs for the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and spent 12 years at The Nature Conservancy.

Paige Pitzer bio photo

Paige Pitzer

Owner, Riversong Gourmet Catering

Paige Pitzer grew up in Southern California on a three-generation citrus ranch. After studying Cultural Anthropology and Geology, and working in a variety of community-oriented organizations, Paige found her way back to food and its sources here in Montana. She has owned Riversong Gourmet Catering for 12 years, and recently started True Food Missoula, a healthy meal delivery service. Both of her businesses have a foundation in local, sustainable agriculture, sourcing over 75% of their ingredients from local farms annually. The Riversong commercial kitchen is also a resource shared with other local food businesses in need of a licensed kitchen space.


Peggy Dulany

Rancher, Centennial Valley, Montana

Peggy Dulany has spent one long part of her working life on issues relating to reducing poverty and injustice globally. Her soul home, however, is on her Montana grassfed beef ranch in The Centennial Valley where she finds ways to replenish her soul and energy on the wild land, whether studying regenerative practices, moving cattle or hiking in the surrounding mountains. She practices yoga and is a wilderness/inner work guide. She is a mother and grandmother, wife and friend (including to her cats, Cory and Missy and horses, Leo and Miracle).

Program (all times Mountain)

  • 13

    Friday, November 13th

    6-8pm Gathering Happy Hour(s)

    This is one evening you don't want to miss! You will be networking with other incredible women, participating in nourishing physical movement, celebrating women's leadership AND listening to a specially-recorded performance by Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia!

    What's on Tap:

    • Welcome and introduction to Women in Ranching with program coordinator Amber Smith
    • Digging into Soil with Chelsea Carey
    • Breakout session with Confluence guide Beth Godbey
    • Time with chef Heather McDonnell
    • Breakout session with guide April Chalfant
    • Breakout session with guide Andrea Malmberg
    • Connection somatic session with somatic coach Barb Holliday
    • Music from Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia

  • 14

    Saturday, November 14th

    9:00 - LIVE welcome performance by country music recording artist Stephanie Nash!

    9:20 - Nikki Silvestri keynote

    10:00 - Small group discussion of keynote guided by Beth Godbey

    10:25 - Nourishing Movement with Barb Holliday

    10:45 - Break (Beauty Walk)

    11:00 - Over the Fence networking session with our Guides

    11:45 - Finding Balance in the Working Wild panel discussion - led by Alex Few, Working Wild Challenge program coordinator at WLA

    12:45 - Q&A session with panel

    Musical moment with McKay Fleck and Chaz Cook to close the day.

  • 15

    Sunday, November 15th

    9:00 - A musical welcome with Eva Reil!

    9:20 - Robin Wall Kimmerer keynote

    10:20 - Live Q&A with Robin!

    10:45 - Nourishing Movement with Barb Holliday

    11:10 - Break

    11:25 - Over the Fence networking featuring Camas Davis and Jaimie Stoltzfus

    11:50 - Celebrating Wild and Working Land, with Peggy Dulany 

    12:00 - Big Leaps, Small Steps - with Wendy Millet, ranch manager at TomKat Ranch (CA), WLA board member, guided by Beth Godbey

    Musical moment with McKay Fleck and Chaz Cook and final goodbyes until next time!

  • Plus daily drawings for cool prizes, and few more surprises!

    Thank you to our sponsors for making this all possible!

Confluence Guides


Amber Smith

Women in Ranching program coordinator
Western Landowners Alliance

Amber and her husband are raising their two children and stewarding the 53,000-acre Antelope Springs ranch in Cohagen, Montana. Her passion revolves around working with others to build a future in which rural families thrive. Her role as WLA’s Women in Ranching program coordinator allows her to continue rural community-building through supporting female leadership on the large working landscapes of Montana and the West.

Andrea Malmberg

Andrea Malmberg

Holistic Management accredited professional

Andrea was born in Bozeman, Montana and grew up on the land and around livestock. In 2004 she completed studies in Zimbabwe and Argentina to become an accredited professional in Holistic Management. Seeing the need to bring the tools of human flourishing to rural communities, she received a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has now created a platform, lifeenergy.guide, that people throughout the world are using to manage and monitor their well-being.

BethGodbey Equine Empowerment CO_photo Natalie Heller

Beth Godbey

Founder, Equine Empowerment

Beth is the founder and director of the non-profit, Equine Empowerment and is a licensed mental health counselor, certified therapeutic recreation specialist and equine specialist in mental health and learning. Beth’s passion and mission are to empower brave-hearted actions and inspire positive changes in individuals, families and communities. She considers it an honor to partner people with horses to create space for developing the deep connection needed for growth and healing to occur. Beth and her husband, Ben, love raising their three wild kids, grass-fed beef and good ranch horses in the rural mountains of Colorado.


April Martin Chalfant

Executive Director, Wild Rose Center

April is the Executive Director of the Wild Rose Center, a retreat and community resource center located on Northern Cheyenne homelands where she also ranches and raises grass fed beef. Believing the land has the ability to heal us, nourish us and connect us she operates under the Native American philosophy that we are all related and strives to model that through her work and life.

Women Facing the Challenges of the Working Wild panelists

Abby Nelson
Bre Owens
Alex Few
Tiffany Manion
Avery Shawler
Yvonne Martinell
Kristen Preble


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